Where can an Appalachian degree take you? Anywhere you want to go! Appalachian alumni become leaders in their communities and in their professions, and they exemplify how Appalachian can and does make the world a better place.
Talent may get you so far, but networking and hard work are what really breed success, according to Bobby Sain ’10 of New York City. And since graduating from Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, Sain has had plenty of success.
Moore has been “going for it” since she joined the GRAMMY-winning band fun. as a touring musician in 2010. She plays guitar, keyboards, an occasional sax riff and sings back-up with the band. And yes, that’s “fun” with a period.
This commission was no conventional wedding reception or cute pet portrait. To bring the wild to Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union, photographer Katie Langley ’01 hiked to Western North Carolina’s most sublime natural areas in pre-dawn and post-sunset darkness. Laden with up to 60 pounds of gear, she often ascended 1,000 to 2,000 feet. Langley, a wedding and portrait photographer based in Boone, took 20,000 photos of heavenly vistas in every direction. Shot over a year’s time, the dramatic large-scale, wide-angle photographs, at once serene and stimulating, resemble paintings and reflect Mother Nature’s many moods in changing skies and seasons.
Twin brothers and Appalachian State University graduates Alex and Charlie Mauney, 30, have converted their great-great grandfather's hosiery mill in Kings Mountain, N.C., into their very own gin distillery. Less than a year old, Southern Artisan Spirits is the only legal gin-making operation in North Carolina and is earning awards and national recognition.
Jake Gentry traveled to Tanzania in 2008 to conduct research for his master's thesis about the impact of refugee camps on their host communities. Emotionally touched by the many abandoned children in the camps, Gentry and his friends started a non-profit organization that supports orphanages becoming self-sufficient and sustainable.
Piloting an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter just hundreds of feet off the ground with a two-person crew and a ground unit counting on your team for cover and intelligence is a profound responsibility. For 2005 graduate Natalie Graham Mallicoat, a staff officer at Fort Bragg, that was her life in Kandahar, Afghanistan from April 2009 to April 2010.
Appalachian State University's Alumni Association honored three graduates during the spring alumni banquet April 24, 2010. They were Alice Williams Brown of Burlington, James K. Reaves of Kernersville and Richard G. Sparks of Boone.
As traditional and time-tested businesses and industries decline, the new economy is embracing entrepreneurism. Appalachian alumni and students are in the forefront of that development. Many young professionals are commercializing their passions and personal interests, supported by the skills and knowledge they learned at Appalachian.
Dan Hauser '92 '97 has amassed one of the most extensive collections of antique sports equipment in the United States. After 13 years of collecting, "several thousand" items fill his basement- from 19th-century baseball gloves to a high-wheeler bicycle, silver trophy cups and vintage uniforms.
Students from Appalachian State University and China's Fudan University have the opportunity to learn each others' culture and business practices through a prestigious exchange program. It's called the William R. Holland Fellows for Business Study in Asia.
Brad Sparks and Derrick Rehn had a chance meeting at the bottom of the world. The Appalachian State University alumnus and student explored the Antarctica Peninsula together as part of Inspire Antarctica Expedition 2009 (IAE).
Christian Kucab '08 of Raleigh is one of the rare individuals to receive a perfect score on the LSAT, the law school admissions test. A recent summa cum laude graduate of Appalachian's Department of Government and Justice Studies, Kucab aspires to a career in public interest law and eventually politics. His score of 180 is good insurance he will be accepted into a law school of his choosing.
Gastonia's efforts to revitalize its once thriving downtown provided Jennifer Harper '06 the opportunity to spotlight her design skills, complete a master's degree, and take a look at the roots of her community and family history. Harper, a Gastonia native and Appalachian interior design graduate, hoped to one day see the Parkdale Mills area where her grandmother worked in the 1950s restored and thriving again. When she learned the city was planning a new convention center with arts and entertainment venues downtown, she decided to get involved.
Gill Beck '78, a third-generation Mountaineer and third-generation North Carolina attorney, has led a career of distinction as both a civilian and a soldier. Since graduating second in his class at Appalachian, he has served with the U.S. Army Reserve in a variety of positions. He has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the middle district of North Carolina since 1992. His career reached a pinnacle of distinction in December 2008 when former President George W. Bush promoted him to brigadier general with the Army Reserve. Beck, who will receive Appalachian's Distinguished Alumni Award in spring 2009, reflects on the experiences that took him from college student, to soldier, to lawyer and judge.
Linda Combs '68 '78 has been elected to serve a four-year term on the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors. She retired in 2007 from a career serving the U.S. government at the highest level. Over 14 years, Combs worked for three presidents, earned five Senate confirmations for various appointments, and served in the departments of Education, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Treasury, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. As controller of the United States in the Office of Management and Budget—her final position and a presidential appointment—she was responsible for audits totaling about $3 trillion a year.
Antony R. Farmer '96 MBA, a 25-year veteran of the Winston-Salem Fire Department, was sworn in as the city's new fire chief in December 2008. Farmer oversees the city's 18 fire stations, 316 firefighters and an annual budget of about $25 million. Previously, Farmer served as a firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief and most recently a district fire chief with the department.
Meaningful relationships are a hallmark of an Appalachian education. Carolyn Clark has achieved career success in part because of caring professors and alumni who value being of service to others. Carolyn Clark took a chance on applying for a New York City early career program, and the experience has dramatically shaped her career.
Meaningful relationships are a hallmark of an Appalachian education. Amy Sarno has achieved career success in part because of caring professors and alumni who value being of service to others. She got her first job because of the strong ties her professor kept with a former student.