Diverse Educational Journeys

Appalachian's Cratis D. Williams Graduate School administers more than 40 graduate degree programs and 12 graduate certificate programs, as well as oversees activities related to research and program funding. Currently, more than 2,000 individuals are graduate degree-seeking students. Watch now as four graduate students describe very diverse educational journeys at Appalachian and beyond in their own words.

Erin Boyer

Master of Business Administration

"I'm Erin. I'll complete my MBA in May and I already have a job with Wachovia Corporation focusing on emerging markets.

"I spent three years working in Japan before I went back to school for my MBA. Now I'll travel internationally with Wachovia. Domo arigatto!

"I went to Tulane for my undergrad and visited my parents a lot while they lived in Boone. I fell in love with the campus and the school.

"The professors in the Walker College of Business are awesome—truly supportive. And the strength of the alumni network is amazing. Our college alumni helped Wachovia recruit me."

Hildreth Davis

Master of Arts in Higher Education, concentration in Developmental Education

"Hi! My name's Hildreth and I'm graduating in May with a master's degree in Higher Ed. Then, I'm starting my doctoral studies right away in Adult Ed. I didn't have time to take all the classes I wanted before, so I'm going to keep going!

"I was a nurse for 26 years before discovering that I LOVE to teach developmental math. Who knew?

"I got my undergraduate degree in two years while I continued nursing to pay the bills—hey, whatever it takes.

"I want to teach at a community college because that's where a lot of students like me start out. Appalachian has helped me open the door to my next career. Thank you!"

Kyle Laird

Master of Arts in Geography, concentration in Planning

"Hi, I'm Kyle and I'm a first-year graduate student in Geography and Planning. I also manage the new Peace Corps office here on campus.

"I want to live in North Carolina when I graduate and work in city or state planning. One of my pet peeves is the lack of mass transportation in this country and our reliance on fossil fuels. I take the bus everywhere I go.

"I was in the Peace Corps for several years and spent time in Ukraine teaching business courses. I also did several special assignments in the Russian Far East before I decided I wanted to go back to school. Learning to live in a foreign country is fascinating AND addicting.

"Appalachian provided 23 Peace Corps volunteers in 2007. That's a lot for a campus our size. This campus has a culture of service—of giving back to the community. It's just what people do here."

Sunny Townes

Master of Arts in History

"My name is Sunny. I'm an adjunct professor in the Department of History and just completed my master's thesis on urban labor history in Mexico. I got grants from the Office of Student Research so I could spend a month living in Guadalajara, Mexico, doing research.

"Traveling and living in Mexico was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the most fulfilling. I learned some Spanish but got around using a lot of sign language. I brought stacks and stacks of documents home with me.

"My thesis committee believes that my thesis could be turned into an article. Wow. I'd like to apply to doctoral programs, but I'll probably wait a year.

"I love the mountains, I love teaching, and I love history!"