October 10, 2018

Honors Wednesday Memo

Opportunities and Information for Honors Students

edited by Brad Rentz

Volume 2, Issue 8

October 10, 2018  


Message from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch 

Dear Honors students and friends,

Today is my mother’s 90th birthday. Virginia LuAnn Vahlbusch. When I asked her recently what she would like as a birthday present, she said, with her usual vigor: “I don’t need anything.” For her 80th, I reminded her, she said the same thing, so Audrey and I presented her with 80 long-stem white carnations in a huge glass vase. I suggested that making it to 90, and putting up with me for 61 years, deserved at least 90 red roses. She laughed and said: “take the dollars you would have spent on me and donate them to the Honors College. Do something great for your students.”

Wonderful idea, Mom; will do. Happy Birthday! And thank you from all of us in Honors.

Happy Fall Break, everyone!



Last week’s Honors Council Meeting. Clockwise beginning with Dr. Heather Waldroup(Honors) in the center, Dr. Jennifer Wilson (English),  Dr. Ellen Lamont (Sociology), Dr. Joseph Gonzalez (Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Studies), Dr. Nicholas Shaw (Chemistry), Dr. Cole Edwards (Geological and Environmental Sciences),  Dr. Bill Cook (Mathematical Sciences), Dr. Jeff Vahlbusch (Honors),  Dr. Jean-Francois Fournier (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures),  Dr. Herman van Werkhoven (Exercise Science), Dr. Erin Bouldin (Public Health), Dr. Mira Waits (Art), Dr. Emily Dakin (Social Work), Dr. Rich Crepeau (Geography and Planning), and Dr. Timothy Smith (Anthropology). 

Photo by Brad Rentz


Upcoming Opportunities: 

Dr. Vahlbusch will be delighted to assist with applications! 

George Williams Garrett Memorial Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for this prestigious scholarship for students pursuing a career in scientific research. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 19.  Please visithttps://honors.appstate.edu/george-williams-garrett-memorial-scholarship-1 for more information.

STEM Competition

The National Science Foundation is launching a prize competition called the “2026 Idea Machine” which is designed to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in STEM fields and in STEM education. If you would like to submit your ideas for pressing research questions, please visithttps://honors.appstate.edu/nsf-stem-competition and submit them by October 26. 

Pre-Health Conference

Interested in a career in healthcare? Phi Chi Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Society invite you to attend the 2nd Annual ASU Pre-Health Conference. The conference will take place in the Plemmons Student Union on Saturday, October 27th, 2018 from 10 am – 5 pm. Registration is open now until October 15for $15. To learn more about this conference, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/appalachian-state-pre-health-conference.

GRAM Scholarship

The Graduate Research Assistant Mentoring (GRAM) Scholarship provides students with $12,000 per academic year for a 20 hour per week work schedule. All GRAM Program applications are due byOctober 28. Please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/gram-award-competition-2019-2021-deadline-october-28th for more information.

Petition for a Seat on Student Senate

We encourage you to petition for the open Honors College seat on the Student Senate.  You will need to fill out the proper form (linked to here), gather 25 signatures and Banner IDs from members of the Honors College, and submit everything to the SGA office asap. Questions can be addressed to Connor Hughes at hughescl1@appstate.edu.

Study Abroad: Shakespeare in England

This study abroad course will begin on June 3 and will return on June 24, 2019. This is an upper-division honors course offered for four English credits through St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Public Honors College at Historic St. Mary’s City. All students interested should contact one of the course leaders by visiting https://honors.appstate.edu/honors-shakespeare-study-abroad-course-england-summer-2019.


Stay in the Know…

AHA! will meet on 10/24 in the Honors College Library at 5:00

Community FEaST

The AppalFRESH (Appalachian Food Research for Equity, Sustainability, and Health) Collaborative is hosting the second annual Community FEaST (Food Engagement and Story Telling) on Sanford Mall in the middle of Appalachian's campus on October 16th from 4:30 to 6:00pm (rain day Oct 18). For more information, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/community-feast-food-engagement-and-story-telling.

Humanities Council Book Discussion Series

Elder Care Journey: A View From The Front Lines and Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories are the two book apart of this discussion series this fall. This first discussion will be held on October 17 and the second on November 8. Please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/humanities-council-book-discussion-series-fall-2018 for more information about this series.

Global Film Series: Good Manners

In Greenbriar Theatre on Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30 pm you can see Good Manners (Boas Maneiras) a film from Brazil presented by the Latin American Film Festival and Global Film Series for free! Please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/global-film-series-good-manners for more information.

Anthropology Brown Bag Series

On the second and Fourth Wednesdays of each month in Belk Hall 342 at Noon, there will be a series discussing various topics in the field of Anthropology.  On October 24, “The aesthetics of courts, prisons, and police” will be the fourth series. Be on the lookout for more updates in the WednesdayMemo about this series in the future!  For more information on the brown bag series, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/anthropology-brown-bag-series.

A Taste of Dialogue

On October 29 from 6 – 8 pm in the Parkway Ballroom of the Student Union come engage in conversation about the difference between cultural appropration and culture appreciation over a freecatered meal. For more information about this event, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/taste-dialogue-cultural-appropriation.

In the Honors Spotlight 

Honors College Service Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


From left to right: Honors sophomore Jackson Cooter and honors freshmen Gabby Lamb, Abigail Burchard, and Brittany Sparks. 

From Dr. Heather Waldroup:

As a longtime hiker, I'm committed to maintaining our public lands for everyone to enjoy. Service learning and community-building are also pillars of an Honors education. When I received an email notification for a service project in Cataloochee Valley, one of my favorite areas in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it seemed like an ideal fit for an Honors College extracurricular experience. From a long list of interested students I recruited four — sophomore Jackson Cooter and freshmen Brittany Sparks, Gabby Lamb, and Abigail Burchard — to participate in the project. Together we drove to the valley, set up camp, and had a campfire cookout. The next day, we partnered with National Park Service employees and other volunteers, cleaned the historic Palmer House, and participated in an educational program about the reintroduction of elk to the valley.” 

For more on this Honors Service Trip, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/news/honors-college-service-trip-great-smoky-mountains-national-park. Photo and story by Dr. Heather Waldroup.


Maggie Smith (’18) Studies Malaria


 Maggie Smith working at the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Photo submitted.

Before graduating this past May, Honors Maggie Smith was accepted to the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology. She deferred her Fall 2018 acceptance at Michigan when she was offered and accepted a post baccalaureate position at the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). With the NIAID, Smith is currently working to identify possible new malaria vaccine candidates. She will be there for a year or two before beginning the graduate program in epidemiology at Michigan. In Honors at Appalachian Smith majored in Biology and worked with mentor, Dr. Michael Opata, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases in the Department of Biology. In her Honors thesis, Smith used mice as a model for human malaria, to enable more research into prevention and treatment of the disease at a time that classic anti-malarial strategies are becoming less effected and the disease itself is growing. The second reader for Smith's Honors thesis was Dr. Kara Dempsey assistant professor of geography in the Department of Geography and Planning. Dr. Erin Bouldin assistant professor of epidemiology from the new major in public health in the Department of Health and Exercise Science served as her third reader.

For more on Maggie Smith, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/news/maggie-smith-%E2%80%9918-studies-malaria   for the full story by Garrett McDowell


To Stay in the Know and to Learn About All Opportunities in Honors, please visit https://honors.appstate.edu/announcements


Appalachian State Honors College on Social Media!


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Have news to share? Submissions to the Honors Wednesday Memo can be made by emailing honors@appstate.edu. Any content received by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday will be considered for the following week’s issue.