November 14, 2018

Honors Wednesday Memo

Opportunities and Information for Honors Students

edited by Brad Rentz

Volume 2, Issue 13

November 14, 2018


Message from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch 

Dear Honors students, colleagues, and friends,

Last week, I and most Honors College staff members attended the annual National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Boston, Massachusetts, a gathering of more than 2000 Honors professionals and students from all U.S. states and several other countries, including China, Russia, the Netherlands, and Mexico.

We spent Wednesday through Saturday happily learning from, discussing with, and sometimes teaching fellow Honors colleagues and students. Like all attendees, we were there to share what we know and do, and to learn from other Honors experts ways to make our Honors College and Honors programs better.

We gave papers or led roundtable discussions on "Transgressive Teaching:  Strategies for Learner-Centered Pedagogies" (Gallien), "Integrating Contemplative Practices into Honors Education" (McDowell), "Advising All Honors Students" and "Advising Socio-Economically Diverse Honors Students" (Mead), "Social Justice and the Honors Program Mission" and "The Rookie Year:  Reflection of (New) Honors Deans" (Vahlbusch). We also served as judges in the student research poster competition (Klima, Zerucha), coaches for students seeking help with resumes, interviewing skills, and cover letters (Klima, Vahlbusch, Waldroup), consultants for Honors staff and Honors directors and deans on a variety of important matters (Mead, Vahlbusch), and discussion facilitators on "Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Social Justice in Honors" (Vahlbusch).

We returned to Boone tired but re-energized, and a little giddy with all the new Honors possibilities now in our heads and hearts.  Stay tuned.



Drs. Jeff Vahlbusch (bottom right), Heather Waldroup (top right), and Garrett McDowell (left),  share ideas and expertise at the National Collegiate Honors Council annual meetings this past weekend, November 8-11, in Boston. Photos submitted.


Upcoming Opportunities: 

Dr. Vahlbusch will be delighted to assist with applications! 

Leigh Lane Day of Service

On November 18, from 11 to 3:30 pm in the Linville Falls room of the PSU (Rm. 226), join the ACT office in this day of service and reflection! This year, the day of service is focused on hunger and homelessness. For more information and how to get involved, please click here.

Criminal Justice Systems in the Pacific Northwest

If you would like to travel to Seattle, Washington and receive course credit, consider this class for this summer! The class would entail one week in the classroom in Boone (May 13-17, 2019) and travel to Seattle (May 20-25, 2019).  For more information, please visit our website.

Balkan Heritage Field School

Registration is now open for 2019 enrollment with the Balkan Heritage Foundation’s (BHF) program! BHF is a public, non-profit and non-governmental organization focused on the fields of archaeology, conservation, historic preservation, and art history. For more information on how to apply, please click here.

Study Abroad in China

Study art and culture as you visit Taiwan and mainland China in the Summer of 2019. This trip will take place from May 20 to June 11, 2019 and will count for 6 credits. For more information, please visit our website.

Interested in a Graduate Non-degree Course in the Spring?

 If you are thinking about easing into graduate level coursework as a non-degree applicant for spring 2019, it is not too late. The spring 2019 non-degree application submission deadline is Friday, December 28. You must also request a copy of your official college transcripts, so begin the process now! To learn more about how to apply, please click here.


Upcoming Thesis Defense:

Jeff says: Support your fellow Honors College students and faculty by attending Honors thesis defenses!  You'll marvel, learn, and grow. And each defense you attend, you'll make your own easier.

Emily Frymark: November 15, 12:00 pm, LLHS Room 221, a Nutrition and Foods major, will present Food insecurity and the effect on college students: An analysis of food pantries in a college town in Appalachia.

Emma Bouma: December 6, 4 – 5 pm, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, will present Remembrance: The Nostalgic Impulse at Work.


Stay in the Know…

AHA! will meet TODAY (November 14), in the Honors College Library at 5:00 

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 November 28, “What the cracks and mold had to say during the monsoon season” will be the 6th and final series. To learn more about this Brown Bag series, please visit our website.

Sushi Rolling

On November 15 from 12:30 to 2 pm in the Rough Ridge Room of the PSU (Rm 415) Misa Yamamoto will host Sushi Rolling as part of International Education week. You can explore Japanese culture and learn how to roll your own sushi! There are only 15 seats available so get there early! For more information, please click here.

Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies Lecture Series

There are still events planned in this series! The next event will be on November 15 from 6 to 7 pm in Belk Library room 114. Julia Callander will be presenting “Plagiarists, Sodomites, and Cannibals in Eighteenth- Century Britain.” Please visit our website for more information.

Constitution How-To Workshop

For any student who wants to create a club or a club constitution, you should visit this Constitution workshop on November 15 in the Elk Knob room of the Student Union at 4:30 pm! For more information on this workshop, please click here.

The Counseling Center is Here to Help

The Appalachian State counseling center is here for all students! To get started, please come to the Counseling Center for an Initial Consultation. Check-in times are Monday-Friday 8:30-11:00 A.M. and 1:00-4:00 P.M. For additional information, please click here.


In the Honors Spotlight

Nicole Jansen’s Capstone Project  


Photo features one of Jansen’s photos in her Capstone Project.

Honor’s Nicole Jansen displayed her capstone project entitled “Dissimulation” in the BFA graphic design show “Chew on it” from October 16 through November 2, 2018.  Jansen described her project as an

“exploration of the duality on social media and how people have the tendency to post things on social media that may not be telling of their actual current physical, mental, or emotional state.”

Nicole plans to begin work on two new projects in the remainder of the semester. She described,

“One is a branding and identity project for the on-campus Food Pantry and Free Store, located in the bottom of East Hall. The other will be more of an interactive installation in How Space that focuses on lights, color, and community interaction to inspire movement. "

In addition, Nicole continues to work as a student employee designing promotional materials for the Honors College.  After graduating in the spring, Nicole will be working at Pathos Ethos, a web development and design firm in Durham, North Carolina.

You can view Nicole’s project on Instagram by searching @dis.simulation

For more on this story by Brad Rentz, click here


Maddie Armstrong (’17) Pursues Ph.D. in Top 25 Program


Photo shows Armstrong at the Honors College Graduation Ceremony in December of 2017. 

This fall semester, Honors Alumna Madie Armstrong (‘17) began work towards her doctorate in sociology at the University of Arizona (UA). Th Ph.D. program at UA is ranked as one of the 25 best programs in sociology in the country. Armstrong received the prestigious Graduate Access Fellowship and a Social Behavior Sciences Fellowship, in addition to a graduate assistantship, to support her graduate work at UA. Armstrong was also selected as a research assistant, working with Dr. Jennifer Carlson on her book project on justifiable and negligent homicide. She plans to study the criminalization of trans people in her own dissertation research. 

At Appalachian, Armstrong majored in Political Science with a Concentration in American Politics, and minored in sociology. She co-founded the Appalachian State University chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics, and served as that organization’s vice president. Armstrong explained how the Honors experience prepared her for graduate school: 

“Being able to participate in Honors seminars unrelated to my areas of study really helped me to become more nuanced in my thinking. Also, having the opportunity to complete an Honors thesis helped me to solidify my interests (which I found to actually be outside of my major) and gain the research skills necessary to allowing me to hit the ground running on projects in my graduate program.”

To read the full story by Garrett McDowell, click here


To Stay in the Know and to Learn About All Opportunities in Honors, please visit 

Appalachian State Honors College on Social Media! 


Check us out on Instagram also! Find us by searching “Appalachian Honors College”


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