December 12, 2018

Honors Wednesday Memo

Opportunities and Information for Honors Students

edited by Brad Rentz

Volume 2, Issue 17

December 12, 2018


Message from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch 

Diego as Metaphor.  In a big mountain snowstorm, you hunker down and, if you can, you try shoveling out.

In our case, 16+ inches of dense Diego snow meant three shovels-full for every square foot of a long steep driveway. Skim the top five inches (throw), slice in and lift out the next five (throw), then bend old knees to scoop up what remained (throw). Repeat.

Over two hard days, we managed to clear a footpath one-shovel-wide the hundreds of feet down to our Subaru and stopped, daunted by the many feet of deep snow still blocking the car from the county road. Then neighbors appeared with smiles and shovels and snow machines, and helped us clear the rest.

In the run up to finals this semester, made more stressful by Diego, I’ve taken comfort in Honors College students’ support of each other:  in their encouraging messages on our many whiteboards (“good luck on finals,” “you’ve got this!”), and in the study groups large and little gracing the common spaces in Appalachian Hall. Here are students teaching each other, taking responsibility for each other’s education, and arguing about important things with politeness, civility, and respect. Here are students treating each other as neighbors should, and true neighbors do.

Here are proofs of our community’s strength, in the Honors College and at Appalachian, and promises of a bright and brighter future.

Sending best wishes to all for a strong end to the semester, and great holidays.




Snapshots of Last Week’s AHA! Event


Upcoming Opportunities: 

Dr. Vahlbusch will be delighted to assist with applications!

 Study Abroad: The Flora and Fauna of Australasia

In the summer of 2019 students will travel to tropical Far North Queensland Australia and the islands of New Zealand to study ecosystems that are famous for their unique collections of rare and endemic species and high levels of biodiversity. This physically and academically rigorous course includes visits to subterranean, volcanic and geothermal, alpine, arid outback, tableland, temperate and tropical rain forests, the Great Barrier Reef, and barrier island ecosystems. If you are interested in this study abroad opportunity, please visit our website.

War in Europe Study Abroad

In the Summer of 2019 you can travel through Belgium, France, and Germany and learn about the impacts of two world wars, genocide, and the rise and fall of fascism through the exploration of various historic sites, museums, and cultural exchanges. For more information, please click here.

2019 Tech4Teach Fair

The Tech4Teach Fair planning committee members are now accepting applications for E-Poster proposals! Submit your proposal by the early bird deadline of January 31st to have first choice of time slots. The 2019 Tech4Teach Fair will focus on how you can use the latest technology tools such as Turnitin, Google Apps for Education, Zoom Web Conferencing, VoiceThread, Screencast-o-Matic, Flipgrid, and more. For more information, please click here.

Winter Club Expo

Next semester’s club expo will be in the Student Union on January 23, 2019 from 11 am to 2 pm. If you are interested in learning more about club expo, please click here.

Nominations Open: W.H. Plemmons Leadership Medallion

The W. H. Plemmons Leadership Medallion, named in honor of Dr. William H. Plemmons who served as the second president of the University from 1955 to 1969, was established by an action of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees in 1996. The award was created to recognize the time, energy, skills, and commitment of students, faculty, student development educators and staff who exceed their peers in providing leadership that enriches the quality of student life and advances the education of students. Nominations are currently being accepted for this award.  Nominations are accepted until February 4, 2019. If you would like to nominate someone, please visit our website to learn how.


Stay in the Know…

MLK Challenge Day

On January 21 in the Parkway Ballroom of the Student Union from 8 am to 6 pm, you can register to spend the day serving at one of twenty sites throughout Boone! Please click here to learn how to participate.

Give the Gift of the Arts!

Planning for the holidays? Give the Gift of the Arts! Tickets to a live performance are a thoughtful and special gift to give your loved ones. You can view a full list of the Spring 2019 season of “The Schaefer Center Presents…” by visiting our website.

Have a Campus Related Issue? Contact App State’s Ombudsperson

The Ombud's office offers a free and confidential consultation about a challenge or problem that you face. Many students benefit from discussing a variety of concerns with the Ombud. The Ombud is an independent, impartial, confidential, and informal resource available to students. For more information, please click here.


In the Honors Spotlight 

Chancellor’s Scholars Miniconference on Ireland


Chancellor’s Scholar Kate Keane presenting on Brehon Law. Photo by Brad Rentz 

On November 29 in the Three Top Mountain room of the Student Union, the Chancellor’s Scholars held a miniconference to present on several topics from their exciting trip abroad. The presentations were broken into two groups, “Roots of Modern Ireland” and “Contemporary Concerns.”

Click here for the full story by Brad Rentz.


Winter Storm Diego Hits Honors during Finals 


 Igloo in the Honors Courtyard. Photo by Brad Rentz. 

Winter story Diego hit Boone beginning Saturday evening, December 8, 2018, right smack in the middle of final exams! This has left rescheduled exams, campus closures, and faculty and staff stuck behind snow walls in their homes. With all of that, Honors students have hunkered down studying, playing, collaborating, and creating. Through it all we have stuck together as the community we are. 

Click here for the full story by Brad Rentz.


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


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 Any content received by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday will be considered for the following week’s issue.