March 25, 2020

Honors Wednesday Memo

Opportunities and Information for Honors Students

edited by Brad Rentz

Volume 3, Issue 26

March 25, 2020 

Message from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch

Dear Honors students, faculty, staff, friends, families,

Stanford University psychology professor Jamil Zaki took issue recently with the call for "social distancing."  What we need instead, he argues, wonderfully, is physical distancing—and "distant socializing"!

What Zaki means is simple: we all should use the "distancing" technologies available to us to reach out and stay close to family, friends, fellow students, neighbors, colleagues. Create connection time and opportunities that go beyond work, that give you and the human beings in your circles frequent chances to relax and be human together:  to play and do nothing together, and to share fun and frustrations, wit and worries, tips for thriving in these distanced days, and always hopes for the future.

Dinner, games, coffee hours, Cookies with Jeff via Zoom?  YES! Stay tuned.

Request for everyone reading these lines:  Please send me additional ideas on how we can create opportunities for distant socializing in the Honors College!  And seniors especially:  how we can create a meaningful, magical, virtual Honors College graduation ceremony?

In support, always,



 The photo above shows a view from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch’s home. Would you like your remote workspace featured in the memo? Email photos to for consideration!


Upcoming Opportunities:

Online Mindfulness Class

Wellness and Prevention Services will be providing online Koru Mindfulness classes through Zoom. Mindfulness classes help students feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, more focused, and students also get better sleep. For more information and a complete list of upcoming class times, visit our website.

Altius Free Tutoring

Pre-medical students studying for the MCAT will receive free tutoring services from Altius. Altius is converting to a non-profit pricing model allowing them to offer free services to students. This change has already been implemented and students can now sign up for the tutoring services. For more information, click here.

Career Studio is Going Virtual

Career Studio is going virtual and will now be conducted through Zoom during regular Career Studio hours, Monday - Thursday between 2:00pm - 4:00pm. Students can get assistance with their job searches, resumes, interview tips, LinkedIn accounts, and graduate school applications. To learn more and how to access to the Zoom meetings, visit our website.

Semicolon Week

Semicolon Mental Health Week is moving online for this week. Some events have been canceled for this week, like the Pill Collection Day, which will be postponed to a later date. Other events have been moved online and will continue throughout the week. For more information, click here.  

Food Resource Hub

The Food Resource Hub is OPEN with regular hours (9am-5pm).
However, physical access to the Food Hub is limited. Patrons should remain in the lobby and wait for assistance. To learn more about the Food Resource Hub, visit our website.


Stay in the Know: 

Library Book and Equipment Return Policy

University Libraries have changed the parameters for due dates of library materials.   

Any materials due to be returned between Feb 15th and May 14th are now due on May 15, 2020.  Technology items must be returned by May 15 to the main service desk or mailed to the library in shipping material that will protect the equipment during transport. For more information about library returns, click here.

Library Operations

In order to ensure the safety of our patrons, staff and community, Belk Library will move to offering virtual services only beginning Monday, March 23. Physical access to library spaces will be restricted to library employees. We have set up 10 desktop computers available to students, faculty and staff in the building’s atrium. Library services will continue through the website, teleconference, email, and telephone. To learn more about the library’s services still being offered, visit our website.

23rd Annual Celebration of Student Research

The Office of Student Research is saddened to announce the cancellation of our Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors scheduled for April 16, 2020.  To celebrate the success of these projects they will still be putting together a program that can be viewed on the Office of Student Research website. For more information on this canceled campus event, click here.

Spring Financial Aid Updates

As of March 23, the Office of Student Financial Aid is primarily operating remotely. In order to meet with the Office of Financial Aid, you can reach them via phone at 828-262-2190, or by arranging a virtual conference via zoom. To learn more about the Financial Aid Office’s changes, visit our website.

Counseling Center Updates

The Counseling Center is sad to announce cancellations in its spring line-up of events. The two upcoming Feelin’ Good Workshops, Let’s Talk drop-in consultations, and Mental Health Ambassador meetings have all been canceled. The Counseling Center is working on several options for continuing to offer clinical and outreach services to students. To stay up to date with the latest from the counseling center, click here.


In the Honors (Appalachian) Spotlight 

Stay informed and Up to date with App State’s COVID-19 website


Noah Caldwell, of Charlotte, a first-year environmental science major at Appalachian, takes a to-go boxed lunch during Appalachian’s extended spring break. Photo by Marie Freeman. 

Appalachian State University has developed a coronavirus information website to provide the latest university information and guidance related to COVID-19.

To read the full story, click here.


App State announces virtual Spring 2020 Commencement


Photo above from the Spring 2019 Commencement Address. Photo by Chase Reynolds

In her announcement to campus concerning Spring 2020 Commencement, Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said, “My leadership team and I are committed to preserving the essence of the celebrations and milestones of the final weeks of the spring semester, including commencement.” Graduating seniors will have the option to walk in December instead.

For more information, click here.


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


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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.