June 17, 2020

Honors Wednesday Memo

Opportunities and Information for Honors Students

edited by Lakin Stevens and Brad Rentz

Volume 3, Issue 33

June 17, 2020


Message from Dean Jeff Vahlbusch

Dear Honors College students,

I’m writing today to say clearly and loudly:  Black lives matter. The horrifying deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others cry out to all of us to listen, learn, and act.

Our Honors College is an inclusive, mutually supportive community of students, faculty, and staff. We seek to prepare our students and ourselves to lead positive change in the world. Our Honors College must be a place where we learn to live together as anti-racists, and where we work together and with others to help create an anti-racist world that truly is just for all.

Moving forward, I pledge that the Honors College will continue to recruit and support Black and other minority students vigorously. We will create new spaces and opportunities within the Honors College for listening, dialogue, broader discussion, and concerted action. We will continue to offer Honors courses, and develop new Honors courses, that help us all better understand systemic racism and its effects, and work toward its elimination. And we will seek new opportunities through trainings and workshops to help us all develop the skills and tools we need to do these necessary and, yes, hopeful things.

Jeff Vahlbusch, Dean 


Upcoming Opportunities:

"The Dr. Dane Ward Endowed Honors Research Scholarship":  Call for Applications!

This new scholarship honors the continuing great life and work of our colleague and friend Dr. Dane Ward, most recently dean, and now former dean, of University Libraries at Appalachian. The scholarship is intended to support research projects seeking to make a substantial impact through increasing awareness, access to information, or community support for vulnerable people. Applications are due by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 and you can apply here.

Final Call for Peer Mentors

Honors college sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to apply to be a peer mentor for the incoming freshman! Create a real connection with one or more students to help them acclimate and navigate the transition to college. Apply by Tuesday, June 23rd and click here to learn more of this opportunity.

Career Meetups

The Career Development Center is offering several Zoom sessions that will help with your career readiness skills. These are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 2:00 pm. To access the Career Meetups log into Handshake to view the Zoom links. More information can be found by visiting our website.

Craft Enrichment Program

Register for classes in visual journaling, printmaking, and Japanese Sumi-e Painting, open to all skill levels. Led by professional artists, the classes are 4-5 weeks long and conducted online. Registration opened on June 3rd , more details can be found on our website.


Stay in the Know: 

Racial Trauma Healing Space

The Department of Wellness and Prevention Services is facilitating a space dedicated to the needs of Black-identified students during the current time of race-based unrest and distress. Students can connect, process, and engage in conversation with others about how they are being impacted. If you or someone you know may be interested, register here to join the weekly Thursday meetings held at 6 pm. The first meeting was June 11th and the next upcoming meeting will be June 18th.

Counseling Center Quick Access Workshops

The Counseling Center is continuing to offer its Quick Access Virtual Workshops this summer. These workshops aim to help students manage concerns such as anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or diminished self-esteem. Join in on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm through Zoom. To explore more information, click here.

Counseling Center Feelin’ Good Workshops

The Counseling Center is also holding several workshops this summer that focus on varying topics related to mental health, healthy communication/relationships, coping skills, and resiliency. Access the workshops live via Zoom or afterwards on YouTube and Instagram. Click here to learn more.

Turchin Center Visits Reimagined

During the current times, the Turchin Center galleries has created a new way to enjoy and experience the art galleries. A digital experience entitled “Connections” is now available that features the exhibition currently on view in the Meyer Gallery. Check out the Turchin Center’s online and in-person options here.

Appalachian Summer Festival

The Appalachian Summer Festival will continue this summer in the form of an online series featuring music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts programming. The festival begins July 1st and runs throughout the whole month. Attendance is free and content will be shared in various ways. Click here to learn more.


In the Honors Spotlight


Honors senior Olivia Gentry calls on fellow graduates to "create the change the world needs"



Photo above features a screenshot of Honors senior Olivia Gentry giving her speech during Appalachian State University’s Spring 2020 Virtual Commencement, which can be viewed here.

 Olivia Gentry, a recent Honors graduate who completed her Bachelor of Science in public health with a minor in social work, spoke during the 2020 virtual commencement calling for all graduates to create meaningful change in the world. She noted that especially during current times, and regardless of major or career, “Now is the time to embrace your unique talents, knowledge, and identities to create the change the world needs.”

To read the full story, click here.


Honors graduate Sope Kahn speaks to the need for creativity and self-care 

Image above features a screenshot of Honors graduate Sope Kahn during their speech during Appalachian State University’s Spring 2020 Virtual Commencement, which can be viewed here.

Honors graduate Sope Kahn, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education and Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, spoke at the College of Fine and Applied Arts Spring 2020 Commencement highlighting the importance of creativity and self-care in light of COVID-19. Of graduates, Kahn asked, “How can we reinterpret ideas of productivity where we can value personal care in addition to economic pressure? How can we balance meaningful work and our own personal health? During this pandemic these questions are crucial.” 

For more, visit our website.


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


Appalachian State Honors College on Social Media!

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


Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook at Appalachian Honors: https://www.facebook.com/Appalachian-Honors-482157301971520/ 




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.