First Generation Faculty & Staff
Coming to college and earning a degree is challenging for every student. This can be especially true for students who do not have a parent who has been through the process and can pass along important "college knowledge." Tasks as common as when and how to apply for financial aid, how to organize and plan out class assignments, where to go and how to ask for help, and how to approach a professor can be overwhelming.
At Appalachian, we know that many of our students come from homes in which neither parent earned a four-year degree. We also know that these students, our first generation college students, are just as bright and capable as anyone, and we want to help them make their way successfully to graduation.
The First Generation Faculty and Staff Project showcases Appalachian's many faculty and staff members who were themselves first generation college students as undergrads. These men and women know what it is like to navigate in unfamiliar terrain and are able to understand what our students may be experiencing. These are their stories. We hope you will read them, take inspiration from them, and, if you are a first generation college student, let them serve as a reminder that you can do this. Please do not hesitate to reach out to these faculty and staff members. Everyone who has shared a story here will be glad to speak with you and help you along your unique journey.
Dr. Alex Howard
Dr. Greg Lester
Mrs. Beth Marsh
Mrs. Cathia Silver
Hometown: Shavertown, PA
Professor Dept. of Mathematical Sciences
327 Walker Hall
What I do at Appalachian State: I am a Professor of Mathematics and Co-Director of the Master's Program in Mathematics; I have also been Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Associate Dean in the School of Graduate Studies.