First Generation Faculty & Staff

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 undergraduates. They know what it is like to navigate unfamiliar terrain and are able to understand what our students may be experiencing. We hope you will get to know these faculty and staff members, 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 the people listed on this page. They would all 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: Cornwall, NY

Professor -- Student Affairs Administration program RCOE 3rd Floor- HPC Office

I teach in the Student Affairs Administration program.

» Read my story
Laura Ammon

Hometown: Camas Valley, Or

Associate Professor of Religion 213a I. G. Greer Hall

I teach Gen Ed and Religious studies courses.

Sonja Ardoin

Hometown: Vidrine, La

Program Director and Associate Professor Student Affairs Administration

I teach graduate courses and advise graduate students, conduct research, and engage in service within and outside the university.

» Read my story
Michelle Bowers

Hometown: Crumpler, NC

Academic Advisor 101 D.D. Dougherty

Academic advising, orientation, First Year Seminar

» Read my story
Mark Bradbury

Hometown: Barrington, RI

Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences A&S Dean's Office, 2nd Floor, I.G. Greer Hall

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga

Director of Inclusive Excellence and Associate Professor for Leadership & Educational Studies Reich College of Education 212D

I support faculty, K-12 educators and educational leaders to be change agents for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Daniel Byrd

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Assistant Director of Student Success 238 I.G. Greer

I am the Assistant Director of the Office of Student Success.

» Read my story

Hometown: Newmarket, NH

Professor of Geology 113 Rankin Science South

I teach a variety of geology courses--introductory to advanced.

Jennifer Coffey

Hometown: Blowing Rock, NC

Program Director, Student Veterans Services 324 Plemmons Student Union

I am responsible for supporting Appalachian's Military Affiliated Students.

» Read my story
Amy Dellinger Page

Hometown: Denver, NC

Professor and Undergraduate Programs Director for the Department of Sociology 228-C Chapell Wilson Hall

I'm a full-time Professor of Sociology and also serve as the Undergraduate Programs Director.

Gabby Dickey

Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, NC

Assistant Director for Fitness Student Recreation Center

I oversee, supervise, and plan AppState Fitness services.

» Read my story
Travis Erickson

Hometown: Waunakee, WI

Academic Advisor (CHS) 101-A Leon Levine Hall

Provide academic advising for students in CHS

» Read my story
Regina Hartley

Hometown: Richlands, NC

Lecturer 2114 Peacock Hall

I teach in Computer Information Systems.

Holly Hirst

Hometown: Shavertown, PA

Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences 327 Walker Hall

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.

» Read my story
Mary Ann Hofmann

Hometown: Wappingers Falls, NY

Professor of Accounting 3134 Peacock Hall

I teach Accounting, primarily Income Taxation.

» Read my story
Alex Howard

Hometown: Clinton, NC

Director of Wellness and Prevention Services Miles Annas Student Services Building (1st Floor)

I oversee activities regarding health promotion and behavior modification among Appalachian students.

» Read my story

Hometown: Branchville, NJ

Associate Director of Transfer Services Office of Transfer Services

I assist transfer students through the process of coming to Appalachian, engaging into the campus, and finding success at App.

Laura Padgett

Hometown: Linville, NC

Director of Graduate Enrolled Student Services and Development Suite 232, John E. Thomas Building

My primary work is to provide student life support and services for all graduate students.

Mallory Sadler

Hometown: Pendergrass, GA

Executive Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor 321 Plemmons Student Union

I manage the administrative staff of the Office of International Education and Development and work with international grants and scholarships.

Hometown: Tyler, Tx

Assistant Director of University Housing and Adjunct Professor 321 John E. Thomas Building
828 262-8591

I oversee West Campus for University Housing.

Hometown: Pinehurst, NC

Program Manager Appalachian State University Center at Burke - Foothills Higher Education Center Morganton, NC

I am an online and transfer student recruiter and advisor for transfer students applying to Appalachian.

» Read my story

Hometown: None. I moved around too much across the United States and to Costa Rica.

Assistant Professor of History 220 Anne Belk Hall

I am an Assistant Professor of History and Director of the History/Social Studies Education Program; I also serve as a member of Appalachian's Hispanic-Latino Faculty & Staff Association and as the faculty advisor for the Hispanic Student Association (HSA). I am also part of the informal Digital Humanities workgroup on campus.

» Read my story

Hometown: Hope Mills, NC

English Lecturer and Writing Across the Curriculum Consultant Edwin Duncan 208E

I teach RC 2001 and work with faculty to support student writing across campus.

Brad Vest

Hometown: Decatur, AL

Associate Director for the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership 231 Plemmons Student Union

I oversee the daily operations of the Plemmons Student Union.

Tammy Wahpeconiah

Hometown: Miami, FL

Professor of English Department of English, Sanford Hall

I teach Native American and Ethnic American literatures.

Jim Westerman

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

James E. Holshouser Distinguished Professor in Ethics 4095 Peacock Hall

Director of Sustainable Business for the Walker College of Business, and also MGT Professor

» Read my story