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
Share Your Story
If you are a Faculty or Staff member who was a first generation college student and would like to share your story, please begin by completing the First Generation Faculty and Staff webform.
Hometown: Strasburg, VAStudent Success Coordinator, Office of Student Success
I am in charge of the Mapworks early alert system and assist with Academic Progress Reports, Early Attendance Alerts, Academic Success Workshops, Academic Coaching and other Office of Student Success initiatives.
Hometown: Blowing Rock, NCAssociate Director/School Certifying Official in the Office of Student Financial Aid
First and foremost, I am responsible for assisting Appalachian's Military Affiliated Students with their VA Education Benefits.
Hometown: Shavertown, PAProfessor, Department of Mathematical Sciences
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.
Hometown: None. I moved around too much across the United States and to Costa Rica.Assistant Professor of History
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.