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“Say What” Examining Freedom of Speech at Appstate

Appalachian State University, like universities across the nation, is faced with the challenge of balancing a respect for and obligation to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution with an institutional culture of respect for thought, belief and community.

  • When members of our community express themselves in ways that belittle or degrade others, how do we address these actions?
  • When members of our community view expressions of speech as threats, how do we ensure their safety?
  • How can we protect freedom of speech and thought for all members of our community?
  • Can we – or should we – use policy to address these matters?

Through a weeklong series of conversations, panel discussions, speeches and forums with experts in the field, our community will explore these questions, and others March 23 – 31. http://diversity.appstate.edu/saywhat/

Join the conversations!

Campus Siren Test – April 5

Appalachian State University will test its campus siren warning system at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5.

Examples of the tones that are used in an emergency or during tests can be heard online at http://em.emergency.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system.

Appalachian uses the hi/low tone for emergencies, discontinuous air horn for tests of the system and the alert tone for all-clear signal.

For more information about the university’s AppState ALERT voice/text/e-mail notification system, visit http://emergency.appstate.edu.

The siren tests are conducted on the first Wednesday of the month. Next scheduled dates for Appalachian’s upcoming test is May 3.

Art Professor’s movie, Monologue – Greenbrier Theatre 3/28 6pm


MONOLOGUE, a movie 15 years in the making by Art Professor Edison Midgett, will show at the Greenbriar Theatre, in the Plemmons Student Union, at 6pm on Tuesday, March 28. Doors will open at 5:30pm.

The movie tracks the lives of 17 New York City actors over a 14-year period and examines what drives people to create. MONOLOGUE is Midgett’s first feature length work.

In the spring of 2001, Midgett directed the  New York Loft, a dormitory space maintained by Appalachian State University, where Midgett is a Professor in the Department of Art. For Midgett, that spring–a few months before 9/11–was a time of intense and fervent creative activity.

He created a small black box theater, where he would invite actors, poets, dancers and other spoken word artists to perform their work, for multiple projects and collaborations that he was working on. Midgett says, “Monologue began as a documentary of the actor’s process and the business of making their art but I was also interested in why they continue in the face of so much rejection. As a visual artist I certainly have had my share of rejection, but I would imagine nothing compares to the near daily beatings that actors have to endure to perform their craft, and then with the thought that acting professionally is largely a temp job.” Midgett interviewed 63 actors over a two-month period. He would have them come to the Loft and perform the Monologues they were shopping around at the time then talk to them about the business of being a professional actor.


Dr. Michael Brown: Planet Nine from Outer Space

The Morgan Lecture Series of Science will host Dr. Michael Brown, a solar-system astronomer and professor of planetary astronomy from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) on Thurs. March 23 6:45, Blue Ridge Ballroom, PSU . Brown’s best-selling memoir, “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming,” is on the discovery of Eris and the reclassification of Pluto. http://www.news.appstate.edu/2017/03/02/michael-brown/

Miguel Zenón Quartet: Típico

Internationally acclaimed saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón will perform on campus, Tues. March 7 at 8pm in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for students. Zenón celebrates the release of his new album, Típico, and joining him are his long-time bandmates who are also featured on the recording: Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawischnig and Henry Cole.




Common Reading Committee is now accepting book nominations

The Common Reading Committee is now accepting nominations of books for the 2018-19 academic year.  (The 2017-18 book selection will be announced later this semester.)

The Common Reading Program offers new students a common intellectual experience that enables them to begin conversations in their new academic community, and reminds them of how strongly Appalachian values their intellectual development.

Please submit your book nominations by May 1, 2017 using the form on the Common Reading website here:


Book nominations from departments, programs, or other groups are strongly encouraged.

Please note that our criteria for book selection are as follows:

  1. A book that 18-year-old students will read without direction and guidance;
  2. A good, discussable book (books that make successful subjects for discussion tend to have well-developed characters who are dealing with issues in their lives with which readers can identify);
  3. A well-written book with important themes and issues that challenge and broaden students’ perceptions about the world and their relationship to it;
  4. A book with approximately 300 pages (determined by Committee each year);
  5. Faculty members or programs that are excited about the book and that will coordinate the development of the supplementary materials and workshops for discussion leaders; and
  6. A book whose author is an engaging speaker and who is available to come to Boone on the desired dates (CR Director, not the nominator, will check on author’s availability).

Thank you for your engagement with this important program for our students and campus community.

Dr. Martha McCaughey
Faculty Coordinator, First Year Experience; Director, Common Reading Program


7 tips for resolving conflict – an Appalachian professor’s perspective

Conflict. It’s something many people prefer to avoid in personal and professional relationships, but Appalachian State University’s Skip Rackmill offers a different perspective that may help people use conflict to build bridges. http://diversity.appstate.edu/news/id/183

New Employee Social Hour

Are you new to AppState? Human Resources wants to continue to welcome you and provide you
with resources. Join us for a “New Employee Social Hour.”

February 27th, 2017 – 4pm to 5pm Plemmons Student Union, Three Top Room, 169
March 27th, 2017 – 4pm to 5pm (Three Top)
April 24th, 2017 – 4pm to 5pm in Beacon Heights, 417
Join us for an hour of meeting new colleagues, making connections, and building networks across campus! Refreshments will be served and there will be a brief (20) minute presentation on a different topic each month. This month’s theme is “Campus Integration:  Explore the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.”

Campus Farmer’s Market – Feb. 22

Support the Appalachian State University and High Country community at the first indoor Campus Farmer’s Market Wed., February 22 in the MacRae Peak Room, room 137b, of the Plemmons Student Union from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  The market will feature an array of different produce and products grown and crafted right in Boone’s backyard by a variety of local farmers, artisans and students.

Team of Teams Book Club

Join the club, get the book for free! We’ll meet and discuss this compelling book and its application to our everyday challenges. 
March 8th, 2017 at 9:30 am -11:00 am 
Plemmons Student Union, Elk Knob, 165
Facilitated by Brady Rourke, Executive Director, Learning Assistance Program
What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization? This seminar is a review of the book: Team of Teams written by General Stanley McChrystal. General McChrystal’s thought-provoking book challenges leaders to think creatively about organizational change. Informative and Inspiring, Team of Teams will influence the readers view of traditional hierarchical methods of decision-making. *Please note: you must commit to attend the workshop in order to receive your free copy.

Faculty/Staff Blood Drive Fri. Feb 10

Due to a shortage of donations this winter Health Promotions is sponsoring a faculty/staff blood drive on Friday, Feb. 10 from 10 – 2:30pm in the PSU, Linville Falls Room.  Your blood donation is critically needed now, blood donations are being distributed to hospitals as fast as they are coming in.  For more information call 262-6314.


Become an Open Door Participant

With every new year come new changes, new challenges and new chances to make our world a better place for all. The spirit of the Open Door program leads us to ask ourselves, “What can I do, not only to make my community better, but to promote the value of every person’s contribution to our community, and beyond?” A great way to do this right here on campus is by joining the current Open Door participants in our pledge to foster a positive, all-inclusive and welcoming atmosphere on campus and in the broader community. By displaying the Open Door emblems, we commit to challenge ourselves every day in the acceptance and appreciation of our beautifully diverse community, nation and world. To learn more about Open Door, or to request new or replacement emblems, please visit https://edc.appstate.edu/get-involved/open-door.

African American Read-In, Feb. 15

Belk Library is celebrating Black History Month with an African American Read-In on Feb. 15 from 11:30 – 1:30 in the library atrium.  Come and read literature or poetry  by an African American author. Bring one of your favorites or they will also have some to choose from. http://guides.library.appstate.edu/diversity/aari

Sustainable Storytelling Workshop with Jeff Biggers Feb. 16

Jeff Biggers, celebrated author, journalist, historian and playwright is giving a Sustainability Storytelling Workshop on February 16 from 1 – 5pm in PSU, Price Lake Room. This workshop is open to all faculty and staff.  Registration is required. https://faa.appstate.edu/events/special-guests/sustainability-storytelling-workshop

This workshop will take a look at what accounts for the gap between science and action on climate change, and how stories can reshape the climate narrative and galvanize action.

Spring Semester Faculty & Staff Meeting

The Spring Semester Faculty and Staff Meeting is scheduled for this Friday, January 27 at 2:00 p.m. in 201 Blue Ridge Ballroom inside the Plemmons Student Union.  Immediately following there will be a reception for all faculty and staff in the Solarium with refreshments provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and music provided by the Hayes School of Music.  The meeting will be made available again this year via live video stream at the following link: http://streaming.appstate.edu/springmeeting.

Campus Siren Test Feb. 1

Appalachian State University will test its campus siren warning system at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Examples of the tones that are used in an emergency or during tests can be heard online at http://em.emergency.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system.

33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

W. Kamau Bell will be the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration speaker. The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour is a comedic, topical exploration of the current state of America’s racism, combined with a little (unknown) history.  This free event is Thurs., Jan. 26 at 7pm in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

Sponsors include: Multicultural Student Development, Black Faculty Staff Association, Forum Series, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Compliance


Turchin Center for the Visual Arts – New Exhibits Feb. 3

Fizzy First Friday – Come celebrate four new exhibitions at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts inside during the Downtown Boone Art Crawl, to “engage, discover and connect through the arts.” It’s an opportunity for art lovers to see four new exciting and mindful exhibitions.  Mingle, have some special Valentine’s Day nibbles, enjoy a fizzy wine, and listen to piano melodies that will warm your heart. Join us at the Turchin – one of the the most exciting venues in town!


Campus Siren system test Jan. 4

Appalachian State University will test its campus siren warning system at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Examples of the tones that are used in an emergency or during tests can be heard online at http://em.emergency.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system.

Reminder to shut-down computer before leaving for Winter break

ITS has several maintenance dates planned over the Winter Break.  Some of this maintenance requires that your office machines be shut-down to minimize the risk of losing data on your personal and departmental storage. (m: and p:) Please save changes to any open documents that are stored on these drives to avoid losing work during the migration.
Faculty, if you are leaving this week and do not plan to return until January, please shutdown your computer before leaving (this will also help with energy savings!)

Staff should also shut-down their computer on or before 5 pm on December 23rd.  There will be other dates in early January where we will ask you to shutdown your machine for the weekend.

Appalachian Craft Enrichment program registration

Spring class registration for the Appalachian Craft Enrichment program is open.
There are nineteen classes offered this spring, open to any interested persons 16 and older. Affiliation with the university is not required.
New classes this spring include Felting, Fly-tying, Dulcimer Building and Craft BBQ.  Additional class offerings are Drawing, Stained Glass, Jewelry, Glass Beads, Pottery, Glass Fusing, Watercolor Painting, Advanced Bowl Turning, and Digital Photography. Read more and register at www.craftenrichment.com.

Campus emergency siren test Dec. 7

Appalachian State University will test its campus siren warning system at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Examples of the tones that are used in an emergency or during tests can be heard online at http://em.emergency.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system.

Fall commencement ceremonies

December 2016 Commencement Ceremonies

Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Holmes Convocation Center

10:00 am – College of Arts and Sciences, Walker College of Business and Hayes School of Music
2:00 pm – College of Fine and Applied Arts, Beaver College of Health Sciences and Reich College of Education

Appalachian Youth Choir Dec. 13

The Appalachian Youth Choir will perform  December 13, 2016 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm in the Rosen Concert Hall.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Bryant Terry podcast

Chef, author and food justice advocate Bryant Terry is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winner renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. He was on campus last month and shared his thoughts on ways to increase access to healthy, affordable food. A lifelong learner and educator who leads by example, Terry offers practical advice about how to be mindful of ways to eat – and help others eat – differently. http://appalachianmagazine.org/podcasts/soundaffect/id/674