Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program Directors

Jeff Cathey, Director of the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership

Jeff Cathey

Jeff Cathey is the Director of the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership.  He has been with Appalachian State University since August of 2014.  Jeff previously served as Associate Dean of Students at both the University of Tennessee and Colorado College.  He has worked with leadership development programs for 18 years

Jeff received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and his Master’s of Education in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee.

His career expertise has centered around the development of learning experiences that both prepare students for leadership and which serve to develop engaging and inclusive communities for our students while at Appalachian State.

Jeff and his wife Maureen have been married for almost 18 years.  They have two school age children.  As a family, the Cathey’s spend significant time hiking, camping, hosting friends and family and traveling to soccer games.  

Jeff’s passion for his work with young leaders stems from his desire to help prepare students who have the academic preparedness, self awareness and determination to take on the increasingly complex challenges facing our communities.

When not working, he enjoys family time and as much time as possible in the outdoors.  Mountain biking, gardening, hiking, canoeing and fishing are all beloved hobbies.  

Heather Jo, Assistant Director of Department of Student Engagement & Leadership

Heather Jo

Heather Jo Mashburn is an Assistant Director in the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership. Heather Jo serves in the foundational area of Appalachian & the Community Together (ACT) directing the Alternative Service Experience program. Under Heather Jo’s leadership, the Alternative Service Experience program was recently named one of the 10 largest alternative break programs in the country.

Heather Jo received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University, graduating Cum Laude and with Honors . She also received her Master’s of Education in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University. Heather Jo is a current doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Appalachian State University.

Heather Jo’s passion for her work with student leaders flows from her belief that education can be a powerful tool for positive social change. She believes that the service and leadership experiences students have while in college can be a vehicle for affecting change in their communities.  

Heather Jo and her husband Mark moved to Boone because of their love for adventure and the outdoors. They love to travel, cook, and spend time hiking with their two dogs.