Congratulations Class of 2017

For The W.H. Plemmons Leader Fellows Program, this May was cause for immense celebration as one of the most active classes of Plemmons Fellows walked across the gradation stage.

Prior to the graduation ceremonies, a reception was held at the McKinney Alumni Center to commemorate the achievements of the Plemmons Fellows Class of 2017.

Lauren Andersen is graduating a year early and a part of the 2014 cohort. Immediately after arriving at Appalachian State, she became a part of The Peel Literature & Arts Review as the associate editor in chief. In her first summer, she received the MASA North Carolina Undergraduate Research grant and presented at the North Carolina American Planning Association Conference. Andersen has also been a part of the Honors College, Appalachian State’s Chancellor’s List, and received the a scholarship from the department of geography.

Kai Dai Etages will be going to China this Summer with the Holland Fellows program out of the Walker College of Business. Etages, majoring in Entrepreneurship, has lead the Unzipped Fashion Club as president and been a part of The Momentum Dance Club, Entropy Dance Crew, and The Diversity Advisory Team. One of her best moments as an Appalachian student was traveling to Belize in a study abroad program.

Erin Kiker is also graduating a year early with a double major in Anthropology and Religious Studies. Kiker has been a part of the Honors College for the duration of her career at Appalachian. She is also currently working on getting her teacher’s license with Teach for America as well as founded The Webster County High School College and Career Readiness Program.

James Knox is a part of the 2013 cohort and is graduating with a degree in Secondary Education with a focus on history. Knox spent a semester this past year student teaching in Ashe County. Earlier in his Appalachian career, he was a part of the founding of the film club. Knox has also been active as a volunteer in the LGBT center and the Center for Judaic Holocaust and Peace Studies.

Jonathan Mauldin in addition to being a plemmons fellows, recently received the Plemmons Medallion. He was awarded this medal for the many leadership positions he was involved with. This past year he served as the Club Council president, which entailed managing the over 400 clubs on campus. Mauldin has also spent his time representing the Walker College of Business as a Walker Fellow.

Jordan Parkhurst is planning on attending Cambridge University for graduate school in the fall. Parkhurst has been a member of the Honors College and has participated as a tutor for students. Parkhurst has also been heavily involved with Students with Diverse Abilities Program, SDAP, volunteering countless of hours of time to the program and the students a part of SDAP.

Rachel Sledge has balanced her schoolwork, research, and the demands of an extreme athlete over her time as a mountaineer. Participating in the Triathlon club, she has served as the treasurer and also was a part of the triathlon team of the year. Sledge has also been involved in research over her undergraduate career and was a recipient for the Undergraduate Research Award. Finally Sledge has been a member of the cycling team and was the Editor in chief for IMPULSE.

Madison Vaughn will be student teaching in the Fall and has been heavily involved in the Reich College of Education. As a first year, Vaughn became a Advisory Council Member and Leadership Scholar, or ACES. She has also been published in the WriteClick online literary magazine for Appalachian State University. She has also interned in Wilkes County during her time as a student.

Brandon Winbush is a proud member of the ACES, Appalachian Educators, and this past year he student taught in Winston Salem. Winbush has been a member of the North Carolina Music Educators’ Association and served as a music director at  St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. Winbush has also given back to the Plemmons Fellows Program by working as the student coordinator for the program.

Rachel Wynn is planning on attending Appalachian State for graduate school and has been offered a job with RSM, the 5th largest accounting firm in North Carolina after completing her internship with the company. Wynn has also worked as a Resident Assistant with University Housing and volunteered as a Walker Fellow in the Walker College of Business.

Appalachian State University has a lot to be proud of with the Plemmons Fellows Class of 2017 and wishes the best of luck on all endeavours after graduation. We hope that these scholars can take the lessons they have learned and become engaged global citizens that will enact great, positive change.