2015 Appalachian Global Leadership Awards recipients

The Global Leadership Awards Program is an annual award to recognize students, faculty, and staff who have made a significant contribution to advance global learning at Appalachian. This award recognizes extraordinary contributions of students, faculty and staff who have initiated, developed and/or supported opportunities for global learning.

Local to Global Student Leadership Award: Elyse Lawson

Elyse is a Global Studies major with a focus in Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights, and is minoring in French. Throughout her career at Appalachian State, Elyse has been involved in INTAPP. Through her involvement on campus, Elyse is a leader of diversity, but her search for international experiences outside of ASU highlights her best qualities as a global leader. Elyse has spent a significant amount of time abroad. Her first international experience through Appalachian, an ASE in Puerto Rico, opened Elyse’s mind up to other international opportunities. After returning to Boone, Elyse decided to spend her 2014-2015 school year studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. While studying abroad and taking Danish classes, Elyse created a connection between a student club at Copenhagen Business School and the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Part of Elyse’s experience that touched her heart was when she visited refugee and asylum assistance groups in Copenhagen. As an Honor’s College student, Elyse is currently writing her thesis on immigration and the asylum process in Denmark. Specifically, she wants to examine the immigration and refugee processes in Denmark, with its political restraints and conflicts, and also the social issues with how immigrants integrate into their new societies. Through her research, Elyse will be broadening her understanding of Danish life, and will be able to share that with others, helping integrate global awareness. Through the support that this award provides, Elyse will be traveling back to Denmark over Spring Break where she will obtain firsthand accounts (via interviews and recordings) of what the immigration process is like from those who have gone through the process. She will also meet with members from the Danish parliament to better understand their perspectives as decision and policy makers. She will examine these perspectives, find differences and common ground, and hopefully get her work published. With a keen focus on global media, Elyse will ultimately try to portray as accurately as possible the realities of the European immigration story that continues to unfold today.

Student Award: Drew Augustinyiak

As a teaching assistant, study abroad student and undergraduate research fellow, Drew Augustnyiak demonstrated global leadership in the classroom, through research, and in the extracurricular activities that he leads on campus. Injecting the curriculum with global content via French YouTube videos and providing cultural information when studying abroad with peers in France, Drew is actively engaged in promoting global learning.  He is an active participant in Le Cercle français and the Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society, both of which promote French culture on campus.  As a member of the Language and Culture Residential Learning Community and in the annual French Immersion Weekend, Drew strives to involve others in everything that he does.

Student Award: Cameron Batchelor

Cameron serves as an executive board member for International Appalachian (“IntApp” for short), an organization that “seeks to increase international understanding and direct involvement with other cultures and countries at Appalachian State University North Carolina. In 2014, Cameron and members of the International Geoscience Programme undertook a grueling, 3-week, off-the-grid trip to far western Mongolia to research the paleontology and geochemistry of mass extinctions. The IGP is a UNESCO-funded initiative to partner geologic researchers from developing countries to geologists from wealthy countries, She has spent the last three summers age dating zircons and analyzing carbonates from China and from Mongolia on a thermal ionization mass spectrometer at UNC Chapel Hill. Her Mongolian work has turned into her senior honors thesis.

Members of the IGCP team consider Cameron to be a colleague and eagerly awaited her age dating results that she presented recently in Brussels, Belgium at the IGCP meeting. She is the primary author and presenter for a paper on zircon age dates from her fieldwork in Mongolia, and a co-author on other presentations for research performed in conjunction with Appalachian, Chapel Hill and international paleontologists from Austria, Mongolia, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Russia. Her nominator and colleague wrote that “in our time in Mongolia in August 2014, Cameron was the youngest student on the team, but she was also hard-working, good-natured, and somehow managed to get a team of somewhat taciturn paleontologists to engage in impromptu dance parties and laugh- until-you-cry singing competitions.”

Student Award: Matt Benfield

Matt was the president of AIESEC on campus in 2015. AIESEC is an organization that promotes international internship exchange. The acronym stands for French words roughly meaning Association of Students in Science, Economics and Business, a world wide student-run organization to set up international exchange opportunities. AIESEC was on the verge of being disbanded here, but with the leadership of Matt it is now one of the top groups in the country. He is working with UNCGreensboro and UNCCharlotte to set up chapters on their campuses.The numbers of students acquiring international experience through AIESEC has increased four fold since Matt began as president. Because of his vision, 31 Appalchian students are talking with international students multiple times every week to organize and engage in international internships.

Graduate Student Award: Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson comes to Appalachian from his home in Nigeria. He has contributed greatly to the Appalachian community and has expanded the world views of a wide range of students, faculty and staff across the campus. Peter holds a Graduate Assistant position with the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and  demonstrates a genuine sense of caring about the global environment through his work with the office of sustainability.

Peter says that despite the negative impact of media reports of his country, he wants to reflect a different Nigeria through his actions and life here on the Appalachian campus. He has accomplished this goal via the monthly international coffee hours, International Cultural Crawl (during the International Education Week), the Cultural Agents Promoting Exchange (C.A.P.E) program. presentations in various classes on topics such as Cultural Beauty, International Business Communications and Global Health.   He has shared knowledge on African culture and tradition with local elementary students of Watauga County.  Active in local service organizations such as the F.A.R.M. Café and Operation Christmas Child.

Staff Award: Kevin Long

Kevin is a Registered Nurse with 24 years of healthcare experience and a member of the Appalachian Family for six years. During that time, he has been involved in promoting health and wellness for Appalachian Students through general health, immunization and safety guidance for students traveling abroad. In November 2013, he became the Lead Travel Nurse in Student Health Service. Since that time he has grown the International Travel Health program by over 400%. He has cooperatively reached out to work closely with the Office of International Education and Development (OIED) to provide significantly more travel health and safety services for ASU students. Kevin has initiated and implemented the opportunity for students to receive a “Travel First Aid Kit” at a significant price reduction to further prepare students in a cost effective way. Kevin communicates each day with university staff throughout the campus related to international travel and has also increased the amount of time for the availability of travel health appointments.

During Student Health Service’s recent re-accreditation through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, our travel program was touted as being a nationwide model for students who travel abroad. In our UNC system, Appalachian has the most comprehensive travel health program as a direct result of Kevin’s work. In a recent nationwide survey of the American Travel Health Nurse Association, Appalachian’s program is one of the most all-inclusive and cost effective. Kevin is also active in Appalachian’s International Friendship Program and currently sponsors students from Mexico. He is also active in sponsoring a teacher from Honduras which is a part of the Appalachian Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program. Personally, Kevin travels to Honduras to provide medical mission services specifically with orphanages. While the spirit of the award recognizes past achievements, it is worth noting that these awards come with support for travel to further global learning opportunities. I know that Kevin is keen to learn about some of the realities of the medical resources available to students who are studying in some of our more regular study abroad locations, and he wants to better understand those realities so that he can better prepare those students when they decide to study abroad.

Faculty Award: Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin

The Faculty Global Leadership Award recipient is Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin.  Her nominator wrote “under her leadership, the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry has developed programs, sponsored visiting scientists, internationalized our faculty, and expanded international educational opportunities for our students.”For the past 28 years at Appalachian, Dr. Cartaya-Marin has been actively involved in chemical research engaging in several collaborations with international researchers from institutions such as  the National University in Heredia, Costa Rica, The University of at Rio Piedras, Simon Bolivar University (Caracas, Venezuela), and University of the Américas in Puebla, Mexico. These collaborations have produced multiple international publications and conference presentations.Dr. Cartaya-Marin has traveled to Angers, France, Adam Mickiewicza University in Poland and most recently to Cuba, creating and expanding global opportunities for faculty and students Over the past ten years, the Chemistry students and faculty have had benefited by interacting with visiting scholars from Romania, China, Spain, Germany, Venezuela, and Sri Lanka with the help of Dr. Cartaya-Marin.

As a result of these collaborations and partnerships, she initiated faculty exchanges and even a certificate program in Forensic Science offered to students from the University of Angers and other universities outside the US. Dr. Cartaya-Marin has taught organic chemistry in Spanish to students here at Appalachian, mentoring students wishing to improve their Spanish language skills --including a student who who then studied abroad in Mexico. Thanks to her work with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students have taken summer chemistry courses in China and Spain. In her role as department chair, Dr. Cartaya-Marin initiated and supported two faculty members who collaborate on a State Department Project in Kurdistan to westernize the chemistry curriculum at Salahaddin-Arbil University.  Dr. Cartaya-Marin has supported the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA) grant. The international teaching fellows brought to campus from numerous other countries were engaged in STEM activities in workshops presented by Chemistry faculty in 2014 and 2015. Also, here at home, Dr. Cartaya-Marin represented Appalachian at the first Hispanic/Latino Forum held at North Carolina State. In 2015, she served as co-Planning Chair to bring the 4th Annual UNC Hispanic/Latino Forum to the Appalachian campus.

Global Leadership Awards Committee Members (2015)

The following Appalachian faculty and staff members composed the Appalachian Global Leadership Awards committee for 2015:

  • Suzi Mills – Co-Chair, School of Music
  • Rich Campbell – Co-Chair, Student Development
  • Brent James – Department of Languages Literatures and Cultures
  • Jesse Pipes – College of Business
  • Terri Reddick - Conference and Camps Services
  • Diane Waryold – College of Education
  • Adam Julian - OIED
  • Iryna Sharaievska - Recreation Management and Physical Education
  • Bindu Jayne, Office of Diversity,Equity and Compliance
  • Lee Ball, Office of Sustainability
  • Riziki Omonde, Undergraduate Student
  • Reece Jennings, Graduate Student