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.

 Faculty Award: Dr. Alexanddra Hellenbrand

In her role as the Director of Global Studies on campus, Dr. Hellenbrand has done yeoman’swork. She designed the curriculum for the university’s high-enrolled Global Studies major, that includes concentrations we might consider traditional in  (Latin American Studies, German Studies, East Asian Studies) but also some forward-thinking new ones (such as Third World Studies, Global Arts, Development and Globalization, Peace and Conflict Studies). Because of the program’s relevance in today’s world, it’s not surprising that the Global Studies program has served hundreds of students, whom, until recently at least, Dr. Hellenbrand has regularly advised singlehandedly.

In addition to directing Global Studies, Dr. Hellenbrand regularly leads short-term study abroad programs to Vienna, in conjunction with other faculty. She has directed Global Connections, a certificate program designed to promote global learning across the curriculum, and Communication and Language Across the Curriculum (CLAC) which provides avenues for language acquisition (a key component of global learning) across departments and colleges. Dr. Hellenbrand has dedicated herself to promoting global learning across the University of North Carolina system, evidenced by a UNC system wide conference dedicated to global learning programs. A quote from one of Dr. Hellenbrand's many nominators, "I have seen Dr. Hellenbrand’s ability to inspire, challenge, and facilitate the students’ connection to the culture we are visiting. Her love of a deeper understanding of culture combined with her gift for connecting with the students on a personal level, leads to a very enriching global experience for the students."

Student Award: Anna Paula Maldonado

Anna Paula Maldonado is an international student from Asuncion, Paraguay. Anna has always tried to inform people about her culture and joined International Appalachian (INTAPP) to not only help international student acclimate to App State and the U.S. in general, but also to make campus more culturally aware. In 2015 Anna was the Business Committee chair of INTAP and was in charge of recruitment, the global panel, and the group's 5K that raises funds for the Landon Hill Memorial Scholarship. In 2016 Anna was the President of INTAPP and oversaw all committes and was responsible for the group. Anna has always been a leader in her community. In 2014 she won an international leadership award to represent Paraguay in Limerick, Ireland. Anna also served on the Chancellor's Board for Diversity Recruitment where she is responsible for talking to prospective students and attending events held by Admissions to meet incoming first year students. Anna has also been involved in a movement on campus calld United Students Against Sweatshops where they actively fight for workers rights in the global south currently working in sweatshops owned by big brands such as Nike and Adidas. Anna frequently is invited to classes to talk about her culture and likes to discuss gender relations, mythology, and politics. During the past two summers Anna participated in internships in her home country. In 2015 she worked for the European Union Delegation in Paragua and translated documents in four languages and helped to organize a Sustainable Development Seminar for Paraguayan authorities. In 2016 Anna worked for the Ministry of Women in Paraguay and served on the board of an organization fighting for the "Ley de Paridad" to requst gender equity during local and national elections. 

Student Award: Talley Breedlove

Local to Global Award: Banna Bazzarie 

Banna Bazzarie used her Local to Global award to travel to the Palestinian territories in the West Bank to study and practice Arabic. She also used her award to take Arabic courses in Ramallah. During her time there she connected with her roots and reported that she "learned about the conflict in ways I never expected." She sas the experience "opened my eyes to the harsh realities of the occupation" and all allowed her to connect with people from differing socioeconomic statuses. She reports that her language skills improved tremendously as a result of her time and the Local to Global Award. 

Staff Award: Meredith Church Pipes


Meredith states that one of her most meaningful international experiences was as an undergraduate Appalachian student, studying in Mexico for one year, which solidified her interest in other cultures. After graduation, Meredith pursued other international opportunities including working for a year in Spain, earning a Master’s Degree researching language and identity issues on the Uruguay-Brazil border and working for two summers in Honduras for World Camp for Kids. Meredith is currently working in the Walker College of Business coordinating international programs, among other duties. She has been coordinating the semester study abroad for international business majors, and advises on short-term overseas programs for business students as well. She has also led and co-led short term overseas programs to Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Malawi, and Turkey.

Each year, Meredith is responsible for the execution of the College of Business Global Opportunities Conference and handles all of the details from venues to menus, registration and publicity, and speaker travel arrangements. A few years ago, many of you will remember when that conference, under Meredith’s leadership, brought in William Kamkwamba, the Malawian author of “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”. Meredith put together panels of renewable energy experts from across campus; she arranged for participation by local high schools; she set up readings from the book for children at the Boone library. She promoted global learning not just across the ASU campus, but in the community as well. I will end with words from a past nominator. “Meredith has truly demonstrated exceptional leadership in international learning and engagement. Her life models the broad mindset we seek to instill in our students. I believe that her impact on students – on and beyond our campus – makes her more than worthy of the Appalachian Global Leadership Award.” The committee couldn’t agree more.