10 Appalachian students honored for academic, service and leadership excellence appalachian today

Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations in Appalachian’s Division of Student Affairs, far left, and J.J. Brown, vice chancellor of student affairs, right, pose with Jon Garst, who is an Appalachian senior double majoring in finance and banking and risk management and insurance. Garst, of Huntersville, is pictured holding the plaque he received as part of his Bobby L. Dunnigan Award for Outstanding Service. Photo by Jeremiah Bradshaw

Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations in Appalachian’s Division of Student Affairs, left, poses with Rene Perez, of Jacksonville, who is a junior recreation management major, center, and J.J. Brown, vice chancellor of student affairs. Perez was presented with the Bobby L.


Dunnigan Award for Outstanding Service during the 2018 Celebration of Leadership and Legacy awards ceremony on Appalachian’s campus in April. Photo by Jeremiah Bradshaw

Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations in the university’s Division of Student Affairs, left, poses with Cheryl Eddins, assistant director for aquatics in Appalachian’s University Recreation, who accepted the Bobby L. Dunnigan Award for Outstanding Service on behalf of Carson McCall. McCall, of Wilson, is a senior political science major at Appalachian with a concentration in international and comparative politics. J.J. Brown, vice chancellor of student affairs, also joined the group photo. Photo by Jeremiah Bradshaw

“I have truly never met a more driven or passionate individual. His passion comes through with his curiosity and wanting to learn more … he is constantly seeking developmental opportunities for himself and others,” Garst’s nominator said. “His ability to connect with others and build community is incomparable to anything I have ever seen and it is an honor and a privilege to work with him.”

Additionally, Perez is involved with University Recreation’s Intramural Sports and Club Sports programs. His nominator commented: “At Club Sports events (tournaments or matches) Rene is always present because he is so passionate about the events and being able to help problem-solve anything that arises throughout the event. He has been a supporter, leader and teacher for not only myself, but for the entire Intramural Sports and Club Sports programs.

“Her role as a senator has afforded her the opportunity in changing things by devising a bill for the university’s sustainability farm located off campus, interacting with constituency to determine campus needs, and participating on an external community that develops relations between the town of Boone and the university,” McCall’s nominator said of her leadership in the SGA.

In the 2015–16 academic year, McCall served as vice president of incoming global exchange for Appalachian’s AIESEC chapter, an international nonprofit organization operated by students and recent graduates at institutions of higher education across 127 countries and territories. She worked closely with the Boone community and international students to foster a globalized community.

“Carson is as a developing leader with a caring heart who always has time for others. Her gift is her ability to guide her peers to develop their confidence and make better decisions,” McCall’s nominator shared. “She is passionate about her work, focuses on opportunities and involvement with students on this campus, and how her role changes things for the good of all.”

Aubria Myers ’18 — one of two Appalachian students who received the 2018 Berardino DiBernardi Student Award for Leadership and Legacy — center, poses with J.J. Brown, vice chancellor of student affairs, left, and Berardino “Dino” DiBernardi, for whom the award is named. DiBernardi served as former associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Myers, of Colombia, South Carolina, graduated from Appalachian in May with dual degrees — a Bachelor of Science in communication, public relations and a Bachelor of Science in sociology with a concentration in criminology, deviance and law. Photo by Jeremiah Bradshaw

J.J. Brown, vice chancellor of student affairs, left, and Berardino “Dino” DiBernardi, right, pose with Emily R. Young ’18, who graduated from Appalachian in May with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with an accounting concentration. Young was one of two Appalachian students to receive the Berardino DiBernardi Student Award for Leadership and Legacy. DiBernardi, for whom the award is named, served as former associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo by Jeremiah Bradshaw

Of Myers’ student leadership, her nominator wrote, “She made a positive impression on me from the very beginning of the Ambassador membership process and she has continued to serve as an exemplary Ambassador. The role of a Student Ambassador is quite a full commitment, yet she has found time to dedicate herself to other important initiatives in service to Appalachian and her fellow students.”

In addition to her role as an Appalachian Student Ambassador, Myers served as a volunteer in Appalachian’s Multicultural Center, as well as a student mentor for L.E.A.D., a multicultural student development program designed to support students from historically underrepresented backgrounds at Appalachian and help ease their transition into the university.

“Aubria is committed to the student experience, empowering others, fostering positive relationships, and serving as a leader who actively represents the values of Appalachian, and she embrace’s the Division of Student Affairs’ tagline of ‘care, engage, and transform,’” Myers’ nominator said. “She has a unique ability to actively engage students in their own learning while also providing an environment that encourages good citizenship, diversity, and holistic student engagement.”

“This student has distinguished herself as one of the most capable student leaders at Appalachian. Since her sophomore year, I have had ample opportunity to interact with her and become familiar with her outstanding character, numerous strengths, and servant’s heart. She stood out from the crowd right away because she became involved so early and immersed herself so fully in the college’s programs, including the Walker Fellows, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), and the Martha Guy Summer Institute (MGSI), among others,” Young’s nominator said.

During her time at Appalachian, she was a member of Appalachian Students Today and Alumni Tomorrow and served as a university tutor. Young also served as president of BAP, the accounting honors fraternity and one of the most active academic clubs in the Walker College. As president, she led nine of her fellow accounting students cross-country to participate in the national BAP conference, where they took part in sessions on industry trends, networked with peer, and participated in a KPMG International Day of Literacy.

Young’s nominator recognized her lasting contributions to the university, stating, “Emily Young’s service to the students of Appalachian is extraordinary, and her spirit embodies the values of Appalachian. I have no doubt that she will continue to be a significant credit to the Walker College of Business and to the greater university throughout her last year of studies, as well as going forward in her career and life as an Appalachian alumna.”

The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 14 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Multicultural Student Development, Student Legal Clinic and Off Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at https://studentaffairs.appstate.edu. About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.