Monthly Archives: September 2014

Quiz: Which Student Are YOU?


You love taking quizzes.  I know; I’m on Facebook.  So please take these two–you’ll gain meaningful insight into your performance as a student and with one of them can predict how well you’ll do by semester’s end.  However, you won’t find out which cartoon character, which character from Gilligan’s Island, or which color of the rainbow you are.


Take the online survey here; if you can’t remember whether or not you took it, don’t worry–your userID and PW will be required so as to ensure that you don’t take it twice.  This tells us how “global” you are in your thinking and values.  It’s an important snapshot or measure of your global IQ “before” your college education.  When you graduate we’ll look at you as an “after” and see how much you’ve learned and grown.


This is a self-assessment that the University requires all freshmen to take.  Take the survey here and tell us how your studies, your roommate situation, and your experiences at Appalachian have been going so far.  You’ll get customized feedback at the end. For example, some frosh report on this survey how many hours per week they’re studying and then find out that those hours are consistent with a 1.0 grade point average.  This quiz can be a great reality check. Take the quiz online here.


is your future DISPOSABLE?


Renowned public intellectual and cultural critic Dr. Henry Giroux will speak on “Disposable Futures: Neoliberalism’s Assault on Higher Education” at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 25 at the Schaefer Center auditorium on the Appalachian State campus.

Named one of the 50 top educational thinkers of the 20th Century in Routledge’s “50 Modern Thinkers on Education: From Piaget to the Present,” Dr. Giroux is Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies at McMaster University, former Professor at Penn State, earned his PhD Carnegie-Mellon and an MA from Appalachian State (yep!), and the author of recent books like The University in Chains and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth.

Attend to learn Giroux’s arguments about what is happening to your educational experience and your future.  Giroux argues that we are undergoing “a full-fledged assault on public goods, democratic public spheres, and the role of education in creating an informed and enlightened citizenry.”  The purpose of higher education in America was always to produce an enlightened, democratic, and free society.  This purpose is being diverted to serve special interests. But hey, it’s your future.

How to StReSs Less


The Counseling Center presents

The Wellness Workshops: Feelin’ Good in the Neighborhood!


Diversity Awareness Challenge

Wed. Sept. 24th1:00-2:00pm Sanford Mall


Test Your Mood: Mental Health Screening Day

Thur., Oct. 9th10:00am-2:00pm Calloway Peak Room/Union


Survive and Thrive: Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Tues. Oct. 28th 12:30-2:30pm Three Top Mountain Room/Union


Being Real: The Value of Vulnerability

Wed. Nov. 5th7:00-8:15pm Three Top Mountain Room/Union


Extra credit slips will be made available

For more information contact the Counseling Center

262-3180 or

What’s Your Global I.Q.?


Most Americans think they’re smart and worldly, even if it’s only because they swear in multiple languages, buy expensive Italian shoes, order Chinese take-out, and surf the “world wide web.”

But your time at App State should measurably change your Global I.Q.  especially because our Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) is focused on increasing students’ global awareness and global competency.

That’s why we want you to take our survey to assess how well we’re doing. You frosh take this to provide us with what we call “baseline data” and then we have you take it as seniors to see how worldly and global you have become.  And then we take the credit for your transformation. 🙂

You were invited to participate in an email during the first week of school and you’ve received reminders since then.  The online survey will take just 20 minutes of your time. You will receive a “receipt” after you complete the survey should an instructor choose to award extra credit for completing it.


Famous Lawyer Speaks on Campus


Morris Dees Lecture: “With Justice for All

Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 7 pm

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

The son of cotton farmers, Dees worked as a young boy in the fields with Blacks, witnessing first-hand social and economic deprivation and Jim Crow treatment at its worse. After graduating from law school, he began taking controversial civil rights cases and formed the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with Julian Bond and Joseph Levin, in 1970. Dees won a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases that helped integrate government and public institutions and cripple some of America’s most notorious white supremacist hate groups. He was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2006. He is the author of “A Season For Justice,” “Hate on Trial: The Case Against America’s Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi” and “Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat.”

Have a Nice Education


It’s time for freshmen and new transfer students to complete the required survey online on the MAP-Works website, and then view their individualized Student Outcome Reports.

Why do you have to take this 10-minute survey about your courses, roommate situation, and overall experience at Appalachian? Because the University tries to help new students succeed and this survey tool is a way we check in with you. We’ve already recruited you to get your education at Appalachian. Now we want you to succeed here and have a good experience.

Students who complete the survey have said (in conversation, focus groups, and scholarship applications) that they found their MAP-Works survey-taking experience helpful because:
– It was a wakeup call;
– It helped them change some of their study habits; and
– It offered helpful advice to turn a bad college experience into a good one.

The survey opened to students on September 10, 2014.  You should have received an email with your personal link to the survey.

OK, so go on, take 10 minutes to complete the survey.  You can access it online at:


College: Do You Want Your Money’s Worth?


In its mission statement, Appalachian State University aims at “providing undergraduate students a rigorous liberal education that emphasizes transferable skills and preparation for professional careers” as well as “maintaining a faculty whose members serve as excellent teachers and scholarly mentors for their students.”  Such rigor means that the foremost activity of Appalachian students is an intense engagement with their courses. Students should expect to spend two to three hours of studying outside of class for every hour of in-class time. Hence, a 15-hour academic load will require between 30 and 45 hours per week of out-of-class work. Being a full-time student is a full-time job.

Yes, it’s a job you pay to do, rather than one we pay you to do.  Education is also the one thing people buy for which they don’t worry about getting their money’s worth.  Sad, but true.   But maybe it’s a concern with getting their money’s worth that leads some students to ask: Why should I take a course outside of my major–such as First  Year Seminar or these General Education courses?  

Good question. And good thing Steve Jobs of Apple didn’t think taking a calligraphy course would be a waste of his time.  His overall interest in aesthetics made his product better than his competitor’s.  Good thing Pablo Picasso didn’t see his visit to the Paris museum of ethnology as a waste of his time; for his encounter with the sacred African masks there inspired some of his most celebrated paintings.  Why did Thomas Jefferson pack notebooks, measuring tools, and other instruments of discovery daily into the pockets of his pants, which he designed just to hold them all?  Why do some of your favorite rock musicians listen to classical music or read poetry, or dabble in computer programming?   Because it turns out that anyone great has a variety of interests, and can make new and novel connections between seemingly separate areas.

So, just how do you get your money’s worth?  How do you turn out to be a learned citizen poised not only to support yourself but to solve problems, invent great new things, and lead a good life?

In a world as global and interconnected as it is today, you’d be poorly prepared if you had just one skill set that comes from one academic discipline.  Often the most amazing learning comes through serendipity and risk taking.  So, your education is not like your Netflix account, where if you liked The Hunger Games then you’ll see World War Z suggested to you.  In college, you might find yourself intellectually turned on by a topic or method of investigation you’d never heard of and that you would have thought has no bearing on your future career or life trajectory.

We want your time at Appalachian to be mind-blowingly amazing, helping you see the world in new ways. We want you to be cosmopolitan citizens ready for a connected global century. But being cosmopolitan requires that you reach for people and perspectives unlike your own, and that you consider yourself a citizen concerned with the entire world. It’s not as simple as vacationing in Bermuda, listening to Reggae music, or eating sushi.  (Those things make you a global consumer, not a global or cosmopolitan citizen.)

So, next time you hear a fellow student complain that he has to take courses across a spectrum of subjects in the General Education curriculum, or complain that her first year seminar, the very first Gen Ed course, is outside of her major, remind that person that the real world is global, and it’s not divided up into academic disciplines.

Wanna See a Picture of My Stoned Cat?


If people said face-to-face the things they say over social media, not only would they speak with wildly improper grammar but they’d also be saying things that would be relegated to the category “T.M.I.” (too much information).  Or they’d simply be boring.  Or self-incriminating. Or all of the above.

Stop and think about what you send via text messages, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and other social media.  What might your future employer conclude about you from your posts?  A number of students post photos of themselves engaging in heavy drinking (“my poor liver” was a recent status update I saw on Facebook).  Others Tweet statements with the tags #stoned or #wasted (another thing best left to sharing f2f).

The wonderful things about new social media are that they are instantaneous, participatory, and far-reaching.  These are also the horrible things about new social media–unless you use them mindfully.

A few years ago a young white student at UCLA came home from an evening of studying at the university library to record herself ranting about a racial-ethnic group that she found annoying.  She posted this rant on YouTube and very soon after her “Asians in the Library” video had gone viral as an example of despicable racist attitudes. This will be something that student regrets for the rest of her life, to be sure.  Even if you think you’re wise enough to share your opinions (and, whatever they are, your opinions will likely change over the next few years) in relatively private digital settings, realize that your digital footprints make even the private things you do over social media discoverable in certain contexts.

If you want your time at Appalachian to help you go on to, as our Convocation speaker Wayne Henderson put it, higher briers and bigger berries, then you’ve got to consider the emotional intelligence that good leaders have: self-awareness, self-regulation skills, social skills, empathy, and a motivation to succeed.  And you’ll need to apply these skills in the digital environment.

But how do people do this?  Well, they can stop posting about their being wasted or posting pictures of their recent pedicure and instead read what Josie Alquist has to say  on her blog about how to take the skills of great leaders into the realm of electronic communication and social media.