For information about the Master of Arts degree in Appalachian studies at Appalachian State University with concentrations in sustainability, culture, and music, contact Dr. Katherine Ledford, program director and assistant professor of Appalachian studies, at or (828) 262-4087.

Here's the scoop on some of our alumni. If you're an alum and would like to be included on the website, let us know.

Please let us know if any of our information is incorrect or if you would like to be added to or deleted from our alumni list by emailing

Jake Altemus 2004, is the Director of Outdoor Programs for The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. He spends his days trying to get young men into the Southern Mountains.
Courtney Baines 2008, is currently teaching for Sustainable Development at ASU.
Jessica Blackburn 2000, is a Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Arkansas. Her work is focused on the intersection of feminist theory and composition studies.
Lori Briscoe-Pennington 2000, Director of Program Development, People, Inc.. Abingdon, VA. Lori and Corey are the proud parents of Selah (7) and Norah (5).

Theresa E Burchett 2001, lives in Gray, TN and has been the Director of the B. Carroll Reece Museum at the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University since March 2005. She was recently was named the Director of the Appalachian Studies Minor at ETSU.

Jamie Gail Butcher 2005, completed her M.A. degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University in August 2005. She holds a B.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia. Currently, Ms. Butcher is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Her research interests include missional theology, women and gender, and all things Appalachian.
Edward J. Cabbell 1982, is the curator of the John Henry Center for Culture and History Exchange and director of the John Henry Festival and Conference. Find out more about the John Henry Center by writing or calling PO Box 1172, Morgantown, WV 26507, (304) 292-0767.
Donavan Cain 2001, is Assocate Rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, FL
Whitney Kimball Coe 2008, has taken a position at the Center for Rural Strategies in Knoxville, TN.
Erica Collins 2000, is working on completing her MS in biology at ASU and is also beginning seminary studies this fall at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She lives in Todd, NC, with her partner, Julie.
Nancy Collins 1999, So glad you asked....Nancy has changed her name to "Anita Mann," and is thoroughly enjoying her new job at Sherwin Williams, where she's fulfilling her life-long dream to be a mountain mover and "shaker." Still lazy after all these years, she can sometimes be spotted wandering the ASU campus looking for a parking place, and/or dodging UFO's. Her greatest accomplishment in life (thus far) is the not-one, not-two, but THREE tickets she has successfully wormed her way out of. She would like to thank the ASU Parking Nazi's and her parole officer for their support."
Dare Cook 2005, is working at the NCSU Graduate School ( in admissions. She has been accepted this fall into the Ph.D. program in Psychology in the Public Interest with a focus on Community Psychology.
Dave Cozzo 1999, is now Dr. Dave. He is the Project Director for the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources ( and, with intensive training in yogic breathing, he will soon be able to say his title in one breath.
Ashley Crabtree Grindstaff 2005, is the Executive Director of the Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce ( She moved to North Carolina and married Ben Grindstaff who is also an Appalachian grad.
Aaron Davis 2005, has been working at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park since May 25th, 2011. He accepted the position of Chief Ranger-Interpreter (Education/Program Director in non-state-park terms), effective July 25th, 2011. As opposed to many state parks, which focus on nature-based programming, this site focuses on cultural/historical programming, which is right up his alley.
Dottie Demarest 1999, is the Genealogy and Local History librarian with the East Central Georgia Regional Library System, living in Augusta, Georgia. Genealogy and Local History, East Central Georgia Public Library, 902 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901; 706.821.2600 Fax 706.821.2629

Cameron Farlow is the Farm Programs Coordinator for the Organic Growers School in Asheville, North Carolina. She organizes a network of experienced, beginning, apprentice, and aspiring farmers from across Western North Carolina in a comprehensive training program designed to mentor and teach the next generation of farmers the skills of farm operation as well as the art and science of sustainable agriculture. She is al- so the Land Access Coordinator for Western North Carolina FarmLink working to match farmers seeking land with landowners hoping to keep their land in agriculture for lease or sale.

Mark Freed 2005, is the Cultural Resources Coordinator for the Town of Boone in Boone, North Carolina. Mark works with the Cultural Resources Department to oversee the function and programming of culturally significant buildings, grounds, and other resources in the town, working out of one of those sites—the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. Mark's programs include coordinating an outdoor summer concert series, the Doc Watson Day Celebration, a weekly old-time jam session, a music lessons program, art and historical exhibitions, and coordinating public and private use of the community center.
Sara Harris Thum 2004, finally tied the knot with her main squeeze, Ryan--it was a fun, beautiful mountain (valley) wedding in Blacksburg, VA. Ryan is studying for the Bar and has accepted a job in Roanoke, while Sara is still working for NC State Libraries, when she is not crocheting, perfecting her EAD, chasing her two dogs, or watering her garden, etc., etc. We are looking forward to getting settled in Roanoke soon!
Vicky Hayes 2005, is working at the Berea College Learning Center ( working one-on-one with Appalachian students engaged in learning to write, as well as other diverse and interesting duties. She plans to work with Pat toward publishing Mary Jane's material.


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Dr. William R. Schumann
Center Director
LLA 110

Dr. Dave H. Wood
Academic Program Director
LLA 109

Ms. Teri Goodman
Administrative Assistant
LLA 112A

305 Bodenheimer Drive
Living Learning Center
Living Learning Academic Bldg
Room 112A
PO Box 32018
Boone, NC 28608-2018

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