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Students receive awards for service to Appalachian during ‘2017 Celebration of Leadership and Legacy’

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—Nine students at Appalachian State University received awards for their service to the university during “2017 Celebration of Leadership and Legacy,” a banquet held April 21 on campus.

The award recipients were Ashlee Harvey, Jemima “Jae” Amoah, Hollie Brown, Maryjoe Lezama, Jacqueline Ann “Jackie” White, Lee Pinkham, Jacqueline “Riley” Dixon, Erin Parrish and Katherin Castillo.

Here is more information about the awards and their recipients:

Student Employee of the Year Award

Food Services employee Ashlee Harvey was recognized as a student employee whose leadership is judged to be of the highest level. Harvey, a senior from Raleigh, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in accounting.

“Without the membership and insight provided by this nominee, the big picture projects needed would not have been accomplished,” Harvey’s nominator said. “Her level of planning and strategy is beyond the expectations of her day-to-day position. Working with Ashlee is like working with a professional colleague.”

Ronny L. Brooks Leadership Award

The two recipients of this award were Jemima “Jae” Amoah and Hollie Brown. The award, named for a former dean of students at Appalachian, recognizes any Appalachian student who demonstrates the award’s ideals and principles by distinguishing themselves through the leadership they provide to students, programs and organizations.

Amoah, a senior from Charlotte, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in marketing. She “has proved to be an amazing role model by earning her certification as a BB&T Emerging Leader,” her nominator said. “She has distinguished herself as a passionate advocate for equity and equality through her role on the Student Advisory Board for Diversity. And she has contributed to the classroom, the campus and the culture of this university as an Appalachian State Diversity Scholar.”

Brown of Davidson graduated in May 2017, earning Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees in both economics and finance and banking. Her nominator said she “had distinguished herself as one of the strongest and most capable leaders at Appalachian this year.” The nominator also said that Brown “has made an impact that reaches far beyond the classroom and into the greater Mountaineer community. She is the epitome of commitment, and has truly invested her time, heart and soul into many different areas of Appalachian.”

Bobby L. Dunnigan Service Award

The four recipients of this award were Maryjoe Lezama, Jacqueline Ann “Jackie” White, Lee Pinkham and Jacqueline “Riley” Dixon.

Dunnigan served Appalachian in a number of roles, finishing his career as director of residence life. The Dunnigan award recognizes students employed in the Division of Student Development who have demonstrated exemplary service to Appalachian and have decided, in the words of North Carolina’s state motto, “To be, rather than to seem.”

Lezama, a senior from Gastonia who worked in University Recreation (UREC), is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. Her nominator lauded her “level of dependability and maturity on the job.” Lezama “is one of the hardest working individuals that has stepped foot in our department in the past decade,” the nominator also said. “In her mind, there is no down time, no lunch break, no day off. There is just more work to be done and, ultimately, more service to provide for her fellow Mountaineers.”

White, a May 2017 graduate from Weaverville who worked in UREC, earned a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. White’s helpful and caring nature “brightens the day of everyone on duty, and leads to impact,” her nominator said. “Her ability to adapt to frequent change with a positive attitude and an open mind is remarkable…Service to others isn’t just what she does or how she works or where she excels. For Jackie White, service to others is who she is, and for that, Appalachian will be forever grateful.”

Pinkham, a May 2017 graduate from Washington, earned a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. His nominator praised the contributions he made as a student employee of UREC. Pinkham “stands out among the thousands” of students whom UREC has employed over the years, the nominator said, noting that he has “gone above and beyond the call of the job on more occasions than one could possibly mention.”

Dixon, a December 2016 graduate from Cary, earned a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. Her nominator praised the contributions she made as a member of UREC Academy, which offers High Country youth the opportunity to experience one-on-one training in sports they enjoy. The sport Dixon coached was volleyball. She worked in the department for four years. “She has grown as a public speaker and takes initiative in any and all projects that come her way,” Dixon’s nominator said.

Gregory S. Blimling Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Student Development

Erin Parrish received this award, named for a former vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. The award’s recipient must show an exemplary work ethic and commitment to their position, in addition to showing potential for success in their chosen field.

Parrish, a May 2017 graduate from Brighton, Colorado, earned a Master of Arts in college student development. “This graduate student has both created and transformed several programs because she is not the type of person to maintain the status quo,” her nominator said. “She will push herself and others to do greater things…She serves as a positive role model for students, faculty and staff, and is destined to do great things in our profession.”

Berardino DiBernardi Leadership and Legacy Award

Katherin Castillo received this award, which commemorates the many contributions DiBernardi made over 38 years to the Appalachian community. Among other things, the award recognizes its recipient’s contributions to both Appalachian and the community at large.

Castillo, a May 2017 graduate from Mount Airy, earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. Castillo “makes an instant impression that amazes all who meet her,” her nominator said. “She is mature, wise, poised, dedicated and compassionate. She possesses an amazing ability to critically understand a situation that I’ve seen in very few students and colleagues over my 20 years in education.”

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 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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From left, Stephanie Hickey, career development coordinator at Appalachian State University, poses with Ashlee Harvey, who received Appalachian’s 2017 Student Employee of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Jemima “Jae” Amoah, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Ronny L. Brooks Leadership Award, stands with, from left, Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations at Appalachian; Rhonda Bullock, Brooks’ daughter; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Hollie Brown, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Ronny L. Brooks Leadership Award, stands with, from left, Matt Dull, assistant vice chancellor for finance and operations at Appalachian; Rhonda Bullock, Brooks’ daughter; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Maryjoe Lezama, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Bobby L. Dunnigan Service Award, stands with, from left, James J. “J.J.” Brown III, Appalachian’s vice chancellor for student development; Bobby Dunnigan; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Jacqueline Ann “Jackie” White, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Bobby L. Dunnigan Service Award, stands with, from left, James J. “J.J.” Brown III, Appalachian’s vice chancellor for student development; Bobby Dunnigan; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Lee Pinkham, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Bobby L. Dunnigan Service Award, stands with, from left, James J. “J.J.” Brown III, Appalachian’s vice chancellor for student development; Bobby Dunnigan; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Jacqueline “Riley” Dixon, a recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Bobby L. Dunnigan Service Award, stands with, from left, James J. “J.J.” Brown III, Appalachian’s vice chancellor for student development; Bobby Dunnigan; and Leroy Wright, associate vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Erin Parrish, right, recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Gregory S. Blimling Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Student Development, poses with Traci Royster, director of staff development and strategic initiatives in Appalachian’s Division of Student Development. Photo courtesy of Micki Early
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Katherin Castillo, right, recipient of Appalachian State University’s 2017 Berardino DiBernardi Leadership and Legacy Award, poses with James J. “J.J.” Brown III, Appalachian’s vice chancellor for student development. Photo courtesy of Micki Early