Meet the ASU Service-Learning Council
The ASU Service-Learning Council is a group of dedicated faculty, staff, students, and community partners who are actively involved in service-learning and community-based research initiatives. Collectively, they work to develop and enhance these initiatives at Appalachian, while also representing ASU at state, national, and international conferences.
Dr. Rebecca (Becki) Battista, Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science, is an Associate Professor in the Exercise Science Program. She received Bachelor degrees in Health Science (Lock Haven University) and Physical Education Studies (University of Delaware) and a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from Indiana University. Becki’s doctorate is from Michigan State University where her educational background was Growth and Motor development with an emphasis in pediatric exercise physiology. She is a graduate of the 2010 ACT Faculty Fellows Program for Service-Learning and now incorporates and encourages service-learning in courses in the Exercise Science Program.
Dr. Kim Becnel, Library Science Program, received her MLIS and PhD from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. A former public librarian, she now teaches and researches in the areas of public library management, youth services, children’s literature, and distance education. A graduate of the 2011 ACT Faculty Fellows Program, Kim enjoys the challenges and rewards of incorporating service-learning into distance courses for graduate students.
Dr. Robin Byerly, Management Dept., teaches courses in Social Responsibilities of Management, Strategic Management, Business and the Environment, and graduate courses in Ethics and Communication. She has published in several academic journals and presented at numerous conferences, with specific research and teaching interests in the areas of corporate social responsibility and citizenship, business and the environment, and business ethics. She is currently a participant in the ACT Faculty Fellows Program for service-learning. She earned her Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Florida State University and is in her eleventh year here at ASU.
Kirstie Cooper, ACT Peer Counselor, is a junior Social Work major, minoring in both Psychology and Sociology. Kirstie works to help plan ACT's Big Events and is also the editor of the bi-monthly ACTmail e-newsletter. She is actively involved in community service both on campus and in the greater Watauga area. She hopes that through promoting service-learning, other students will be able to enjoy the life-changing experience of helping others and making a difference in the world. She hopes to work for Child Protective Services upon graduation.
Crystal Ford, ACT Graduate Assistant, is a first year College Student Development graduate student. Originally from the Appalachian region, she moved to Charleston, SC in 2007 in order to attend the College of Charleston where she received a Master's Degree in Public Administration & Arts Management. Crystal completed her undergraduate work at Berea College, KY where she received a B.A. in Speech Communication and Music. Over the past two years, she has been working as an Outreach Victim Advocate for a non-profit rape crisis center in North Charleston, SC. Community development and college student development have become a serious focus in her life. Crystal hopes to one day, piece together her collected experiences as well as education to better serve communities, higher education institutions, and students in the Appalachian region.
Shari Galiardi, Director of Service-Learning, developed the Service-Learning Program at ASU and has served as its director since 1999. With an Master degree in College Student Development, she trains ASU faculty members to integrate service into their curriculum in order to serve the needs of our community while making classroom theory come alive in a community service environment. She is also responsible for overseeing the international service-learning and community-based research program in India, South Africa, and Latin America. Shari has presented both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to service-learning pedagogy.
Jennifer Grubb, Western Youth Network, is the Director of WYN, and served as a Program Associate for the Lexington Housing Community Development Corporation for 2 years before coming to WYN. She has worked with numerous ASU service-learning classes during her time with WYN. She is a graduate of Pfeiffer University, and is enrolled in the ASU Community Counseling graduate program.
Joan Hearn, Retired Community Volunteer, has been involved with volunteer organizations including Hospice, High Country United Way, the Guardian-ad Litem program, and several environmental groups for the past several years. She has been involved in various service-learing and community-based research projects via her role(s) on local non-profit advisory boards. She loves the area and the ability to help bring the University together with the Community.
Zach Herman, ASU Student, is a junior double major in Outdoor Experiential Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in music. Zach has taken 3 courses toward completing the requirements for the Citizen Scholar Certificate. The overarching theme of Zach’s service is outdoor recreation. Zach has worked with trail repair crews, and local special recreation non-profits like Project Rec and Watauga Opportunities. He wants to help the "ivory tower" disciplines escape the bonds of traditional academia and get their hands dirty. Through service-learning, Zach hopes to break down the dichotomy between theory and practice and replace it with a grander more intricate understanding of our place amongst the chaos.
Amy Holway, ACT Graduate Assistant, is a first year College Student Development graduate student. She attained her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies at Appalachian State University. As a Boone local, Amy has always been excited to give back to the community through a variety of types of service. She served through Girl Scouts for over 12 years, got involved on ASU's campus through the Optimist Club, and took service-learning classes both locally and internationally. Amy participate in three study abroad opportunities which included service-learning in Uganda, South Africa and Bolivia. These programs were filled with intense physical and psychological challenges; however, they provided tremendously rewarding relationships and offered their own type of internal and spiritual growth for Amy.
Dr. Alexandra Hellenbrand, Global Studies Program Director, spent 8 years involved with service-learning in both local and international areas at Goshen College. Since coming to ASU in 2003, she has been working on ways to develop similar service-learning opportunities for faculty in the Foreign Language Department, both in the western NC region and internationally as well. She has attended conferences sponsored by IPSL and the North Carolina Campus Compact on international service-learning. She spent July 2006 in Germany exploring service-learning connections with ASU partner universities and communities there, and she will be chairing a panel on these endeavors (and others) at the annual meeting of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages in November 2006.
Brian Lowe, Executive Director of Hope Pregnancy Center, a local nonprofit organization serving women and men with unplanned pregnancies. The mission of Hope PRC is to empower these women and men to make informed decisions. Originally from Charleston, S.C., Brian has been serving at Hope PRC for over 5 years. He is looking forward to increasing Hope PRC's utilization of ASU students for both service-learning and community-based research.
Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, Interior Design Program, is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Interior Design Program in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design (Iowa State University) adn a Master of Arts in Interior Design with a minor in Architectural History (Cornell University). She also holds a Landscape Design certificate (Central Piedmont Community College), an NCIDQ Certified interior designer (NICDQ Certificate #10544), a LEED A.P, and NCQLP Lighting Certified (LC), and she is a designated service-learning faculty member. With the belief that good design is for all people, she incorporates and encourages service-learning in studio courses in the Interior Design Program. The program has served numerous local and regional non-profits with design services over the past few years.
Todd Mortensen, Associate Director for ACT Community Partnerships, supports our community partner agencies and the ASU students who serve those agencies. He provides agency training, keeps ACT up-to-date on the latest community needs, works collaboratively with the Office of Student Research to provide faculty/students with community-based research initiatives, and coordinates the NC-ACTS! AmeriCorps program, as well as the Community Service Work-Study Program.
Todd Nolt, The Mountain Alliance, is the Executive Director and a 2000 graduate of Appalachian State University. Before coming to Mountain Alliance he worked as the Center Director for a federally grant funded after-school program in Boone. His work with service learning includes developing a service learning class for Watauga High School students,participating in service learning classes at Appalachian and working to create authentic service opportunities for youth of Watauga county through the Mountain Alliance leadership development program.
Cinda Payne, Psychology Dept., teaches courses on parenting and human development as an adjunct instructor. She has published and presented on issues related to parenting, child feeding, body image, and cross-cultural research. In 2007, she was a visiting researcher to Loughborough University in England. She is a graduate of the 2008 ACT Faculty Fellows Program and has since incorporated service-learning in her classes. She enjoys helping each student find his or her service-learning niche in order to facilitate a better understanding of course materials. A native of Boone and a lifelong volunteer, Cinda currently works with youth, international students, and older adults through several local organizations.
Dr. Shea Tuberty, Biology Department, teaches courses in Environmental Toxicology, Zoology, Physiology, and international ecology courses to Belize and Australia as an Associate Professor. He is a graduate of the 2008 ACT Faculty Fellows Program and has since incorporated service-learning into his Toxicology course. He attended the North Carolina Campus Compact conference on service-learning and contributes to science education sessions at several national conferences for toxicology and zoology. He has published and presented on adverse environmental effects related to waterborne heavy metals, coal combustion waste, nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. Since the spring of 2009, he and his students have conducted more than 10 environmental impact and risk assessments within the waters of the New and Watauga River watersheds with many community partners including the Watauga River Partners, Appalachian Voices, NC Cooperative Extension Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the National Committee for the New River, and the Town of Boone.
Kayla Smith, ASU Student, is a junior majoring in commercial Recreation and Tourism Management. She hopes to graduate in December of 2012 and become an event planner for a major organization or non-profit organization.
Dr. Diane "Daisy" Waryold, Human Development & Psychological Counseling Dept., is an Assistant Professor in the College Student Development graduate preparation program. She received her doctorate from Florida State University. Waryold has an extensive background and keen interest in how students grow and development from their engagement in student life outside of the classroom. Before coming to ASU, Waryold served in various higher education administration roles over a 16 year period of service to students in the field of student development. She has incorporated service-learning into a masters level social justice oriented course. She is a graduate of the 2007 ACT Faculty Fellows Program.