A quick rundown of some of the stories you'll find at today.appstate.edu.
This is Appalachian Today, a bimonthly rundown of some of the stories you’ll find online at today.appstate.edu. From Anne Belk Hall on Appalachian’s Boone Campus, I’m Dave Blanks.
New renovations, services and staff positions at Appalachian State University’s Campus Dining facilities are designed to enhance the culinary experience, build community and improve food safety and access.
The upgrades include recent renovations at Rivers Street Cafe in Roess Dining Hall and Park Place at the Pond in Trivette Hall, both located on App State's Boone campus. The $3.8 million renovation project began in May and was completed in August, with funding coming from dining receipts.
According to Campus Dining’s director of residential dining, Stan Chamberlain, the renovations to Rivers Street have created a more open concept allowing for easier access and movement throughout the space.
All Access dining — formerly known as All You Care to Eat — is available at both Rivers Street and Park Place and allows diners to have buffet-style access to a rotating menu, as well as comfort foods such as pizza, burgers and chicken tenders.
Each dining hall has introduced Nutrislice, a service providing diners with updated menus in real time to help them navigate special diets or allergy restrictions.
Nutrislice includes an iPad at the entrance of All Access dining spaces, through which students can view the menu and filter out their dietary restrictions. Students can also download the Nutrislice phone app to view and filter menus in advance. The changes were made for students with special diets or other restrictions and allergies.
Campus Dining also has staff members trained and designated as “Allergy Resources” available during all mealtimes, who can be identified by a purple lanyard, apron or badge.
Also, this semester, Campus Dining began offering reusable to-go containers. The program, available as a free mobile app, allows students to check out reusable trays and bowls with a QR code and return them within a few days.
According to App State’s Office of Sustainability, the containers accomplished the following achievements in just the first two weeks of the semester:
326 pounds of waste was avoided.
4,038 single-use containers were saved from going to the landfill.
2,503 gallons of water was saved.
This Fall, 27 Appalachian State University students are gaining career experience in emergency medical services (EMS) and supporting campus events as part of a new program, Mountaineer Medics.
Through the program, undergraduate and graduate students with Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) credentials work part time to provide basic life support services to the App State Community.
Chancellor Sheri Everts said the new Mountaineer Medics are gaining practical experience in pre-hospital care, making our response times faster and our campus safer for students, employees and visitors.
Students in the program have already delivered EMS care at App State’s first three home football games and dozens of other campus events, serving a total of 110,495 stadium visitors since the program’s inception on Aug. 21.
Mountaineer Medics can use EMT skills from the program to continue their education as paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers or forensic technicians, but their experience also creates a practical foundation for nursing and many other medical career paths, shared Marshburn.
Appalachian State University has launched a new mentoring and networking platform, Ask a Mountaineer, to help students and alumni connect for career guidance and professional development.
The online tool — managed by the Office of Alumni Affairs — allows students and alumni to submit questions and solicit advice from the nearly 146,000 members of the App State Alumni Association.
The platform, created in response to student and alumni interest, is available free of charge to all App State students, alumni, faculty and staff and does not require users to register or create an account. Anyone affiliated with App State is encouraged to submit questions.
This fall, the Appalachian State University Police Department placed its first two electric patrol vehicles in service — among the first for North Carolina police departments. The department plans to gradually replace its gas-powered patrol cars with electric vehicles (EVs), a strategic move to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.
Two Tesla Model 3 sedans are currently on the road, while four Tesla Model Y sedans have been delivered and are being equipped for service. In planning for patrol car replacements, App State Police worked with the university’s Office of Sustainability and Facilities Operations to compare EVs with gas-powered vehicles, assessing estimated emissions and costs. Experts from these areas calculated that phasing out App State’s gas-powered police cars and replacing them with EVs will save more than $16,000 per vehicle over five years, and each EV will avoid nearly 35 metric tons of carbon emissions over the same time period.
As Andy Stephenson, App State’s director of public safety and chief of police pointed out, the savings over time are significant.
Stephenson added that the impact to the police department budget will be both immediate and lasting. “The switch of our entire fleet to EVs will equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings,” he said.
He noted that App State Police’s decision to transition to EVs was further influenced by challenging supply chain issues, as the Ford Explorer Police Interceptors are not expected to be available until 2025 and the company no longer makes its Taurus Police Interceptor sedan. In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 EVs were available within one month after App State Police placed an order, and the Tesla Model Y sedans were available even faster — within three days.
Lastly a word on a word. That word? Appalachian!
At Appalachian State University, Mountaineers have a preference in the pronunciation of Appalachian: “appa-latch-un.”
According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary and several others, both “appa-latch-un" and “appa-lay-shun,” an alternative pronunciation, are acceptable. The history behind the region’s name — both its spelling and how to say it — spans cultures, centuries and languages.
Dr. Sandra Ballard, professor in the Department of English and the Center for Appalachian Studies at App State, said, “The way you pronounce ‘Appalachian’ probably reveals where you learned to pronounce it. According to Ballard Appalachian is the word applied by early mapmakers to eastern U.S. mountain ranges, stretching from northern Georgia to Canada.Spellings on maps from the 1500s suggest 'appa-latch-uh' as the older pronunciation.”
According to Ballard “When you travel to Appalachia, you carry your homeplace in your mouth and will likely say the word the way you learned to say it. Then it doesn’t take long to learn how the locals say it.”
You might consider the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” it is recommended: When at App State, say “appa-latch-un.”
For these and other Appalachian State stories as well as podcasts and videos go online to today.appstate.edu. For Appalachian Today, I’m Dave Blanks.