Martha McCaughey

Martha McCaughey, director of Appalachian’s First Year Seminar program and professor of sociology, second from left, holds the plaque she received as part of her 2019 Harvey R. Durham Freshman Advocate Award. Harvey Durham, for whom the award is named, far right, his wife, Susan Durham, far left, and Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts, second from right, presented McCaughey with the award after a breakfast held at the Appalachian House in April.

BOONE — For her contributions to improving the first-year experience on Appalachian State University’s campus, Martha McCaughey, director of First Year Seminar in Appalachian’s University College and professor of sociology, was selected as the 2019 Harvey R. Durham Freshman Advocate Award recipient.

Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts, along with Harvey Durham and his wife, Susan Durham, presented McCaughey with a $1,000 award, an inscribed plaque and a medallion during an award ceremony held in April at the Appalachian House. Appalachian’s Food Services catered breakfast for the event.

The award, named in honor of Harvey Durham, honors persons who have demonstrated one or more of the following: extraordinary personal commitment to first-year students; outstanding individual commitment to programs that support first-year students; effective exemplary instruction in first-year classes; sustained dedication to campus programs that support first-year students; and outstanding individual commitment to the success of first-year students.

In her letter nominating McCaughey, Lillian Nave, senior lecturer in Appalachian’s First Year Seminar, said, “Martha has given us (First Year Seminar faculty) the tools to help our students and ourselves. Her support and hard work mean that we as faculty are supported, and therefore, we can support our students.

“In modeling this kind of caring about people and sharing of resources, she shows how faculty can and should treat our freshmen so that they, too, feel that sense of connection and camaraderie at Appalachian so necessary to students’ thriving at Appalachian.”

Kirsten Braxton, who had McCaughey for First Year Seminar, said, “This class, or more importantly, this professor helped me decide that Appalachian was somewhere I wanted to stay — that this school and these people could really be my home away from home.”

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