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Lynn Moss Sanders receives Durham Freshman Advocate Award

Durham_t.jpgBOONE—Lynn Moss Sanders has played an integral role in the lives of freshmen at Appalachian State University for 22 years. In addition to teaching freshman and upper level English courses at Appalachian, Sanders directed the Department of English’s Honors program for four years, the university’s Heltzer Honors Program for seven years and currently serves as First Year Seminar faculty coordinator.

In recognition of her dedication to enhancing the freshman experience at Appalachian, in addition to her role as a mentor, advisor and friend to freshmen, Sanders has been awarded the 2009 Harvey R. Durham Freshman Advocate Award at Appalachian. The $1,000 award is presented annually to a university employee who has contributed significantly to improving the freshman experience on campus.

Durham Award.jpgLynn Moss Sanders, third from left, has received the 2009 Harvey R. Durham Freshman Advocate Award. Sanders is First Year Seminar faculty coordinator and former director of the Heltzer Honors Program at Appalachian State University. Pictured with Sanders are from left Susan and Harvey Durham, who established the award, and Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. Harvey Durham was Appalachian’s chief academic officer for 24 years and acting chancellor from May 2003-July 2004. (Photo by University Photographer Marie Freeman)

“Not only has she taught freshmen, but Dr. Sanders has been continually involved in supervising graduate students and non-tenure track faculty in teaching freshman courses,” a nominator wrote. In her role as faculty coordinator of the First Year Seminar, she continues to assist faculty in designing and teaching interdisciplinary topical seminars to engage freshmen and transfers.”

Students also wrote of Sanders’ contribution to their academic and personal development. “Dr. Sanders works hard and puts in long hours to make sure that the freshmen at this university are having the best experience possible inside her classes, in other first year seminars, and everywhere else around campus,” one student wrote. Another stated that, “Dr. Sanders is a true friend – a rare thing among the prestige of an academic environment. Her enthusiasm is refreshing, and her passion for teaching is an inspiration.”

Sanders came to Appalachian in 1977 as a freshman. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she entered the master’s degree program in the Department of English where she also worked as a graduate teaching assistant. She completed a Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill in1986.

Sanders joined the faculty at Appalachian in 1987, after teaching in the University of Maryland Overseas Program and at UNC Chapel Hill.

In presenting the award, Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock said Sanders had always been a strong advocate for freshmen students. “This award provides the opportunity for us to offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you for your long-term commitment to Appalachian,” he said.

“I have always recognized the importance of getting new college students off to a good start as they pursue their goals in a higher education setting,” Sanders wrote in her application for the award. “I am proud to be associated with Appalachian’s efforts to give first-year students the support and tools that they need to become educated.”

Carter Hammett-McGarry, director of general education at Appalachian, chaired this year’s award committee. “Lynn has been not only a wonderful teacher of first-year students but an incredible advocate for first-year students,” Hammett-McGarry said. “Her work in the Heltzer Honors Program, teaching in the former Freshmen Program and recruiting faculty to teach in the First Year Seminar is a testimony to her wonderful skills and her love for this institution.”

The Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award was created by Susan and Harvey Durham. Harvey Durham served as Appalachian’s chief academic officer for 24 years, and was acting chancellor from May 2003-July 2004.