Fifteen Reich College of Education Students Recognized by the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies

Fifteen Reich College of Education (RCOE) students were recognized by Appalachian State University’s Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies for the Spring 2023 semester.

Cratis D. Williams Society of Outstanding Graduates

Arai Greenwell-McAnsh, a student in the Master in Library Science program; Caroline McKaughan, a doctoral candidate in the Doctoral Program in educational leadership; and Brianna Taylor, a student in the Master of Arts in reading education program, were inducted into the Cratis D. Williams Society of Outstanding Graduates. The society is designed to include each year’s top graduates of the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School at Appalachian State University – approximately the top 2%. Students are chosen based on their academic performance, their engagement in their discipline, and their potential for leadership.

Aria Greenwell McAnsh

Greenwell-McAnsh, originally from Asheville, North Carolina, completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

“It has always been a dream of mine to attend Appalachian State University,” said Greenwell-McAnsh. “When I found that the MLS program could be taken fully online, I was able to make that dream into a reality.” 

“I realized after teaching elementary school, that I not only had a passion for lifelong learning I also had a passion for access to knowledge,” she continued. “The best way I could share this passion was through library science.”

“Receiving this award really validates all of the hard work I have put in through the years,” she noted.

After graduation, Greenwell-McAnsh would “love to share my passions with students through librarianship.” 


Caroline McKaughan

McKaughan, originally from Kernersville, North Carolina, completed a Bachelor of Science in education from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and Master of Arts in liberal studies from Duke University.

“I chose App State because of its tradition of excellence in the field of education, as well as the hybrid model that would allow me to take classes locally in Winston-Salem,” said McKaughan.

McKaughan is an administrator in a military boarding school. She chose to pursue her doctorate at App State to hone her leadership skills. 

“I also wanted to develop my writing and research skills so I could further the body of research around military school leadership development and learning for men and women,” she added.

“I feel extremely grateful for this honor,” said McKaughan. “I always strive for excellence in my work, but it was humbling to see that recognized by my program and the Graduate School.”

After graduation, McKaughan plans to continue serving in her current role while developing partnerships in military school research, as well as furthering and publishing her own research on the subject.


Brianna Taylor

Taylor, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, completed her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from App State. She was able to complete her graduate program through the accelerated master’s program

“I knew this program would help me feel prepared and confident to enter the classroom,” she noted. “I chose reading education because I have a passion for literacy and teaching young children. This degree will help me further the literacy of my future students.” 

“Receiving this award is a huge honor,” said Taylor. “I am proud to have worked hard throughout college and receive recognition for this work.”

After graduation, Taylor will begin teaching in a general education elementary classroom for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. 

Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award

Mac Schauman

Mac Schauman, a student in the clinical mental health counseling program, received the Cratis D. Williams Society Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award. This award recognizes graduate students who have contributed to graduate student life in their departments, off-campus cohorts, or on-campus during the current academic year. 

“As a counseling student, I am not only a mental health advocate, I am also a social justice advocate,” said Schauman. “Issues of social justice are integral to counseling because people’s health and well-being are strongly influenced by social systems and societal beliefs. Receiving this award is proof that systemic change is possible with enough grit and determination, and it symbolizes the teamwork required to effect positive change.” 

“Without the support of my advisors, supervisors, professors, classmates, and family, my dedication to enhancing graduate education at Appalachian would not have been possible,” Schauman added.

Schauman, originally from Melbourne Beach, Florida, completed a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and public relations with a minor in theatre from the University of Central Florida. 

Before attending App State, Schauman volunteered at the Zebra Coalition, an LGBTQ+ youth center in Orlando, Florida, with the mission to support LGBTQ+ youth, ages 13-24, who face homelessness, bullying, family isolation, and physical, sexual, and/or drug abuse. 

“This impactful experience inspired my decision to become a clinical mental health counselor, and I chose to enroll in the CMHC program at Appalachian because I knew I would receive excellent training to support LGBTQ+ youth from a mental health perspective,” explain Schauman. 

After graduation, Schauman hopes to work at a university counseling center and eventually pursue a doctoral degree in counseling. “Through clinical practice, research, and advocacy, I hope to continue supporting the LGBTQ+ community and other underrepresented groups.”

Domer Research Award

Melinda Frank

Melinda Frank, a doctoral candidate in the Doctoral Program in educational leadership, received the Domer Research Award. This award was established to provide assistance for thesis research/scholarly activities expenses or for travel expenses incurred by graduate students who wish to attend a conference to present their research.

Frank, originally from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, first completed her Bachelor of Science in psychology at the University of Oregon. She then earned an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Bioethics from KU Leuven in Belgium, the University of Radboud Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and the University of Padova in Italy. She then received her Education Specialist degree in higher education from App State. 

Despite having relocated from North Carolina to Seattle, Washington, Frank decided to pursue her doctorate at App State for a variety of reasons. “First, the program is made up of a community of incredibly supportive individuals. I might be on the other side of the country, but I never feel at a distance.” 

She added, “I also remain thoroughly impressed by the quality of education I receive and the level of preparedness it instills in me. Moreover, the school’s commitment to diversity and equity is a standout.”

“I am humbled and honored to be selected for the Domer Research Award,” said Frank. “It is both reassuring and reaffirming. I feel seen. Receiving this award also demonstrates that my research is important and even crucial and allows me to forge ahead.”

Frank currently serves as the Director of the Learning Environment at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her role supports students by promoting a positive learning environment that is conducive to learning and free of mistreatment. Her research seeks to better understand what underlies some challenging experiences in the clinical phase. 

“Through this study, I hope to highlight a gap in expectations between medical students and their clinical educators with the goal of bridging this gap and creating a safe learning space wherein students can thrive,” said Frank.

Frank is not sure exactly what lies ahead after graduation; however, she knows she will continue on a path of educational leadership and/or policy. 

“I hope to be a change agent,” she said. “I want to help create environments that honor dignity and respect.” 

“I want to emphasize how truly grateful I am to be selected for this award,” she continued. “I also would like to acknowledge the support from my professors, classmates, supervisors, mentors, family, and friends, all of whom have contributed to my success thus far.”

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate students at awards nightGraduate students Sandrine, D'Asia, Mac, John, and Jonathan, along with faculty from the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, RCOE Dean Melba Spooner and Graduate School Interim Dean Marie Hoepfl. Photo submitted.

Additionally, ten students from the clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, professional school counseling, and student affairs administration programs were recognized as recipients of graduate school fellowships:

  • Toria Davenport
  • Maddi Dorrill
  • John Dorris
  • Ali Esparza
  • Abraham Howell
  • Sandrine Ingabire
  • Sage Miller
  • D’Asia Phronebarger
  • Horace Vanderbilt
  • Jonathan Winbush