Welcome new faculty members to Appalachian State University's Reich College of Education:
Curriculum and Instruction
Assistant Professor in Career and Technical Education
Adams earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, an MBA from Pfeiffer University, and a BS in business and marketing education from North Carolina State University. Before being hired at Appalachian, she taught high school business and marketing, was an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College and an adjunct at UNC-Charlotte.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Blanton earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Gardner-Webb University, a master's in reading from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, and a BS from Appalachian. As an undergraduate student, she was a member of the distinguished Teaching Fellows program. Before being hired at Appalachian, she was an adjunct professor at Gardner-Webb and Cleveland Community College as well as an intervention specialist and curriculum coordinator for Cleveland County Schools. At Appalachian, she will teach core courses and will be involved with various field experiences.
Waldspurger earned a doctorate and master's in applied linguistics from Georgetown University and a BA in English and Spanish from Ursinus College. Before being hired at Appalachian, she was an adjunct professor at George Mason University and American University - Washington, D.C. as well as an assessment specialist for Arlington Public Schools. Most recently, she has served as an adjunct in the English department at Appalachian. She will teach diversity and assessment courses.
Assistant Professor in Elementary Education (specializing in math)
Whitehead earned a doctorate in mathematics education from North Carolina State University, an MS in applied mathematics from Indiana State University, and a BS in mathematics education (6-12) from Oakland City University. Before being hired at Appalachian, she worked as a teaching assistant and instructor at both Indiana State University and NCSU.
Family and Child Studies
Stegall is an Appalachian alumna having earned both a master's and a BS. She began her teaching career at Lucy Brock CDLP where she was a lead infant and toddler teacher for several years. Her desire to work more closely with children of all abilities led Stegall to teach preschoolers with identified need in the public school system. This, in turn, led to working with infants, toddlers, and their families as an early interventionist. Most recently, Stegall was the coordinator of a Teen Parenting Program which supported young parents and their children through an intensive home visiting and community support program.
Human Development and Psychological Counseling
Benson earned her bachelor’s degree in family science from Florida State University, master’s degree in MFT from Appalachian State, and Ph.D. in human development from Virginia Tech. Before being hired at Appalachian, she was an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at North Dakota State University and core faculty in the Couple and Family Therapy Program. She is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Minnesota LMFT, and a member of the National Council on Family Relations where she chairs the Social Justice Network Focus Group. Benson's research focuses on marginalization and inclusion in families with a focus on LGBTQ identities; and social justice frameworks for family therapy teaching, learning, and practice. Her current project focuses on parents’ experiences raising transgender and gender creative children.
Lucy L. Purgason
Purgason earned her Ph.D. in counseling and counselor education from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro and is a licensed school counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor. Before being hired at Appalachian, she was an assistant professor at Western Washington University. Additionally, she spent nearly five years working as a school counselor in elementary and high school settings in Virginia and North Carolina including diverse school environments in both urban and rural communities, Title I schools, and a school specifically for newly arrived refugee and immigrant students Her research interests focus on understanding the importance of relationships for immigrant and refugee students, and students of other underrepresented groups, in both K-12 and higher education settings. Purgason also pursues scholarship related to supervision and mentoring of students. She has a strong interest in service learning and community engagement, often pairing students in her classes with various community, school, and university partners.
Leadership and Educational Studies
Assistant Professor in Higher Education
Garrett earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership - higher education from Clemson University, an M.Ed. in counseling psychology from James Madison University and a BBA in marketing from the College of William and Mary. The theme of her research agenda is the diversification of higher education. Her dissertation research explored the tenure and promotion experiences of Women of Color faculty in predominantly White, research institutions using qualitative methods of inquiry. Additionally, Garrett served as a researcher on a NSF-funded project focused on the skill development of African American engineering majors through non-curricular activities. Her work has been published in the conference proceedings for the American Society for Engineering Education and the Journal for Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, and has been presented at the annual meetings of various national/international education and student affairs conferences.
Reading Education and Special Education
Hardin has joined the RESE team full-time. She earned an MA in reading education from Appalachian and a BA in elementary education from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Hardin is also a current doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program with a concentration in reading and literacy.
Pennell is an Appalachian alumna, having earned an MA in reading education and a BS in elementary education. Pennell is also a current doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program with a concentration in reading and literacy.
McCourry is an Appalachian alumna, having earned an MA in reading education and a BA in elementary education. She is National Board Certified in early childhood education and was recognized as a Teacher of the Year in 2013 at Hardin Park School.