Richard “Rick” Wurth will receive his doctorate in educational leadership at the Fall 2020 Commencement. His dissertation committee - Dr. Chris Osmond (chair), associate director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and associate professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies (LES); Dr. Roma Angel, professor in LES; and Dr. Patrick O’Shea, associate professor in LES - unanimously supported the decision. Wurth was completing his dissertation proposal toward a theoretically-rich project about implementation of Title IX policy when he passed away on August 14, 2020.
“Rick was the very model of a lifelong learner; his commitment to Appalachian was matched only by his curiosity and his energetic pursuit of new ideas and new insights,” said Osmond.
“Rick was the very model of a lifelong learner; his commitment to Appalachian was matched only by his curiosity and his energetic pursuit of new ideas and new insights,” said Osmond. “He will be dearly missed.”
"Working with Rick was constantly energizing and rewarding," said O'Shea. "He consistently introduced me to new concepts and had a fantastic way of synthesizing information into new and intriguing thoughts. He was an academic in the highest sense of that word, and it was an honor to be a witness to his work ethic, process and results."
Wurth had a long career in manufacturing, working for Leviton for 38 years. Prior to transferring to Appalachian in Fall 2012, he earned two business degrees from Wilkes Community College, an Associate of Applied Science in accounting and an Associate of Arts. Wurth earned three degrees from Appalachian State University: BSBA in finance and banking, BSBA in risk management and insurance, and Master of Arts in college student development with a concentration in student affairs. He began his work on his doctorate in Fall 2017.
Throughout his time at Appalachian, Wurth served in the Office of Transfer Services, Office of Career Services, Student Conduct, and in the advising of student athletes. In July 2017, he became an academic advisor for the Walker College of Business.