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Meet the ASA Leaders

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Travis A. Rountree, President

Dr. Travis A. Rountree is an assistant professor in the English Department at Western Carolina University. He earned his PhD from the University of Louisville, his MA in English from Appalachian State University with a certificate in Appalachian Studies, and his BA in English from James Madison University with a minor in American Studies. He teaches first year composition courses as well as graduate courses in composition and rhetoric. His research interests include queer archival research and pedagogy, Country Music, Appalachian rhetorics, place-based pedagogy, and public memory studies. 

Ricardo Nazario-Colón, Past President

Dr. Ricardo Nazario-Colón is an accomplished Higher Education Administrator with over twenty years of experience in various industries, including the U.S. Military, Colleges & Universities, Corporate Banking, and State Government. He is the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer and Inclusive Executive at Western Carolina University. He also serves on the Fort Bragg renaming commission and the National Coalition Building Institute’s Carolina Coalition. He was the former Chair of the University of North Carolina System Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic Latino...

Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Secretary 

A Ph.D. graduate from the University of Georgia in Linguistics and Nineteenth-Century British Literature, Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt is today Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities at Shepherd University and Coordinator for Appalachian Graduate Studies at Shepherd. She has been a member of Appalachian Studies Association for twenty years, serving in 2015 as ASA President and 2016 National Conference Chair. She is managing editor of the 15-volume Anthology of Appalachian Writers (ISSN 1946-3103), an annual anthology of Appalachian, poets, fiction writers, essayists, and...

Aaron Guest, Treasurer

Aaron Guest, Ph.D., MPH, MSW, is a socio-environmental gerontologist with training in public health and social work and an Assistant Professor within the Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging at Arizona State University. Guided by a deep interest in the relationship between individuals and their environment, he is interested in the predominant social and environmental domains in which people age. Primarily, he works with older persons in rural environments and non-urban centers with sexual, racial, and gender minority groups to reduce isolation, health disparities, and...

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