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Meet ASA's Steering Committee

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Travis Rountree,

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 


Sophia Enriquez,
Vice President

Sophia M. Enríquez (she/her/ella) works at the intersections of Latinx, Appalachian, and Southern music, migration, and regional culture. She is the Andrew W. Mellon

Monic Ductan,
Conference Chairperson


Ricardo Nazario y 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 & 


Sylvia Shurbutt,

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 


M. Aaron Guest,

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 

Mary Thomas,
Ex-Officio Executive Director

Ann E. Bryant,
Ex-officio Office Manager

Ann E. Bryant is office manager for Appalachian Studies Association and assistant-managing editor for the Journal of Appalachian Studies. She began her career as an intern at the West Virginia


Garrett Blaize,

Garrett Blaize is a 24-year-old community organizer and administrator from the Appalachian Mountains. As the staff lead for grantmaking and philanthropic partnerships

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Mo, Wen Juan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Educational Theory and Practice Program at the School of Education, College of Applied Human Sciences, West Virginia University


Stephanie Burdette,

Dr. Stephanie Burdette is a lifelong resident of West Virginia, where she has worked as an elementary school teacher, middle school administrator, and university 

professor. During her time

Annalee Tull,

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Stephen Turner,
Scholarship Chairperson

Stephen Turner is a Ph.D. candidate pursuing a Literature and Cultural Studies doctorate at the University of Memphis. He is currently wrapping up his dissertation which explores the utilization of 


Jed DeBruin,
Archivist/Historian/Special Collections Chair

Originally from Athens County in southeastern Appalachian Ohio, Jed DeBruin (he/him) is a PhD candidate and graduate instructor in the Department of 

Membership Chairperson


Rebecca R. Scott,
Journal Editor

Rebecca R. Scott is associate professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, where she teaches classes on environmental justice, gender, and social theory. She is the author of

Justin Ray Dutton,
Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson

Justin-Ray is a neurodiverse Appalachian who has been involved with ASA and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee since 2016. 

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Cicero Fain,
Liaison Officer

Cicero M. Fain, III, Ph.D., is a native of Huntington, WV. He received his B. A. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his M.Ed. from George Mason University. He is the recipient of the Carter

Katherine Ledford,
International Connections Committee


Ted Olsen,
Education Chairperson

Ted Olson is a professor in the Department of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University and a cultural historian, editor, poet, photographer, and musician. The author or

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Darryl L. Parker,
Silent Auction Co-Chair

Darryl Parker, known as Dee is a native of Kentucky. Dee believes in the concept of when you reach one, you teach one and lead by example. 


Beth Nardella,
Awards Chair

Dr. Beth Nardella is an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at West Virginia University. She has been teaching discipline-specific

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Jordan Lovejoy,
Appalink Editor

Jordan Lovejoy is an American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow, Southern Futures Assistant Director, and Visiting Assistant Professor of American

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