Faculty Fellows

A distinguishing characteristic of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) is the experience, diversity, and dedication of the Faculty Fellows. The Faculty Fellows consists of faculty members representing all ranks and colleges at Appalachian State University. Their goal is not simply to serve as a conduit between the faculty and CAE, but to participate in envisioning and implementing faculty development programs in their respective colleges and campus-wide. Collectively, they provide the experience, creativity, and credibility necessary for sustainable engagement, innovation, and excellence in faculty development programming. Please take the time to meet the Faculty Fellows, and feel free to contact any one of them to learn more about their role in helping us support faculty success. For more information about our Faculty Fellows Program please visit our Faculty Fellows Mission Statement and Charter.


 College of Arts and Sciences

Maryam Ahmed

Maryam Ahmed is an Associate Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined the faculty at Appalachian State University in 2010 and has a research program focused on developing oncolytic viruses as anti-cancer agents. In addition to engaging students in the laboratory and classroom, Maryam is committed to university and community service to support the STEM fields. As a faculty fellow, she seeks to assess and promote student success initiatives for non-traditional student populations. In addition, through professional development, she hopes to increase the awareness and involvement of faculty in evidence-based teaching reforms as a means to enhance the quality of student learning experiences.

College of Business

Robert (Bob) Stec is a full-time Lecturer in the Management Department of the Walker College of Business and serves as the Faculty Fellow for Experiential Learning within the College. Bob is a double graduate of Appalachian, receiving both a BSBA and MBA from the University. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of the College, a speaker in the Harlan Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture Series and has served on the Advisory Board for the Walker College of Business. He teaches multiple subjects within the management department including Leadership, Strategy, Negotiation, Ethics and Change Management. As a Faculty Fellow, Bob is focused on leading the initiative to raise the level of experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration within the College of Business and across colleges within ASU. Additionally, Bob brings over 40 + years of senior-level business experience in consumer products including apparel, home furnishings and retail as well as private equity and business turnarounds. He served a distinguished career at VF Corporation in multiple senior-level assignments and was Chairman and CEO of Lexington Home Brands from 1999-2006 which is regarded as one of the most successful private equity buy-outs within the furniture industry. He is a partner in Hilltop Alliance, LLC a global consulting firm that specializes in developing global partnerships that move recognized brands into new markets around the globe. Bob’s passion is to raise the level of “experience” that each student receives within the College of Business through a deeper exposure, discovery and personal application of the relevant subject matter that is critical to success in the ever-evolving world of global business.

College of Education

Tracy Smith

Dr. Tracy W. Smith is Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and a Faculty Fellow for Appalachian. She joined the faculty at Appalachian in 2000. In 2012, she began facilitating the inaugural cohort of the Scholarly Teaching Academy for Faculty and Academic Development. In 2014 and 2015, she facilitated a summer Course (Re)Design Institute for Appalachian. In 2014, Tracy received the Reich College of Education (RCOE) Outstanding Mentor Award. In 2005, she was the recipient of both the RCOE Outstanding Teaching Award and the Student Government Association Outstanding Teacher Award. As a Faculty Fellow, Tracy wants to focus on sustained faculty development efforts by exploring a variety of delivery models that allow more faculty to be engaged in meaningful faculty development over time. In addition, she hopes to showcase the great work that Appalachian faculty are doing by facilitating an Idea Exchange series each semester.


University College

Martha McCaughey

Dr. Martha McCaughey is Professor of Sociology and Director of First Year Seminar. She joined the faculty at Appalachian in 2003, leaving a tenured position at Virginia Tech to direct Appalachian's Women's Studies Program. In 2014, Martha began directing First Year Seminar and gradually took over the responsibility of faculty development there.  As a Faculty Fellow, Martha plans to focus on designing transparent courses and assignments that maximize the chances for all students to learn and progress academically. Transparency in teaching is a skill instructors can take beyond the First Year Seminar into any course they teach.