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

Dr. 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 Education

Elizabeth Bellows

Dr. Elizabeth Bellows is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Inclusive Excellence Faculty Fellow for the Reich College of Education. She works within her college and across the university toward the aims of inclusion and equity in teaching, learning, field experiences, and the hiring process. As a Faculty Fellow, Elizabeth works closely with IE Liaisons to facilitate courageous conversations (Singleton, 2015) within her College in order to develop a diversity statement and guidelines for equitable hiring processes in the RCOE. She also serves as the team lead of the Inclusive Teaching Lab at Appalachian. The Inclusive Teaching Lab will work closely with departments and programs to focus on advancing inclusive teaching and learning. Before joining App State faculty in 2013, Dr. Bellows taught in Texas public schools for nine years. Her teaching and research center around elementary and middle grades social studies teacher preparation through a critical, anti-oppressive lens, and she also teaches curriculum history and theory in the doctoral program in educational leadership. Dr. Bellows recently co-edited a book, (Re)Imagining Elementary Social Studies: A Controversial Issues Reader, which highlights her efforts to engage pre-service teachers with frameworks of anti-racist and socially just educative practices by enacting critical pedagogy. She and the co-editors of this book also founded the Elementary Social Studies Education Summit (ESSES) which meets annually and provides elementary teachers and teacher educators with opportunities to share research and teaching strategies with one another. 

Tracy SmithDr. Tracy W. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University (ASU). She is also the Faculty Fellow for Mentoring Initiatives for the College of Education. For her fellowship, Smith is working to develop a developmental community modeling of mentorship and support for the COE. In 2017, Smith was awarded the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2005 and 2015, she received the College of Education Outstanding Teaching Award. She has also received the Appalachian Student Government Association Outstanding Teacher Award and the College of Education Outstanding Mentor and Community of Practice Awards. In 2001, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). Her research interests include mentoring and educational development in higher education, middle-level education and teacher preparation, the relationship between teaching expertise and student learning, and evaluating the depth of student understanding. She has had articles published in journals such as the To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, Journal of Teacher Education, Middle School Journal, Clearing House, and Teacher Education and Practice.