Student Mentors

About the Student Mentors

One of the success stories of helping transfer students is the students themselves. The Transfer Student Mentors (TSMs) are a group of transfer students who have successfully transferred to Appalachian. They assist incoming transfer students by providing accurate information and helping students get connected with the Appalachian campus.

The Jump Start TSMs remain available to students once they transfer to campus. They can answer questions, help students navigate their first semester on a new campus, assist students with ways to get involved or just meet for coffee and conversation.  The TSMs are here to help students be successful at Appalachian. Students  may connect with them through email, Google chat or over a cup of coffee on campus.


  • Andrea Avalos (Transferred from Guilford Technical Community College)

    Hey Mountaineers! My name is Andrea Avalos and I’m 22 years old and a senior here at App State. I was born on Long Island, NY but have been living in High Point, NC for the past 5 years. I transferred from Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown NC in the fall of 2016. I’m majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders and absolutely love my major. When I transferred out of GTCC the only school I applied to was Appalachian State. After touring the campus I knew this was the school for me. Since transferring, I’ve made so many amazing friends and am so glad I’m able to be apart of the Appalachian Community! If you ever need anything, feel free to contact me at avalosa@appstate.edu.
  • Victoria Branch (Transferred from Caldwell Community College and Valencia Community College)

    Hello Transfers and Welcome to App State!! I am Victoria Branch and I am from Boone, NC. I transferred from Valencia Community College in fall 2016 to Caldwell Community College. From Caldwell Community College I transferred into App in the Fall of 2017. App State was not my first choice in schools, however, I am really glad I am back home and I’m glad to be a Mountaineer! I am currently majoring in Chemistry with a concentration in Forensic Science with a minor in Criminal Justice! Since joining the Mountaineer’s I have involved myself in two clubs the Forensic Science Club and the Transfer Student Organization (TSO) and have just recently became the president of TSO! I have made new friends in these two clubs as well as made new friends at the different events Transfer Services provides! My goal as a mentor is to help you feel comfortable, get involved, and love APP! I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know new transfer students! So feel free to message me at branchvh@appstate.edu if you have any questions or just want to talk or have someone listen!       
  • Dallas Brown (Transferred from Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute)

    Hello fellow transfers! My name is Dallas Brown. I am a senior at Appalachian State. I am a currently majoring in Business Management and Risk Management & Insurance. I transferred to Appalachian State in the summer of 2017 from Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute . I chose App because it is the college that my family  attended. I am involved on campus in the Risk Management and Insurance Club, Transfer Student Mentors, and Intervaristy. I also love to do things outside of Appalachian in the town of Boone.   I play competitive soccer, roller blade, hike, and hangout with friends. I also love to meet new people, so please message me if you ever want to talk (I hate coffee but I will sit and talk with you). You can reach me at browndw4@appstate.edu
  • Nevin Darden (Transferred from Military/Online College)

    Hello and welcome to App! I'm Nevin Darden. I'm from the nearby town of Hickory and currently a junior here. I came to Appalachian after my service in the Army in 2016, and with about a semesters worth of online courses and began as a History major. I recently changed my major to International Criminal Justice (big change, I know!) to pursue a career as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. I am a representative of the Student Veterans and Dependents of Veterans on campus, and have many resources within the University to assist with anything you guys need. I'm a very outdoorsy guy, and enjoy a wide variety of activities no matter what the season (climbing, backpacking, snowboarding etc.) and would love to get others out there with me. AppState and Boone as a whole has become my home and I would really like to bring others to have a great experience like I have. Do not hesitate at all to email me with any questions at dardennj@appstate.edu .
  • Olivia Evans (Transferred from Campbell University)

    Hey guys! I'm Olivia and I was raised in south central Pennsylvania. I transferred to App in the Spring of 2018 from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, and have been loving it ever since! I am a Special Education major and I have a Communication Science and Disorders minor and plan to graduate in May 2020. I'm also member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Boone is one of my favorite towns because you have the mountains and the downtown atmosphere. Coming to a school where I knew absolutely no one, I have never adjusted more easily or felt more at home, especially after getting involved on campus. I love to go to the parkway with my roommates or hang out at the coffee shop beside my apartment! If you need anything or want to hang out you can email me at evansor@appstate.edu ! Roll Neers!    
  • Jevaughney Francis (Transferred from Wake Technical Community College)

    Hello fellow Mountaineers! My name is Jevaughney Francis. I was born and raised in Mandeville, Jamaica for about 9 years, and I then moved to Raleigh, NC in 2007 where I currently live. I transferred to Appalachian State from Wake Technical Community College in fall of 2017 after one year. I am currently a Sophomore, and I study Industrial Design with a concentration in product design. This program was one of the main reason why I transferred to App. It is one of the few schools that offer this program in NC. The other reason why I transferred to App is to experience the amazing environment! I look forward to hearing for anyone that needs help being a part of the Mountaineer community. Please feel free to email me at francisj1@appstate.edu.
  • Emily Herman (Transferred from Gaston College )

    Hey Mountaineers! My name is Emily Herman and I am now a senior at App State! I am majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Leadership Studies. I graduated from Gaston College in May 2017 with my Associate of Arts and then transferred here in Fall of 2017. I love being a part of the Boone community and I enjoy getting coffee, taking rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and finding waterfalls wherever I can.    Please email me with your questions about App State at hermanem@appstate.edu.
  • Ernest Hough (Transferred from Forsyth Technical Community College )

    Mountaineers… Hello, Ernest here. I am from Winston Salem, North Carolina. I transferred from Forsyth Technical Community College with an Associates in Science. After earning my degree, I decided to make the switch to Appalachian State University in the fall of 2017. I am a Cellular Molecular Biology major, with a minor in Chemistry and Math. After graduation, the mission is to continue my education onto Medical School and earning my DPT/M.D. status, later working for the Army Medical Department or Medical Corps. I am part of many things here at Appalachian State, but Trailhead Academy and ROTC are by far my favorites of many. With that being said, the University has one of the best ROTC programs on the east coast, hence one of many reasons I decided to attend. Now that I am here, I have developed a love for hiking long trails, and breathing that fresh mountain Boone air on the Parkway. Okay, enough about me! I am absolutely thrilled to meet, speak and work with you all in regard to any questions that you may have. The mind is a wonderful and complex machine and self-improvement can always be made; persistence, determination, and motivation are the keys to success. I am readily available for questions via email: houghe@appstate.edu .
  • Marena Johnson (Transferred from Guilford Technical Community College)

    Hey Mountaineers!! My name is Marena Johnson I'm 21 years old and a Junior here at Appalachian. I study Advertising with a minor in psychology. I am from Kernersville NC, I transferred here Spring 2017 from Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown NC. I chose Appalachian because I'm from a small town and going somewhere like Boone where it's not huge just seemed like the perfect fit for me. As soon as I transferred, I wanted to get involved in clubs that interested me. As a result of that I definitely want to help new transfers get involved here on campus with the amazing opportunities there are. Even if that means just to get a cup of coffee and hangout, I'm there! Definitely email me if you have any questions or just want to talk at johnsonme13@appstate.edu Lastly, welcome to App!
  • Matt Low (Transferred from Carteret Community College)

    Hello Mountaineers! My name is Matt Low and I’m 21 years old. I transferred from Carteret Community College in the fall of 2017 and I’m currently a junior here at Appalachian State University. I study Trade and Industry Education with a focus of Construction. I am from Newport, North Carolina, which is on the coast. Some of my hobbies included wood turning, archery, hiking and cooking! I am also a volunteer firefighter back home! I am really happy that I have transferred to App and really enjoy talking with other transfers! Feel free to contact me anytime about anything at lowmt@appstate.edu
  • Renisha E. Mathis (Transferred from Carteret Community College)

    Hey transfers! I'm so excited to help you out this year! I was born in Los Angeles, but raised on the east coast of North Carolina, in Morehead City. I finished my AA degree in the fall of 2016 and transferred here to App in the Spring of 2017! I'm majoring in Advertising & minoring in Marketing. I love the business side of things but I also love the freedom of being creative. I don't know where this degree will take me but I'm open-minded and luckily I can go just about anywhere with it. When I have free time ( rare during my hectic semester ) I enjoy learning new things, walking around campus, painting & finding new music. I am really looking forward to meeting with all of you! Feel free to contact me anytime mathisre@appstate.edu or say hi if you see me around campus! :)
  • David Perry (Transferred from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College)

    Hello Mountaineers! My name is David Perry. I am a senior here at Appalachian State University double majoring in Computer Information Systems and Supply Chain Management . I am from Charlotte NC. I transferred from Rowan Cabarrus Community College in the fall of 2016 after getting an associate degree in science. I chose to come here to App State due to the curriculum, weather and App community. I also felt a calling to come here to continue my education and story. I am involved in many groups including  the Appalachian Supply Chain Club, Intervarsity which is an inter-denominational Christian campus ministry and others. My hobbies include, water sports, snow skiing, technology tennis and games. I look forward to working with  transfer students  and investing in transfer students like those who have invested in me.  Please feel free to email me at perrydt@appstate.edu.  
  • Andrew Strahan (Transferred from The University of Alabama)

    Hi, my name is Andrew Strahan. I am a junior at App studying International Politics and Economics. I hope to advance in a career in public policy. I am from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and I transferred from the University of Alabama in January 2017. My favorite things about App are the amazing professors I've had, the small town/homey feel, and the never-ending opportunities that App has to offer. I can't wait to help the future transfer students find their place at App and watch them all succeed. You may contact me at strahanaw@appstate.edu and I'll be happy to answer your questions!
  • Anna Watkins (Transferred from Colorado State Unniversity)

    Hey Everyone! I’m Anna Watkins and I’m from Sterling, Massachusetts. I started college at Colorado State University. After a year in Colorado, I decided to transfer App State! This has been the best decision I have ever made. I love Boone and all it has to offer. There is always something to do on campus and around town. The people here are so friendly. I am an Electronic Media/Broadcasting major, with a minor in Leadership. I have participated in the Emerging Leaders program and the Trailhead program, which have helped me improve my leadership skills. I am also the Public Relations officer for the Transfer Student Organization.  I love being a Transfer Student Mentor and helping other transfer students. Please feel free to email me at watkinsae@appstate.edu if you have any questions.