Dr. Richard Klima and Dr. Don Presnell will assume new positions as Directors in University College at Appalachian State University beginning July 1 and August 15, 2019, respectively. Klima was named Director of First Year Seminar, and Presnell was appointed Director of the Common Reading Program.
Klima currently serves as the assistant chair in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and is the Academic Mentor for STEM in the Honors College. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Liberty University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University. Klima joined the Department of Mathematical Science at Appalachian State in 2002 after holding full-time teaching positions at North Carolina State University and at the State University of New York at Oswego. Klima also served as a Cryptologic Mathematician at the National Security Agency.
His most recent publications include the books "Cryptology: Classical and Modern" (CRC Press, November 2018), "The Mathematics of Voting and Elections: A Hands-On Approach" (American Mathematical Society, October 2018), and "Applied Abstract Algebra with Maple and MATLAB" (CRC Press, January 2016).
Klima has been recognized on the list of Most Helpful Faculty & Staff 92016, 2018), and as a Faculty Member of Distinction by Appalachian magazine (2016). He was nominated for the Academy of Outstanding Teachers (2009), the William C. Strickland Outstanding Young Faculty Award (2005, 2007) in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the William H. Plemmons Leadership Medallion (2006).
Presnell holds M.A. degrees in English and Spanish and the Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership from Appalachian and has taught First Year Seminar since 2009. Each year, he facilitates Common Reading book discussions and Student/Faculty exchange sessions with incoming students at Appalachian during Welcome Weekend. He also serves as President of the Watauga Education Foundation, a local nonprofit organization.
He served as the Associate Director of Academic Advising in University College at Appalachian since 2008. During that time, he has been nominated for the ASU Board of Governors Teaching Award (2014); the Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in First Year Seminar (2012, 2019); the Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award (2014, 2017, 2018); and the University College Award for Excellence in Community Engagement (2019).
Presnell's research interests include multimodality; literature; comics and graphic novels; film and television studies; English and Spanish language and literature; pedagogy and instructional design; and educational leadership. He is the co-author of A Critical History of Television's The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964 (McFarland, 1998).
According to outgoing Common Reading Director Dr. Martha McCaughey, "Don's enthusiasm, exceptional communication, and leadership skills, and overall knowledge of the Common Reading Program and how it fits into First Year Seminar will make him an excellent Director who can take the program forward in exciting new directions."
Dr. Martha McCaughey served as Director of both First Year Seminar and the Common Reading Program. McCaughey will return to her home department of Sociology this fall.
About University College
Formed in 2007, University College consists of the University’s General Education program, faculty and staff support, and co-curricular programming and support – all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside the classroom. All students at Appalachian begin their education in University College and benefit from its programs until they graduate. Learn more at https://universitycollege.appstate.edu.