The Center's History

In Fall 2013, Amy Clark, David Rouse, and Brian McKnight approached Chancellor Donna Henry and Provost Sandy Huguenin about creating a Center for Appalachian Studies on the campus of UVa–Wise. For many years, Clark had directed the Appalachian Writing Project which reached out to students and teachers interested in developing their writing talents. McKnight’s management of the Appalachian Warfare Program had worked to elevate the profile of the Appalachian Civil War experience. And Rouse’s long history at the college and in the region connected generations of students and scholars. With the blessings of the Chancellor and Provost, the Center for Appalachian Studies was established and began its work with Clark, Rouse, and McKnight as Founding Directors. With Professor Rouse’s retirement in Spring 2014, the daily management of the Center became the responsibility of the remaining directors.

Mission and Vision

The Center for Appalachian Studies at UVa–Wise holds as its purpose the scholarly examination of the Appalachian region.  Founded upon the belief that academic pursuits can help solve problems and improve fortunes, the CAS strives to approach the study of the region’s history, culture, economy, environment, and health, with an eye toward protection, preservation, and progress. The CAS believes that the exploration of the region should be a formative influence upon the students of UVa–Wise. It will strive to continue the innovative academic work that has defined the College since its inception by connecting students and faculty to the region in which they work and live.