Founding Directors

Amy D. Clark, Professor of English

Professor Clark’s most recent book, Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), explores the history and features of Appalachian dialect and vernacular. She teaches courses in communication, literature, and dialect.

Brian D. McKnight, Professor of History

A specialist in the Appalachian Civil War experience, McKnight’s books include Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia (Kentucky, 2006) and Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia (LSU, 2011). He offers courses in Appalachian History.

David Rouse, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Having spent more than thirty years as the College’s resident philosopher, Professor Rouse was active in Appalachian issues throughout his time as a member of the faculty. Although now retired, he remains an active part of the Center and still teaches the occasional Appalachian focused class.

Affiliated Faculty

Anthony Cashio, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

A young and dynamic scholar, Cashio teach Philosophy courses integral to the Appalachian Studies minor.

Patrick Withen, Associate Professor of Sociology

Professor Withen teaches Sociology courses in satisfaction of the Appalachian Studies minor.

Phillip Shelton, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science

Having taught at the college since 1970, Professor Shelton still teaches occasionally and is a foremost expert in the region’s flora and fauna.

Richard Galyean, Instructor of Music

As Director of Bands and creator of the Bluegrass Band, Galyean’s course offerings complement the requirements of the minor.

Ryan Huish, Assistant Professor of Biology

With a background in field botany and cultural anthropology, Huish studies Appalachian ethnobotany, exploring the human dynamics associated with the diverse flora of the region. He offers courses on the local flora and ethnobotany and is involved with undergraduate field research.

Walter “Wally” Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology

A specialist in regional herpetology, Smith is very active in developing undergraduate research opportunities for his students.


Chris Fritze, Intern

Chris is a History major from Scott County, Virginia. In Summer 2016, he served as an intern at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Chris has been working on the Burgin Collection and is a dedicated public history student.

Kaitlyn Wegner, Intern

Kaitlyn is from Deerfield, Virginia, and a Nursing major/Women's Studies minor at UVa-Wise. She is active in Baptist Collegiate Ministries and serves as Vice President of the Multicultural Alliance. She worked throughout the Fall organizing and processing the Burgin Collection.

Luke Hurley, Intern

Luke is originally from Bluefield, Virginia. He is a History major and president of the UVa-Wise chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in History. Luke has been processing the Ramond Burgin Mountain Music Collection.

Taylor Farrar, Intern

Taylor is from Richmond, Virginia, where she attended Maggie L. Walker Governor's School. She is the second generation of her family attend UVa-Wise with both parents as graduates. She will be working on various CAS projects.


Julia Maggard, David Rouse Undergraduate Research Fellow

When Julia Maggard began thinking about possible research topics for her Honors Seminar, she was drawn to the story of moonshining in southwestern Virginia. Having roots in the area and hearing stories of the traditions, Maggard was aware of the social, cultural, and economic influence of corn liquor. In her Honors research project, she plans to conduct oral history interviews with those who were once connected with the production of moonshine in the past in addition to researching in other, more traditional sources.

Rebecca Iozzi, David Rouse Undergraduate Research Fellow

Rebecca came to UVa-Wise from New Jersey. She has an intense interest in Public History and has also embraced Appalachian and Southern history. This Spring, she will work on a semester-long project that will examine Helen Lewis's role in the Appalachian environmental movement.