Dr. Don Presnell will assume a new position as Director of the Common Reading Program in University College at Appalachian State University beginning July 1, 2019.
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.