Program Assistants


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Lexi Chaize

Climbing Wall Program Assistant

Year: Senior
Major: Geology

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, being with friends.

Favorite Memory at Outdoor Programs: Climbing mountains in the Grand Tetons!

Why I love Appalachian: Opportunities to learn and grow, accessibility to the outdoors, and the connections I have made while here.



Hank Kane

Water Program Assistant

Year: Senior
Major: English Secondary Education and Philosophy

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Kayaking, Rafting, Campus Class Five Biking, Climbing, and otherwise getting totally pitted

Favorite Memory at Outdoor Programs: On my First Ascent trip as a Freshman, because I was very shy and nervous, but the staff made me feel and included and part of the community. It was really important to my development as an App State student and inspired me to lead trips.

Why I love Appalachian: I love App, because Boone is great! I think Outdoor Programs is also neat, because we take people on "neature" walks through "neature" to show them how neat it truly is!


Blake Ferree

Bike App Program Assistant

Year: Junior
Major: Commercial Photography

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Whitewater Rafting, and Backpacking

Favorite Memory at Outdoor Programs: Whitewater rafting on the French Broad!

Why I love Appalachian: Appalachian has great programs and resources, but is also located in a remote area of North Carolina. We are just a short drive from some of the best outdoor recreation in the area, and I love being able to take an afternoon off from school to enjoy the great outdoors.


Becca Ploener

Water and Medical Program Assistant

Year: Senior
Major: Sustainability Psychology

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Whitewater Kayaking and Rafting, Snowboarding, Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Mindfulness/Meditation

Favorite Memory at Outdoor Programs:  I went on an overnight rafting trip where we camped on an island on the French Broad, relaxed by the fire, and made delicious food with so many amazing people that have all become close friends! I love that Outdoor Programs fosters a supportive community of mentorship where you can shift fluidly from one roll into another!

Why I love Appalachian: Appalachian State is in such a great location where my favorite outdoor sports are all within a 30 minute drive from campus. I love the small town mountain vibe that you get in conjunction with the thriving community of the university.


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Becca Wood

Land Program Assistant

Year: Junior
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies - Ecotherapy

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Tree Climbing, Caving, Canoeing

Favorite Memory at Outdoor Programs: I led the First Ascent backpacking trips in the summer of 2019, and they were some of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had. We explored the Pisgah National Forest, shared oreos with peanut butter and riddles under tarps during rain storms, slid down waterfalls, and spent time around the campfire talking about college and adventures.

Why I love Appalachian: I love having my backyard be home to so many incredible outdoor adventures. App also provides a way for me to design my own major, making me feel more prepared to pursue my career and life goals.