Auburn University students head to Washington, D.C., for Appalachian Teaching Project symposium

Published: November 30, 2016
Updated: December 01, 2016
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A team of seven Auburn University students will attend the 16th annual Appalachian Teaching Project symposium Dec. 2-3 in Washington, D.C., where they will present the findings of their applied research project related to building a sustainable future for the Appalachian Region.

Hosted by the Appalachian Regional Commission with the Consortium of Appalachian Colleges and Universities, the symposium will welcome 150 students representing 14 schools from 11 Appalachian states.

Auburn's research team is led by Mark Wilson, who has been named an Appalachian Teaching Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year. Wilson is director of Civic Learning Initiatives and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in Auburn's College of Liberal Arts.

The Auburn team includes students from the course "Introduction to Community and Civic Engagement." Their research project, "Developing Students as Citizens in Macon County," included classroom activities on civic engagement and professional development in sixth-grade classes at Tuskegee Public School and Notasulga School and a survey of sixth-grade perspectives on Macon County and involvement in community activities.

During their trip to Washington, the Auburn University team will visit with Congressman Mike Rogers, tour the United States Capitol and be photographed with the Toomer's Oak descendent on the Capitol lawn.

"Each year, the Appalachian Teaching Project brings together students from across the region to share their research, work and vision," said commission Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. "These next-generation leaders are energetic and innovative and give a glimpse into Appalachia's bright future."

Nearly 2,000 students from 20 colleges and universities across Appalachia have participated in the project since the program began in 2001. The Appalachian Teaching Project is supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University.

The Appalachian Regional Commission, or ARC, is a regional economic development partnership of federal and state governments across 420 counties in 13 Appalachian states. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

For more information about the 2016 Appalachian Teaching Project conference, go to