Appalachian Regional Commission Hosts Appalachian Teaching Project Conference in Washington, D.C., Featuring Student Research on Regional Community Development Issues

130 Students from 13 Colleges and Universities in 11 Appalachian States to Participate in 17th Annual Event

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 2017—On December 1 and 2, 2017, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is hosting 130 students representing 13 colleges and universities from 11 Appalachian states in Washington, D.C., for the 17th annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference. Supported by ARC and organized by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, ATP coordinates student research teams from regional colleges and universities to develop projects addressing economic and community development issues across the Appalachian Region. As part of ATP, student teams participate in a semester-long intensive applied research class and travel to Washington, D.C., to formally present their work to other participating schools and to ARC leadership.

“Each student and teacher participating in the Appalachian Teaching Project represents some of Appalachia’s most important assets—innovation, imagination, and ingenuity,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “Their commitment and passion showcase the Region’s future.”

This year’s ATP research projects focus on developing Appalachia’s natural and cultural assets, supporting public education initiatives, expanding downtown development and community leadership efforts, enhancing health and the quality of life in Appalachia, and cultivating the economic potential of the Region’s waterways.

Student teams and their projects to be presented at the 2017 ATP conference include:

•  Alfred State College, Alfred, New York: Connecting Built and Natural Environments: A Vision for Preservation, Sustainability, and Growth in Canaseraga, New York
•  Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina: Assessing Riparian Health and Land Use on the New River of Ashe County, NC
•  Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama: Macon County Veterans Oral History Project in Collaboration with Students at Tuskegee Public School
•  East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee: Rocky Fork State Park: Linking Natural and Economic Resources through Oral Histories and Community Engagement
•  Fairmont State University, Fairmont, West Virginia: Appalachian Childhood Empowerment through Heritage Arts
•  Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland: Establishing the Jane Gates Heritage House
•  Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pennsylvania: Northern Appalachian Foodways: Sustainability and a Seat at the Table
•  Radford University, Radford, Virginia: Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI): Building Social and Economic Capital in Southwest Virginia with Oral History Collecting
•  Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Cumberland, Kentucky: Planning Our Future: The Harlan County Project
•  University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, Georgia: Scrolling through History: Using Digital Storytelling to Deliver Social Studies Content to Classrooms in Appalachian Georgia
•  University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bradford, Pennsylvania: Bradford Community Immunization Access: Bridging the Gap
•  University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee: Promoting Night Sky Conservation and Development in the Upper Cumberland
•  Zane State College, Zanesville, Ohio: Downtown Zanesville: A Bridge to Our Past

More than 2,100 students from 20 colleges and universities have participated in ATP since the program began in 2001. In addition to strengthening students’ research skills, the program helps participants cultivate leadership and public policy skills. Presentations from previous ATP conferences are available on ARC’s YouTube channel.

During the 2017 ATP conference, ARC is announcing the new Appalachian Teaching Project Fellowship. Through this fellowship, students participating in ATP can apply for a professional development opportunity at ARC during summer 2018. Recipients of the ATP Fellowship will be announced in spring 2018.

Follow the Appalachian Teaching Project on Facebook and Twitter at #ARCATP.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.