GRS Staff

Karen FletcherKaren Fletcher
Director, Grants Resources & Services

Karen joined Appalachian's Office of Research in 2015. Karen holds a grant writing certificate from the University of South Carolina. She earned her MBA at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut. She came to Appalachian State University from Coastal Carolina University where she was the pre-award manager in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services. Karen received a grant in 2017 from the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) to develop a research mentoring program at Appalachian State University, PREParation for Appalachian Research Experiences (PREPARE). She specializes in proposal development, faculty research development, mentoring and strategic research advancement. Karen held a designated seat for Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) on the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) from 2016-20; holding the office of secretary in 2017, vice president/president-elect in 2018-19, president in 2019-20, and immediate past president in 2020-21. She is a long-standing member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) and the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

 

Katie ShoafKatie Shoaf
Associate Director, Grants Resources & Services

Katie joined Appalachian's Office of Research in 2015. Katie came to Appalachian as an undergraduate student and loved it so much, she never really left. She earned an M.A. in romance languages, a Master of Library Science degree, a graduate certificate in rhetoric and composition and her B.A. in both English and Spanish, all from Appalachian State University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Katie is also a certified public librarian and a certified Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL/TESL). She specializes in supporting grant writers who are working in a language other than their first, and manages the peer-review program for internal grants, external proposals and fellowships. She also chairs the International Research Steering Committee on campus which works to better support researchers conducting or collaborating in research abroad. Katie is a long-standing member of the National Organization for Research Development Professionals (NORDP) and the National Council for University Research Administrators (NCURA).

 

Lauren EssickLauren Essick
Proposal Development Specialist, Grants Resources & Services

Lauren joined Appalachian's Office of Research in 2021. Lauren studied anthropology at University of North Carolina Asheville before transferring to Appalachian State University in 2009 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies, with an individually-designed focus on planning resilient communities. She went on to apply her knowledge through her work with Appalachian Voices, a regional environmental conservation nonprofit, where she developed and implemented a region-wide advocacy campaign to promote clean energy policy. In 2019, Lauren assisted the Appalachian Energy Center in designing their Energy Extension Program to provide a hub for energy research, education and action. In 2020, she helped develop and lead the Ashe County Resilience Initiative to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of local residents. Through her work with nonprofits, Lauren gained grant administration experience that she continues to build on through her work with the Grants Resources & Services team. She is a member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).