Surry Community offering course to explore Appalachia

Staff Report


DOBSON — While Surry Community College always offers a wide variety of courses dedicated to providing students with the most complete and well-rounded education possible, Surry’s fall 2017 semester boasts even more unique offerings including Social Science Course HUM 123: Appalachian Culture led by Instructor Mecca Lowe.

Students who enroll in the Appalachian Culture course will embark on a journey through the Appalachian region exploring the history, music, food, religion, visual and literary arts, political and economic realities, and geography of the vast region encompassing nearly 25 million people in 420 counties spread across parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The course will examine the diversity within the Appalachian region and contrast the characteristics of the region with other areas of the United States and world. It will also provide students with a deeper understanding of the local culture associated with the northwestern North Carolina and southwestern Virginia mountain and foothills region.

Each student will choose a specific related topic to explore throughout the semester that caters to their individual interests, and the course will be complimented by an Appalachian film series during the semester, as well as other cultural events on campus.

Lowe has a B.A. degree from Appalachian State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University where she received her master’s. Before joining Surry as an instructor, Lowe participated in two AmeriCorps programs in Washington state and Montana, and operated an organic vegetable farm in Georgia, all experiences that helped shape her deep appreciation of the various cultures and societal constructs in place in our country and globally. Lowe has also gained insight particularly on Appalachian culture through her hobby of playing the fiddle in the traditional Surry County style.

Lowe is excitedly preparing for the opportunity to teach students about the many facets of the culture surrounding the area in which they live.

She said, “I hope this course will reveal the unique qualities of the Appalachian region, as well as the similarities that the region shares with other areas of the country and the world. It is my goal to add to our students’ worldview an appreciation and understanding of local, regional and global connections across cultures, including their own.”

HUM 123: Appalachian Culture is a full semester course scheduled for the fall 2017 semester, and will meet Aug. 15 through Dec. 18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Surry’s campus at 630 S. Main St., Dobson. Appalachian Culture is a unique course offering and is not offered each semester, but instead may only be available yearly or even biannually.

Registration for fall 2017 classes is open. Those interested in enrolling in Appalachian Culture must register before Aug. 1. For additional information regarding applying for admission and registration, contact Student Services at 336-386-3264. For questions regarding HUM 123: Appalachian Culture, contact Instructor Mecca Lowe at 336-386-3554 or


Staff Report

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