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Black Male Excellence Initiative

Welcome to the Appalachian State University Black Male Excellence Initiative (BMEI)!  Are you ready to make history? The 2021-2022 academic year will be the inaugural year for the Black Male Excellence Initiative RLC. This community has been created to assist with the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Black Males who attend Appalachian State University. While creating a sense of belonging in a residence hall setting, members of the community will focus on life-skills in a holistic manner. The Black Male Excellence Initiative RLC will provide members with a framework that will prepare Black Males for life during and after college.

Click image for leadership team bios

Will Sheppard, Ed.D.
Associate Director, Intercultural Student Affairs
Director, Black Male Excellence Initiative

Members of the Black Male Excellence Initiative will have the opportunity to:
  • Foster a community of respect
  • Explore and evaluate personal interests and careers
  • Develop connections with faculty, staff, and students associated with the Department of Wellness & Prevention Services as well as the Student Learning Center, other departments, and stakeholders
  • Work with the Resident Assistant to develop community standards
Members of the Black Male Excellence Initiative will be expected to:
  • Actively engage with the Leadership Team
  • Participate in community and campus-sponsored events and activities
  • Support the academic success of community members
  • Become involved in developing community standards and planning the future of the community
  • Enroll in the Wakanda Warriors: Black Male Excellence linked First Year Seminar course
Black Males will gain the following with the program:
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Academic Achievement
  • Personal and Community Development
  • Major and Career Development
  • Holistic Approach to Self Confidence in Life's Journey
Sponsoring Departments
Department of Wellness & Prevention Services

The Department of Wellness & Prevention Services (opens in a new tab) offers services promoting health awareness and active lifestyles, helping students make choices to facilitate a better quality of life by making healthy decisions. It is an extension of Student Health Services and is Appalachian State University's central resource for health education information, programs, events, and services.

Student Learning Center

The Student Learning Center (opens in a new tab) serves students in gaining a deeper awareness of what helps them learn and succeed through tutoring, academic strategy instruction, and executive skill development. We provide holistic support for all students at Appalachian State University, empowering them to become active participants in a transformative education to meet their academic goals and achieve their academic potential.

Belk Library and Information Commons

The University Libraries support and foster a respectful, supportive, and inclusive educational and social learning environment and experiences for students through services, collections, teaching, learning, and technology. For more information on services and resources, please explore Belk Library's website (opens in a new tab) or get in touch with the First Year Experience Librarian (opens in a new tab).


Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Office of Admissions (opens in a new tab) furthers this mission by recruiting, admitting, and enrolling a diverse and competitive body of undergraduate students whose experiences and talents benefit the Appalachian community. As the front door to Appalachian, our leadership in service and collaboration with campus partners sets the tone for the unique experience awaiting future Mountaineers.