Our Team

Discussion Leaders

Mel Falck: Mel enlisted in the U. S. Army in 2004 as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst following completion of his undergraduate degree in Sociology. During his tenure as an Intelligence Analyst he served with the 101st Airborne Division, deploying to Baghdad, Iraq 2005-2006. Mel commissioned with the Military Intelligence Corps in 2008, completing his term as a Commissioned Officer in command of an Ordnance training battalion located at Redstone Arsenal. Following completion of his service, Mel earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University (ASU) with a focus in expressive arts therapy and addictions counseling. He is currently enrolled in ASU’s doctoral program in educational leadership with a concentration in the expressive arts. His research interests include exploring how Posthumanist theory intersects with arts based research practices and how the use of creativity and ritual can help to contribute to authentic, meaningful, and vulnerable conversations of social and ecological significance. Mel is currently licensed within the state of North Carolina as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA).

Joe Hough

Joe Hough: Mr. Hough is a 1991 Gardner-Webb graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences. He began his career in public education as a Social Studies teacher in Henderson County at Rugby Middle School. After six years in the classroom and coaching basketball and football, he moved into school administration. With a Master Degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University, he spent the next eleven years as assistant principal at A.C. Reynolds Middle and High Schools. Mr. Hough then took over the duties of Director of Transportation in 2011 where he managed both Buncombe County School’s and Asheville City School’s 291 buses that moved 17,000 students a day over 17,000 miles a day. Joe was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools in 2015 overseeing all Auxiliary services.

Mr. Hough is also a 30 year N.C. National Guardsmen. He is an engineer officer and has deployed overseas in several humanitarian support missions as well as three deployments in support of the global war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He was promoted to Leiutenant Colonel in 2013 and continues to serve his state and country in the North Carolina National Guard as the State Mobilization Officer. Joe is married, his wife is Karen (Martin GWU ’90) and they have two sons, Daniel and Andrew.

Phillip WeinerPhillip Weiner: Phillip Weiner is a Master of Public Administration student at Appalachian State that graduated from the university in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. Prior to coming to Appalachian in 2013, Phillip served four years in the U.S. Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate onboard the USS Iwo Jima. His time in the military made him appreciate the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and the much larger sacrifices other veterans have made. Phillip has continued to serve veterans by interning for the Forsyth County Veterans Treatment Court and being an officer in Appalachian’s Student Veterans of America chapter. Phillip is grateful to get the position as a discussion facilitator for Blurred Boundaries. He believes it is important to discuss what war entails to try to find a sense of clarity in situations that can be otherwise traumatic and confusing.

Adam Williams

Project Directors

Photo of Project Directors: Dr. Lynn Searfoss, Dr. Clark Maddux, and Dr. Valerie Wieskamp (L to R)
Dr. Lynn Searfoss, Dr. Clark Maddux, and Dr. Valerie Wieskamp (L to R)

Dr. Harry Clark Maddux is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of Watauga Residential College at Appalachian State University, and a veteran of the US Army.  He enlisted in 1980 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of Infantry in 1982 through Officer Candidate School. He served in Germany as a platoon leader, mortar platoon leader, and Headquarters Company executive officer. After company command at Fort Benning, he graduated from Combined Arms Services Staff School and was Operations Officer for 3/28 Infantry Battalion (OCS). He resigned his active duty commission in 1992 in order to pursue graduate studies. Shortly after his termination of active service, he was promoted to major.

Dr. Lynn Searfoss is Associate Professor of English at Appalachian State University, where she teaches courses in American Literature, including a general education course on American Literature of Heroism and War. The mother of a Navy Hospital Corpsman who deployed to Iraq with the First Marines in 2003, she is keenly interested in issues of veteran education. She is a co-founder and facilitator of the Green Zone faculty development workshops at Appalachian State University, is a founding member of the Appalachian Veterans Arts and Humanities Collective, and has been helping to facilitate veterans’ writing workshop events since 2010.  Searfoss is an active member of the Military Affairs Committee at Appalachian State. Her scholarship areas include veterans’ education and 19th century American texts on the problem of war. She has presented scholarship on “Winter Soldier, Iraq and Afghanistan” to the Rhetoric Society of America.

Dr. Valerie Wieskamp is a scholar of rhetoric and public culture (PhD, Indiana University). She is an Assistant Professor of Communication and an affiliate faculty member of the Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies program at Appalachian State University. She has conducted research on rhetoric about war as it relates to gender and race. Wieskamp has published and presented research on representations and public memory on WWII and the Vietnam War that focus both on how service members are represented by publics, and also how service members represent themselves. In her work, she examines texts of various media, including film, photography, documentary, biography, and public narrative.