Dr. Cameron Lippard grew up in Boone and graduated from Appalachian State University in 1998 with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. He returned to Appalachian as a professor in 2007.
Lippard said he chose to work at Appalachian because it emphasized his passion for teaching, and he knew from experience that he wanted to raise a family in the High Country.
His research interests include Latino immigrant issues and nativism and racism in post-race America. These interests began in 2001 while he worked on his master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology at Georgia State University - Atlanta.
Lippard said he noticed a rapid and massive influx of Latinos to Atlanta and the South. He also heard that Latino immigrants were cutting Christmas trees back home in Boone, a job he used to do as a young man.
With the influx of immigrants working traditionally white jobs, there came public outcry, fear and anti-immigration legislation, he observed.
“Through my graduate studies, I realized that this same fear, anxiety and public reaction related to the ways in which Americans and whites in the South treated and discriminated against blacks,” Lippard said.
From there, Lippard has continued to explore various institutions and communities to better understand Latino incorporation into the American South.
Lippard includes students in his scholarship as research assistants. He also works closely with student groups during their senior seminar. For example, he recently assisted a group of senior seminar students in community research with the Appalachian Women’s Fund. The goal of the students’ research was to better understand women’s economic stability in the High Country.
Lippard also has assisted students in conducting their own research by directing undergraduate honors theses and sitting on master’s thesis committees for graduate students.
“I think it is essential to conduct research with students since it is a way to mentor students in this delicate process,” Lippard said.
As an Appalachian student turned professor, Lippard said he “feeds off the energy and spirit” of the students who come to class willing to expand their knowledge and make a difference.
However, he also values his interactions with the more skeptical students who question their lessons.
“I always have to be on my game and present the latest theory and research,” Lippard said. “It keeps me fresh and ready for anything.”