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  • Marcus J. Hopkins

Appalachian Learning Initiative Expands Board of Directors

Three New Members Round Out Existing Non-Profit Expertise

Appalachian Learning Initiative logo with the words "Press Release"


MORGANTOWN, W.Va., May 15, 2023 – The Appalachian Learning Initiative (APPLI, pronounced like “apply”) announced today the expansion of its Board of Directors to include three new education and non-profit professionals: Tasha Graves, AS, Audrey Peters, MA, and Kate Woodworth, MS, all of Kingsport, Tennessee. They join Marcus J. Hopkins, Matt Cox, PhD., and Michael McKenna, MPA.

“As we expand our work to focus on improving access to educational, public health, and social services opportunities available to Appalachian adults, I can think of few others whose work in their respective fields better represents the people we serve,” stated Marcus J. Hopkins, Founder and Executive Director of APPLI.

Headshot of new Board Member, Tasha Graves, AS
Tasha Graves, AS

Tasha Graves, AS, is currently a stay-at-home mother of six children, aged 1-21. She holds two Associate of Science degrees in Elementary Education and Child Psychology from Northeast State Community College and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Communication from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. She has over ten years of experience working in the non-profit sector with Girls Inc. of Kingsport.

Headshot of new Board Member, Audrey Peters, MA
Audrey Peters, MA

Audrey Peters, MA, serves as an Associate Professor at Northeast State Community College on the Blountville, TN, campus. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English from East Tennessee State University and two Bachelor of Science degrees in English and Political Science from Vanderbilt University.

Headshot of new Board Member, Kate Woodworth, MS
Kate Woodworth, MS

Kate Woodworth, MS, is the Adult Services and Community Engagement Librarian at the Kingsport Public Library in Kingsport, TN. She holds a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.

Over the past year, APPLI has developed over 1,000 infographics detailing educational and demographic statistics for each of the Appalachian Region’s 13 states, 423 counties, and 8 independent Virginia cities. In 2023, it expanded its site to include the Appalachian Adult Education Directory.

The Appalachian Learning Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in November 2021 that focuses on researching, reporting on, advocating for, and building solutions to address issues related to adult literacy, numeracy, health literacy, and equitable access to services in the 13-state, 423-county Appalachian Region. APPLI is based in Morgantown, WV, can be found on the web at, and can be reached at for more information.


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