Susan McCracken, Vice Chair


Susan McCracken is the Director of Career Development and Economic Engagement at Appalachian State University.  For over 25 years, she has worked in higher education in North Carolina.  Dr. McCracken began her career at Appalachian State University in 1992, as the Academic Coordinator for Upward Bound.  From 1992 to 2008, she served in a variety of positions with federally funded college access programs (Director of Upward Bound, Director of GEAR UP at Appalachian State, Director of GEAR UP North Carolina) both at Appalachian and the University of North Carolina General Administration.  She secured over $30 million in federal and foundation funding during this time. 

In 2008, Dr. McCracken assumed the role of Director of Sponsored Programs at Appalachian State University.  From 2010 until 2015, Dr. McCracken was the Director of External Affairs and Community Relations for Appalachian which included being the legislative liaison for the university.  During her tenure, Appalachian secured $6.4 million for the College of Health Sciences building.

Dr. McCracken has an Ed.D., Educational Leadership; an Ed.S. Higher Education Administration; and a MA in Student Development from Appalachian. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from UNC Chapel Hill in 1987.  She lives in Boone with her husband Oscar Knight, two daughters Alice Knight (Watauga High School) and Katie mac Knight (Appalachian State University), and two Golden Retrievers.  Dr. McCracken loves being a part of the Boone community and serves as a Board member for the Boone Area Chamber and the Appalachian Theatre, as well as a member of the Watauga County Economic Development Commission.