Contact Us

The Ramsey Center and the Southern Appalachian Archives are open by appointment. Please contact Dr. Karen Paar before your visit to conduct archival research so that we can best serve you.

Karen Paar, Director of the Southern Appalachian ArchivesDr. Karen Paar – Director, Southern Appalachian Archives
(828) 689-1262;

Karen Paar received her B.A. in English at Oberlin College, then went on to complete her M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later obtained an M.L.S. at North Carolina Central University and is now the Director of the Southern Appalachian Archives and University Archivist at Mars Hill University. She serves on the board of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.


Leila Weinstein, Program CoordinatorLeila Weinstein – Program Coordinator, Appalachian Studies Minor & Ramsey Center for Regional Studies; Director, Lunsford Festival. (828) 689-1115;

Leila Weinstein received her B.A. in History (minor in Religion) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.A. in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. She teaches courses and organizes programs for students, faculty, and community members that explore the culture, history, and arts of the Appalachian Mountains. Prior to working at Mars Hill University, Leila was the Director of Education and Outreach at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and was the founding director of the Caldwell County Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program. She currently serves on the board of Junior Appalachian Musicians and on the advisory committee for the Central Appalachia Project of Partners for Sacred Places.


Dr. Ethan Mannon – Steward of the Heritage Garden; Assistant Professor of English; Interim Director of the Honors Program. (828) 689-1189;

Ethan was born and raised in rural, southwestern Virginia and is an unapologetic Appalachian American. He lived the entirety of his life prior to college many miles from Floyd County’s one stoplight, and in his love for that place and in his speech patterns he bears the marks of his “raising.” His degrees are from Virginia Tech and Penn State. He teaches courses on Appalachian Literature, Environmental Writing, and Composition, and recently contributed an essay to Telling the Stories Right: Wendell Berry’s Imagination of Port William, edited by Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro (Wipf and Stock, 2018). Ethan also serves as Steward of the MHU Heritage Garden – an effort to grow and share seed from open-pollinated crop varieties. Visit faculty profile.

Mailing Address
Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies
Mars Hill University
Box 6706
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-1570 (Fax)