Support Staff

Chris Tolbert
Chris serves as the team’s lead faculty advisor and is a faculty member in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. He is a founding member of Team Sunergy and also supports the department’s electric vehicle (EV) programs.

Jeff McPherson
Jeff is the primary point of contact for all of Team Sunergy’s fundraising activities. For more information on how to support Team Sunergy, contact Jeff at mcphersonjl@appstate.edu or visit this page to make a donation.

Jim Dees
Jim serves as the team’s operations advisor and as data and assessment director in the Office of Sustainability.

Heidi Ellis
Heidi supports the team’s human resources needs and travel authorizations. She is the Office of Sustainability’s office manager.

Laura Johnston
Laura provides the team with administrative support through purchasing, budget reconciliation, travel planning, event coordination and much more. She is the events and finance director in the Office of Sustainability.

Dr. Brian Raichle
Brian is a faculty advisor for Team Sunergy and a faculty member in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment.

Ray Sinclair
Ray is a staff advisor for Team Sunergy and a retired faculty member in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment.

Brad Johnson
Brad is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Derek Eggers
Instructional design specialist for the College of Fine and Applied Arts, University College and  Williams School of Graduate Studies.

Isaac Critcher
Supervisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Machine and Electronic Shop.

Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability provides administrative and operational support to Team Sunergy, including office space, fundraising support, purchasing support, human resources support and travel support. The Office of Sustainability regularly advocates on behalf of the team across campus, North Carolina and beyond. 

Appalachian Foundation and University Advancement
App State’s Division of University Advancement plays a crucial role in supporting Team Sunergy. The Advancement team leads fundraising initiatives for the Appalachian State University Foundation, which serves to help App State offer the best educational experience possible for all students. Also, University Advancement helps Team Sunergy research, strategize, request and maintain partnerships with its sponsors and donors. For more information on how to support Team Sunergy, please contact Jeff McPherson at mcphersonjl@appstate.edu.

College of Fine and Applied Arts
The Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment was the original home of the solar vehicle team and is home to many of the team’s faculty advisors.

College of Arts and Sciences
The college enrolls many of Team Sunergy’s student members, with Team Sunergy faculty and staff advisors located in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Computer Science and the College of Arts and Sciences Machine and Electronic Shop.

University Communications
The staff members in App State’s University Communications have supported Team Sunergy since its beginning, using their talents to create award-winning creative content that captures the team’s story and its victories — including the Team Sunergy website, video productions, Appalachian Today articles, photography and social media content.

Office of General Counsel
The Office of General Counsel provides Team Sunergy with contract support, insurance support and risk assessment. Their partnership has proven to be extremely critical to the success of the program.

Materials Management Division
Team Sunergy funds are run through accounts with Appalachian State University, which, being a government-owned entity, incurs a lot of rules when it comes to purchasing. The University Purchasing Department goes above and beyond to ensure that the materials and parts for the team’s vehicles are purchased appropriately and arrive on time.

Facilities Operations
Facilities Operations at App State goes above and beyond to make sure that Team Sunergy’s vehicles are maintained and that the team’s facilities are in line. We receive support from the following: motor pool, paint shop, and the office of design and construction.

Parking & Transportation

App State Police Department

Walker College of Business