My name is Rwany Sibaja (Ph.D. George Mason University), and I am an Associate Professor and Director of the History Education program. I joined the Department of History at Appalachian State University in 2015. My research focuses on the cultural history of Latin America, primarily in the areas of sports and leisure. I am working on a book project that looks at the formation and reimagining of national identity and class identities in Argentine soccer. My next research project will examine the role of sports and leisure in shaping civic identity in Costa Rica’s main cities. Beyond sports, other research areas include digital history and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. For more, see:

Before coming to Boone, I began my career teaching 9-12 Spanish and History in NC (and coaching soccer), then serving as the K-12 Social Studies Program Manager at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and later completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I received my undergraduate degree in History from Elon College (now University) as an NC Teaching Fellow, and my M.A. in History from UNC-Greensboro.

As a Costa Rican-American, the World Cup and passion for the sport runs deep in our family. Beyond the US and Costa Rican national teams, I will also cheer on Argentina after many years of conducting research in Buenos Aires. At the club level, I support Atlanta United in Major League Soccer, our local team, Appalachian FC, and L.D. Alajuelense in the Costa Rican first division.

My passions vary, but they usually come back to coffee and fútbol. I live in Deep Gap with my wife (an ESL teacher at Ashe County Schools), my son (an avid runner at Watauga HS), and a dog named Django. Our daughter is away from home, enjoying her freshman year of college in New Jersey.