Archive for August 6th, 2013

Rave authors book of physics and philosophy

Matthew J. Rave, assistant professor of physics, recently completed a book of physics and philosophy titled “Why is There Anything?” which is available to be downloaded on Kindle.

Rave said he always has been intrigued by questions of philosophy related to free will, the existence of God and origins of the universe, and has wanted to write a book exploring the questions since he was a teenager.

His book, which brings together his philosophical and physics interests, is written in the form of a Socratic dialogue.

“This is meant to be playful and accessible but is also a nod to Plato and Lewis Carroll and Douglas Hofstadter,” said Rave. “It is thus meant to be a gentle introduction to some heavy physics and philosophy for the lay reader.

Faculty and staff co-author article to appear in Journal of Political Science Education

An article by Jen Schiff, assistant professor of political science and public affairs; Michael Despeaux, associate director of career services at WCU; and Gibbs Knotts, former associate professor of political science and public affairs at WCU and current chair of political science at the College of Charleston, titled “The Power of Partnerships: Exploring the Relationship between Campus Career Centers and Political Science Departments” will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Political Science Education.

Based on the results of a survey of nearly 300 political science department chairs and other information, the article suggests that close ties between career centers and departments are more likely at smaller colleges, in departments where professors serve as student advisers and in departments that incorporate career preparation into the curriculum.

The results suggest steps political science departments can implement to strengthen relationships with career centers, including integrating career preparation into regular class curriculum, requiring students to create discipline-specific resumes and articulation of the responsibilities of the career center and the academic department.

Anantatmula presents paper in Netherlands

Vittal Anantatmula, director of the master’s degree program in project management, presented a paper titled “Linkages Among Project Management Maturity, PMO and Project Success” in June at the 2013 IEEE International Technology Management Conference and 19th ICE Conference in the Netherlands.

Anantatmula’s research results suggest that customer satisfaction and customer needs are considered more important success indicators than traditional success factors, such as completing a project within time and cost.

Sholder presents paper, participates in panel discussion at national conference

Jack Sholder, director of the Film and TV Production Program, chaired a panel discussion titled “Teaching Filmmaking: Industry and Independent Perspectives” at the University Film and Video Association Conference held recently at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. Discussion centered on how teaching filmmaking differs between those with a previous career in the industry and those from an independent or academic setting, and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Sholder also participated in the panel discussion “Directors on Director” and presented a paper, “Learning By Mistake,” in which he discussed common mistakes directing students make and how to anticipate or avert them.

Pittillo to receive state award

The N.C. Wildlife Federation will honor J. Dan Pittillo, retired WCU biology professor, with the Environmental Educator of the Year award at the 50th annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Reception and Banquet to be held Sept. 7.

Photo studio to open for new employee photographs and headshot updates

The Office of Communications and Public Relations annually publishes photographs of new employees and brief biographical information about them in The Reporter faculty and staff newsletter.

Staff Senate shares results of opinion survey

Staff Senate recently released results of a survey administered in May to assess the satisfaction of nonfaculty employees with aspects of their work experience such as salary and benefits, training opportunities, annual performance evaluations and diversity on campus.

Opening Assembly, master planning forum to be Aug. 14

The Opening Assembly for fall semester will be held Wednesday, Aug. 14, in the performance hall of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. A reception at 8:30 a.m. precedes the 9 a.m. assembly. Chancellor David O. Belcher will deliver remarks.

Staff member wins iPad through health program

Tammy R. Allman, business officer, won an iPad in the State Health Plan’s monthly drawing in which she was entered for using the N.C. HealthSmart website.

Campus master planners to seek community input Aug. 13 in Sylva

Representatives of the firms assisting Western Carolina University in drafting a comprehensive master plan that will guide campus development and improvements in the years ahead will return to Sylva on Tuesday, Aug. 13, to seek additional community input.

Mainstage Season includes musicals, tragedy – and zombies

A series of theatrical productions designed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats is scheduled for the 2013-14 Stage and Screen Mainstage Season at Western Carolina University – and one features a new role for a Broadway actor.

SLIDESHOW: Academic Success Program, partners raise $4,000

Western Carolina University’s Academic Success Program and community partners raised nearly $4,000 for The Community Table, Jackson Neighbors in Need and Communities in Schools during the third annual ASP Day of Service held July 20.

Exhibit highlights WCU employee creativity

An exhibit showcasing the creative talents of the Western Carolina University community will be displayed on the main floor of Hunter Library near the Java City lounge area through the end of August.

Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet tours Germany and the Czech Republic

The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, the Western Carolina University quintet-in-residence comprised of faculty musicians, along with Will Peebles, bassoon soloist and director of the WCU School of Music, recently completed a tour together in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Host families needed for international students

Host families are sought for semester-long home stays or monthly visits for international students in Western Carolina University’s Intensive English Program.

Couple connected to WCU wed in historic ceremony in Rhode Island

Western Carolina University employees Adrianne Gordon and Jen Harris were among the first to marry on Aug. 1 when Rhode Island’s same sex marriage law went into effect. 

Division of IT staff and students tour a Microsoft campus

Division of Information Technology staff members and three students recently toured the Microsoft campus in Charlotte, observing training labs, interview rooms, staff work spaces, demo areas, dining spaces, lounges, break rooms and a server room.

State budget includes funding for engineering program at Biltmore Park

The $20.6 billion biennial budget recently approved by the N.C. General Assembly includes more than $1.4 million for expansion of Western Carolina University’s undergraduate engineering program to Biltmore Park.

Preparations under way for fall semester

Western Carolina University expects to welcome a record number of students this fall with total student enrollment on track to top last year’s fall enrollment of 9,608, said Phil Cauley, director of student recruitment and transitions. Faculty, staff and student volunteers are still sought to help with Freshman Move-In Day on Friday, Aug. 16.

School of Nursing wins $1 million grant

The Western Carolina University School of Nursing is the recipient of a $1 million federal workforce diversity grant designed to increase the number of students from underserved rural populations who enter the nursing profession, including members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

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