Archive for August 21st, 2013

Reporter to share faculty and staff “off the clock” news

The Reporter newsletter for faculty and staff is launching a new section called “Off The Clock” to feature announcements of faculty and staff members’ achievements beyond their work at WCU.

Share your news for consideration for inclusion at reporter@wcu.edu. Submissions will be edited to match the newsletter’s style.

For information, guidelines and deadlines related to all submissions to The Reporter, including top stories, news briefs and achievements, visit The Reporter’s “Contact” page.

Faculty, counseling alumna co-author article about postpartum mood disorder research

The Family Journal recently published an article by Phyllis Robertson, associate professor of counseling; Russ Curtis, associate professor of counseling; Rebecca Lasher, assistant professor of social work; Sharon Jacques, professor emerita of nursing; and Shelley J. Tom, counseling alumna, titled “Experiences of Postpartum Mood Disorders of Women With More Than One Child.”

This is the second article published from an online research project that explored women’s postpartum mood disorder experiences. The study isolated the experiences of 127 women who have more than one child.

The article’s authors say findings suggest the need to reevaluate the reliance on past histories of depression or other mental illnesses in screenings for determining a woman’s predisposition for developing PMD regardless of the number of births the woman has experienced. A majority of the women experienced symptoms with subsequent births, and a majority reported no prior history of mental or emotional issues before having children. One-fourth reported having no symptoms with their first child.

“It is important that health care providers educate expecting parents and screen for PMD with every mother during each pregnancy,” the article states. “This study suggests that standardized screenings need to include questions regarding intrusive thoughts and psychosis, as these are not examined in currently used screening tools.”

SLIDESHOW: Freshman Move-In Day

The majority of Western Carolina University’s approximately 1,600 freshmen moved in on Friday, Aug. 16. Students, faculty and staff took time to help and welcome members of the Class of 2017.

Music faculty to present woodwind recital Aug. 22

Faculty members from the School of Music at Western Carolina University will present a woodwind recital on campus Thursday, Aug. 22.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Coulter Building. Admission is free.

Faculty performers will be Andrew Adams, piano; Ian Jeffress, alto saxophone; Eldred Spell, flute; Terri Armfield, oboe; Shannon Thompson, clarinet; and Will Peebles, bassoon. They will be assisted by Michael Brubaker, horn.

The program will feature a performance by Jeffress on “Scaramouche,” a piece by Darius Milhaud originally written for alto saxophone and orchestra but arranged for alto saxophone and woodwind quintet for this concert, and Adams on Mozart’s “Quintet for Piano and Winds.”

The program also will include “Caprice on Danish Airs” by Camille Saint-Saens, written for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano.

WCU ranked high in educational value

Western Carolina University is among North Carolina colleges and universities that provide students with the highest return on their educational investments, according to two online guides to higher education.

In a list of the “Highest Return-On-Investment Colleges in North Carolina,” the website AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranks WCU at No. 16 out of all the two- and four-year colleges analyzed in the state. The ranking is based on the cost of tuition and fees, along with data indicating the average starting salaries of graduates and lifetime earnings figures from the salary data collection organization PayScale.com.

King documentary to be screened Aug. 28

Western Carolina University will screen “King – From Montgomery to Memphis” on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made his famed “I Have a Dream” speech.

The documentary, which is free and open to the public, will be shown at 7 p.m. in Niggli Theatre.

As part of the event, Jack Sholder, director of WCU’s Film and TV Production Program and an editor of the 1970 Academy-Award nominated documentary, will take part in a panel discussion.

The film features original footage of King, a civil rights leader known for his commitment to nonviolence, from the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

The screening is one of the first events to be held on campus in connection with WCU’s 2013-14 interdisciplinary learning theme, “1960s: Take It All In.”

Native health lecture set for Sept. 4

Spero M. Manson, the Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry and head of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado at Denver, will deliver WCU’s annual public lecture in native health on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Spero Manson

Spero Manson


Manson will present “The Special Diabetes Program for Indians: The Power of Evidence-Based Practices” at 3 p.m. in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building.

Manson’s programs include national centers engaged in research, program development and training for native communities in rural, reservation, urban and village settings. He has published more than 150 articles on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment and prevention of physical and mental health problems as well as addiction.

His awards include distinguished service awards from the U.S. Indian Health Service as well as awards from the American Public Health Association, Gerontological Society of America, the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Graduate program in speech-language earns reaccreditation

Western Carolina University’s graduate program in speech-language pathology has been reaccredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s accrediting arm, the Council on Academic Accreditation.

The action comes after a lengthy self-study by faculty in the program and follows a site visit by members of the CAA accrediting team in April. The reaccreditation is for an eight-year period and is effective through July 31, 2021.

Bill Ogletree, head of WCU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, received notification of program reaccreditation earlier this month from Charles L. Madison, chair of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

The eight-year reaccreditation period is the maximum granted by the CAA, Ogletree said. “We are very pleased to be recognized by this national organization for the quality of our academic program in speech-language pathology,” he said. “This recognition is significant to our profession, our students and alumni, and to those served by graduates of the program. It signals that ours is a strong program that meets the rigorous standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.”

Leadership Academy to focus on community engagement

The inaugural class of the WCU Leadership Academy selected “assessing community engagement” as the theme that will be integrated into the group’s activities and work this year. The group began the discussion of the theme at a kickoff retreat.

James Felton, director of intercultural affairs, speaks at the Leadership Academy’s retreat held Friday, Aug. 2, at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

James Felton, director of intercultural affairs, speaks at the Leadership Academy’s retreat held Friday, Aug. 2, at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Renee Corbin, director of assessment for the College of Education and Allied Professions, said she and her fellow Leadership Academy members feel strengthening community engagement is very important.

Jason LaVigne, Microsoft SQL database administrator, concurs.

“I feel that the key to Western’s growth and achieving its goals it to develop and cultivate strong relationships with not only Sylva but also the entire Western North Carolina region that we serve,” said LaVigne.

Brett Woods, director of development, said the theme resonated with him because he believes community engagement overlaps with much of the strategic plan “2020 Vision.”

“In its broadest context, community engagement impacts almost all of the six strategic directions of the 2020 plan,” said Woods.

New freshman learning community centers on service, social change

An interest in service and a love for people inspired a group of Western Carolina University students to join a new learning community this fall called The Ripple Effect – an initiative designed to challenge students to not only observe the “ripples” that small acts and service perpetuate for social change, but also to jump in and make ripples themselves.

WCU hires executive director of millennial initiatives

WCU alumnus Tony E. Johnson, previously the senior director for business development at the Rural Economic Development Center serving North Carolina, will lead WCU’s efforts to enhance learning opportunities through cultivating public-private partnerships and regional activities that also fuel development in Western North Carolina.

Sophomore receives first Steven C. Jones Endowed Scholarship

A Western Carolina University student who wants to teach children with special needs when she graduates is the recipient of the first award from a newly endowed scholarship fund honoring the memory of Steven C. Jones, a well-known Jackson County educator who died in 2012.

Ulrich to perform 25th anniversary trumpet recital on Sept. 10

Musicians that trumpeter and professor P. Bradley Ulrich has taught and worked with during his 25 years at Western Carolina University will join him for an anniversary recital on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

From the Breakroom with Josh Whitmore

Josh Whitmore, associate director of outdoor programs, joined a four-person National Park Service mountaineering patrol that stood ready to conduct rescue operations, maintain safety ropes and provide daily weather and avalanche forecasts.

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