“Good Morning America” and Fox Carolina, WHNS-TV out of Greenville, S.C., recently shared news stories about a quest that led Joseph Pechmann, associate professor of biology, and Karen Kandl, biology instructor and associate director at Highlands Biological Station, to the twin sister of their 7-year-old daughter Anna, who the couple adopted from the city of Feng Cheng in the Jiang Xi Province in China.
Kandl had noticed in an online community that Anna looked similar to a child named Ella who was from the same community as Anna and had been adopted by a couple in Michigan. When Kandl realized the girls had the same birthday, the couple contacted Ella’s parents to see if there was interest in exploring the possibility that the girls might be sisters.
“We did so because we thought it would be wonderful for Anna to have a biological sister in addition to her sister Becky, our biological daughter,” said Pechmann.
Kopak’s parents drove a support vehicle, and he was greeted at the end of the ride by his wife, Kim Kopak, and 2-year-old daughter, Kayla. Kim Kopak is an administrative associate in the office of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Western Carolina University has posted a new commercial, which was created in-house by videographer and WCU alumnus Joseph Hader. The voiceover was performed by Zack Keys, a designer in creative services at WCU.
The commercial will air this fall during Catamount football games to be broadcast on ESPN-3, including games on Saturday, Sept. 7, against Virginia Tech and on Saturday, Oct. 19, against Wofford.
The issue of The Magazine of Western Carolina University for fall 2013 is now available online.
Feature articles include “Binding Force: From the Townhouse to the Woodland Stage and the Old Mountain Jug, traditions keep us happily connected to our beloved university,” “Boston Strong: A former WCU track athlete describes the kindness of strangers in the wake of the marathon bombing,” and “The Bare Facts: Forty years ago, WCU was the epicenter of collegiate streaking in the U.S.”
In addition, the magazine includes a multimedia story with multiple videos and slideshows called “Test of Endurance: A couple builds a top school for outdoor responder training.”
A PDF version of the print edition also is posted.
The College of Fine and Performing Arts recently unveiled “Tree of Life,” a 26-by-9-foot mural outside the college’e office on third floor of the Belk Building that was pained by Sylva artist Austen Mikulka.
The piece depicts a community of larger-than-life bugs and a tree. Mikulka said he was excited with the textured look he was able to achieve with some of the bugs, such as the “fuzziness” of a giant bee.
The piece helps connect the arts community at WCU with the arts community of the greater Western North Carolina community, said Courtney Thompson, executive assistant with the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Sponsored by the University of North Carolina General Administration in Chapel Hill, the new summer program provides an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of issues facing public higher education in North Carolina.
During their experience, the students spent time with staff members in the General Administration offices and visited with policy leaders in state government and business. They also worked from 15 to 20 hours each week in a state government agency. Mull was assigned to the UNC system’s Center for International Understanding in Raleigh, where he researched the economics, education, demographics, culture, and diplomatic and humanitarian efforts of 193 countries in the United Nations to assist in the development of a strategic index for future programs.
The students also traveled to Washington, D.C., where they attended meetings with several political and educational leaders, and to all of their home campuses. In addition to WCU, they visited Winston-Salem State University, UNC Charlotte, East Carolina University, UNC Pembroke and UNC Chapel Hill.
As the culmination of the six-week experience, each student developed a capstone project focusing on a higher education issue. Mull’s project was titled “Teacher Evaluation in Higher Education: A Comparative Analysis of K-12 and Higher Education Evaluation Methods.”
Mull is a 2010 graduate of Hayesville High School. A music education major, he is the son of Juliah M. Dix and Kenneth Mull. Michael Schallock, WCU associate professor of music, is his academic adviser and faculty sponsor for the program.
The Marian Drane Graham Scholars program is named for the wife of Frank Porter Graham, former UNC president who served as a U.S. senator and United Nations representative.
Western Carolina University will open its doors to prospective students and their families and friends as the university holds its first Open House of the fall semester Saturday, Sept. 14.
Hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Open House gives visitors a chance to tour the campus, learn about the university’s wide array of academic programs, and find out the important details of topics such as financial aid. Prospective students attending on Sept. 14 also can pick up a free ticket to see WCU’s football team take on the Citadel that afternoon.
For interested students who cannot attend the Sept. 14 event, WCU’s second Open House of the fall will be held Saturday, Nov. 9. Campus tours also are available year-round by appointment for students and their families.
Preregistration for Open House and more information is available by going to the website openhouse.wcu.edu or by calling the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 828-227-7317 or toll-free 877-928-4968.
A new doctor of nursing practice degree program offered by Western Carolina University in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte welcomed its first group of students as the fall semester got under way Monday, Aug. 19.
Six advanced-practice nurses from WCU along with six advanced-practice nurses from UNC Charlotte comprise the initial cohort of students in the new program, which was approved in February by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.
Face-to-face courses taught at UNCC and at WCU’s new instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville. The program’s first cohort met on the UNC Charlotte campus.
The new program offers specialties in family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesiology and nursing administration, said Judy Neubrander, director of WCU’s School of Nursing. The DNP has begun this fall as a post-master’s program, giving students who have completed requirements for a master of science in nursing degree the option of continuing for another two years of study to receive a doctor of nursing practice degree. In 2016, the program will begin enrolling students who have bachelor’s degrees and who will start three years of study to earn their doctoral degrees in one of the three specialty areas, Neubrander said.
The DNP is the third doctoral-level academic program at Western Carolina. The university also offers doctoral degrees in educational leadership and physical therapy.
For more information about the DNP program, contact the WCU School of Nursing at 828-227-7467.
With “1960s: Take It All In” as the 2013-14 campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme, the WCU community will explore the legacy and lessons from a decade of political upheaval, scientific accomplishments, extensions of pop culture, artistic expression, and new synergy in feminism and civil rights.
Among the many roles held by the late John H. “Jack” Wakeley during his 35-year career in higher education, the one most dear to his heart was that of psychology professor because he loved both the subject matter and interacting with students in the classroom, says his wife of 54 years, Sue Wakeley of Cullowhee. “It was truly the love of his life to teach psychology,” she said recently.
Western Carolina University students who are beginning their graduate studies this fall in Cullowhee relied on their GPS – Graduate Peer Scholar – to help them get started on the right path to degree completion during an orientation session sponsored Aug. 22 by WCU’s Graduate School.
Western Carolina University has scheduled a special announcement event and reception for Tuesday, Sept. 3. The event will begin at noon on the Central Plaza near the Alumni Tower on the WCU campus.