Archive for September 12th, 2013

Sexton and Metcalfe publish article about flu vaccination rates of the homeless

An article by Elizabeth Sexton, assistant professor of nursing, and Sharon Metcalfe, associate professor of nursing and director of the Nursing Network-Careers and Technology Program, titled “An Academic-Community Partnership to Address the Flu Vaccination Rates of the Homeless” has been accepted for publication in the Public Health Nursing Journal.

The article addresses a fall 2012 homeless flu vaccination clinic and social networking program initiated by senior Western Carolina University nursing students in collaboration with the local public health department and area homeless shelters.

Staff members, students complete Blue Ridge Relay

Members of the Young and the Rest of Us celebrate completion of the Blue Ridge Relay at the finish line in Asheville.

Members of the Young and the Rest of Us celebrate completion of the Blue Ridge Relay at the finish line in Asheville.

Nine staff members from WCU’s Division of Student Affairs joined forces with three WCU students to complete the Blue Ridge Relay, a 208-mile race that sends runners along back roads from Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia to downtown Asheville.

The team, dubbed The Young and the Rest of Us, began the relay at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and completed it 34 hours and 35 minutes later in Asheville. Each solo runner on 12-member teams in the event completes three legs of the race, covering an average of 17 total miles.

Participating staff members were Bryant Barnett (team captain), Margaret Basehart, Miles Basehart, Virginia Fowler, Nolan Goubeaux, Megan Harre, Tammy Haskett, Brenda Holcombe and James Thomas. Barnett and Holcombe were participating in the relay for the third time, while it was the second time in the event for Fowler and Haskett.

Student runners were Sean Botzenhart, Tanner Deaton and David Dombo. It was Botzenhart’s second time running the race.

Students hold Sept. 11 memorial

Western Carolina University students, from left, Derrick Clayton, chairman of WCU’s chapter of the Young America’s Foundation; Cassandra Phipps, a member of the WCU College Republicans; and Garrett Whipkey, a member of the WCU College Democrats, gather to show unified support for the “9/11 Never Forget Project.”

Western Carolina University students, from left, Derrick Clayton, chairman of WCU’s chapter of the Young America’s Foundation; Cassandra Phipps, a member of the WCU College Republicans; and Garrett Whipkey, a member of the WCU College Democrats, gather to show unified support for the “9/11 Never Forget Project.”

Western Carolina University’s student chapter of the Young America’s Foundation sponsored placement of 2,977 flags on the lawn near Blue Ridge Residence Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in memory of each person who died as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The event, part of the foundation’s “9/11 Never Forget Project,” also included a moment of silence and vigil.

“Our hope is to continue to unite, regardless of political ideologies, and remember those that lost their lives in this senseless tragedy,” said Derrick Clayton, chairman of WCU’s foundation chapter and a senior from Asheville majoring in political science.

Education consortium to host mathematics conference

The Western North Carolina P-16 Education Consortium will hold a mathematics conference on Thursday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 20, in Cullowhee at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Western Carolina University campuses.

The conference includes a panel discussion, “Mathematics and the WNC Workforce: Voices of Business Leaders,” and meetings of teams that represent the region’s school districts.

The consortium developed after Chancellor David O. Belcher committed in his installation address to convening an education consortium consisting of leaders in university, community college and prekindergarten through twelfth-grade education. The group is committed to facilitating collaborative dialogue among key stakeholders regarding addressing education needs that will improve the knowledge and skills of the region’s workforce.

Dale Carpenter, interim dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions, is serving as a co-chair of the consortium.

WCU honor society wins national award

The Western Carolina University chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta, a national freshman honor society, recently received the national society’s gold award in recognition of significant chapter enrollment growth.

To be eligible for membership in WCU’s chapter, students must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree full-time, have a 3.5 GPA or higher, and be in the top 20 percent of their class at the end of their first semester. Enrollment in WCU’s chapter jumped 174 percent from 42 students during the 2011-12 academic year to 115 students during the 2012-13 academic year.

Megan Boland, president of the honor society, said the organization had become stagnant and credited the boost in enrollment to WCU’s Honors College student board of directors, the society’s officers and the society’s adviser Emily Sharpe, director of Honors advising and pre-professional programs. Together, they committed to rebuilding the organization, said Boland, a senior from Minneapolis majoring in English literatures and pursuing minors in political science and film studies.

They took steps to raise awareness of membership benefits, such as the chance to come together with students from different disciplines and walks of life and the opportunity to apply for society-related scholarships, including funding to support study abroad, she said.

“Alpha Lambda Delta is full of motivated students who are constantly looking for new ways to engage the community,” said Boland.

The organization also is supported by Chancellor David O. Belcher and wife Susan, who invited inductees to the chancellor’s residence for a reception after the most recent induction ceremony.

Monastery artists to complete sand painting, hold closing ceremony

Monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery held an opening ceremony in connection with their demonstration at WCU of mandala sand-painting.

Monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery held an opening ceremony in connection with their demonstration at WCU of mandala sand-painting.

Monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery will be demonstrating the art of mandala sand-painting in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom up until a closing ceremony to be held at noon Friday, Sept. 13.
Derived from the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, the sand mandala is considered a tool for healing the earth. At the closing ceremony, the sand mandala will be ceremoniously dismantled and sand swept up to symbolize impermanence and poured into a body of water to send healing energies to the world.

The monks also have met with students and performed “Sacred Music Sacred Dance” in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Wilson leading Western North Carolina Leadership Initiative at WCU’s Cherokee Center

Juanita Wilson, an alumna of Western Carolina University and enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has joined the staff of WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach as director of the Western North Carolina Leadership Initiative.

Juanita Wilson

Juanita Wilson

The WNC Leadership Initiative includes two programs funded through the Cherokee Preservation Foundation that are now being administered through WCU – the Cherokee Right Path Program and the new Coulter Regional Leadership Program. Both programs are focused on helping area residents develop leadership skills.

Begun in 2010, the 12-month Cherokee Right Path Program is designed to immerse adult members of the Eastern Band in tribal history and culture while developing leadership competencies. The third class from the program is scheduled to graduate Thursday, Sept. 12.

The Coulter Regional Leadership Program is open to all adults from the counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain, and the Qualla Boundary. The program is named in honor of the late Myron Coulter, a founding member of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and chancellor at WCU from 1984 to 1994. Its first class will gather for an opening retreat in late October.

“Healthy communities need citizens with strong leadership skills,” Wilson said. “We are all familiar with skills centered on IQ, or intelligence quotient; however, emotional quotient plays an equally important role in leading people while honoring the cultures of the trainees.”

Wilson earned a master’s degree in management and leadership at Montreat College and a bachelor’s degree in sociology at WCU.

For more information about the WNC Leadership Initiative or its individual programs, visit or contact Wilson at 828-788-2579 or

MBA information sessions to be held in Cherokee, Cullowhee

Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in business administration will host information sessions in Cherokee and Cullowhee for prospective students for the MBA program cohort starting in Cherokee in January.

The session in Cherokee will be held in the hotel ballroom at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Sessions at WCU will be held in the Wells Fargo Business Center auditorium in the Forsyth Building on Monday, Sept. 16, from 12 to 12:45 p.m. and from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

Kelly McIntyre, graduate programs manager for WCU’s College of Business, will lead the information sessions and discuss the advantages of WCU’s “hands-on” MBA, which focuses on the unique challenges facing the region and its economy.

The MBA program cohort in Cherokee accepts part-time students, and the degree can be completed in 34 months. There are no prerequisites. Courses are taught at state-of-the-art training facilities at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Students also may enroll part-time or full-time at WCU’s site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville.

WCU’s program is designed to be integrative and interdisciplinary with a goal of creating independent, lifelong learners who are “business ready” to assume leadership positions, McIntyre said.

Each event will include a presentation and question-and-answer session. Individuals who plan to attend a session are asked to register by emailing Prospective students who want to schedule an individual appointment should send an email to the same address. For more information, contact McIntyre at 828-654-6533.

Diversity Week events set for Sept. 15-21

The Department of Intercultural Affairs is sponsoring Western Carolina University’s 14th annual Diversity Week, which is designed to raise awareness and appreciation for diverse groups in the community.

Brian Johnson will deliver the Diversity Week keynote address, “Reel Diversity,” in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. Johnson co-authored the award-winning book “Reel Diversity: A Teacher’s Sourcebook” and “We’ve Scene It All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training.”

The week kicks off with the annual Allies Picnic at the WCU picnic area on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Then in Multipurpose Room A in the University Center on Monday, Sept. 16, John Habel, associate professor of psychology, will present “Unintentional Racism” at 2 p.m. and Counseling and Psychological Services will co-sponsor a presentation titled “Your Gender Bred Identity” at 5 p.m.

On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Organization of Ebony Students and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity will host “Stand Your Ground?” in the Dogwood Room in the University Center from 7 to 8 p.m.

In the University Center Grandroom on Wednesday, Sept. 18, the seventh annual study abroad fair sponsored by the Office of International Programs and Services will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and poet Kelly Zen-Yei Tsai will perform as part of the Take Back the Night event at 7 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 20, an ice cream social featuring ice cream from Jack the Dipper of Sylva will be held in the lounge of the Department of Intercultural Affairs in the University Center from 1 to 3 p.m.

Diversity Week will conclude Saturday, Sept. 21, with an Interfaith Conference in the University Center Grandroom. Registration is at 8 a.m., and the conference begins at 9 a.m.

For more information, send an email to or call 828-227-2276.

Asheville Symphony musicians to perform with faculty, students Sept. 17

String musicians from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra will team up with students and faculty from the Western Carolina University School of Music to present a performance Tuesday, Sept. 17, to start the second year of an artist-in-residence program.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

The partnership began last year as a way to bring professional string musicians to campus for performances with WCU’s woodwind, brass and percussion students and choral ensembles as the Artist-in-Residence Orchestra.

This year’s season of performances includes masterworks of the orchestral repertoire conducted by the Asheville Symphony’s Daniel Meyer, a young conductor who is building a reputation for his work with younger orchestras, said Will Peebles, director of WCU’s School of Music.

“As conductor of the Asheville Symphony, Daniel Meyer is uniquely positioned to bring together the string players with whom he works regularly and the wind and percussion students from Western Carolina,” Peebles said.

Meyer said he is excited about the continuing collaboration with students and faculty at WCU.

“From the first time I visited campus, it was obvious to me that WCU places a high priority on the value of great art and great performances, particularly in the investment in the beautiful Bardo Arts Center,” he said. “Artists and performers of the future will be well-suited to make a home at WCU, and with this collaboration between the students, faculty and professional musicians of the ASO, we will be able to explore the details and depths to which performing artists must go in order to create an excellent performance.”

This year’s series of Artist-in-Residence Orchestra concerts also will feature WCU faculty as soloists with the orchestra.

The program for Sept. 17 consists of Hebrides Overture (“Fingal’s Cave”) by Felix Mendelssohn; Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Orchestra by Richard Strauss, featuring WCU’s Travis Bennett on horn; and Symphony No. 4 in Bb major by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Proceeds go to support the Artist-in-Residence program, which represents a unique partnership between the School of Music and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, providing important educational opportunities for School of Music students and more employment opportunities for the musicians of the orchestra, Peebles said.

For information, contact the WCU School of Music at 828-227-7242.

Independent film series begins Sept. 17

“How to Make Movies at Home” amateurs encounter professionals from Hollywood

“How to Make Movies at Home” amateurs encounter professionals from Hollywood

Western Carolina University will host a series of films on topics from classic horror to the growing fear of genetically modified organisms to the flaws of public education as part of the 2013-14 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.

The tour is part of WCU’s Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series and a program of South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization. All films in the series are free and will start at 7:30 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. A question-and-answer session with the filmmaker will follow, and refreshments will be available.

The series starts with “How to Make Movies at Home” on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The film is a fictional depiction of do-it-yourself filmmakers in Maine in the process of making a movie when a Hollywood film company encroaches upon their town and their movie. Intended to be entertaining yet educational, “How to Make Movies” offers real lessons for aspiring filmmakers.

The series continues Tuesday, Oct. 22, with “Birth of the Living Dead,” a documentary about the revolutionary filmmaking techniques used by George Romero, the impact classic horror film “Night of the Living Dead” had on the craft, and a reflection of the turbulent era in which it was created.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, WCU will screen “GMO OMG,” a film that explores whether it is possible to prevent genetically modified organisms from completely infiltrating the food system. The director, Jeremy Seifert, goes around the country seeking out food that is free of GMOs, interviewing farmers and attempting to interview an executive at the Monsanto Corporation, a producer of seeds engineered to increase the yield of crops.

Then on Tuesday, Feb. 4, the series will feature “The Iran Job,” a documentary about an American professional basketball player who joins an Iranian basketball team for a season to “get away from the familiar.” The film is politically-driven and depicts women’s struggles against the oppressive Iranian regime as well as the political process in Iran and the United States.

A feature documentary depicting the birth of Rwanda’s film industry, “Finding Hillywood,” will be screened Tuesday, March 18. The film depicts the impact of genocide and the power of film to transform trauma and suffering into art through chronicling one man’s journey to become a filmmaker and bring movies to rural areas through the use of a giant inflatable screen.

The film series concludes Tuesday, April 8, with “The New Public,” which explores the flaws of public education and the children that fall through the cracks. The film documents a new public high school called the Brooklyn Community Arts & Media, which was created to help inner city youth succeed by strengthening relationships and adapting the class structure to fit their unique needs.

For more information about the film series, visit online or contact Rotimi Ariyo, associate director for University Center programs, at 828-227-3751.

Take Back the Night Event set for Sept. 18

Internationally recognized spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai will be the keynote speaker for Western Carolina University’s annual Take Back the Night event, which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Tsai will perform pieces that center on sexual violence, relationships, power, voice and being a part of a community at 7 p.m. in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom. The performance will be preceded by an information fair at 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night, an annual international event, is part of the campuswide Red Zone campaign designed to encourage and empower students, faculty and staff to develop an open dialogue on the dangers of sexual violence and to speak up when they see violent behavior happening.

For more information and a full schedule of all Red Zone events, contact Sarah Carter, associate director of resource services for the Department of Intercultural Affairs, at or 828-227-2617, or visit

Former WCU poet-in-residence’s book published

“The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest,” a book of poetry by Kathryn Stripling Byer, WCU’s former poet-in-residence, has been out of print but was recently published by Press 53 in Winston-Salem.

The book was originally published by Texas Tech University Press in 1986 as part of the Associated Writing Programs Award Series.

“I’m happy to have this collection back in circulation for a new generation of readers,” said Byers.

Redesigned doctoral program winning rave reviews

Students in the first cohort of Western Carolina University’s recently relaunched doctoral program in educational leadership say the redesigned curriculum offers exactly what they need to better address problems at their schools and organizations. The program offers a new format of online classes with monthly in-person meetings, a carefully selected and sequenced curriculum with problem-based learning and fieldwork, and a focus on collaboration—not only with classmates but also with counterparts at other universities.

First Bardo Distinguished Professor named

Kofi Lomotey, a scholar who has served as a teacher, principal, tenured professor, department head, provost and chancellor, has been named Western Carolina University’s first Chancellor John Bardo and Deborah Bardo Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership.

International Programs and Services serves growing number of students

Western Carolina University’s fall enrollment of international students on campus directly served by the Office of International Programs and Services has reached new heights with 139 students – 106 in exchange, visiting or degree-track programs and 33 in the Intensive English Program – from 35 different countries

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


Africa! More Than A Continent