Archive for September 18th, 2013

WCU institutional research achievement featured in national newsletter

A unique approach to tracking program-level and graduation data developed by staff in Western Carolina University’s Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness was recently featured in the monthly newsletter of the national Association for Institutional Research.

Mark Kossick presents at national anesthesia seminar

Dr. Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing, recently presented a comprehensive eight-hour EKG Seminar sponsored by A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education of Baylor Health Care System in Dallas and Northwest Anesthesia Seminars in Pasco, Wash. Kossick’s topics included “Computerized ST Segment Analysis During Anesthesia and in PACU,” “Understanding Modified Chest Leads Versus True Chest Leads,” and “Interpretation of Supraventricular/Ventricular Arrhythmias and Current Treatment Strategies.” The lectures were part of a continuing education program held in Las Vegas and attended by anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurse anesthetists and physician assistants specializing in anesthesia.

Dorondo wins notable alumnus award

David Dorondo, associate professor of history, has been named an Armstrong Notable Alumnus from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., and will be inducted into the Alumni Honorees Society, an exclusive organization of Armstrong alumni representing excellence and service.

A reception celebrating the honor will be held in early October.

WCU faculty, current and retired, to present at trail conference

Thomas Belt, coordinator of WCU’s Cherokee Language Program, will be a featured speaker at the Bartram Trail Conference to be held at the Mountain Retreat and Learning Center at Scaly Mountain from Friday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 13.

Belt will present “A Cherokee Looks at William Bartram” at the event, which is designed to celebrate and expand knowledge of the mountains that William Bartram called “The Cherokee Mountains” during his 1775 exploration.

Also at the conference, Dan Pittillo, retired WCU biology professor, will lead a panel discussion centered on how the botany of the southern Appalachians has changed during the past two centuries.

The BTC, established in 1976, works to promote interest in developing public access recreational trails and botanical gardens along Bartram’s path and to encourage the study, preservation and interpretation of Bartram’s heritage.

For more information, visit

Grant to support forensic science research

The National Institute of Justice has awarded Mark R. Wilson, associate professor and director of the Forensic Science Program, a grant of nearly $718,000, to evaluate new DNA sequencing instrumentation for use in crime laboratories. In addition to funding research, the grant also will provide three research assistantships in the amount of $20,000 each and tuition waivers for qualified graduate students working on thesis research projects related to the grant proposal.

New Lens Film Series to screen “1968” on Sept. 19

The New Lens Film Series at Western Carolina University will get under way Thursday, Sept. 19, with a screening of “1968,” an episode of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning “From the Earth to the Moon” series.

Graphic for screening of "1968" at WCUThe presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center and will be followed by a panel discussion.

The “1968” episode focuses on the space program’s achievements with the first manned lunar flight in the context of turbulent times – the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. The screening is sponsored by WCU’s sociology and chemistry clubs.

The 2013-14 New Lens Film Series selections are linked to WCU’s campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme, “1960s: Take It All In,” which is designed to encourage discussion and study of the legacy and lessons of the decade. All screenings will be held at 7 p.m. in the University Center theater and will be followed by panel discussions.

In addition to “1968,” scheduled to be shown this fall are “The Pill,” a documentary about development and reaction to the contraceptive pill from the PBS program “American Experience,” on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and “Mare Tranquilitatis,” an episode of HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon” series focused on the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

During the spring semester, the series will host “Summer of Love,” a look at the 1960s counterculture movement from the PBS program “American Experience,” on Wednesday, Feb. 12; “The Original Wives’ Club,” an episode of HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon” centered on wives of NASA’s Apollo astronauts” on Tuesday, March 4; and “Before Stonewall,” a 1984 documentary that examines discrimination against the LGBT community in the time leading up to the 1969 Stonewall riots, on Wednesday, April 9.

For more information, contact Marilyn Chamberlin, associate professor of sociology, at 828-227-3839 or

Sept. 19 reception set for ‘Iron Maidens’ exhibit at art museum

The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University will host a reception Thursday, Sept. 19, for a new exhibit currently on display, “Iron Maidens: Women of Contemporary Cast Iron.”

The “Third Thursday” reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the museum’s Star Atrium. It is free and open to the public.

Iron casting as a process for creating functional products has an old history, but its use by fine artists dates back only to the 1960s and the development of the studio-size iron furnace. The process involves re-melting scrap iron down to molten iron, which is then poured into premade “casts” or molds.

The field of iron casting has traditionally been dominated by men, but in the late 20th century a group of women emerged – the “Iron Maidens.” The exhibit at the WCU museum showcases the works of 14 female artists from Great Britain and America. It will be on display through Friday, Nov. 22.

WCU’s Fine Art Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission and parking are free. For more information, go online to or call 828-227-3591.

Outdoor gear sale set for Sept. 21

The Parks and Recreation Management Club will host a used outdoor gear sale on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Items for sale include tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear. All sales are final, and only cash will be accepted. Call 828-227-3633 between 11 a.m. and 5 pm. for more information.

Filmmaker to share Niger River, West Africa documentaries Sept. 24-25

Filmmaker Hisham Mayet presents two films Sept. 24-25 in the A.K. Hinds University Center Theater. The films depict the culture along the Niger River and the ceremonies of West Africa.

Filmmaker Hisham Mayet presents two films Sept. 24-25 in the A.K. Hinds University Center Theater. The films depict the culture along the Niger River and the ceremonies of West Africa.

Filmmaker Hisham Mayet will present documentaries that depict culture along the Niger River and ceremonies of West Africa at Western Carolina University on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Screenings of “Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast” and “The Divine River: Ceremonial Pageantry in the Sahel” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center on both days. The events, which are free and open to the public, will be accompanied by question-and-answer sessions.

In “Vodoun Gods on the Slave Coast,” Mayet explores Benin, the cradle of voodoo and the coast from which many slaves were exported. The film features footage Mayet captured in 2010 of Vodoun celebrations and ceremonies.

Meanwhile, “The Divine River: Ceremonial Pageantry in The Sahel” features footage captured between 2007 and 2012 of the music, ritual, life and landscape along a river as it winds through Mali and the Republic of Niger. Highlights range from courtship rites and trance vocals of young Wodaabe men to a mask ritual atop the Bandiagara Escarpment in the village of Endele.

Mayet is a founding member of the Sublime Frequencies Collective, an organization committed to acquiring and exposing the sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers.

His presentation at WCU is part of the 2013-14 Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series. For more information about the ACE series, visit or contact Rotimi Ariyo, associate director for University Center programs, at 828-227-3751.

Tibetan monks uplift students

Before Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery came to Western Carolina University, graduate student Joanna Jennings had studied but never observed the sacred art of mandala sand-painting. “It was beautiful – majestic – beyond all the pictures I have ever seen,” said Jennings.

Mountain Heritage Day 5-K Road Race to span WCU hills

A 5-kilometer foot race will test the mettle of runners on the Western Carolina University campus Saturday, Sept. 28, as part of festivities at WCU’s 39th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival.

Planned by students of WCU’s event management course taught by David Tyler, the 5-K will begin at 8 a.m. from the Stillwell Science Building. Race-day registration and registered runner check-in will be held from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m.

Entry fees are $20 for runners and speed-walkers who register by noon Friday, Sept. 27 ($15 for WCU students with a valid identification card); $25 for those who register the day of the race. Groups running together may preregister at $15 per runner. Proceeds will benefit the Sport Management Association Scholarship Fund.

Participants will receive a T-shirt, plus fruit and water as needed. Numbered bibs will be provided by RoadID. Runners should have the ability to complete the race within 50 minutes. The course, which encompasses hills and flat areas on the campus, must be cleared by 9 a.m.

Awards will be presented to the overall male and female winners and to the top three age-group winners in the 17-and-under, 18-30 and 31-and-over categories.

Students in the event management course have determined the details of the race as part of their course work. “A major goal of the course is to expose them to working in teams as part of a larger organization – in this case, the whole class,” Tyler said.

Full race details and an online registration form can be found at Information also is available by contacting Tyler at 828-283-0203 or Learn more about the festival at

Paddlers win honors at Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom

Fifty paddlers gathered on the banks of the Tuckaseigee River on the back side of the Western Carolina University campus Saturday, Sept. 14, to compete at the fifth annual Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom.

Event sponsors were WCU’s Parks and Recreation Management Club and Base Camp Cullowhee. Proceeds raised through entry fees will go toward a proposed river park.

“We had a good turnout and the weather was perfect,” said Maurice Phipps, WCU professor of parks and recreation management and lead organizer. “Thanks go to Bruce Prentice for the use of his property, Base Camp Cullowhee for collecting registrations, WCU Honors College students for judging, and parks and recreation management students for organizing the event. Thanks also to Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor sponsors Blackrock Outdoor Co., Country Side Bowling Lanes, Slickrock Expeditions, Osprey Backpacks and Watershed Drybags.”

The family-friendly paddling competition was held on a calm section of the river. Nine gates were set up for paddlers to negotiate. Paddlers with winning times are:

Men’s kayak: First, Maurice Phipps; second, Jonah Winchester; third, Michael Owcyzkowski.

Women’s kayak: First, Skyler Singleton; second, Cindy Phipps; third, Jennifer Stogner-Lee.

Kid’s kayak: First, Eliza Macaulay.

Single open canoe: First, Burt Kornegay; second, Jonah Winchester; third, Sam Fowlkes.

Double open canoe: First, Becky and Burt Kornegay; second, Debby and Mark Singleton; third, Mike Milideo and Andrew Baker.

New IT team works to enhance business analysis capability and capacity

A newly organized team in WCU’s Division of Information Technology is working to enhance the division’s business analysis capacity and capability.

WCU employee Neil Calvert has moved to the Department of Academic Engagement and IT Governance and is serving as the team’s project intake analyst. Sarah Speed has transitioned to the role of full-time business analyst and remains in the Department of IT Applications and Systems. New to WCU and the team is Marjorie Eyre, academic process and system analyst. Eyre has experience working with such agencies as the Foreign Service Institute, the Department of Homeland Security, IRS and the Pentagon.

Read the full article in DoIT News.

Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Call for Nominations

The University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was created in 1994 to encourage, identify, recognize, reward and support excellence in teaching within the university, and nominations of WCU faculty members for the award are due no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.

A cash award and a bronze medallion created especially for the award are given to 17 recipients, one from each UNC institution, at an annual recognition luncheon hosted by the Board of Governors in the spring.

By creating and funding this award, the Board of Governors recognizes and rewards sustained excellence in teaching at Western Carolina University.

To nominate a WCU faculty member, use the BOG Nomination Form. For more information, contact Laura Cruz, director of the Coulter Faculty Commons, at 828-227-2093 or

Faculty trombonist to celebrate music of the 1960s at Oct. 1 recital

Dan Cherry (right) will be joined at his Oct. 1 recital by musicians including, from left, Eliot Wadopian on bass and Pavel Wlosok on piano.

Dan Cherry (right) will be joined at his Oct. 1 recital by musicians including, from left, Eliot Wadopian on bass and Pavel Wlosok on piano.

Western Carolina University music faculty member Dan Cherry will perform “From Style Galant to Jazz: A Trombonist’s Take on the 1960s” at WCU on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Coulter Building.

Cherry, associate professor of trombone and euphonium, said the decade of the 1960s represents an important period of discovery, growth and innovation in the history of the trombone.

At the concert, he will perform pieces including the Wagenseil “Concerto” for alto trombone, which represents the rediscovery in the 1960s of some of the earliest known solo works for the instrument – works that date to the mid-18th century. Such works are now part of the mainstream of trombone recital literature and contributed to the change in the understanding of the instrument’s history and literature, said Cherry.

The recital also will include Donald White’s “Sonata for Trombone and Piano,” which was commissioned by the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors in 1967 and includes compositional elements such as the twelve-tone technique.

The program will feature the “Sonata for Solo Trombone,” a 1962 piece by Barney Childs that exemplifies experimental music in the trombone repertoire. The piece includes an extended, cadenza-like “Recitative” movement, swing/jazz style in the “Double,” and experimentation with form in the final “Rondo.”

Also on the program is a 1965 medley from “Man of La Mancha.”

“This set of three songs presents contrasting elements of the trombone’s sonic capabilities: delicate lyricism, passionate warmth and brassy bravado,” said Cherry.

The final two jazz tunes are direct transcriptions from an album released in 1960 titled “The Great Kai and J.J.”

“Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson are two of the great trombonists in the history of jazz, and their collaborations were celebrated throughout the 1950s and 60s,” said Cherry. “‘Blue Monk’ is a wonderful original tune by Thelonious Monk, here arranged by J.J., and ‘Side by Side’ is Kai’s arrangement of the tune by Tin Pan Alley songwriter and pianist Harry Woods.”

Performing with Cherry on the Wagenseil Concerto, the White Sonata and the medley from “Man of La Mancha” will be faculty pianist Andrew Adams.

The jazz combo for the final two tunes will feature David Wilken, adjunct faculty member, on trombone; Pavel Wlosok, associate professor of jazz, on piano, Eliot Wadopian, adjunct faculty, on bass; and Dan Gonko, recording engineer for the School of Music, on drums.

The recital is a part of the School of Music Concert Series as well as “The 60s: Take It All In,” the campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme for the 2013-14 academic year.

For more information, call the School of Music at 828-227-7242.

School of Nursing to host alumni reunion

The School of Nursing will host an “Alumni Homecoming and Reunion Weekend” for nursing alumni with special recognition for the classes of 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013 during WCU’s Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26.

The event will include a silent auction to raise money for student scholarships. To donate an item, contact Gail Elliott, assistant professor of nursing, at 828-654-6522. To register, contact Monica Booth, administrative support associate, at 828-654-6509.

Lakatos hired as distinguished professor of business innovation

An award-winning educator with extensive business, accounting and legal counsel experience, Joseph P. Lakatos has joined the Western Carolina University faculty as the Wesley R. Elingburg Distinguished Professor of Business Innovation and director of WCU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

State Employees Combined Campaign kicks off on campus Sept. 23

Western Carolina University community members are invited to give to their favorite charities through the annual N.C. State Employees Combined Campaign, which will be held at WCU from Monday, Sept. 23, to Friday, Nov. 8.

WCU welcomes new employees

The Reporter annually invites new faculty and staff to participate in a feature that introduces employees hired within the last year.

Click here to download the PDF of The Reporter feature introducing new WCU employees during 2012-13

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


Africa! More Than A Continent