Archive for September 25th, 2013

Hinton wins state award

Jennifer Hinton

Jennifer Hinton

The N.C. Recreational Therapy Association honored Jennifer L. Hinton, associate professor and director of WCU’s recreational therapy program, with the Ray E. West Distinguished Member Award.

The award, the highest granted by the association, honors members who have at least eight years of experience related to recreational therapy, evidence of distinctive leadership, unwavering personal and professional commitment to the profession and to association activities, and professional research, written publications or presentations.

Collins to serve as journal reviewer, present at national conference

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins, assistant professor of nursing and director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program, has signed on to be a reviewer for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal. The AANA Journal is the premier professional journal for certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Collins also will present a poster on emotional intelligence in professional life at the sixth National Doctors of Nursing Practice Conference in Phoenix later this month.

Sholder to be guest artist at University of Nevada

The Department of Film at University of Nevada Las Vegas invited Jack Sholder, director of WCU’s Film and Television Production Program, to be a guest artist in November. Sholder will direct a scene for the university’s film production students to demonstrate the craft.

Hunter Library to host spoken word workshop Oct. 4

Matthew Cuban (Photo by Onaje Imaging)

Matthew Cuban (Photo by Onaje Imaging)

Matthew Cuban, a slam poetry champion, teacher and coach, will present a free spoken-word workshop at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library on Friday, Oct. 4.

The event, which will begin at 3:30 p.m., will be followed by a reception and performances by Cuban and the WCU Truthwriters at 4:30 p.m.

Cuban is a three-time grand champion of the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, the second-largest poetry slam in the nation.

He also founded and coached a teen spoken word poetry team from Jacksonville, Fla., and later coached teams from Richmond, Va., and Leeds, England. All three teams made it to finals at the Brave New Voices Festival, a competition for teen poetry teams from around the world and subject of an HBO reality series.

The workshop and performance is co-sponsored by WCU’s Hunter Library and Office of Intercultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Beth McDonough, associate professor with Hunter Library, at or 828-227-3423.

Program director named health and human sciences interim associate dean

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins, director of Western Carolina University’s high-demand Nurse Anesthesia and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, has been named interim associate dean of the WCU College of Health and Human Sciences.

In the role, Collins will support academic programs to meet the university’s institutional mission, the college’s strategic goals, and standards and procedures of accrediting bodies. The appointment was effective Monday, Sept. 23.

“Dr. Collins will provide much-needed assistance in the development and implementation of academic initiatives to meet the college’s educational mission,” said Douglas R. Keskula, dean of the college. “We enthusiastically welcome Dr. Collins to our leadership team and look forward to working with him.”

Book fair to be held Sept. 26-Oct. 1

The Collegiate Middle Level Association will host a Scholastic Book Fair for all ages from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 in Suite 203 of the Killian Building.

The book fair will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27; noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28; 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30; and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The event will raise money for a trip to the Association of Middle Level Educators Conference, where nine students joined by Kim K. Ruebel, associate dean for academic affairs with the College of Education and Allied Professions, and David Strahan, the Taft B. Botner Distinguished Professor of Middle Grades Education, will present an ongoing research project.

Dance company to perform Oct. 2

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will perform at Western Carolina University in the John W. Bardo Arts Center on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will perform at Western Carolina University in the John W. Bardo Arts Center on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The internationally acclaimed Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will perform “Song of the Phoenix” at Western Carolina University on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Tickets for the performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, are $5 for students and $10 for all others.

Dancer Nai-Ni Chen works to fuse the dynamic freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of Asian art in her company’s choreography, which the New York Times has described as “endlessly proliferating forces of cosmic energy.” The company has mounted 20 national tours and seven tours abroad.

The group’s show at WCU is part of the 2013-14 Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series. While on campus, their interaction with students will include teaching a master class.

For more information about the ACE series, visit or contact Rotimi Ariyo, associate director for University Center programs, at 828-227-3751. For tickets, visit the Bardo Arts Center box office in person or online at, or call 828-227-2479.

Brownbag speaker series under way

Hisham Mayet, co-founder of Sublime Frequencies, was set to present the lecture “DIY Ethnography, Ethno Cinema, Animism and The Rise of Fundamentalisms” at Western Carolina University on Wednesday, Sept. 25, to kick off the 2013-14 WCU Department of Anthropology and Sociology Brownbag Series.

The lunchtime series is an opportunity for faculty and students associated with the department to share research and ideas with the community. The presentations, which are free and open to the public, are held from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. in Room 114 of the McKee Building.

The series will continue Wednesday, Oct. 23, with John Williams, professor and director of the forensic anthropology program and the Western Carolina Human Identification Laboratory, and Nikki Jastremski, a lecturer of anthropology, presenting “Ecuador: A QEP Experience.”

Then, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, Tony Hickey, professor of sociology, and students who traveled to Kenya will present “Kenya 2013: A Report about Grassroots Development.”

For more information, contact Peter Nieckarz, associate professor of sociology, at 828-227-3837, or Heather Laine Talley, assistant professor of sociology, at

WCU to hold MBA information sessions in Asheville

Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in business administration will host information sessions for prospective students at WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville in October.

An evening session will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, and a lunchtime session will be held at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9. A third session is being planned. All will be held in Room 344 at WCU’s facility located at 28 Schenck Parkway. Individual appointments also are available.

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 program accepts both full-time and part-time students, and the degree can be completed in 34 months on a part-time track, or 16 months on a full-time track. Courses are taught at the Biltmore Park Town Square site.

There are no prerequisites aside from two weeks of intensive review sessions. 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 send an email to 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.

Art students paint in downtown Sylva

Sophomore Allan Griffiths paints Sylva’s Mill Street in oil. (The Sylva Herald photo by Nick Breedlove)

Sophomore Allan Griffiths paints Sylva’s Mill Street in oil. (The Sylva Herald photo by Nick Breedlove)

A dozen Western Carolina University students in Ron Laboray’s “Introduction to Paint” class practiced plein air painting at Sylva’s Bridge Park on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Plein air painting started in France in the 1800s, and the tradition is still alive and well in America, said Laboray. The technique, which focuses on speed, is generally done in “open air.”

The students spent about an hour creating their art, which Laboray said he hopes will be displayed downtown.

“Another interesting aspect of plein air painting is that it becomes a record of specific places at particular times,” he said.

Brief courtesy The Sylva Herald

Graduate program directors attend workshop

Thirty-two graduate program directors representing each of WCU’s academic colleges attended a Graduate Program Director Workshop co-sponsored Sept. 4-5 by WCU’s Graduate School and Coulter Faculty Commons.

Mimi Fenton, dean of the Graduate School and Research, gave a presentation on current national trends, challenges, opportunities and “hot topics” in graduate education. Then, led by Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons, and Brian Kloeppel, associate dean of the Graduate School, program directors reviewed and discussed data and materials on the topics of program marketing and recruiting, student retention, financial assistance and program assessment.

Workshop organizers said the goal of the gathering was for graduate program directors to come together as a community to learn about practices and strategies for addressing ongoing challenges in graduate education, as well as to create strategic goals for their programs for the coming year.

Music folklorist to give presentation at museum

Brendan Greaves, a folklorist focusing on vernacular music who is co-founder of Paradise of Bachelors, a record label and music archive based in Chapel Hill, will visit Western Carolina University on Thursday, Sept. 26, to give a talk at the Mountain Heritage Center.

Greaves’ presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the museum auditorium. He will discuss his work in recording lesser-known musicians of the middle 20th century, such as David Lee, an African-American writer and producer from Shelby.

Paradise of Bachelors has produced and reproduced a number of vinyl records over recent years. “Records represent our primary vehicle for producing artifacts, and for us vinyl is the most sensible way to do that,” Greaves said. “Music is mechanically and physically encoded in vinyl, so the data is physical. That’s conceptually appealing, but so is the idea that when the impending digital apocalypse renders much contemporary audio media obsolete, enterprising folks can still build a record player with a wheel, a needle and a horn.”

The presentation is free and is sponsored by the Mountain Heritage Center and WCU Department of History. For more information, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or visit

Business leaders to educators at WCU-convened conference: strong math skills a must

Western North Carolina’s educational institutions must re-emphasize the importance of mathematical skills at all levels – from basic addition and subtraction to advanced statistics, analysis and predictive modeling – if mountain students are to succeed in the modern workforce.

Campbell’s Timothy Metz to lead institutional planning, effectiveness

Timothy D. Metz, director of institutional research and assessment at Campbell University, has been named the next assistant vice chancellor for institutional planning and effectiveness at Western Carolina University.

Employees honored for years of service

Western Carolina University employees were honored for reaching milestones in their years of service to the state of North Carolina during the past fiscal year at the recent 2013 Employee Appreciation Day.

The audience takes the stage at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day this year

A new platform will join the three performers’ stages at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day, Saturday, Sept. 28, on the campus in Cullowhee – right in front of the Balsam Stage, created for audience members to share their dance skills while the bands play on.

WCU’s free celebration of Appalachian culture also will feature a full schedule of mountain music, fun activities, about 100 booths of the region’s finest arts and crafts, and 28 vendors offering ethnic, heritage and festival food.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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Commencement 2017


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