Archive for October, 2013

Faculty member co-chairs national conference held in WNC

Sam Fowlkes

Sam Fowlkes

Sam Fowlkes, an adjunct parks and recreation management instructor at WCU for 15 years and chair of the American Canoe Association’s safety and rescue committee, served as co-chair of the ACA’s 2013 Swiftwater Rescue Conference, which was held Oct. 24-26 in Western North Carolina.

The event featured seminars from the leading water rescue educators in the nation, including people who developed techniques and wrote the first instructional materials in the field.

“We’ve never been able to get them together in this way before,” said Fowlkes.

Participants came from across the country and Canada, and organizers started a waitlist after enrollment reached capacity.

University print shop assists Gary Carden with book

Western Carolina University Print Shop staff members assisted award-winning author Gary Carden of Sylva with designing and printing his latest book, “Appalachian Bestiary,” which was released this fall.

Carden brought in a rough draft of the book and discussed with Clint Hardin, visual arts specialist with the print shop, the size, paper, binding and other technical specifications of the book. Hardin transferred the text of “Appalachian Bestiary” into Adobe InDesign and incorporated illustrations from Mandy Newham-Cobb.

The book was printed on high-tech equipment at the print shop and trimming, scoring, compiling, combining and binding the book was made possible through the efforts of Hardin and Terry Shular and Jeff Ray, both print and document services technicians.

“It was a team effort to get the book produced,” said Hardin.

Journal publishes article by Sholder and Cruz about transitioning to academia

Jack Sholder, director of the film and television production program, and Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons, authored “From Hills to Halls: A Modern Parable of Transitioning to Academia,” which was published in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Brennan, Cruz and Kinner co-author article about developing graduate assistants

Kathleen Brennan, associate professor of sociology; Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons; and Freya Kinner, instructional developer with Coulter Faculty Commons, co-authored “From Outsiders to Insiders: Graduate Assistant Development at State Comprehensive Universities,” which was recently published in the 32nd volume of To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development.

Byrd and student present at state mosquito control meeting

Brian Byrd, assistant professor of environmental health, and Michael Riles, a senior from Sylva majoring in biology with a minor in environmental health, recently presented at the Georgia Mosquito Control Association annual meeting held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education in Athens, Ga.

Byrd presented “The Validity of Common Morphological Characters Used to Identify Enzootic West Nile Virus Vectors (Culex Pipiens and Culex Restuans).”

Riles presented “Morphological Considerations for the Identification of Aedes Triseriatus and Ae. Hendersoni.”

Their work was carried out in part in the insectary in WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building.

Oxford’s chapter about band published

Lori Oxford, assistant professor of Spanish, authored a chapter in the recently released book from Praeger Press, “Sounds of Resistance: The Role of Music in Multicultural Activism.” Oxford’s chapter was titled “Maldita Vecindad: Ritual and Memory, paz y baile.”

Maldita Vecindad, one of the most popular and influential rock bands to come out of Mexico, is known for its commitment to justice and raising social consciousness as much as for its music, said Oxford. The Spanish phrase in the chapter title, “paz y baile,” is the group’s motto – peace and dance.

SLIDESHOW: Students, alumni celebrate Homecoming

The Western Carolina University community celebrated Homecoming 2013 with events that included a parade, activities for students and alumni, tailgating and a football victory in overtime.

Discovery Forum moved to Nov. 9

The date for Western Carolina University’s second Discovery Forum, an event designed to encourage young people to share innovative ideas for making their communities better places to live, has been changed to Saturday, Nov. 9.

The forum, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5, will be held from 3 until 4 p.m. Prospective students and other guests at WCU’s Open House will have the opportunity to attend the Discovery Forum during their visit.

During the forum, five undergraduate presenters will share results of their research projects in a series of five-minute presentations. The top two undergraduate presenters will be invited to represent WCU at the University of North Carolina Social Entrepreneurship Conference in February.

For more information, contact the WCU Honors College at 828-227-7383. founder to speak on campus Nov. 7

David Lilly

David Lilly

David Lilly, a business development and growth adviser with 25 years of experience in starting and expanding businesses including, will open a new guest speakers series sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Western Carolina University.

The presentation, titled “A Fireside Chat with David Lilly,” will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the theater of the A.K. Hinds University Center at WCU. The talk is open to the public free of charge.

Lilly served on the small team that developed the business plan and prototype for – the online automotive marketplace. He was tasked with initial site prototyping and design, along with technical platform development. Lily integrated the design elements and technology infrastructure of, crafted a variety of related technology and content deals, and designed award-winning customer information systems to track customer traffic and use of the site.

For more information, read the full story, call the College of Business at 828-227-7412 or email Emilie S. Berls in the dean’s office at

Video posted of Ogle’s ‘Last Lecture’

Burt Ogle

Burt Ogle

Coulter Faculty Commons posted a video of the “Last Lecture” presentation by Burton Ogle, professor and director of WCU’s environmental health sciences program.

The annual “Last Lecture” allows a chosen faculty member to share the words he or she would present if it was the final lecture he or she had a chance to give. Ogle presented”What is Cool about Environmental Health” on Thursday, Oct. 24, as part of Homecoming festivities.

For more information, contact Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons, at or 828-227-2093.

Author of zombie and Bigfoot books to speak Nov. 6

Eric Brown

Eric Brown

Eric S. Brown, a Sylva native and author of zombie and Bigfoot books, will discuss his work and answer questions about writing horror and science fiction at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Java City lounge area and will include refreshments.

Brown wrote the Bigfoot War series, the A Pack of Wolves series and the Jack Bunny Bam-Bam series, and is co-author with Jason Brannon of the Crypto-Squad series. The first book of the Bigfoot War series is slated for release as a feature film in 2014.

Brown’s stand-alone titles include “Homeworld,” which he co-authored with Tony Faville; “The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies,” which he co-authored with H.G. Wells; and “Season of Rot,” “World War of the Dead: A Zombie Novel,” “The Weaponer” and “Last Stand in a Dead Land.”

He also wrote the book versions of “Boggy Creek: The Legend is True,” co-authored with Jennifer Minar-Jaynes, and “The Bloody Rage of Bigfoot.”

In addition, he scripts the Unstoppable Origins and Storm Chasers comic book series for Unstoppable Comics.

Modern foreign languages T-shirt sale under way

Students from Western Carolina University’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages competed to see who could create the best T-shirt designs representing each of the five languages taught in the department – Cherokee, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Six winning designs have been chosen (including two to represent Japanese), and orders are being taken for T-shirts displaying the top designs. The T-shirt contest and sale is being held to raise the department’s visibility on campus and also to commemorate International Education Week, which is coming up Nov. 18-22, said Melissa Allen, department administrative associate.

Part of the goal of the event is to promote international understanding and encourage support for international education exchange through development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment, Allen said.

T-shirts are available for pre-order at $10 each and the deadline to order is Friday, Nov. 8. For more information or to order, contact Allen at

The six winning T-shirt designs can be viewed online.

Student selected for Stephen King film project

In the coming weeks, Western Carolina University senior Mike Hill may go out after dark to drive up and down the interstates. He’ll be looking at rest areas, hoping to find a brightly lit one with a deserted parking lot that lies next to a black stretch of highway. If the place looks creepy, like something out of a Stephen King story, even better. Because it could be.

Professor’s books spotlight naturalist who co-discovered natural selection with Darwin

Western Carolina University biology professor James T. Costa’s two forthcoming books offer an in-depth look at the work of Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist who some historians contend deserves more credit for helping co-discover the principle of natural selection. Natural selection is the mechanism for evolution that Charles Darwin presented in his famed book “On the Origin of Species,” and the topic of a paper Wallace sent to Darwin the year before the publication of “Origin” in 1859.

Hartley presents at regional and national conferences

Roger E. Hartley, professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and director of the master’s degree program in public affairs, recently presented at national and regional conferences.

At the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration’s annual conference held recently in Washington, D.C., Hartley presented “Why Do We Need Concentrations in MPA Degrees” and co-presented about a program centered on allowing students in MPA programs to take courses from other programs around the country.

In addition, Hartley presented a paper titled “The Impact of Claiming your Rights: Legal Opportunities, Legal Change and Implementation Post-Windsor” at the 2013 Southeastern Conference on Public Administration held in Charlotte.

Burton Ogle presenting ‘Last Lecture’ on Oct. 24

Burton R. Ogle, professor and director of Western Carolina University’s environmental health sciences program, will address the topic “What is Cool about Environmental Health” as he delivers WCU’s “Last Lecture” on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Burton R. Ogle

Burton R. Ogle

The event, recognizing a WCU faculty member who has been noted by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm, will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the recital hall of Coulter Building. The annual “Last Lecture” allows a chosen faculty member to share the words he or she would present if it was the final lecture he or she had a chance to give.

Ogle earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree at East Tennessee State University before receiving his doctorate in public and environmental health at Virginia Commonwealth University. He taught at Virginia Commonwealth and East Carolina University before joining the WCU faculty in 2002.

Ogle has been honored at WCU a number of times for his teaching abilities, three times winning the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Innovative Teaching Award. He has been a finalist for WCU’s highest campus-based teaching honor, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, three times, and he received that award in 2008.

The “Last Lecture” is sponsored by Coulter Faculty Commons and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons, at or 828-227-2093.

National leader in special education to present Oct. 25

Michael Yudin, acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services for the U.S. Department of Education, will present “Current Events in the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services” at Western Carolina University on Friday, Oct. 25.

Yudin’s address, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Yudin serves as an adviser on matters related to the education of children and young people with disabilities, as well as employment and community living for youth and adults with disabilities. The mission of his office is to provide leadership to achieve full integration and participation in society of people with disabilities by promoting inclusion, ensuring equity and creating opportunities for people with disabilities.

Yudin’s visit is sponsored by the WCU College of Education and Allied Professions and the University Participant Program.

Expert in role of inflammation, diet on health to give talks

Floyd H. Chilton, professor of physiology and pharmacology and director of the Center for Botanical Lipids at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will deliver three talks to the Western Carolina University community on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26.

Floyd Childton

Floyd Chilton

Chilton is widely recognized for his research on the role of fatty acid metabolism in human diseases and the role that inflammation plays in diseases such as cardiac illness, diabetes and arthritis. Based on his work and the research of others, he is a major proponent of adding fiber to the diet, balancing omega fats and increasing specific families of polyphenols.

A 1980 graduate of WCU’s biology program, Chilton received the WCU Alumni Association’s Academic Achievement Award in 1999.

Chilton founded the program in molecular medicine at Wake Forest University and helped build it into one of the most successful programs of its kind in the United States. In 1999, he founded a biotechnology company, Pilot Therapeutics, and served as president, CEO and chief technology officer from late 2000 to early 2003. At Pilot Therapeutics, Chilton developed a medical food called Airozin that blocks lipid mediators that cause asthma and arthritis. In 2003, Chilton was named an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist for the Carolinas (one of three finalists from more than 400 CEOs in North and South Carolina in the biotechnology/life sciences category).

He is author or co-author of more than 120 scientific articles and book chapters. He holds 32 issued and 17 pending patents. He is the author of three books, “Inflammation Nation,” “Win the War Within” and his latest, “The Gene Smart Diet,” which outlines an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise program to help reduce risk of chronic diseases.

Chilton’s work is regularly featured on leading Internet health sources and in magazines and newspapers. His work has been featured recently on WebMD, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Prevention, Eating Well Magazine, US Airways Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

He will deliver a presentation titled “Critical Roles for Genetics and Evolution in the Development of the Human Diet: A Case for Personalized Nutrition,” which is designed to be of interest to WCU faculty and students. It will be held from 2 until 3 p.m. Oct. 25 in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center.

His presentation “The Impact of the Modern Western Human Diet on the Incidence and Severity of Inflammatory Diseases: Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment,” designed for health care providers, will be held from 4 until 5 p.m. Oct. 25 in Room 209 of the Health and Human Sciences Building.

A talk for the general public on the topic “Condition Critical: The Inflammation Epidemic and How to Stop It” is scheduled for 11 a.m. until noon Oct. 26 in the theater of Hinds University Center.

The presentations are open free of charge. For more information, call Todd Watson, professor of physical therapy at WCU, at 828-227-2126.

Professor emeritus to sign copies of his book on campus Oct. 24

Perry Kelly, professor emeritus of art at Western Carolina University, will sign copies of his memoir, “Cosmos Screen,” at the WCU Bookstore on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m.

The book chronicles Kelly’s experience growing up in rural Southern Alabama during the Great Depression, serving in World War II, developing as an artist educator and traveling internationally as well as interfacing with issues related to religion, racism, homophobia and poverty.

State Employees Combined Campaign continues through Nov. 8

With just more than one week remaining in the 2013 State Employees Combined Campaign and WCU nearly $18,000 toward the university’s $30,000 goal, organizers are encouraging faculty and staff who have not yet returned pledge forms to do so.

“WCU has a strong history of helping those in need, and the SECC is a great opportunity to once again show our collective support,” said Ashley Beavers, creative services production manager and WCU SECC chair. “The university has exceeded its goal the past several years and hopefully this year will follow that trend, but to do so we’ll need a strong finish. Times are challenging, but there are so many who need our help. I hope those in a position to contribute will consider doing so. Even donations of $10 and $20 will make a significant impact.”

Established in 1984 by then-Gov. James B. Hunt, the State Employees Combined Campaign serves as the university’s only workplace giving program. Contributors are able to direct funds to their choice of hundreds of nonprofit organizations locally, nationally and worldwide, including services ranging from the arts, the environment and human services to preventive health, hospice and respite care, children and youth, and the elderly.

Contributions by permanent employees can be made by payroll deduction, and all employees, retirees and students may contribute by check or cash. All contributions are tax deductible.

For more information, visit or or contact unit representatives for the campaign or Beavers at or 828-227-2076.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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