Archive for October 16th, 2013

Water treatment plant supervisor wins state award

Kristy Maddy, supervisor of Western Carolina University’s water treatment plant, recently won the North Carolina Waterworks Operators Association’s “A-Surface Operator of the Year” award.

Kristy Maddy

Kristy Maddy

Maddy has served as a water plant operator since 1999 and supervisor since 2007 at WCU’s nearly 50-year-old water treatment plant, which has repeatedly exceeded federal and state regulations for water quality.

As plant supervisor, Maddy works with three water plant operators and addresses process control, lab analysis and preventative maintenance of plant equipment. She submits and maintains a variety of records and reports, and oversees water sampling and testing required for compliance with state and federal regulations. She maintains an inventory of water treatment chemicals, lab supplies and equipment parts, and she develops, reviews and implements procedures to support more efficient plant operations.

The award recognizes her for commitment to continuous improvements, updates and major repairs to the 1 million-gallon per day conventional plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the North Carolina Division of Water Resources Public Water Supply Section recently commended the facility for achieving goals related to optimizing drinking water treatment plant performance for turbidity beyond regulatory standards.

Kevin Cope, superintendent of maintenance at WCU, described Maddy as detail-oriented and someone who goes above and beyond to make sure everything works at top operational efficiency.

“This award is a testament to her abilities and to her leadership of the water treatment plant,” said Cope. “We are very proud.”

Ray McCall, an administrative agent for NCWOA and retired water treatment plant consultant for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, described Maddy as a shining star in the industry.

McCall said Maddy, even in the early days of her career, would routinely contact him with questions to learn how she and her colleagues could further improve WCU’s water treatment plant and operations.

“She has worked to help modernize the plant, and her eager attitude, her professionalism and the improvements she has overseen made her very deserving for this award,” said McCall.

Joe Walker, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Management, concurred with McCall and said Maddy is an invaluable asset to Facilities Management and to WCU.

A Sylva native, Maddy graduated from WCU in 1997 with a degree in environmental health and, after being hired at WCU, went on to earn licenses as a C-Surface, B-Surface and A-Surface operator, as well as a license to work as a wastewater treatment operator.

Electric resale department earns safety award

Members of Western Carolina University’s electric resale department, standing from left, Randy Fox, Brandon Green, Travis Taylor, John Freeman and Terry Watson along with Keith Dills, kneeling, celebrate winning ElectriCities “No Lost Time Accidents” awards for 2011 and 2012.

Members of Western Carolina University’s electric resale department, standing from left, Randy Fox, Brandon Green, Travis Taylor, John Freeman and Terry Watson along with Keith Dills, kneeling, celebrate winning ElectriCities “No Lost Time Accidents” awards for 2011 and 2012.

ElectriCities recently honored the Western Carolina University electric resale department with a safety award for 2012 – the fifth consecutive year the crew has been recognized with an award for not losing any work time as a result of accidents.

“ElectriCities is proud of the WCU electric department for achieving this recognition,” said Michael Byrd, manager of safety programs for the nonprofit trade organization of public power communities. “Electric power line work can be very hazardous and requires consistent training. WCU’s commitment to a well-trained workforce is evident. This award is a credit to supervisors and workers, demonstrating that they can work as a team and look out for each other.”

Byrd said credit also belongs to everyone who helps support the department in ways such as ensuring workers have safe and well-maintained equipment and safety training.

Water treatment plant operators honored

Western Carolina University water treatment plant operators, from left, Pete McNeely, Marty Brow, Kristy Maddy and David Ross receive a certificate for achieving water quality goals in 2012.

Western Carolina University water treatment plant operators, from left, Pete McNeely, Marty Brow, Kristy Maddy and David Ross receive a certificate for achieving water quality goals in 2012.

A letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a certificate from the North Carolina Division of Water Resources Public Water Supply Section recently commended Western Carolina University’s water treatment plant for meeting goals related to turbidity in 2012.

“We at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are proud of your accomplishment,” said Becky B. Allenbach, chief of the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Branch, in a letter regarding the water treatment plant, which is operated by supervisor Kristy Maddy and water treatment plant operators Marty Brow, Pete McNeely and David Ross. “It represents a protection against waterborne disease that extends beyond our regulatory standards, and it signifies a commitment to excellence that is a cornerstone of the Area-Wide Optimization Program.”

Head of special collections at Hunter Library wins service award

George Frizzell, head of special collections at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library, is the 2013 recipient of the Thornton W. Mitchell Service Award for outstanding service to the archival profession in North Carolina.

Faculty and staff invited to participate in WCU Magical Mystery Tour event

Members of the Western Carolina University community will have an opportunity to plan an interactive or entertaining activity that illuminates an innovation, issue or turning point from the 1960s for the WCU Magical Mystery Tour event to be held in January.

Anna Fariello presents at international symposium

Anna Fariello, associate professor and director of Hunter Library’s Digital Initiatives program, recently presented “Forging Archival Collaborations: Connecting Digital Humanities to Community” at the Cultural Heritage Archives Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Fariello discussed three case studies from Hunter Library’s digital collections and suggested strategies to enhance successful collaboration with external community partners. She focused on the Craft Revival, Cherokee Traditions and Stories of Mountain Folk digital archives hosted at WCU as a result of agreements with regional cultural organizations. The archives serve researchers and students as well as members of the public.

Held at the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, the international symposium was sponsored by the Library of Congress, the American Folklife Center and the United States Embassy.

Roger Hartley examines collaboration among judicial, national leaders

A report prepared for the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators by Roger E. Hartley, professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, has been finalized and submitted to the executive director of the National Center for State Courts.

Hartley, who directs the master’s degree program in public affairs, investigated how CCJ and CSCA could forge relationships with the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures in his paper titled “Developing National Leadership Collaboration: How Might CCJ, COSCA, NGA and the NCSL Work Together to Forge Better Public Policy?” The publication explores the need for and challenges and benefits of collaboration, as well as how to initiate new collaborative efforts.

The paper was linked to Hartley serving as an invited presenter and panelist at the 2013 Annual Joint Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators held in Burlington, Vt., in late July.

Panelists to discuss Vietnam War, effect on modern public perceptions of war today on Oct. 21

A panel discussion titled “War: What Are We Fighting For? From Vietnam to Afghanistan” will be held in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21.

Panelists who will share their 1960s Vietnam experiences are Robert Kehrberg, dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and Newt Smith, professor emeritus of English. Panelists who will share international and historical perspectives, respectively, will be Niall Michelsen, associate professor of international relations with the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, and Alexander Macaulay, associate professor of history.

The event is connected to WCU’s campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme for 2013-14, “1960s: Take It All In.”

“The goal is to open a dialogue about the ways in which the Vietnam War impacted our reactions to war today, how we as a society protest about war today and how war is presented to the American people,” said Marilyn Chamberlin, associate professor of sociology and an event organizer.

Chamberlin said the panel discussion about war and upcoming discussions that will center on voting rights, environmental issues and abortion are intended to help the WCU community reflect on what happened in the 1960s and how the issues have changed or remained the same during the past 50 years.

For more information, contact Chamberlin at 828-227-3839 or

WCU, Jack the Dipper to hold ice cream eating contest to benefit bookmobile

Western Carolina University’s Center for Service Learning and Greek life organizations are teaming up with Jack the Dipper, a Sylva ice cream shop, in an effort to raise more than $1,500 for the Fontana Regional Library’s Reading Rover bookmobile Saturday, Nov. 2.

In addition to donating a portion of its revenues from sales on Nov. 2 to the reading program, Jack the Dipper will host its inaugural ice cream and waffle cone eating contest that pits members of WCU fraternities and sororities against one another. The event will be held from 6 until 7 p.m. at the shop, located at 170 E. Sylva Circle.

Dana Smith, co-owner of Jack the Dipper, said the event to benefit the Reading Rover bookmobile is the latest example of his business and others in the community partnering with Western Carolina on service and fundraising projects.

“We are committed to improving our community through fundraising for local causes such as Reading Rover. WCU is always there to help and we are very happy to have them on board,” Smith said. “Children and adolescent programs in Jackson and Swain counties are near and dear to our hearts here at Jack the Dipper. We are always willing to help improve our community.”

The university’s Center for Service Learning is asking that each Greek life organization send one competitor to the event and as many spectators as possible, said Lane Perry, director of service learning at WCU. “All proceeds from the event will be directly donated to Smart Start for the Reading Rover program. We are looking to raise at least $1,000 from the contest alone,” Perry said.

Fraternities and sororities can nominate up to two competitors per organization for the contest, although the total number of competitors will be limited to 30, Perry said.

Entries should be submitted by Friday, Oct. 18. Entry cost is $50 per competitor. There is no admission charge for spectators and supporters. Entry fees are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, to the Center for Service Learning, located in Room 273 of the Belk Building at WCU. Checks should be made payable to Jack the Dipper. Entrants also may pay in cash on the day of the event. Competitors will receive receipts for the entry fee/donation.

Competitors are eligible to earn five points for the Lily Community Engagement Award, developed by the Center for Service Learning to encourage and reward students who participate in a wide range of WCU community engagement opportunities.

Plaques will be awarded to the Greek male and female champions, Perry said. “Oh, yes, and there are bragging rights and the knowledge that you brought joy, through reading, to a number of children throughout Western North Carolina,” he said. “Talk about sweetness.”

The Reading Rover is part of the Fontana Regional Library system, which serves Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. Smart Start (Region A Partnership For Children) funds about 50 percent of the Reading Rover program, and the library staff runs the program, which serves 28 child care centers in the service area. The Rover brings story-time programs and library materials to the door of the child care centers, providing early literacy experiences that contribute to the development of pre-reading and school readiness skills.

For more information about the Nov. 2 benefit, contact Mike Hood, graduate assistant in the Center for Service Learning, at

Documentary about development of the contraceptive pill to be screened Oct. 23

Image promoting screening of "The Pill"

The New Lens Film Series at Western Carolina University will screen “The Pill,” a documentary about development and reaction to the contraceptive pill from the PBS program “American Experience,” on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

The screening, which is sponsored by WCU’s sociology and chemistry clubs, will be held at 7 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center and followed by a discussion.

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.

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

Wind Ensemble to perform Oct. 22

The Western Carolina University Wind Ensemble will present a 1960s-themed concert on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Alumni Association-sponsored Cullowhee lily bulb sale under way

Although most of the 9,000 dried bulbs sold and planted last fall as part of an effort to re-establish the Cullowhee lily in the Cullowhee valley will not produce flowers until this spring, the Western Carolina University Alumni Association-sponsored initiative is in full bloom.

WCU runners complete 175-mile fundraising relay in record time

Students and faculty members from Western Carolina University’s athletic training program completed their sixth annual Mountain Jug Run for Research in record time – trimming one hour and 44 minutes off the previous best time for the 175-mile fundraising relay from Cullowhee to Boone.

Health and Human Sciences Building wins awards

Western Carolina University’s state-of-the-art Health and Human Sciences Building, which opened in fall 2012, has won two awards for its architectural design.

From the Breakroom with Kim Gorman

Kim Gorman joined the Western Carolina University community in June as director of Western Counseling and Psychological Services. She holds a doctorate in counseling psychology with a focus on women’s health and eating disorders, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Kentucky.

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