Archive for October 30th, 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.

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