Archive for November, 2013

Talley examines facial disfigurement and ‘repairs’ in book

NYU Press has released a book by Heather Laine Talley, assistant professor of sociology, titled “Saving Face: Disfigurement and the Politics of Appearance.”

In the book, Talley examines the cultural meaning and social significance of interventions aimed at repairing faces defined as disfigured, according to information from NYU Press. She explores face transplantation, facial feminization surgery, the reality show “Extreme Makeover” and the international charitable organization Operation Smile to assess how efforts focused on repair sometimes intensify the stigma associated with disfigurement. Talley also draws upon experiences volunteering at a camp for children with severe burns.

Dancers prepare for parade, Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries

Western Carolina University students rehearse a dance to be performed to “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

Western Carolina University students rehearse a dance to be performed to “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

A dozen Western Carolina University students will dance to “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” at the Asheville Holiday Parade on Saturday, Nov. 23.

“It is a classic number performed by the Radio City Rockettes every year in the Christmas Spectacular since 1932,” said Karyn Tomczak, director of the WCU dance program. “The theme of the Asheville holiday parade this year is ‘A Star is Born,’ and when this number was performed a star was born: the Radio City Rockettes.”

The dancers, along with the Broadway Cats from WCU’s musical theatre program, will perform immediately following the parade at JingleFest in Asheville at Pack Square. Both groups also will perform during WCU Night at the Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries on Friday, Dec. 6.

Philosopher to present guest lecture Nov. 21

Theodore George, a visiting scholar who is an associate professor of philosophy from Texas A&M University, will present “Gadamer and the Promise of World Literature” in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21.

George will argue that the promise of world literature is to contribute to the discovery of global solidarities that will help address social, political and economic challenges.

The address, a Jerry Jackson Lecture in the Humanities, is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the Honors College. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact David Henderson, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, at 828-227-2932 or

Law change requires universities to charge tax on meal plans beginning Jan. 1

Students at Western Carolina University, like their counterparts across North Carolina, will find themselves paying a bit more when dining on campus beginning in the spring semester because of a significant change in state law affecting sales tax on university meal plans.

During the legislative session that ended this summer, the N.C. General Assembly repealed a long-standing exemption on sales taxes charged on student meal plans. As part of a tax reform bill, sales tax must now be charged and collected on student meals, effective Jan. 1.

Beginning with billing for the spring 2014 semester, all student meal plans will be charged at a rate of 6.75 percent on the total amount of the plan. Sales tax will be included in spring 2014 bills, which will be mailed to students in the next few weeks.

In addition, the new law also requires that sales tax be charged and collected at all “point of purchase” food sales at any campus dining location, including faculty and staff purchases made with CatCash, which previously were exempt from the tax.

“We realize that any increase in cost is unwelcome news, but we want the members of our campus community to be aware of this change as they prepare budgets for the spring semester,” said Keith Corzine, assistant vice chancellor for campus services. “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of students, faculty and staff as we implement these new procedures next semester.”

The new cost for meal plans at WCU can be found online at the website

School of Music to present annual ‘Sounds of the Season’ concert Dec. 8

A variety of Western Carolina University student and faculty musicians will perform in the annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert Sunday, Dec. 8, at WCU.

A variety of Western Carolina University student and faculty musicians will perform in the annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert Sunday, Dec. 8, at WCU.

The School of Music at Western Carolina University will present its annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert, a performance featuring faculty and students in small chamber groups and larger ensembles, on Sunday, Dec. 8.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

This year’s program will include performances by the University Chorus and Concert Choir, accompanied by members of the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra and student and faculty musicians playing sections from Antonia Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

The WCU Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Jazz Guitar Sextet, Percussion Ensemble, Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, Saxophonic Quartet, Gamelan Angklung, Trombone Ensemble, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble and Early Music Ensemble also will perform.

WCU student Garrett Pace will make a special appearance as he sings “My Grown Up Christmas List” accompanied by the Wind Ensemble, and Susan Belcher, wife of Chancellor David O. Belcher, will perform “Christmas Medley a la Mozart” with the WCU Concert Choir.

The Jackson County Children’s Choir, a group made up of 50 students from Fairview, Cullowhee Valley, Scotts Creek, Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountain elementary schools, also will take part in the show.

Santa will visit the Bardo Arts Center and lead everyone in a sing-a-long to close the program.

Reserved seat tickets are on sale now. Prices are $15 for adults; $10 for WCU faculty, staff and those aged 60 and older; and $5 for students and children. All proceeds benefit the School of Music Scholarship Fund.

For tickets or information, visit the website or call 828-227-2479.

Two students named top presenters at second Discovery Forum

Western Carolina University students Austin Brown and Nicholas Charles Heim were recognized as having the best presentations during WCU’s second Discovery Forum, an event designed to encourage young people to share innovative ideas for making their communities better places to live, held Saturday, Nov. 9.

Brown and Heim received engraved trophies and will be invited to represent WCU at the University of North Carolina Social Entrepreneurship Conference in February.

During the forum, five student presenters selected by a special campus committee shared results of their research projects with an audience composed of students, faculty and community members in a series of five-minute presentations.

Brown, a sophomore biology major from Greensboro, presented on the topic “The Western Carolina Distiller’s Project: Bottling Beauty and Biodiversity.” Heim, a junior entrepreneurship major from Hendersonville, gave a presentation titled “Cat Catch: Mobile Phone App.”

The WCU event, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Honors College, is part of an initiative launched by the N.C. State University-based Institute for Emerging Issues, a think tank devoted to developing leadership and economic development for the state.

The IEI created the Discovery Forum to promote young leaders and community interaction, and WCU held its inaugural Discovery Forum last April as a pilot run of the successful Raleigh-based program.

For more information about the forum, call the WCU Honors College at 828-227-7383.

Library will be open 24/7 from Dec. 1-13

Beginning at noon Sunday, Dec. 1, WCU’s Hunter Library will be open 24 hours a day for a two-week period that includes the last week of classes and final exams. The library will not close again until 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13.

Java City in the library also will have extended hours. The coffee shop will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 4 and 5; from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; from 7:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, Dec. 8-11, and from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. The coffee shop will then close and reopen Monday, Jan. 13.

Students studying for finals in the wee hours after Java City has closed will be treated to free coffee, hot chocolate and tea on the library’s main floor. The ground floor is a designated quiet zone.

For more information, visit:

Johnny Cash musical tribute to stage Nov. 24

“Ring of Fire – The Music of Johnny Cash” will be performed at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m.

Touching on the life and times of one of the world’s most legendary artists, a company of performers will guide the audience on a journey through Cash’s storied life and celebrated music with more than 35 of Cash’s hits.

Tickets to the show, which is part of the Galaxy of Stars Series, are $20 for adults, $15 for WCU faculty and staff; and $5 for students and children.

For tickets or more information about Galaxy of Stars events, contact the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or go online to

Military Student Services office, campus veterans group having busy fall

A WCU military student participates in a card-signing event on campus. The cards will be sent to veterans in hospitals across the country and to soldiers deployed overseas. A final card-signing will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the lobby of the Cordelia Camp Building.

A WCU military student participates in a card-signing event on campus. The cards will be sent to veterans in hospitals across the country and to soldiers deployed overseas. A final card-signing will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the lobby of the Cordelia Camp Building.

Western Carolina University’s Office of Military Student Services and Student Veterans Association have had an active fall semester that has included a holiday card campaign and volunteer work at a picnic held for veterans from around the region.

And, a collection effort for the Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign is on the horizon.

The Military Student Services office has been collecting greeting cards that will be sent during the holidays to veterans in hospitals around the country and to soldiers deployed overseas. Several events held on campus have provided an opportunity for WCU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, to sign cards, said Briana Ford, certifying official in the office. The cards will be sent to the Red Cross for distribution to various locations.

One last card-signing event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the lobby of WCU’s Cordelia Camp Building. Also, donations of signed greeting cards would be appreciated, Ford said. Those may be dropped off at the Division of Educational Outreach office in the Cordelia Camp Building through Wednesday, Nov. 27. More information on the card-signing effort and other campus and community events will be available on and on Twitter @WCUEdOutreach.

To mark Veterans Day on Nov. 11, members of the Student Veterans Association and the Military Student Services staff volunteered at the annual Veterans Day picnic sponsored by the Western North Carolina Veterans Council. In addition, Military Student Services honored all WCU military students, faculty and staff with a Veterans Day luncheon on campus that was attended by 55 people. Veterans Day activities included a basketball game at WCU pitting the Catamount men’s team against the men’s team from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and all veterans on campus and in the community were granted free admission to the game by the WCU Department of Athletics. All veterans in attendance were recognized for their service during the game and fans had an opportunity to sign greeting cards, with 402 cards being collected.

As the holiday season progresses, members of the Student Veterans Association will be participating in Toys for Tots, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program that collects new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to less fortunate children throughout the country. More information about the toy drive will be posted at

Members of the Student Veterans Association meet on campus twice each month to discuss community projects, share military resource information and promote camaraderie. “The Student Veterans Association is working hard to bring veterans on campus and in surrounding areas closer together to support one another during our transition from soldier to civilian,” said Tyler Pearce, association president. Pearce said he encourages all veterans in the WCU community to get involved with group.

WCU’s Office of Military Student Services offers assistance to military students, whether active duty, reservist, guard members, military dependents or veterans, and the office staff is committed to helping students in their higher learning experiences, Ford said. The office provides information and guidance on applying to WCU, admission processes and course registration; military tuition assistance, vocational rehabilitation and GI Bill funds; and transfer credit for military training and experience. The office also acts as the liaison between the military student and the university’s various academic departments and student support offices. A total of 338 military students currently are enrolled at WCU.

For more information about Military Student Services or how to get involved in WCU’s military community, contact Ford at 828-227-3074 or

WCU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff holds second meeting

Gary Carden was the keynote speaker at the second meeting of the WCU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff.

Gary Carden was the keynote speaker at the second meeting of the WCU Association of Retired Faculty and Staff.

More than 80 members of the Western Carolina University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff socialized, heard from keynote speaker and award-winning author Gary Carden and approved bylaws at the organization’s second meeting held on campus Nov. 6.

The newly approved bylaws state that the purpose of the association is to enhance communication between retired faculty and staff, and to enhance communication between them and the university. The bylaws also say the association will promote the mutual interests of the university and retired faculty and staff through regular meetings, communication and activities.

Association President Gordon Mercer, professor emeritus and former director of the Public Policy Institute, thanked members for helping the association get off to a positive start. The association was established in June when retired WCU faculty and staff members and their spouses, partners and friends traveled from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for the inaugural meeting.

Also at the November meeting, attendees heard a presentation from WCU alumnus Carden, a playwright, folklorist and recipient of the 2012 North Carolina Award for Literature. Carden discussed his latest book, “The Appalachian Bestiary,” which details wondrous mythical creatures in the region that developed out of ancient folklore, history and storytelling. He also shared illustrations from his book, drawn by illustrator Mandy Newham-Cobb.

Fred Hinson, president-elect of the association and former vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced that the next meeting will be held at the Chancellor’s Residence on Wednesday, May 21. Hinson also thanked members for contributing annual dues of $10 for individual memberships or $10 per couple memberships to support association activities.

Mercer said the association is helping maintain the connection between the university and people who have experience and expertise that can benefit the institution.

“Retired faculty and staff have made many great contributions to the university,” said Mercer. “They helped build the foundation of the current university and share in important university traditions and knowledge.”

For more information, contact Mercer at 828-369-2693 or Hinson at 828-293-5620.

Athletic training majors help young student-athletes in WNC high schools

A group of Western Carolina University students spent much of the fall semester traveling to and from high schools in Western North Carolina helping to prevent injuries to young student-athletes and assisting with treatments when mishaps occurred at football, basketball, soccer and volleyball practice sessions and games.

Carnegie Foundation names Chris Cooper the top professor in N.C.

Chris Cooper, associate professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University, has been named the 2013 “Professor of the Year” in the state of North Carolina by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Anderson family donates unique manuscript to Mountain Heritage Center

A hand-written copybook from 1801-02 illustrating principles of mathematics that has been passed down through seven generations was donated by the descendants of the William Gordon Anderson family to the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University recently.

Football coach to appear on National Geographic Channel show

Mark Speir, head football coach, will appear on the “Biker Church Reborn” episode of the National Geographic Channel series titled “Church Rescue,” which will air at 10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.

A promo for the episode has been shared on YouTube.

Student film wins award at festival

WCU alumna Christy Conyers and WCU student Andrew Dyson accept the jury award for the best student film at the 2013 Asheville Cinema Festival for their work on "Jerry."

WCU alumna Christy Conyers and WCU student Andrew Dyson accept the jury award for the best student film at the 2013 Asheville Cinema Festival for their work on “Jerry.”

The Western Carolina University student-created film “Jerry,” a dark comedy about a homeless man who comes back to haunt the local politician who ran him over, won the jury award for the best student film at the 2013 Asheville Cinema Festival.

“Jerry” was a film and television production program senior project that involved dozens of students. Accepting the award was alumna Christy Conyers, director from Pittsboro, and student Andrew Dyson, producer from Spartanburg, S.C. In addition to Conyers and Dyson, the WCU student cast and crew of “Jerry” included writers G.M. Hill from Fort Mill, S.C., and Grant Hengeveld from High Point, and actors Hengeveld, Joseph Callahan from Shelby, Hannah Chatham from Statesville and Jaclyn Helms from Spruce Pine. The director of photography was Jason Ledford from Cherokee. Taylor Peasants from Lexington served as assistant director, and the editor was Mitchell Metz from Chapel Hill.

Sandi Anton, co-founder of the Asheville Cinema Festival, said making a comedy such as “Jerry” is very difficult. “Comedy is very subjective, and it can really fall flat, but when it works, as ‘Jerry’ did, it is delightful and thought-provoking,” said Anton. “The acting and direction was inspired and fun – a great combination.”

Jack Sholder, director of WCU’s film and television production program, said “Jerry” was very well crafted, from the photography, editing and acting to the main title sequence by the School of Art and Design’s Mason Adams to the score by Joe Basile, a master’s degree student in the School of Music.
“What really struck me was the level of storytelling,” said Sholder. “The film keeps surprising you with its turns and keeps you engaged. When I was waiting for a screening to start on the last day of the festival, two women seated behind me were talking about a film they’d seen, and I realized they were talking about ‘Jerry.” That’s as big a compliment as you can get.”

Ombudsperson available to hear concerns, help manage conflicts

Jayne Zanglein

Jayne Zanglein

Jayne Zanglein, professor of business administration and law, and sport management, is serving as the provost fellow responsible for providing ombudsman services to WCU faculty and staff.

Zanglein’s services include, but are not limited to, listening to complaints, mediating disputes with co-workers or supervisors, helping facilitate meetings that might otherwise be contentious, assisting groups with understanding and working with different personalities to improve workplace morale and providing conflict management training.

Zanglein, whose services are confidential and free to faculty and staff, can be reached at 828-227-7191, 828-331-8066 or For more information, visit “WCU Creates Ombuds Office” online.

Author to discuss Cherokee War of 1776 at MHC

Nadia Dean

Nadia Dean

Author, journalist and researcher Nadia Dean will visit Western Carolina University on Thursday, Nov. 14, to give a presentation focusing on the Cherokee War of 1776 and the legendary Cherokee war chief Dragging Canoe.

Dean’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Mountain Heritage Center.

Dean’s first book, “A Demand of Blood,” was published by Valley River Press in Cherokee in 2012. The book chronicles the Cherokee War of 1776, a conflict fought in the shadows of the American Revolution, and how that war played out between the Cherokee and colonials.

A native of Columbia, S.C., Dean was raised in the Middle East and United States, and she studied photography and film at the University of South Carolina. Dean was the photographer for the 1989 PBS documentary “Days of Rage” and her photographs of the Palestinian uprising were published in Time magazine, The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Since then, she has reported and produced television and print news reports from Beirut, Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C.

Those attending the Nov. 14 presentation are encouraged to also view the Mountain Heritage Center’s exhibit on Cherokee craftsmanship, “Qualla Arts and Crafts: Tradition and Innovation.”

For more information about the presentation or exhibit, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.

International Education Week event to highlight Islam, environmentalism

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet,” will deliver the plenary address Thursday, Nov. 21, as part of Western Carolina University’s annual International Education Week.

The talk will be held from 4:30 until 6 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus.

Abdul-Matin for the past 10 years has been an advocate for transforming what he calls the nation’s “pollution-based way of life” to one that prioritizes the planet and its people. He says that his dedication to the environment is rooted in his Deen — his religion of Islam.

Abdul-Matin is an environmental policy consultant and has worked with Green for All, Green City Force, Interfaith Leaders for Environmental Justice, the Prospect Park Alliance and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.

He has appeared on FOX News, Al-Jazeera and ABC News’ “This Week” and is featured regularly on public radio’s morning news show “The Takeaway.” His writing has appeared in The Washington Post,, The Daily Beast, GOOD Magazine, ColorLines, Wiretap and Elan Magazine.

The presentation at WCU is open to the public free of charge.

Other events during the week include presentations by WCU faculty, staff and students about international education and study abroad programs, and a visit by WCU international students to Tuscola High School on Friday, Nov. 22.

For a complete schedule of events, contact Christopher Pedo, international student adviser in the Office of International Programs and Services, at 828-227-2557 or via email at

Graphic novelist to speak Nov. 13

Tim Lane, a graphic novelist and freelance illustrator, will give a free public lecture about his work Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The event is sponsored by the School of Art and Design. For more information, call 828-227-3590.

Screening of ‘Woodstock’ to be Nov. 19

A film series connected to the campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme, “1960s: Take It All In,” will continue Tuesday, Nov. 9, with the screening of the documentary “Woodstock.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. The film details the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival that drew hundreds of thousands people.

For more information, contact Jack Sholder, director of WCU’s film and television production program, at 828-227-2324 or

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Commencement 2017


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