Archive for January 14th, 2014

Hartley co-authors journal article

Roger E. Hartley, professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and director of the master’s degree program in public affairs, is co-author of an article published in the January 2014 issue of PS: Political Science & Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association. The article is titled “Lower Federal Courts Judicial Confirmation Fights: A Critical Review of the Empirical Literature and Future Research Directions.”

‘Good Thoughts Better’ exhibit opening Thursday at museum

An exhibit of work by Edward J. Bisese titled “Good Thoughts Better” will open at the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University with an artist talk and reception on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Ed Bisese, Self-Portrait, (nd), photo collage, courtesy of the artist

Ed Bisese, Self-Portrait, (nd), photo collage, courtesy of the artist

Bisese’s ArtTalk will begin at 5 p.m. in Room 130 of the John W Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center and will be followed at 6 p.m. by a reception in the museum’s Star Atrium. The exhibit, which will be open through the end of March, as well as the talk and the reception are free and open to the public.

Bisese’s paintings, drawings and objects in “Good Thoughts Better” are characterized as celebrating the beautiful and the grotesque, mixing skewed realities with real events. His subjects include Hawaiian kings and hula dancers, human-formed bunnies and other creatures of varying shapes and sizes, three-armed silhouetted migrant workers, dream sequences, word play and acutely observed portraitures.

A resident of College Park, Md., Bisese paints and draws on unstretched canvas, wood panels of various shapes, paper, vinyl records and postcards.

WCU’s Fine Art Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Museum admission and parking, available on both sides of the Bardo Arts Center, are free.

For more information, visit online or call 828-227-3591.

Cross Training Challenge participants sought

Registration is now open for Western Carolina University’s 2014 Cross Training Challenge in which participants select three exercise categories, such as running/walking, recreational activities or strength training, and then log participation in related fitness activities over an eight-week period.

All faculty, staff and students, as well as other Campus Recreation Center members who wish to participate, are asked to register now and then record the amount of time they spend each day in fitness activities on the 2014 Cross Training Challenge tracking form. The challenge concludes Saturday, March 8, and participants who achieve set goals in three exercise categories and submit their completed tracking forms will win a T-shirt.

The challenge is designed to encourage and promote physical activity and improved health for all members of the WCU community.

“The Cross Training Challenge is a great way to kick off the new year and becoming a healthier you,” said Mandy Dockendorf, assistant director for fitness and wellness. “This program was created for participants to have the freedom to set their own goals and be successful in accomplishing them. If you work best with having accountability, grab a co-worker or friend and take the challenge together. With this challenge there are no excuses towards making 2014 your best year yet!”

Faculty and staff do not need to be a member of the Campus Recreation Center to participate. For more information on the Cross Fit Challenge and other wellness resources available on campus, visit the Whee for Life website at

Director of clinical affairs hired

Elizabeth T. Wark, former assistant dean for faculty practice for the College of Allied Health Sciences at Georgia Regents University, has joined Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences as the director of clinical affairs.

Elizabeth T. Wark

Elizabeth T. Wark

At WCU, Wark will support development and operation of clinical opportunities that serve the community and involve students and faculty from different programs within the college.

“Dr. Wark is an experienced educator and health care and higher education administrator whose teaching and managerial skills are highly regarded by students and colleagues,” said Douglas R. Keskula, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “With Dr. Wark’s credentials, experiences and expertise, she can offer valuable input in the coordination of faculty involvement in the emerging clinical opportunities at WCU.”

Wark holds a doctorate in physical therapy from Simmons College in Boston, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College.

As assistant dean at Georgia Regents University, she was responsible for the creation and daily operations of a nonprofit corporation created to provide a mechanism for faculty to practice in clinical, consulting and continuing education roles. Her duties included negotiating and managing practice contracts for faculty within 13 health professions.

Prior to serving as assistant dean, she was coordinator of academic affairs at the college and was responsible for oversight of new program development, programmatic accreditation review, program feasibility and sustainability studies, coordination of interdisciplinary courses, and creation and dissemination of academic policies

In addition, she has worked as a faculty member teaching courses ranging from health care ethics and jurisprudence to health care management, and she has held clinical administrative and care roles such as serving as assistant director, center coordinator of clinical education and supervisor with the University of Virginia Medical Center Physical Therapy Department.

For more information, contact Wark at

Registration open for spring half marathon, 5-K; free training program offered at WCU

Online registration is taking place for Western Carolina University’s fourth annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K, which will be held Saturday, April 5, on the campus in Cullowhee.

The half marathon will begin at 8 a.m. and take runners on a 13.1-mile journey across the WCU campus and along quiet country roads beside the Tuckaseigee River. The 5-K (3.1-mile) race begins at 8:15 a.m.

A free Valley of the Lilies training program developed by the WCU athletic training staff will be e-mailed to all half marathon and 5-K registrants in late December. All runners and walkers are invited to participate in the program, which also will offer group runs starting at the Alumni Tower on the WCU campus four mornings each week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) beginning Monday, Jan. 6. Tracks will be available for both beginner and advanced runners, and experts in the fields of injury prevention, nutrition and health will provide information sessions and assistance to runners and walkers.

Online registration for the half marathon and 5-K is available at Registration fees are $40 for the half marathon and $20 for the 5-K through Friday, Feb. 28. Beginning Saturday, March 1, the fees increase to $60 for the half marathon and $25 for the 5-K. Online registration will close Tuesday, April 1, but race day registration will be available at $80 for the half marathon and $30 for the 5-K.

WCU’s School of Health Sciences and Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness are hosting the races. Proceeds will be used to assist WCU students with expenses for professional development opportunities such as presentations and travel to workshops and conferences. For more information about the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K, go to or contact race directors Shauna Sage or James Scifers at

Programs recognized by higher education guides

Western Carolina University has earned accolades from guides to higher education for the affordability of the university’s online programs and in recognition of the impact of its teacher education programs.

In a listing of the “Online Colleges in North Carolina That Win on Affordability,” the website recently ranked WCU at No. 9 out of the top 30 higher education institutions in the state that offer online degree programs. The ranking is based on quality and cost, said Dan Schuessler, founder and CEO of the website.

Meanwhile, the website has recognized WCU for its contribution to teacher education in the state by including the university on a listing titled “Top Colleges in North Carolina: Shaping the Next Generation.” The listing highlights the post-secondary institutions that produced the most teaching professionals during 2012, said website founder Doug Jones. WCU ranked No. 6 out of the top 42 teacher-producing schools in the state.

Information about WCU’s online programs is available at or by calling WCU’S Office of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397. For information about the university’s teacher education programs, visit or call 828-227-7108.

Regional business leaders to share insights

Ten leaders from across Western North Carolina and beyond will share their personal perspectives on leadership with students in a Western Carolina University master’s degree program course in business administration this spring.

Representing a cross-section of public and private sectors, including business, health care, education, government and nonprofits, the leaders will serve as guest speakers in an MBA class titled “Leadership and Ethics” taught by Ed Wright, associate professor of global management and strategy.

The course will meet Tuesday nights throughout the spring semester at WCU’s site at Biltmore Park.

A diverse array of guest speakers provides the MBA students with valuable insight into what makes a person an effective leader, Wright said. Students and attendees will hear diverse views and leadership styles and can adopt practices that fit with their strengths and situations, said Wright.

The schedule of speakers for the spring semester:

Jan. 21 – Gerald Austin, officiating consultant, NFL

Feb. 4 – Kitty Price, marketing director, Highland Brewery

Feb. 11 – David Gantt, chairman, Buncombe County Commissioners

Feb. 18 – Bill Murdock, CEO, Eblen Charities

Anne Ponder, chancellor, University of North Carolina Asheville

March 4 – Jack Cecil, CEO, Biltmore Farms

March 18 – George Briggs, executive director, North Carolina Arboretum

March 25 – Terry O’Keefe, author, columnist

April 1 – Suzanne DeFerie, CEO, Asheville Savings Bank

April 8 – Maj. Gen. Richard Devereaux, U.S. Air Force

Talks will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and will last about 40 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period. The sessions are open to WCU alumni in addition to all WCU faculty, staff and graduate students from any program.

For more information about the speaker series, contact Wright at 828-227-3603 or

‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ rock ’n’ roll revue to stage on Jan. 26

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” will take the stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at Western Carolina University.g

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” a song and dance revue of hit tunes from the rock ’n’ roll era before the Beatles, will take the stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

The lively show features nine cast members performing some of the best-known songs of the 1950s and 1960s. “Stand By Me,” “Love Potion No. 9,” “Yakety Yak,” “Hound Dog,” “Spanish Harlem,” “On Broadway” and “Jailhouse Rock” are among the several dozen standards on the program.

The original production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” was a successful Broadway musical that had a five-year run and was nominated for eight Tony awards. The soundtrack for the musical won a Grammy Award in 1996.

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is a tribute to the contributions of a pair of close friends, Jerry Leiber, a native of Baltimore, Md., and Mike Stoller of Long Island, N.Y. Working together as record producers they were responsible for many enduring rock ’n’ roll melodies and lyrics. Stoller composed the music scores and Leiber, who died in 2011, wrote the lyrics. Their roster of star clients included The Coasters, The Drifters and many other hit bands. They were inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Leiber and Stoller virtually invented rock ’n’ roll, and their songs provide the basis for entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture,” said Paul Lormand, director of the Bardo Arts Center.

The show is part of the annual Galaxy of Stars Series, which debuted at WCU in 2005. All performances take place in the 900-seat Bardo Arts Center. In addition to “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” performances for the remainder of the 2013-14 season include 1964, a performance by a Beatles tribute band, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9; Squirm Burpee Circus, featuring comedy and circus-style antics, at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 2; and the long-running Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27.

Tickets for the Jan. 26 show are $20 for adults, $15 for WCU faculty and staff and $5 for students and children. For tickets and additional information, contact the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or visit the website

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” is sponsored by the Sylva law firm of Earwood and Moore.

String players sought for orchestra

String players from the Western Carolina University faculty, staff and student community are invited to participate in the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra.

The orchestra is supported by the WCU School of Music and receives funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Orchestra musicians include WCU students and faculty, and students and adults from Jackson, Macon, Haywood, Swain, Cherokee and Buncombe counties.

The orchestra rehearses on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The first rehearsal for the semester will be Thursday, Jan. 16.

The group’s first concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the recital hall of Coulter Building, with a dress rehearsal scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23. The group’s second concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, in the recital hall of the Coulter Building, with a dress rehearsal on Sunday, April 13.

For more information, contact Bradley Martin, associate professor of music, at

Artist, critic and writer to give public lecture Jan. 30

Buzz Spector’s “Off the Shelf” installation featured large, sculptural installations of books and Polaroid works.

Buzz Spector’s “Off the Shelf” installation featured large, sculptural installations of books and Polaroid works.

Acclaimed artist Buzz Spector will deliver a public lecture titled “Buzz Spector: Material Reading” at Western Carolina University at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Spector also is a critic and writer. His work has been published in journals including “Artforum” and “New Art Examiner.” In addition, he was the founding editor of “White Walls,” a magazine of writings by artists in Chicago.

Spector’s studio work investigates connections between art, language and the book, and has included artists’ books, conceptual book works, and sculptural installations made from books.

“His work considers the form, the materials and cultural context of the physical object known as a book,” said Matt Liddle, professor and director of the School of Art and Design.

Spector’s work was included in the exhibition “Critology” at the WCU Fine Art Museum in 2013.

He also is an accomplished teacher, winning the 2013 College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art Award. He currently serves as dean of the College and Graduate School of Art at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Spector’s visit to WCU is sponsored by the School of Art and Design and the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

For more information, call 828-227-3594.

Human resources students assist nonprofit organizations

Students in the WCU’s master’s degree program in human resources offered through the Department of Human Services served during the fall semester as consultants for nonprofit organizations and assisted with tasks ranging from developing a policy handbook to suggesting non-monetary incentives for employees.

Teams worked under the direction of Marie-Line Germain, assistant professor of human services, with the assistance of graduate student Jillian Ellis, who served as liaison between the students, the professor and the nonprofit organizations.

“Working with nonprofit organizations provides an excellent opportunity for the course content to align with actual professional experience,” said Martha McCoy, one of the student team leaders. “Not only are we addressing HR-related issues commonly found in the workplace, we are providing a service to community organizations that may not be able to fund services from an HR consulting company. The experience is mutually beneficial and one of the most valuable aspects of the coursework for an HR student.”

One team led by student Ashley Allen assisted the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, a nonprofit based in Raleigh that is dedicated to serving people who are living with HIV/AIDS. The team worked with Stacy Duck, the executive director, to create a policy handbook for personnel.

“They (the students) were very insightful and professional,” said Duck. “The product was very well put together. This was exactly what we needed.”

Two teams worked with Lael Gray, executive director of the Asheville Jewish Community Center. One team created guidelines for managers and employees to implement and participate in performance evaluations. The other team developed suggestions for non-monetary incentives for the employees. Gray said the students’ work will benefit the organization.

“They came up with innovative strategies for us to address some of our human resources challenges, including employing new technologies at no cost to us,” she said. “The teams were thoughtful and responsive.”

Three teams worked with Alana Pierce, operations manager for Green Opportunities, a job training nonprofit organization that serves the Asheville area. One team created new policies and procedures for GO’s youth employees and volunteers. A second team created new policies and revised existing policies in GO’s handbook, and the third created a rollout plan for the new policies to help with implementation.

“Being a relatively new nonprofit and a unique employer, Green Opportunities needed help with various and somewhat unusual HR projects,” said Pierce. “The teams diligently and professionally worked to serve our needs and provided exceptional products. This was a great experience and a huge help for our organization.”

Another student team worked on an independent project creating a portion of a human resources handbook for nonprofit organizations, which Germain will continue to develop.

“This pro-bono consulting experience complements the well-roundedness of our graduate students,” said Germain. “It helps develop or refine their practical HR skills while serving our community.”

For more information, contact Germain at 828-227-3959 or

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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