Archive for January 22nd, 2014

Police officer to run 603 miles to support Special Olympics

Jacob Deal (Photo by Robbie Carter)

Jacob Deal (Photo by Robbie Carter)

Jacob Deal, a Western Carolina University police officer and alumnus as well as current student, is running 603 miles – the distance from Cullowhee to Soldier Field in Chicago – to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics.

Deal is recording the mileage from runs he completes on a treadmill or outside, and then applying the distance using Google applications to his virtual run on actual roads and paths to Soldier Field, the site of the first international Special Olympics in 1968.

He is asking for donations of $6.03 – a penny for each mile of the run – to support Special Olympics and chronicling his journey on a Facebook page, In mid-January, he posted a photo of a sign welcoming visitors to Tennessee with a message sharing that he had crossed the border on his virtual trek and was preparing to run a section of the Appalachian Trail.

He also has invited families of Special Olympics participants to the Facebook page share their stories. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities. Deal said he is moved that Special Olympics works to ensure that no athlete or family is ever asked to pay a fee of any kind to participate, and the money he raises will help fund athletic uniforms, awards, sports training and competition facilities, coaches’ education, transportation and other needs.

“The beginning of my adventure has been heartfelt and meaningful, and each donation inspires me to run harder and longer,” said Deal.

What led the former high school cross-country runner, WCU criminal justice alumnus and psychology student to undertake the run for Special Olympics was his experience participating in a Torch Run for Special Olympics in Jackson County.

“The exposure to the athletes and organization warmed my heart,” said Deal, who later became the N.C. Law Enforcement for Special Olympics coordinator for the WCU Police Department.

To connect with Deal and learn how to support his run as well as Special Olympics, visit his Facebook page. Donations can be directed to Jacob Deal, WCU Police Department, 114 East University Way, Cullowhee, N.C. 28723.

Book to chronicle Cosner’s research

A book by Charlotte Cosner, assistant professor of history, titled “The Golden Leaf: How Tobacco Shaped Cuba and the Atlantic World,” will be published this fall by Vanderbilt University Press.

The book details Cosner’s research, which has garnered support from the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities, and a Ford Foundation Grant for Student Travel from the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University. In addition, she received the Lydia Cabrera Award for Cuban Historical Studies from the Conference on Latin American History.

She has presented her work on tobacco at regional, national and international conferences, including events associated with the Latin American Studies Association and the Asociacion de Historia Economica del Caribe.

Creasy and Anantatmula tie personality traits to project management success

Todd Creasy, associate professor of global management and strategy, and Vittal Anantatmula, associate professor and director of the master’s degree program in project management, co-authored “From Every Direction—How Personality Traits and Dimensions of Project Managers Can Conceptually Affect Project Success,” which was recently published in Project Management Journal.

The paper details a model Creasy and Anantatmula developed to explain how personality traits can influence the effectiveness and success of projects within organizations. In the model, the characteristics of the organization also are significant.

Their model suggests that a project manager’s willingness to communicate, degree of innovativeness, level of self-awareness, conflict management style, willingness to change and personality type can affect project outcomes. Creasy and Anantatmula said the personality dimensions they selected were either not previously explored or only partially explored in existing research in project management.

“To add to this, each of these was moderated by aspects of organizational structure, incentive systems and degree of project management maturity which the organization possessed,” said Creasy. “This moderation further distinguished these considerations of project manager personality dimensions and traits, and their subsequent impact on project success. For all personality dimensions, this moderation model was also a first.”

PHOTOS: King events continue through Jan. 25

Chancellor David O. Belcher (second from left holding banner) participated in the Alpha Phi Alpha unity march.

Chancellor David O. Belcher (second from left holding banner) participated in the Alpha Phi Alpha unity march.

Western Carolina University students, from left, Austin Kelly, Tess Schneider, Bree Campfield, Willie Jones and Kaitlyn Speer volunteer at Community Table as part of a celebration honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Western Carolina University students, from left, Austin Kelly, Tess Schneider, Bree Campfield, Willie Jones and Kaitlyn Speer volunteer at Community Table as part of a celebration honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the weekend news and opinion show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC, will deliver the keynote address for Western Carolina University’s annual celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The celebration has included a day of service and unity march and continues with an open mic night in Illusions on Thursday, Jan. 23, and another day of service on Saturday, Jan. 25.

For more information, contact Takeshia Brown, associate director of intercultural affairs, at or 828-227-2276.

Celebration for WCU’s 125th anniversary starts Thursday

The festivities for Western Carolina University’s yearlong 125th anniversary celebration get underway Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus. Scheduled from 12:25 to 2:25 p.m., the kickoff event will include a fashion show of apparel adorned with WCU’s 125th logo, and refreshments, prizes, games, giveaways, displays and birthday cake.

Birthday cupcakes also will be available that day for students, faculty and staff at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square. That night, the men’s basketball team will take on Davidson in a Southern Conference game at Ramsey Regional Activity Center, with special activities and promotions planned as part of the evening.

For more information, visit the recently launched website at

Winter edition of WCU magazine available online

The winter 2014 edition of The Magazine of Western Carolina University features stories about WCU’s record enrollment numbers, interdisciplinary study of the lessons and legacies of the 1960s, and yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the university.

The issue also features WCU alumni who are making a difference through their work with the National Park Service, WCU’s own Hunter Library, and Asheville-based arts and creative writing nonprofit groups.

Visit the issue online at

Faculty, students and alums serve migrant and seasonal farmworkers

Departments within WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences have partnered with Vecinos Farmworker Health Program to provide hands-on learning and service opportunities for students.

‘Magical Mystery Tour’ 1960s educational event set for Jan. 30

Everyone who takes the free Magical Mystery Tour in Blue Ridge Conference Room on Thursday, Jan. 30, will get to explore some of the most iconic and symbolic events of the 1960s and enjoy activities from tie-dyeing to writing poetry. The tour, available from 5 to 7 p.m., features 10 stops – one for each year of the decade – with interactive activities at each.

Thursday basketball game to include fundraiser for Cullowhee fire victims

Donations will be collected at Western Carolina University’s home men’s basketball game in Ramsey Regional Activity Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, to assist people who lost their jobs at three Cullowhee businesses that closed after a November fire.

WCU hires director of employee relations

Albert “Rusty” Marts, director of employee relations and affirmative action officer at the University of North Carolina Asheville, has been named director of employee relations, training and development at Western Carolina University. Marts will begin his new role effective Feb. 1.

Online entrepreneurship program earns “Best Buy” designation

Western Carolina University’s online bachelor’s degree program in entrepreneurship has received a high national ranking in affordability and “Best Buy” designation from the distance education information clearinghouse

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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Commencement 2017


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