Archive for February 5th, 2014

Conley to receive award for contributions to western literature

Robert J. Conley, WCU’s Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Western Writers of America’s Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Contributions to Western Literature.

Robert Conley

Robert Conley

The award is the nonprofit organization’s highest honor and is scheduled to be presented to Conley during the organization’s annual convention in June in Sacramento, Calif.

Conley has said his first novel, “Back to Malachi,” was written out of anger rooted in misrepresentations of Ned Christie, a Cherokee that Conley says was falsely accused of murder and hounded before he was killed. At the time, many publishers did not believe that they could publish a Western with an Indian protagonist, but Conley’s work broke the threshold, according to information from the Western Writers of America.

Conley went on to assist in the early development of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers, which encourages American Indian writers. His nearly seven dozen books include the Spur Award-winning novels “The Dark Island” and “Nickajack.” He also won a Spur for his short story “Yellow Bird: An Imaginary Autobiography,” published in “The Witch of Goingsnake.”

In addition, his poems and short stories have been published in periodicals and anthologies over the years in Germany, France, Belgium, New Zealand and Yugoslavia. They appear in multiple languages, including Cherokee, German, French and Macedonian.

Conley has written in almost every genre – poetry, fiction, nonfiction, critical essays and works for the stage.

“He is master of them all,” said Luther Wilson, who published many of Conley’s books while at the University of New Mexico Press.

Past winners of the Owen Wister Award, previously called the Levi Strauss Saddleman Award, include Max Evans, A.B. Guthrie Jr., Tony Hillerman, Dorothy M. Johnson, Elmer Kelton, Louis L’Amour, Elmore Leonard and N. Scott Momaday.

Conley is immediate past president of Western Writers of America.

Kossick presents lectures at East Carolina University

Dr. Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing, presented three lectures in January as a visiting professor to graduate nurse anesthesia students at East Carolina University. Kossick’s lectures were “Essentials of EKG Interpretation for the Anesthesia Provider,” “Critical Assessment and Interventions for Invasive Hemodynamic Data” and “Anesthesia Concepts for Patients with Valvular Heart Disease.”

SLIDESHOW: Students enjoy Magical Mystery Tour

Western Carolina University students discussed and explored some of the most iconic and symbolic events of the 1960s at the campus Magical Mystery Tour event on Thursday, Jan. 30. The tour was part of WCU’s 2013-14 campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme “1960s: Take It All In,” which is centered on the legacies and lessons of the decade.

N.C. Supreme Court justice to speak Feb. 11

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will be the keynote speaker for Western Carolina University’s Black Heritage Expo to be held Monday, Feb. 10, through Wednesday, Feb. 12.

N.C. Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley

N.C. Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley

Beasley’s address, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. She also will participate in an event only for students while on campus.

In 2008, Beasley became the first black woman to win election to statewide office in North Carolina without the benefit of incumbency or appointment by the governor when she was elected as associate judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals. In 2012, she was appointed to the N.C. Supreme Court.

WCU’s Black Heritage Expo also will include a walk-through exhibit in the Grandroom displaying African-American artifacts and information.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Intercultural Affairs in honor of Black History Month. For more information and a complete schedule of events, contact the department at 828-227-2276 or

Moshier named director of sponsored research

Andrea Moshier, interim director of sponsored research and compliance officer at Western Carolina University, has been named permanently to the position after a national search.

Andrea Moshier

Andrea Moshier

Moshier has six years of experience in research administration, with a background in grant proposal development, pre-award management, budgetary functions and research protections.

“Among her many strengths, Andrea demonstrates broad understanding of sponsored research at WCU, and she brings a hands-on attitude and vision for reaching the 2020 (Vision strategic plan) objectives, working directly with individual faculty and administration to increase grant activity,” said Mimi Fenton, dean of the Graduate School and Research.

In addition to being a certified research administrator, Moshier holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

Satterwhite hired as director of disability services

Wesley Satterwhite recently joined the Western Carolina University community as director of disability services. The Office of Disability Services works to determine, provide and advocate for reasonable accommodations and support services for students with disabilities.

Wesley Satterwhite

Wesley Satterwhite

Satterwhite, a certified rehabilitation counselor, comes to WCU from Southwestern Community College, where she served as student disability and academic engagement coordinator. At SCC, her responsibilities included at-risk student support, retention and teaching.

She also has clinical experience as a family support counselor for an organ donor organization and in neuropsychological testing.

She holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology and counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Meredith College.

Satterwhite is an active member of the national Association of Higher Education and Disability and the N.C. Association of Higher Education and Disability.

She can be reached at 828-227-3886 or

Discounted faculty, staff tickets available for App State game on Saturday

When the Western Carolina University men’s basketball team takes the court against mountain rival Appalachian State on Saturday, it will mark the first of four games for which which WCU faculty and staff can be admitted at discount prices.

Faculty and staff members can purchase tickets for themselves and members of their immediate families to any of the last four home men’s basketball games for $5 each. Discount tickets also are available during the spring semester to Friday home baseball games for $1 each.

The discounted tickets represent a savings of $5 per ticket for the basketball games and $4 per ticket for the baseball games. They are offered this spring semester courtesy of the local law firm of Earwood and Moore Attorneys at Law, which has offices in Sylva and Cullowhee, a sponsor of Catamount athletics.

Faculty and staff members will be asked to show their Cat Cards at the events.

Basketball and baseball schedules are posted at For ticket information, call 800-34-GOWCU

New Lens Film Series resumes Feb. 12

The New Lens Film Series at Western Carolina University will resume Wednesday, Feb. 12, with a screening of “Summer of Love,” a look at the 1960s counterculture movement from the PBS program “American Experience.”

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center and will be followed by a panel 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. Upcoming shows include “The Original Wives’ Club,” an episode of HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon” centered on wives of NASA’s Apollo astronauts” on Tuesday, March 4, and “Before Stonewall,” a 1984 documentary that examines discrimination against the LGBT community in the time leading up to the 1969 Stonewall riots, on Wednesday, April 9.

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

WCU receives cost, tax documents on campus fire

An independent architectural and engineering firm has provided Western Carolina University officials with a series of estimates on the cost to replace or repair three dining establishments damaged by a November fire on the WCU campus, according to an update issued Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The cost of replacing the damaged property, including additional expenses associated with bringing a structure originally built in the 1940s up to current building codes, is approximately $1.5 million, according to a report issued by Clark Nexsen. The firm also provided an estimate of approximately $629,000 on the cost of demolishing the two severely damaged businesses – Subway and Rolling Stone Burrito – and reconstructing the Mad Batter property in compliance with modern building code.

For more information and the latest updates, visit

Registration open for April 4 health and education conference

Western Carolina University will host the first of three annual diversity conferences for nursing educators, health-care professionals, secondary educators and community leaders on Friday, April 4.

The conference, titled “Meeting the Challenge: Health and Education in Appalachia and Cherokee,” will be held in Room 204 of WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Participants will explore issues connected to increasing the numbers of underrepresented ethnic minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds in nursing, secondary education and health-care professional settings. Presenters include experts in multiculturalism, education, health professions and serving diverse and disadvantaged populations.

Although the focus of the conference is on Appalachia and Cherokee, conference organizers say the content is applicable to any region where increasing diversity in nursing schools, secondary education and the nursing profession is a goal.

The event is sponsored by the WCU School of Nursing and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which awarded a grant to WCU to help increase the diversity of nursing students.

Registration by Friday, March, 14, is $50, and $70 afterward. Registration for undergraduate students is $10 and for graduate students is $25.

For more information, visit and click on “Professional Development,” or call 828-227-7397.

Visiting artist Mark Hewitt to give ceramics demonstrations

Artist Mark Hewitt specializes in planters and jars and uses local clays in his pieces.

Artist Mark Hewitt specializes in planters and jars and uses local clays in his pieces.

North Carolina potter Mark Hewitt will hold ceramics demonstrations and give an artist’s talk Thursday, Feb. 13, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

Demonstrations of the art of throwing ceramics will be in Room 151 from 9:30 a.m. until noon and 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. Hewitt will give an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. in Room 130.

For more information, visit the WCU news site.

Beatles tribute band to perform on Feb. 9

The performance of “1964: The Tribute” will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

The performance of “1964: The Tribute” will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

“1964: The Tribute,” a band that re-creates the early music of the Beatles, will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

The performance at WCU will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance in the United States. Nearly 74 million people tuned in to watch “The Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS-TV on Sunday night, Feb. 9, 1964, to see the mop-haired Brits, all in their early 20s, play and sing five songs. It was the largest television audience in history at the time.

The concert is connected to WCU’s campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme for the 2013-14 academic year, “1960s: Take It All In.” As part of the theme, students, faculty and staff are studying and discussing the lessons and legacies of the decade, which was marked by political upheaval, scientific accomplishments, extensions of pop culture, artistic expression, feminism and civil rights.

For more information, visit the WCU news site.

Exhibit of pottery collected by Joan Byrd and George Rector opens Feb. 17

George Rector, who has taught ceramics at WCU for more than two decades, and Joan Byrd, who will retire in May after teaching for 46 years at WCU, will share artwork from their personal collection in an exhibit from Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, May 9, at WCU. An artist’s talk and reception is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, March 20.

Another record is broken as spring enrollment is at an all-time high

Spring enrollment at Western Carolina University is at an all-time high as the number of students at WCU this semester has topped 9,600 for the first time in university history.

Branding, advertising executive to lead marketing unit

Robin C. Oliver, a marketing and branding executive with extensive advertising agency experience, has been appointed to lead Western Carolina University’s newly created marketing unit.

Changes coming to Early Alert process

The Early Alert process that enables WCU faculty and staff to make online referrals for students who are experiencing academic or social difficulties has been enhanced and renamed Issue Alert.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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