Archive for February 20th, 2014

MacIntyre, Stevens, Collins and Hewer have graduate research project published in AANA Journal

Philip MacIntyre and Brad Stevens, WCU alumni and certified registered nurse anesthetists; Dr. Shawn Collins, interim associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, and director of the nurse anesthesia program; and Ian Hewer, assistant professor of nursing, co-authored a journal article titled “Cost of Education and Earning Potential for Non-Physician Anesthesia Providers.” This peer-reviewed article was accepted for publication as a product of MacIntyre’s and Stevens’ graduate scholarly project and appeared in the February issue of the AANA Journal, the official scholarly journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

WCU advances in NCAA 6th Fan Contest

Western Carolina University advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA 6th Fan Contest to win $10,000 and is now competing head-to-head with Brigham Young University for the most online votes from supporters.

Voting for the competition’s second round, which will determine which institutions advance to the Elite Eight and the chance to win additional prizes, will continue through Sunday, Feb. 23.

NCAA 6th Fan, an online NCAA March Madness-style competition for fans, invites everyone to vote for their favorite team daily at (link no longer active) and via Twitter by including #6thFan and their school’s unique hashtag in a Tweet. WCU’s hashtag for the competition is #WCAR. Participants also can connect their Facebook accounts to the site to vote and register for a chance to win individual prizes.

Institutions that earned spots in NCAA 6th Fan’s Sweet Sixteen, including WCU, will be awarded $10,000 in general scholarship funds, with each institution having the flexibility to award the dollars to a randomly selected student or for deposit in the school’s general scholarship fund. A $100,000 prize will be awarded to the overall winning school.

Service Learning Fair rescheduled to Feb. 20

The ninth annual Service Learning Fair will be held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.

The event, which is free and open to the public, enables students and faculty and staff members to learn more about service opportunities in the area and explore partnerships with community organizations. The event was postponed from an earlier date due to inclement weather.

For more information, contact the Center for Service Learning at or 828-227-7184.

Panelists to discuss voting rights on Feb. 24

A panel discussion titled “Voting Rights: 1960s to Today” will be held in the theater of Western Carolina University’s A.K. Hinds University Center at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24.

Panelists will include John Hayes, president of the Asheville NAACP branch, and Isaac Coleman, chair of the Asheville NAACP branch’s political action committee. Coleman will discuss his experiences with voter registration, including his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s in Mississippi.

The event is connected to WCU’s campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme for 2013-14, “1960s: Take It All In.”

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

Athletic training students dominate presentations at Atlanta conference

Students representing Western Carolina University’s athletic training program made their presence felt at the recent Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Association Student Symposium and Educators’ Conference held in Atlanta.

The symposium serves as the National Student Conclave for Athletic Training, and nearly 1,000 students from across the country participated in the event, said James Scifers, WCU professor of athletic training.

This year, 18 students from across the Southeast were selected to give platform presentations, and 15 other students were chosen to present posters. Out of the total of 33 students selected to present, eight are WCU students. The students from Cullowhee tied with the University of South Florida in having the most presentations from a school, with six platform presentations and two posters, Scifers said.

This year marked the sixth time in the last seven years that WCU athletic training students have ranked first in presentations at the symposium, and in 2011 they placed second, Scifers said. More than 360 accredited athletic training programs are invited to submit abstracts for the event.

“In addition to the student presentations, WCU athletic training faculty presented two posters, including one demonstrating outcomes of our unique clinical education model,” Scifers said.

WCU to host 22nd annual communicative disorders conference March 27-28

Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences will host the 22nd annual Cullowhee Conference on Communicative Disorders on Thursday, March 27, and Friday, March 28.

The event, a regional favorite for continuing education in the field of communication sciences and disorders, will feature a broad range of presentations designed to be of interest to speech/language pathologists, allied health providers and family members of individuals with communication disorders.

The conference will kick off with an afternoon presentation March 27 by Perry Flynn, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a state consultant with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Flynn will present on the subject of trends in service delivery in the state’s public schools.

The morning of March 28 will include a presentation on the role of speech/language pathologists in writing instruction by Johanna Price, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at WCU, and Sandra Jackson, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at North Carolina Central University.

Later that morning, David Shapiro, professor of communication sciences and disorders who holds WCU’s Madison Distinguished Professorship, will discuss innovations in fluency treatment. Conference events include a reception in honor of Shapiro and his wife, Kay, who are starting a new scholarship for graduate students in the field of communication disorders.

The conference will conclude with a Friday afternoon presentation by Michelle Flippin, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Appalachian State University, who will discuss family involvement in treatment for autism spectrum disorders. Flippin is the lead author of a recent American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology article evaluating the effectiveness of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

For more information about the conference, contact Bill Ogletree, head of the WCU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, at

‘The Vagina Monologues’ to stage Feb. 28 and March 1

Western Carolina University will host a benefit performance of “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center.

“The Vagina Monologues” is a series of monologues written by Eve Ensler to end violence against women and girls all over the world. An activist, writer and performer, Ensler wrote the play in 1996 after she interviewed dozens of females with stories of violence against women and the struggles women face in society.

Students and staff of WCU perform “The Vagina Monologues” annually in recognition of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

The 2014 WCU production, which is sponsored by the Department of Intercultural Affairs, will feature two new monologues titled “Then We Were Jumping” and “One Billion Will Rise for Justice.” Also, portions of pieces will be performed in Spanish, Cherokee and American Sign Language.

“We wanted to highlight the diversity of the women across the world, across our community and across our campus,” said Sarah Carter, associate director for resource services for the Department of Intercultural Affairs.

In addition, the event features an informational fair with participants from the community as well as campus clubs and organizations, and activities such as a photo booth.

The benefit performance is presented as part of V-Day’s One Billion Rising for Justice campaign, a global call for women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in places where they are entitled to justice and release their stories through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, sit-ins and testimonies.

Proceeds from WCU’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” will go to the V-Day Foundation as well as REACH of Macon County, which provides services in Macon and Jackson counties; the Clean Slate Coalition; and the WCU Sexual Violence Awareness Fund.

Tickets can be purchased in advance in A.K Hinds University Center in Room 330, the Department of Intercultural Affairs, for $6. Tickets will be sold for $8 at the door. Sales tax is included in the ticket price.

For more information, contact the department at or call 828-227-2276.

WCU to present April 11 conference on impact of tourism on WNC economy

The impact of the travel and tourism industry on the economy of the 26 westernmost counties of North Carolina will be the subject of a daylong conference Friday, April 11, presented by the Western Carolina University College of Business.

The inaugural “Tourism Works for Western North Carolina” conference will be held at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding by 4 p.m.

The conference is expected to attract elected and appointed government officials, representatives of tourism and economic development organizations and chambers of commerce, and owners and operators of private sector businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry.

The tentative schedule includes sessions on tourism’s impact on local economies, strategies for telling tourism’s economic development stories, updates on state tourism marketing, perspectives from local and regional tourism organizations, building a championship tourism team, and community partnerships.

“Those in the tourism and hospitality industry realize that tourism is a significant economic development tool that generates jobs and additional tax revenues for all of the counties in Western North Carolina,” said Steve Morse, director of WCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Program. “Sometimes, local officials, businesses, community leaders and taxpayers don’t look at tourism the same way, because they don’t understand the tremendous impact tourism has on the local economy.”

In addition to Morse, presenters will include Will Tuttle, acting head and secretary of the N.C. Division of Tourism in the N.C. Department of Commerce; Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area; John Whisenant, director of tourism for the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association; and representatives from Smoky Mountain Host, Blue Ridge Host and High Country Host.

Cost of conference attendance is $59 for those who register through March 15, and $99 thereafter. The event is sponsored by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and Duke Energy.

For information or to register, visit the website or contact the Division of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397 (toll-free at 800-928-4968).

Parts of lost WCU physics research balloon recovered in Outer Banks

The seventh Western Carolina University physics research balloon to be launched to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere – Cat 7 – left Cullowhee on Saturday, Feb. 1, and traveled unexpectedly to Tennessee, across Virginia and on to the Atlantic Ocean, where it appeared to be lost at sea.

University mourns death of Conley

Noted Native American scholar and author Robert J. Conley, the Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University, died Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at Harris Regional Hospital after a period of declining health. Conley, 73, a registered tribal member of the Cherokee Nation, was appointed to the WCU professorship in July 2008.

Withdrawal, grade replacement and academic standing policies to change

Changes to academic policies related to withdrawal, grade replacement and satisfactory academic standing will take effect this fall.

Accelerated BSN program transitioning to four-semester curriculum

Western Carolina University’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree program is transitioning from a 12-month to a four-semester program, and faculty members in WCU’s School of Nursing said they are excited to offer the revised schedule that will be more student-friendly for individuals who want earn their nursing degrees while working part time.

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