Archive for March 26th, 2014

Abram wins award for forthcoming book

Susan M. Abram, an adjunct history faculty member, is recipient of the 2013 Anne B. & James B. McMillan Prize from the University of Alabama Press for her forthcoming book, tentatively titled “The Forging of a Cherokee-American Alliance in the Creek War: From its Creation to its Betrayal.”

Susan Abram

Susan Abram

The University of Alabama Press Faculty Editorial Board, which consists of scholars from all Alabama public universities that award a doctoral degree, confers the endowed prize on the basis of scholarly excellence.

The board has awarded the prize, which includes a cash award and full publication of the work, annually since 1995 to the manuscript chosen as Most Deserving in Alabama or Sothern History or Culture.

“Susan Abram’s study of the Cherokee-American alliance in the Creek War exemplifies and continues the tradition of superlative scholarship the McMillan award was established to honor,” said Curtis Clark, UAP director. “As Alabama approaches the bicentennial of its statehood, Abram’s work sheds new light on the pivotal events that shaped the territory’s path to statehood and the shared history and relationships between Alabama’s diverse populations.”

The McMillan prize was established to honor James B. McMillan, founding director of the University of Alabama Press, former chairman of the university’s English department and a renowned dialectologist. The prize has recognized books on such diverse topics as Southern Baptists, civil rights, religion, Alabama politics, southern missionaries and southeastern archaeology.

Creasy presents at international conference

Todd Creasy, associate professor of management, presented “Out with the Old, In with the New – Process Changes for the ‘New Normal’” at ConExpo, an international conference held in Las Vegas and attended by more than 50,000 professionals in the mining, construction, heavy equipment, surveying and bridge-building industries.

Creasy’s presentation was based on a case study that will appear later this year in a peer-reviewed journal.

Sholder teaches Hitchcock course in Spain

Jack Sholder, director of the Film & Television Production Program, taught a three-week course on the films of Alfred Hitchcock at the Universidad de Alcala in Spain as part of the Consortium for Transatlantic Studies and Scholarship

Reitz presents, moderates panel at national conference

Christina L. Reitz, assistant professor of music, presented “Urbane or Profane: The Emergence of American Women Orchestras as Urban Entertainment” at the 35th annual national conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association held in Chicago.

Reitz also moderated the panel discussion “Musicians and the City” during the conference and has completed two terms on the board of directors. She was elected to chair the publicity committee for the organization.

Kossick to serve on national association’s scholarship committee

Dr. Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing and graduate anesthesia simulation education coordinator, accepted an invitation to serve on the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation’s 2014 scholarship review committee. Responsibilities include critiquing submitted student essays and assisting in the selection of recipients for scholarships.

WCU featured on website of best practices and ideas for promoting election engagement

North Carolina Campus Compact has featured WCU’s “Citizenship and Civility” initiative on a webpage of college and university best practices that promoted election engagement around the 2012 presidential election.

“Citizenship and Civility” was WCU’s 2012-13 campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme, and faculty and staff members were encouraged to weave the theme into curricular and co-curricular activities. Held in connection with the theme were debate watch parties, issue discussions and a nonpartisan voter registration effort. WCU’s Honors College, Center for Service Learning, Public Policy Institute, student groups and other organizations helped register nearly 1,200 new voters in Jackson County.

N.C. Campus Compact is an organization committed to helping build the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen communities.

Battle of the Plug contest to include campuswide events

The third annual Battle of the Plug competition in which Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University compete to see which university’s residence halls can conserve the most energy will be held Friday, April 4, through Friday, April 25.

Battle of the Plug GraphicEach institution will measure which of its residence halls saves the greatest percentage of energy as well as how the percentage of energy reduction in participating buildings overall compares with the percentage of energy reduction at the rival institution. WCU won the title the first year of the Battle of the Plug contest in 2012, and ASU won last year.

Campuswide Battle of the Plug events at WCU include a “Be Ready for the Battle” kick-off to be held in Courtyard Dining Hall on Thursday, April 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. as well as a “Whee Do It in the Dark” dance party in the Cats Den on Saturday, April 26, from 7 to 11 p.m. The dance will feature a live deejay, games and food, and attendees are encouraged to wear white T-shirts and bring glowsticks.

To help celebrate WCU’s 125th anniversary, the competition also will have a “Livin’ 1889” component in which students are encouraged to turn off electronic devices and live like Western Carolina’s students did 125 years ago.

In addition, the event will tie in with WCU’s annual Earth and Wellness Celebration on Tuesday, April 15. Co-hosted by the WCU Energy Management Office and Campus Recreation and Wellness, the event combines the Earth Day celebration with health and wellness and will be held on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will enjoy games, hula hooping, a drum circle and giveaways related to supporting health and the local community, and have the chance to visit more than 30 booths sponsored by community vendors and nonprofit and student organizations.

Support from the Student Government Association and the Resident Student Association also will enable giveaways throughout the event.

The winning residence hall at WCU not only will receive a set of CornHole gameboards but also a plaque, which will remain in the residence hall until next year’s competition.

For more information, visit the Battle of the Plug website and like the Battle of the Plug’s Facebook page.

WCU to host telescope viewing party April 4 at airport

Western Carolina University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics will host an evening telescope viewing party beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Jackson County Airport overlooking the WCU campus.

Part of the 2014 North Carolina Science Festival, the event is designed to give members of the campus and surrounding communities an up-close view of stars, the moon and the planets Mars and Jupiter through telescopes at various magnifications.

Enrique Gomez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at WCU, will give a brief presentation on identifying well-known constellations and stars that can be seen in the sky during the spring season.

“In the past, this event has been popular with children and their parents, as well,” Gomez said. “Everyone remembers the first time they saw the moon through a telescope.”

The viewing is open free of charge, and members of the public are welcome to bring their own telescopes. In the event the evening is overcast, the viewing will be canceled. Young children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly.

School of Music to present April Fools’ Day concert

The Western Carolina University School of Music will present an April Fools’ Day concert Tuesday, April 1, that will feature surprises and unusual talents of faculty musicians.

Faculty members performing in the concert will include Shannon Thompson, clarinet; Dan Cherry, trombone; Ian Jeffress, saxophone; Will Peebles, bassoon; Steve Wohlrab, guitar; and Eldred Spell, flute. Additional faculty members and students from the School of Music also will make appearances, including Bruce Frazier, the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Commercial and Electronic Music at WCU.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Coulter Building. Admission is free. For more information, call the School of Music at 828-227-7242.

WCU shorelines program to screen documentary ‘Shored Up’ on April 6

Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines will screen the film “Shored Up,” a critically acclaimed documentary that examines the ways that different communities are trying to deal with coastal erosion, storms and rising sea levels.

Rob Young

Rob Young

The screening will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6, in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus, with director Ben Kalina on hand to discuss the film. The documentary includes interviews with scientists, politicians, residents and a wide range of experts on issues of coastal management. Filmed over three years along the North Carolina Outer Banks and Long Beach Island, N.J., the motion picture culminates with a look at the impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Also participating in the event is Rob Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, who is among the policy and environmental experts who appear in the documentary. Young, professor of geosciences at WCU and co-author of the book “The Rising Sea,” said he hopes the film will bring increased attention to the twin problems of climate change and rising sea levels.

A discussion and reception will follow the screening, which is open to the public free of charge.

WCU researchers release 2014 Regional Outlook Report examining 23 WNC counties

A WCU research team has completed a comprehensive study of major demographic, economic, social and political issues and trends facing Western North Carolina, releasing their findings in a 2014 Regional Outlook Report designed to equip residents and policymakers with the information needed to make informed decisions about WNC’s future.

Student developing mobile application for learning the Japanese language

A Western Carolina University student is developing a mobile application to help Japanese students master language skills, including proper pronunciation and handwritten characters.

WCU, Isothermal officials finalize articulation agreements in business, nursing

Representatives of Isothermal Community College and Western Carolina University met recently to sign two articulation agreements to smooth the path for ICC students transferring to WCU to earn their bachelor’s degrees in business or nursing.

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