Archive for April 23rd, 2014

Lopez wins private enterprise education association’s top scholar award

Edward Lopez (left) receives the Distinguished Scholar Award  from Peter Boettke, president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education.

Edward Lopez (left) receives the Distinguished Scholar Award from Peter Boettke, president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education.

Edward J. Lopez, the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism at Western Carolina University, recently received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Association of Private Enterprise Education.

The Distinguished Scholar Award is presented each year to a member of APEE who, over a sustained period of years, has made a significant contribution to the research and literature of free market economics, said J.R. Clark, secretary and treasurer of APEE, in announcing the honor.

“Recognizing that ideas which are not communicated are ideas which will have no impact, this award is presented to members who excel as thinkers and communicators,” Clark said. “The award represents those who, by the dint of rigorous research and clear thinking, have communicated to their colleagues in academe and the public in general the fundamental understandings of the market economy and the system of entrepreneurship which is integral to it.”

Lane authors article published by international museum profession blog

Anne T. Lane, an administrative support associate with the Mountain Heritage Center, authored an article titled “Give it a Rest – Thoughts on Exhibiting Light-sensitive Objects,” which was published in “Register Trek,” an international blog published in multiple languages about the museum profession. The article is available in English as well as Italian, Spanish and German.

Scifers wins athletic training honor

James Scifers, professor of athletic training at Western Carolina University, is recipient of the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association Educator of the Year Award for 2014.

The award is given annually to an athletic training educator who demonstrates excellence in classroom and clinical education of students enrolled in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Scifers received the award at the association’s spring symposium and business meeting held in March in Wrightsville Beach.

Hartley presents at regional LGBT rights conference, participates in national advisory council meeting

Roger Hartley, director of the master’s degree program in public affairs and professor of political science and public affairs, recently presented “Rights Claims and Legal Opportunities After Windsor” at the conference LGBT in the South: Advocacy Within and Beyond the Law. The conference was attended by attorneys, organizers, ministers and community members. Hartley’s talk centered on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in 2013 to erase a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Hartley also participated in a meeting of the Research Advisory Council of the National Center for State Courts.

Kossick lectures as a visiting professor at Lincoln Memorial University

Dr. Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing and graduate nurse anesthesia simulation coordinator, presented seven lectures April 5 as a visiting professor at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. Kossick served as the lecture faculty for a continuing education seminar titled “Implementing ECG Analysis Across the Continuum of Anesthesia Care.”

Open air Jazz Festival to be held April 26

Western Carolina University’s annual Jazz Festival will feature performers including special guest guitarist and composer Paul Bollenback and will be held on an open-air stage on campus during the late afternoon and evening of Saturday, April 26.

Paul Bollenback

Paul Bollenback

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. near the fountain outside A.K. Hinds University Center with different ensembles taking the stage each hour. The festival opens with the WCU “Straight Ahead” Jazz Septet at 4 p.m. followed by the WCU “Modal” Jazz Sextet at 5 p.m., the Jason Decristofaro Trio at 6 p.m. and the Steve Wohlrab Trio at 7 p.m.

Headlining the festival will be Bollenback performing with the WCU Jazz Ensemble at 8 p.m. Bollenback cultivated a lifelong interest in exotic musical sounds and timbres, having spent part of his childhood in the New York City area and part in India. His honors include being named Musician of the Year as part of the Washington Area Music Awards in 1997, and his last two releases, “Brightness of Being” and “Invocation,” remained on the USA Jazz Week charts for several months.

In addition to his festival performance at WCU, a master jazz improvisation class taught by Bollenback and his dress rehearsal with the WCU Jazz Ensemble will be held at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, in the recital hall of Coulter Building and are free and open to the public.

In the event of rain, the festival will be held in the recital hall of Coulter Building. For more information, contact organizer Pavel Wlosok, associate professor of jazz studies at WCU, at 828-631-1321 or

Read the full story “Open air Jazz Festival to be held April 26” in The Reporter.

Library to stay open 24/7 for last two weeks of semester

Beginning at noon Sunday, April 27, WCU’s Hunter Library will be open 24 hours a day for two weeks, including the last week of classes and final exams. The library will not close again until 6 p.m. Friday, May 9.

Students will be treated to free coffee, hot chocolate and tea every night starting around midnight on the library’s main floor.

Controlled Chaos Film Festival to be held May 2

Films created by Western Carolina University students will be screened at the sixth annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 2. The festival begins at 7 p.m. and features short works from a range of genres created by students from the Film and Television Production Program and the School of Stage and Screen.

WCU student Grant Gilliard looks at the monitor while WCU student Kris Naylor works behind the camera to capture footage of Terry Welch performing in the film “Black, White and Blue.”

WCU student Grant Gilliard looks at the monitor while WCU student Kris Naylor works behind the camera to capture footage of Terry Welch performing in the film “Black, White and Blue.”

Featured at the festival will be two senior project films, “The Radical Notion of Gene Mutation” and “Back, White and Blue.” A science-fiction drama, “Radical Notion” takes place in an alternate universe where the government pays for college in exchange for four years in the armed forces. A young girl, Cailin, must choose whether to serve her country or flee to Canada with a new love. “Black, White and Blue” depicts a young girl, Sarah, and her struggle to overcome depression. The film includes several underwater sequences that required two students – camera operator Kris Naylor and actress Emily Pears – to become SCUBA certified.

Advance tickets to the Controlled Chaos Film Festival can be purchased for $8 cash in the School of Stage and Screen office located on the second floor of the Stillwell Building. Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Proceeds and donations benefit the Motion Picture Student Project Fund, which helps students with the cost of creating their senior project films.

For more information, contact Jack Sholder, director of the Film and Television Production Program, at 828-227-2324 or

Read the full story “Controlled Chaos Film Festival to be held May 2” in The Reporter.

WCU co-sponsors regional history of mathematics conference

Western Carolina University is co-sponsoring the seventh annual Smoky Mountain Undergraduate Research Conference on the History of Mathematics at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching on Saturday, April 26.

SLIDESHOW: Relay for Life of WCU held April 11

More than 40 teams participated April 11 in 2014 Relay for Life of WCU, which raised more than $13,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease, according to the event website.

‘Echoes of the Cotton Club’ to stage April 24

The "Echoes of the Cotton Club" poster was developed from an original painting by Bruce Frazier, a music director for the show and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Commercial and Electronic Music.

The “Echoes of the Cotton Club” poster was developed from an original painting by Bruce Frazier, a music director for the show and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Commercial and Electronic Music.

“Echoes of the Cotton Club,” a salute to the roots of jazz and the big band era music, will be staged in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 24. The show starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. and no one will be admitted after it has started.

“Echoes” is the sixth in a series of academic-based entertainment projects mounted in collaboration with four departments and three colleges at WCU that hearkens back to the golden age of radio. The nationally award-winning shows feature live music and sound effects, and are performed only once before an audience in the Bardo Arts Center.

The show’s writer and producer Don Connelly, head of the Department of Communication, said the storyline of “Echoes” is woven around the critical role that radio broadcasts originating in 1927 from the Cotton Club played in changing the musical landscape in America. “The ‘echoes’ from the Cotton Club are all of the rich musical styles and genre that originated in Harlem and are still influencing our popular culture,” said Connelly. The show is the fourth he has written for the group, and he said that it has been the most difficult because the story line spans nearly 90 years.

Read the full story “Radio re-creation staging Thursday” on the WCU News website.

Hunter Library names new librarians

Hunter Library has filled three librarian positions. Elizabeth Marcus, a member of the circulation staff at Hunter Library for the past eight years, joined its reference department as research and instruction librarian on April 15. Also, starting Thursday, May 1, Elizabeth Skene, previously curator of collections with the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., will be the digital initiatives librarian, and Sarah K. Steiner, a librarian at Georgia State University in Atlanta for the past nine years, will be the head of research and instruction services.

Elizabeth Marcus

Elizabeth Marcus

Marcus, as research and instruction librarian, provides in-person and online research consultation services at the reference desk and assists with the development of research guides tailored for student use. She also is serving as the undergraduate experience librarian responsible for coordinating library instruction classes for first-year students and enhancing their awareness of library services and resources. She holds the faculty rank of assistant professor.

Elizabeth Skene

Elizabeth Skene

Skene, digitial initiatives librarian, will be responsible for creating and managing a growing digital collection of historically significant materials that focuses on the history of WCU, Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia. She also will play a leadership role in the library’s initiatives in the digital humanities, digital preservation and data curation.

Sarah K. Steiner

Sarah K. Steiner

Steiner, head of research and instruction services, will lead a department of nine librarians on the Hunter Library faculty who serve WCU students, faculty and staff through in-person and online consultation at the reference desk and provide library instruction to classes.

Read the full story “Hunter Library names new librarians..

EYE on FYE celebration awards honor faculty, staff and students

Awards presented at a recent celebration hosted by First Year Experience included recognition of Rebecca Lasher, assistant professor of social work, and Lane Perry, director of the Center for Service Learning, as the 2013-14 FYE Advocates for faculty and staff, respectively.

Rebecca Lasher

Rebecca Lasher

Lasher’s and Perry’s work with first-year students extended this year to their participation with The Ripple Effect freshman learning community that was launched last fall. Students involved in the community attended a retreat, took several classes together and participated in discussion and activities designed to help them not only observe the “ripples” that small acts and service perpetuate for social change but also to jump in and make ripples themselves.

Students who nominated Lasher for the award said she helped them understand material before and after class and always asked students when she saw them on campus how they were and how their school work was going. They described her as energetic, cheerful, encouraging, caring and understanding. One student said Lasher sent out an email on the first day of the semester saying she was proud of her students and that she would always be there for them if they needed her.

Lasher said the student-driven nature of the award made receiving it particularly humbling.

“When our provost read the comments students made about me, I was truly amazed and honored to know that I had made an impact on them during their first year at WCU,” said Lasher.

Lane Perry (second from left) joins students in a service project. Perry was named the 2013-14 FYE Advocate for staff.

Lane Perry (second from left) joins students in a service project. Perry was named the 2013-14 FYE Advocate for staff.

Student nominators said Perry made them feel welcome, gave outstanding advice, had in-depth conversations with them, and was someone they considered a friend and mentor. One nominator said Perry had lunch with the student to talk about goals outside of college.

Perry said he recognizes the importance of a student’s first year and cited research that suggests the first weeks of the first semester are essential to a student’s success.

“I like to think of the first impression as a pivotal moment,” said Perry. “The first impression coupled with first action and first experience is imperative. Students love to see follow-through. I think that is something that is nearly impossible to fake. That is how I live my life as an FYE Advocate – with focus on follow-through. Luckily, the students I work with make it worth it – well worth it.”

Read the full story in EYE on FYE celebration awards honor faculty, staff and students in The Reporter.

Student helps craft town’s park rejuvenation plan

Getting to work with a park rejuvenation project for the town of Maiden appealed to WCU alumnus and current graduate student Andrew Bowen – not only for the professional experience he would gain but also for the chance to be part of a project that was personally meaningful.

Restructuring of Chief of Staff unit now complete

The reorganization of several units previously based in Western Carolina University’s Division of Advancement and External Affairs is now complete with the recent hiring of directors for marketing and external relations.

Students to present music and video created from more than 50 submitted melodies on April 25

WCU will premiere a student-created original musical composition featuring melodies submitted by more than 50 musicians synchronized with a video that showcases the university and the region on campus on Friday, April 25. The approximately nine-minute collaborative musical and video production is the culmination of a student-initiated project called The Harmony Initiative.

Student Employee of the Year named

Merab Mushfiq, a sophomore from Pakistan majoring in biology and winner of the third annual Student Employee of the Year competition, wears many hats in the Writing and Learning Commons. Mushfiq first became an academic skills consultant in spring 2013 before becoming the first-ever international student consultant in the commons and then later a chemistry tutor.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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Commencement 2017


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