Archive for August 6th, 2014

Sam Fowlkes honored for swiftwater rescue initiative

From left, Jim Coffey presents a Higgins and Langley award to Sam Fowlkes, an adjunct parks and recreation management instructor at WCU and chair of the American Canoe Association's safety and rescue committee. (Photo by and courtesy Ryan Maxwell)

From left, Jim Coffey presents a Higgins and Langley award to Sam Fowlkes, an adjunct parks and recreation management instructor at WCU and chair of the American Canoe Association’s safety and rescue committee. (Photo by and courtesy Ryan Maxwell)

Sam Fowlkes, who teaches paddlesports and rescue at WCU, recently accepted an award considered among the most prestigious in the field of technical swiftwater rescue for an American Canoe Association conference he helped coordinate.

Fowlkes, chair of the ACA’s safety and rescue committee, co-chaired the association’s landmark 2013 Swiftwater Rescue Conference, which was held in October in Western North Carolina. The event featured seminars from the leading water rescue educators in the nation, including people who developed techniques and wrote the first instructional materials in the field. Participants included more than 100 recreational paddlers, certified paddlesport instructors and emergency responders from 22 states and three foreign countries.

The Higgins and Langley Memorial and Education Fund, which is the water rescue division of the National Association of Search and Rescue, bestowed one of the international Higgins and Langley Awards for special commendation to ACA for the initiative in June. In accepting the award at an event held in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, Fowlkes said ACA has been promoting safety in paddlesports since 1880 and was one of the pioneering forces in the field.

Fowlkes has served as an adjunct parks and recreation management instructor at WCU for 16 years.

Faculty member teaches video game workshop

Scott Barlowe

Scott Barlowe

Scott Barlowe, WCU assistant professor of computer science, taught a summer video game building workshop for 10 Jackson County Public Schools students at Smoky Mountain High School. Barlowe covered topics including 2-D and 3-D game creation, marketing games and the video game production process. Students used Game Maker, a game creation software application, and were introduced to a variety of free game building resources.

“These students picked this up very quickly,” said Barlowe. “It was clear they have a real interest and a desire to learn. What they will find in the future is that the programming logic, design and job-seeking skills can be applied to a wide variety of career fields outside of the video game industry.”

The workshop was supported by a STEM/E (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math/Entrepreneurship) grant from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and awarded by the Jackson County Public Schools. In addition, the workshop was sponsored by the Smoky Mountain High School Media Center. Each participant received a book, software, USB flashdrive loaded with resource materials and a T-shirt.

For more information, visit the “Students Take Video Gaming to the Next Level During Summer Workshop” website (link no longer active).

Burns and Woods present at philanthropy institute

Claire Burns, director of annual giving, and Brett Woods, director of development, recently presented a session titled “Designing, Implementing and Sustaining the Perfect Pipeline” at the Western North Carolina Association of Fundraising Professionals 2014 Philanthropy Institute. Burns and Woods discussed strategies for developing a strong leadership-giving program for an annual fund.

Opening Assembly set for Aug. 13

The Opening Assembly for fall semester will be held Wednesday, Aug. 13, in the performance hall of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. A reception at 8:30 a.m. precedes the 9 a.m. assembly. Chancellor David O. Belcher will deliver remarks.

Photo studio to open for new employee photographs, headshot updates

New faculty and staff members and employees who need to update their headshots are asked to visit the photo studio in the Office of Communications and Public Relations on Thursday, Aug. 7, between 9 a.m. and noon or on Tuesday, Aug. 12, between 2 and 5 p.m. Photos made during these blocks of time require no appointment and usually take no more than five minutes for the entire process. The photo studio is located in Suite 420 of the H.F. Robinson Administration Building.

Photos of new employees will be published in a feature that appears annually in The Reporter faculty and staff newsletter to introduce new full-time and permanent faculty and staff. Full-time faculty or staff members at WCU hired within the last year are asked to complete a brief information form online. To see an example, visit The Reporter’s new employees 2013 feature.

For more information, send an email to The Reporter at For more information about photos, contact Mark Haskett at or Ashley Evans at

Leadership Academy participants selected

Twelve WCU staff and faculty members have been selected to take part in the WCU Leadership Academy for the 2014-15 academic year.

Members of the incoming class are Lauren Bishop, chief sustainability officer and director of the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management; Neil Calvert, project intake analyst for the Department of Academic Engagement and IT Governance; Cory Causby, director of employment and affirmative action programs with human resources; Mae Claxton, associate professor of English; Mike Despeaux, associate director of career services; Amanda Dockendorf, assistant director for fitness and wellness; David Evanoff, associate professor of chemistry; Tammy Frizzell, administrative specialist for orientation; Cheryl Johnston, associate professor of anthropology; Hollye Moss, associate professor and head of the Global Management and Strategy Department; Ryan Taylor, business counselor with the Center for Rapid Product Realization; and Gayle Wells, associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning.

The academy was created to cultivate faculty and staff leaders as part of WCU’s effort to achieve the goals identified in the 2020 Vision: Focusing Our Future strategic plan.

Record number of students anticipated this fall

The Western Carolina University community is making preparations to welcome what is expected to be a record number of students for the start of fall semester classes on Monday, Aug. 18. The new academic year also ushers in changes in campus dining, parking and shopping.

WCU named ‘top adventure college’ in outdoor magazine poll

Results from an online poll have been tallied, and Western Carolina University has been announced as the No. 1 college for outdoor adventure in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic by a leading outdoors magazine. Faculty and staff outdoor enthusiasts say the recognition is well-deserved.

‘Big Birthday Bash’ to celebrate WCU’s 125th year set for Aug. 26

Western Carolina University is opening the academic year by throwing itself a party in honor of the 125th anniversary of its founding, and all alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community are invited to take part in the festivities.

Parking at the center of campus to cost $3 per hour during weekdays

The cost to park in the 85-space parking lot at the center of Western Carolina University’s campus near the Alumni Tower, Coulter Building and Forsyth Building will be $3 per hour from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays starting Monday, Aug. 18.

WCU faculty, WNC teachers to launch regional program for math teachers

A team of Western Carolina University faculty members and Western North Carolina mathematics teachers are establishing the Smoky Mountain Math Teachers’ Circle, a professional development community to help teachers bring new excitement and interest in mathematics to their students.

WCU, Mission receive $1 million grant to improve regional nursing care

A federal workforce diversity grant of more than $1 million will enable the School of Nursing at Western Carolina University to partner with Mission Health in an effort to increase the quality of nursing care provided to patients in rural Western North Carolina.

Ticket sales for Mainstage theater season begin Aug. 6

The students and faculty of Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen soon will raise the curtain for their Mainstage season for the 2014-15 academic year.

WCU’s lifelong learning institute starts this fall

Western Carolina University is launching a new lifelong learning institute aimed at people age 50 and older across Western North Carolina who are interested in enriching their lives through the pursuit of knowledge.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


Africa! More Than A Continent