Archive for August 20th, 2014

Comer selected as Leadership for Academic Nursing Program fellow

Linda Comer

Linda Comer

Linda Comer, executive associate director in the School of Nursing, was selected to be a fellow in the Leadership for Academic Nursing Program by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The program is designed to develop and enhance leadership skills in new and emerging administrators in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. The yearlong venture provides participants with a focused assessment experience, a range of content and case studies related to successful leadership and the opportunity to establish networks with mentors and peers.

Comer participated in a weeklong intensive start to the program in late July in Annapolis, Maryland.

WCU community expresses love for Jan O’Brien after online error

Jan O'Brien

Jan O’Brien (Photo from the April 27, 2009, issue of The Reporter)

A post on a WCU Facebook page, “Jan O’Brien, beloved ‘sharing is caring’ dining hall treasure, is alive and well, despite a rumor this morning to the contrary,” inspired more than 500 likes and more than 60 comments.

O’Brien, who is celebrating her 25th anniversary working with dining services at WCU, also received a surprise visit from an alumnus, James D. Hogan, who was so moved after learning the rumor on the Internet was incorrect that he brought his family to campus to see O’Brien. Read about his visit in a post titled “Looking for Jan O’Brien” on Hogan’s blog.

WCU football announces 125th anniversary promotions

WCU football will host two giveaway events and a ticket sale in celebration of WCU’s 125th anniversary.

The first 5,000 fans to enter E.J. Whitmire Stadium to see the 3:30 p.m. home opener against Brevard on Saturday, Sept. 6, will receive a free “Prove Your Purple” T-shirt with a 125th anniversary logo on the back.

Then on Saturday, Nov. 1, the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Paws bobblehead courtesy of Pepsi. Paws will have the number “125” on his back in celebration of WCU’s quasquicentennial anniversary.

Also, in honor of the 125th anniversary, adult season tickets for seats located in the stadium’s purple reserved seating area are for sale for $125 each.

For more information, visit

Thousands of students return to campus

WCU students learn about campus organizations and opportunities at 2014 Valley Ballyhoo.

WCU students learn about campus organizations and opportunities including international programs at 2014 Valley Ballyhoo.

The WCU community welcomed thousands of students to campus during the weekend preceding the first day of classes on Aug. 18. See photos from the 2014 Valley Ballyhoo and Freshman Move-In Day on WCU’s Flickr site.

Personalist seminar at WCU draws international participation

The 10th Biennial Personalist Seminar held at WCU Aug. 11-15 attracted about two dozen participants who came not only from universities across the United States but also from Denmark and South Africa.

Personalism is a philosophical, political, and theological position found in most of the world’s religious traditions. A basic tenet of personalism is that the person is sacred and must be the starting point of reflection and value.

The seminar’s program centered on the thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr., with separate days devoted to different aspects of their work. Jennifer McBride, Board of Regents Endowed Chair in Ethics at Wartburg College, led the discussion on Bonhoeffer, and Greg Moses of Texas State University led the section on King. Also, Jonas Mortensen of the Danish Christian Democratic Party discussed the continued influence of King and personalism on Danish political ideals.

This was the 10th seminar to be held at WCU. The event, often dubbed “Personalist Summer Camp” and “Personalist Boot Camp” by participants, has been organized in alternate years by James McLachlan of WCU’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, Thomas O. Buford of Furman University and Randall K. Auxier of Southern Illinois University.

Past seminars have focused on such thinkers as Borden Parker Bowne, William Ernst Hocking, Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Levinas and Henri Bergson. Seminar participants have included, among others, Erazhim Kohak from Boston University and the Charles University of Prague; Robert Neville, dean emeritus of the Boston University School of Theology; Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and professor of religion at Columbia University; and John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Planning is currently underway for the seminar’s 11th meeting at WCU in 2016. The subject will be Hindu Personalism. Kenneth Valpey, a fellow of the Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies, has expressed interest in leading the discussion.

Fall edition of WCU magazine available online

The cover of the fall 2014 issue of WCU magazine features the logo created to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the university.The special 72-page fall edition of The Magazine of Western Carolina University is now available online with a host of stories and vintage photographs that pay homage to the university’s 125th anniversary.

Stories in the issue offer an in-depth look at WCU’s physical evolution, legacy of leadership and tradition of meeting the needs of Western North Carolina. Also, four members of the university community – Ron Rash, Levern H. Allen, Tom Belt and Sara Sutton Madison – share their unique insights into WCU history and culture.

Meanwhile, official WCU athletics historian Steve White shares his selection of the top 20 WCU sports moments, and the first five graduates of WCU’s forerunner institution, the Cullowhee High School Class of 1893, are featured in the Alumni Spotlight.

Visit the issue online at

Area film lovers find much to love in first annual Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival

A full house of 150 film lovers laughed, cried and cheered student-created films in the Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival held Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley on the Cashiers-Highlands Plateau.

The event showcased the best of Western Carolina University student films from its Film and Television Production Program’s annual, campus-based Controlled Chaos Film Festival. The movie lineup included almost 90 minutes of film, including two 20-minute senior project films – “Jerry,” a comedy about a homeless man who returns to haunt the politician who killed him, which won the 2013 Asheville Cinema Festival Best Student Film Award, and “Strigoii,” a horror film that was screened in the 2009 Sitges Film Festival, one of the world’s top-tier festivals for horror and fantasy. Student filmmakers were on hand to share with the audience the types of films they make and the challenges pertaining to each one. A number of the documentaries – “Face Jugs,” “Sheep to Shawl” and “The Moving Wall” – were filmed locally with interviews from area residents.

Proceeds and funds raised during the evening will support “wish list” essential equipment needs or senior project films, which are 20-minute, fully-produced features that simulate a professional experience for the students and serves as the capstone experience of their WCU training. Films take a year to write, produce, film and edit, include all FTP students with project crews sometimes numbering 50 to 60 people and cost an average of $5,000 to produce. As part of their education in the film business, students have to raise the funds to finance these films.

“That’s a chunk of change, and as a college student, the stereotypes are true – we’re all broke!” said Andrew Dyson, recent graduate of the FTP program and producer of the film “Jerry.” “But we believe in these films so much that we just make it happen.”

Wesley Wofford, local resident, sculptor and Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated special effects makeup artist who most recently applied prosthetic makeup for Robert DeNiro in “Grudge Match,” called the WCU films “impressive” and “exciting.” “What these kids can do with $5,000 is amazing – $5,000 wouldn’t get you a call in Hollywood,” said Wofford.

Kasey Summers, a WCU film student slated to produce a senior project film this academic year, spoke on behalf of her fellow film students. “You have no idea how much this means to us,” said Summers. “We are so happy you love our films, and to have your support in helping to make them? That is beyond words. Thank you.”

WNC fall color may be spotty, but last longer, says WCU’s foliage prognosticator

The combination of a wet spring and forecasts for above-average temperatures this fall could produce a long-lasting leaf display in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but with spotty color development.

WCU, UNC system taking steps to improve campus safety

With the addition earlier this year of a new position in the University Police Department responsible for compliance with federal reporting requirements regarding campus crime, Western Carolina University is at the forefront of addressing recommendations from the University of North Carolina system designed to improve campus safety.

Provost encourages faculty and staff to ‘step forward’

Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar highlighted in her Opening Assembly remarks initiatives to strengthen curriculum and online work flow processes, grants support and success, the university-wide reaccreditation process and support for faculty and staff to “step forward” to lead and to share their ideas and perspectives.

Dirty Guv’nahs to perform free concert at WCU Big Birthday Bash on Aug. 26

Southern rock band the Dirty Guv’nahs will perform a free concert at Western Carolina University’s Big Birthday Bash in honor of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the institution on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Constitution Day panel discussion set for Sept. 17

The Western Carolina University Public Policy Institute will host a panel discussion titled “Are Two Better than One? Comparing our Rights (and Responsibilities) under the North Carolina and United States Constitutions” on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Artist Gary Kachadourian’s “Forest/City” to fill gallery at WCU Fine Art Museum

An installation by artist Gary Kachadourian that “re-manufactures” the great outdoors overtaking an urban environment will inhabit the entire main gallery and part of the lobby of the WCU Fine Art Museum. The exhibit opens Thursday, Aug. 21, and features an artist talk and reception at 5 p.m.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


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