Archive for September 3rd, 2014

Swigger’s book ‘History is Bunk’ published

Jessie Swigger, an associate professor and director of public history in the Department of History, authored a book titled “‘History is Bunk’: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village,” which was recently released by the University of Massachusetts Press.

Swigger reconstructs the history of Greenfield Village, an outdoor history museum opened by Henry Ford, who had previously said that “history is more or less bunk.” Ford said later that he was referring to history’s focus on politicians and military heroes, and that Greenfield Village would celebrate farmers and inventors.

The book analyzes the dialogue between museum administrators and their audiences by considering the contexts that have shaped Greenfield Village to offer a look at how the past is assembled and constructed at history museums.

Faculty help clean trails, campsite during service project

Faculty members help clean trails and a campsite at Deep Creek.

Faculty members help clean trails and a campsite at Deep Creek.

Faculty members with WCU’s Health and Physical Education Program and Parks and Recreation Management Program recently participated in a team-building service project at the Deep Creek Trail and campsites in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The volunteers spent part of the day Aug. 11 picking up trash on trails, clearing water bars and revamping campsite No. 60.

The WCU programs adopted the Deep Creek trailhead and four campsites in 1994 as part of the National Park Service Adopt-A-Trail and Adopt-A-Campsite program, and faculty, students and community members help clean the areas at least eight times a year.

“We felt the adoption program would be a good opportunity for us to assist the national park and give us the opportunity to enjoy our natural surroundings,” said Ben Tholkes, director of the Parks and Recreation Management Program.

Employee Appreciation Day to be Sept. 4

WCU’s 2014 Employee Appreciation Day celebration will be held in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center main arena and concourse from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

As part of the event, Staff Senate will sponsor a food drive to benefit the Community Table of Sylva. Non-perishable food items can be taken to the Staff Senate table on the concourse or to the Center for Service Learning in Belk 273.

Construction management program earns renewal of accreditation

The American Council for Construction Education has awarded renewal of accreditation to Western Carolina University’s undergraduate program in construction management.

The renewal of accreditation by the ACCE signifies that WCU’s construction management program is meeting the rigorous standards established by the agency, said Michael Smith, head of the department and the Joe W. Kimmel Distinguished Professor of Construction Management.

“We are pleased that the ACCE continues to recognize the high quality of our program in construction management,” said Smith. “Students in our program and the businesses and industries that hire them when they leave will know that our graduates are well-qualified with the technical and managerial skills necessary for successful careers in construction management.”

The mission of the ACCE is to be a leading global advocate of quality construction education programs and to promote, support and accredit quality construction education programs. Through promotion and continued improvement of postsecondary construction education, ACCE accredits construction education programs in colleges and universities that request its evaluation and meet its standards and criteria.

ACCE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for baccalaureate and associate degree programs in construction, construction science, construction management and construction technology located in North America and Australia.

For more information about the construction management program at WCU, visit the website or call 828-227-2201.

Horn player James Rester to perform Sept. 4

James Rester

James Rester

Guest artist James Rester, principal horn player with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, will perform a recital at Western Carolina University in the Coulter Building recital hall on Thursday, Sept. 4.

WCU faculty members Travis Bennett and Lillian Pearson will perform with Rester at the event, which is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Capital Gazette has described Rester’s playing as “magnificent” and possessing “clear, beautiful phrasing” and the Reading Eagle recently lauded his horn solos in a performance of Brahms’ Second Symphony.

In addition to his work with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Rester holds third horn positions with Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and Delaware Symphony Orchestra. He also performed as third horn with the Baltimore Symphony for the 2013-2014 season and frequently substitutes in the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Previously, Rester was a member of the Army Field Band. While performing as principal horn with the group’s concert band, he received the Army Achievement Medal for outstanding performance and the Army Good Conduct Medal. During his enlistment, he performed and taught nationally with band’s chamber ensembles, including brass and woodwind quintets and a horn quartet.

Rester has won six professional auditions and placed as a semi-finalist in auditions with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston, Milwaukee and Richmond Symphonies, among others.

He also has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philly Pops, and orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Richmond Symphony and National Philharmonic. He can be heard on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s recent recording of Mahler’s Second Symphony and playing principal horn on the Delaware Symphony’s 2009 Grammy-nominated album titled “Interchange,” which was recorded with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

For more information, contact the WCU School of Music at 828-227-7242

‘Cash Mob’ to support Sylva merchants after downtown fire

Participants in a “Cash Mob” will meet at the steps of the historic downtown courthouse building in Sylva at 5:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, and then disperse to spend $20 each downtown to support merchants whose sales suffered after a recent fire.

Venture Local Franklin partnered with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center to organize the event after an Aug. 16 downtown fire slowed customer traffic.

For more information or to sign up to take part, visit the Venture Local Franklin Sylva’s Cash Mob Facebook page at

Enrollment hits 10,382 for another record year

University officials say the 2.7 percent jump in the total student population over last year’s tally of 10,107 is driven in part by an increase in the size of the freshman class and another year of improved retention rates.

Physical therapy graduates excel on national licensing exam

WCU awarded diplomas to the first graduates of its doctoral degree program in physical therapy this past spring, but those individuals already have boosted WCU’s program into select company with their performance on a national licensing exam.

Company’s coming: UNC system Board of Governors to visit Sept. 10-12

WCU leaders are urging faculty, staff and students to keep “four P’s” in mind when the University of North Carolina Board of Governors holds its September meeting on campus – parking, patience, purple and Catamount pride.

Edward Wright to direct Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Edward Wright, a corporate executive with more than 30 years in leadership roles involving multinational experience in the medical device industry, is the new director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Western Carolina University’s College of Business.

Graduate program in public affairs earns accreditation

WCU’s master’s degree program in public affairs has earned accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.

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