Archive for October 22nd, 2014

Professor and Broadway veteran Terrence Mann to receive state award

Terrence Mann works with WCU students.

Terrence Mann works with WCU students.

The North Carolina Literary and Historical Association will present Broadway star Terrence Mann, Western Carolina University’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, with the Hardee-Rives Award for the Dramatic Arts on Friday, Nov. 7.

The annual award honors notable contributions to the dramatic arts in North Carolina and will be bestowed during an association meeting in New Bern.

Mann, who has been nominated three times for Tony Awards for his performances on the Broadway stage, joined the Western Carolina faculty in 2006.

His Broadway roles have included Rum Tum Tugger in “Cats,” Javert in “Les Miserables,” Chauvelin in “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and King Charles in “Pippin.” He was the originator of the role of the Beast in the Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast,” and he has taken the Broadway stage in “Lennon,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Getting Away with Murder,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Rags,” “Barnum,” “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and “Jekyll and Hyde.”

Mann is founding artistic director of the Carolina Arts Festival and served as artistic director of the North Carolina Theatre for 14 years, directing more than 25 musical productions during his tenure. He also was artistic director of “The Lost Colony,” North Carolina’s long-running outdoor drama.

At WCU, in addition to teaching and directing, he and Charlotte d’Amboise, his wife and a fellow Broadway star, founded WCU’s Triple Arts Intensive Musical Theatre Summer Camp. The 2015 camp will be held July 9-15 in Cullowhee.

Mann is currently directing an upcoming production on campus of the musical “42nd Street,” which will stage in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. nightly from Thursday, Nov. 13, to Saturday, Nov. 15, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. Tickets are $21 for adults; $16 for attendees age 60 and older, and for WCU faculty and staff; and $7 for students and children.

Also for WCU’s School of Stage and Screen Mainstage Season, Mann will direct “The Rocky Horror Show,” which will be performed in Hoey Auditorium from Thursday, Feb. 19, through Saturday, Feb. 21.

Reich and Davenport present at national learning center conference

Writing and Learning Commons staff members Chesney Reich, director, and Mattie Davenport, associate director, presented “From Base Camp to Summit: Writing Fellows Offer Cross-Curricular Writing Help” at a recent National College Learning Center Association conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The presentation introduced the theory and practice of WCU’s Writing Fellows program. Started in 2007, the program enables faculty members to request assistance from a writing fellow – a student tutor trained to address undergraduate writing needs – in classes in which at least two academic papers are assigned.

Diede co-edits book about adoption

Martha Miede

Martha Diede

Martha K. Diede, a senior educational developer with Coulter Faculty Commons, served as co-editor of the book “The Spirit of Adoption: Writers on Religion, Adoption, Faith and More,” which was released by the Cascade Books division of Wipf and Stock Publishers in October. The book features narratives of birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees centered on the way adoption shaped their spiritual lives.

Bobilya edits Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership

Andrew J. Bobilya, associate professor of parks and recreation management, serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership, which recently released its 16th issue. The journal publishes manuscripts to share the latest knowledge related to outdoor recreation, education and leadership, and to help develop theory and practice.

Briggs to deliver annual ‘Last Lecture’ on Oct. 23

Lisa Briggs

Lisa Briggs

Lisa Thomas Briggs, Western Carolina University associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, will speak on the topic “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Please Help Guide Us Through it All” as she presents the university’s annual “Last Lecture” on Thursday, Oct. 23.

Briggs’ presentation will begin at 4 p.m. in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. The event, part of Homecoming activities, honors a WCU faculty member who has been recognized by students for teaching with great passion and enthusiasm. The “Last Lecture” allows the faculty member to share words he or she would present if it was the final lecture he or she had a chance to give.

Briggs said careers in criminal justice differ from many other fields of work in that criminal justice professionals often come into contact with “less savory” members of the population, and less-than-positive responses to those individuals by criminal justice professionals can be easily rationalized. Relying on her own experiences in the field, Briggs said she will remind the audience that those individuals should be treated professionally and with respect, while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions.

Briggs earned two degrees at WCU and has been on the university’s faculty since 2002. She was a recipient of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.

The “Last Lecture” series is sponsored by Coulter Faculty Commons and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Laura Cruz, director of Coulter Faculty Commons, at or 828-227-7196.

Summary of faculty results from Gender Equality Survey to be presented Oct. 29

The Gender Equality Salary Survey, a comprehensive salary study initiated two years ago, will be discussed at a presentation and open forum to be held in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Presenters will include WCU faculty and staff as well as Gregor Koso, an external statistician who assisted with the study. Koso has more than 12 years of experience as a labor economist and consulting social statistician conducting salary equity research.

The WCU study findings will be published in three parts based on employee groups: faculty, employees who are subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA) A, and employees who are exempt from the State Personnel Act (EPA). The report for faculty will be discussed at the event, and the reports for SPA employees and EPA non-faculty employees will be published when editing is complete.

The report from the faculty portion of the study states that no person’s salary was two standard deviations or more from the mean salary for his or her employee group, and thus not large enough to suggest potential discriminatory bias based on Department of Labor guidelines. The report also includes additional findings, such as noting that men earn higher average faculty salaries for ranks of professor, associate professor and assistant professor than women, and women earn higher average faculty salaries for instructor and lecturer than men.

The study was guided by suggestions for conducting salary equity studies by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs and Lois Haignere’s book, “Paychecks: A Guide for Conducting Salary-Equity Studies for Faculty of Higher Education.” The chancellor directed the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs to conduct the survey after WCU’s chapter of the American Association of University Women requested a gender equality salary survey for faculty.

WCU 125th anniversary ornaments support Staff Senate scholarship

Gary Lance and Jenny Demos purchase 125th anniversary ornaments.

Gary Lance and Jenny Demos purchase 125th anniversary ornaments.

Members of Western Carolina University Staff Senate are selling collectible purple ornaments imprinted with the university’s 125th anniversary logo to raise money for the Staff Senate scholarship fund.

The ornaments, which cost $10, are available at the WCU bookstore.

In addition, Staff Senate representatives are selling the ornaments at special events and before football games during tailgating activities outside Gate No. 1 at the northwest corner of E.J. Whitmire Stadium. The table is located in a parking lot across the street from a footbridge that connects the intramural fields and the Cordelia Camp Building to the stadium area.

Martin Brow, a water treatment plant operator and chair of the scholarship committee for Staff Senate, said proceeds will help grow an endowed fund that supports scholarships annually for children, dependents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of WCU staff members.

For more information, contact Staff Senate at

WCU Discovery Forum rescheduled to spring semester

Western Carolina University’s third annual Discovery Forum, an event designed to encourage young people to share innovative ideas for making their communities better places to live, has been postponed until the 2015 spring semester.

The forum was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center.

A date, time and venue for the rescheduled spring semester event will be announced later.

During the forum, undergraduate presenters will share results of their research projects with an audience composed of students, faculty, staff and community members in a series of five-minute presentations.

The WCU event, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Honors College, is part of an initiative launched by the N.C. State University-based Institute for Emerging Issues, a think tank devoted to developing leadership and economic development for the state.

The IEI created the Discovery Forum to promote young leaders and community interaction, and WCU held its inaugural Discovery Forum last April as a pilot run of the successful Raleigh-based program.

For more information about the forum, call the WCU Honors College at 828-227-7383.

Catamount Legacy Walk offering bricks with 125th anniversary logo

Image of the 125th WCU anniversary logo on a brickIn honor of Western Carolina University’s 125th anniversary, brick pavers to be installed in the Catamount Legacy Walk can be engraved with the special 125th anniversary logo as well as a personalized message.

Donors who give at least $125 to the WCU Division of Student Affairs Student Emergency Fund have the opportunity through the end of December to request the logo be printed on a brick with their message, such as a sentiment honoring a graduating student, colleague or alumnus. The brick pavers will be installed in the Catamount Legacy Walk near the Alumni Tower.

In addition, WCU faculty and staff can now make either a one-time donation of $125 or five payments of $25 through payroll deduction.

Seventy-five percent of each Catamount Legacy Walk donation goes directly to the student emergency fund with the remaining amount used for maintenance of the walk and Alumni Tower. The emergency fund offers limited financial assistance when students are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship resulting from an emergency. More than $10,000 has been raised to support the fund through the Catamount Legacy Walk initiative, and 14 students have received support since January 2012 to assist with expenses such as emergency car repairs, rent, food and airfare home to attend a parent’s funeral.

For more information, visit online or call 828-227-7234.

Fine Art Museum to exhibit photos that ‘help redefine contemporary photography’

David Raymond, Ghosts (found photograph), courtesy of the artist

David Raymond, Ghosts (found photograph), courtesy of the artist

More than 600 photographs will be featured in a two-part exhibition titled “David Raymond’s Other People’s Pictures” and “Eric Oglander: Craigslist Mirrors” at the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University starting Thursday, Oct. 30.

The exhibition of photos collected by Raymond and Oglander opens with Eric Baden, a photographer and educator, interviewing the two artists at the FAM at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 followed by a reception until 7 p.m. The event and admission to the museum to see the exhibit, which runs through Friday, Jan. 9, is free and open to the public.

David J. Brown, FAM director, said the photographs “help redefine contemporary photography” and “celebrate, question and critique the everyday and the often overlooked in surprising new directions.”

“Between the digital and analog world of photography, there are literally billions of images that exist online, in your phone or that fill storage bins under beds or in thrift stores,” said Brown. “These two artists/collectors represent two unique sensibilities. They have carefully collected images originally taken by others, literally altered the photographer’s original intent or usage, and have ‘curated’ their respective collections – creating new meanings and jarring juxtapositions. All of the work appears mysteriously strange or funny, makes unusual connections or simply identifies an artistic perspective that was never intended.”

Raymond, an internationally renowned artist, filmmaker, art collector and arts supporter, has collected snapshots for more than 20 years at flea markets and antique stores around the globe.

“These objects are significant artifacts of the 20th century since they record our collective democratic history – from everyday moments to historical moments,” said Raymond, who now resides in North Carolina. “Some of these snapshots even inadvertently leap into the realm of fine art through lucky accidents with double exposures, blurred images or unexpected angles.”

For the FAM exhibit, Raymond said he selected photographs that poignantly reflect his sensitivity and interest in 20th-century modernist and surreal photography, which he continues to collect and share.

“When we look at photographs of others that have no relation to us or even images of our distant relatives, it is hard not to conjure up an imagined reality for these people to inhabit,” he said. “What did they do for a living? Who did they love? Where did they live? How did they die? What were they passionate about? The only clues we have are the images themselves and the information sometimes found on the back of the photo. Through the images and text, we become voyeurs into this imagined world.”

Oglander, who recently moved to Brooklyn, began collecting images of mirrors for sale from the classified advertisements website Craigslist several years ago and posted them on a blog located online at His collection has grown to include several thousand images.

Brown said Oglander’s simple statement, “I search Craigslist for photos of mirrors for sale and post them here,” is void of any overt intention other than letting the images speak for themselves.

“Unintentional creative actions abound in this revealing collection, taken by people whose only intention was to sell a household item no longer needed,” said Brown. “Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes and function to reflect the light that comes in contact with them,” he said. “We are looking at lo-res (low-resolution) photographs of mirrors reflecting their surroundings while placed in all sorts of environments. One mirror placed in a lush green pasture sports a brick wall that comes out of nowhere, resembling a painting by Magrite. A harsh flash image of an interior seems to echo the works of Dorothea Lange, Ben Shan or Walker Evans. This push-pull dynamic of what’s there and what’s not there speaks volumes and often creates a most surreal, sometimes intimate and unexpected experience for the viewers.”

“When seen together, these two collections merge the everyday and the overlooked, begin to mine the vast trove of material available on the Web and point to the dictum that art can be everywhere – that it takes the creative sensibility to find it,” he said.

The FAM is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Museum admission and parking, available on both sides of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, are free.

For more information about the exhibit, event and reception, contact Brown at or 828-227-2553. For general information about the FAM, visit online or call 828-227-3591.

WCU Wind Ensemble to present concert Oct. 28

The Western Carolina University Wind Ensemble will present its first concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the university’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Performing under the direction of John T. West, WCU’s director of bands, the 52-member ensemble is composed almost entirely of WCU music majors studying in the School of Music.

The program will begin with a new composition written by Michael A. Mogensen for the U.S. Air Force Band called “Aerial Fantasy.” West said the piece is “a beautiful and cinematic-sounding work inspired by the experience of flight.” Next up will be “Elegy” by John Barnes Chance. A reflective work written in memory of a high school band student, the composition will be conducted by WCU graduate assistant conductor Michael Tanguay.

Other works on the program are “D.R. III’s Honnormarsj” by Erling Mostad, “Symphony in Bb” by Paul Hindemith and “Trittico” by Vaclav Nelhybel. “Trittico” was composed in 1963 and first performed in 1964 by the University of Michigan Symphonic Band and its well-known conductor, William Revelli, West said. The piece will be presented at WCU in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of that performance in Michigan.

Admission is free for the Oct. 28 concert at WCU. For more information, contact the School of Music at 828-227-7242.

Love Your Body Week activities to be held from Oct. 27-Nov. 1

Western Carolina University’s annual Love Your Body Week will include a geocaching challenge, photo booth, belly dancing workshop, Fun Run 5K, discussions, art and other activities from Monday, Oct. 27, to Saturday, Nov. 1.

The Department of Intercultural Affairs in conjunction with
Campus Recreation and Wellness
, Counseling and Psychological Services and the School of Teaching and Learning is sponsoring the week to promote body-positivity and healthy habits. Activities are free and open to the public.

Weeklong offerings include “#LoveYourSelfieWCU Photo Booth, Activities and Giveaways” and “Love Your Geocaching Route.”

For the “#LoveYourSelfieWCU” activity, a photo booth and giveaways will be held weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The activity will be set up on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University Center on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and in Courtyard Dining Hall on Tuesday and Thursday.

The week’s theme is “#LoveYourSelfieWCU,” and participants are encouraged to share their “selfies,” which are photographs that they take of themselves, online using the #LoveYourSelfieWCU hashtag. In addition, photos can be sent by email to Sarah Carter, associate director of resource services for the Department of Intercultural Affairs, at to be shared around campus during the week.

For the geocaching activity, participants can send an email to Carter to request location coordinates. Participants who find three of five possible locations and bring correct answers to the geocaching challenge’s questions to the front desk of the Campus Recreation Center will receive a prize.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, campus nutrition assessments will be hosted on the second floor of the dining hall between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. That evening, a free belly dancing workshop called “Celebrate!” will be held in the University Center Grandroom at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, a discussion titled “G.L.O.W.: Let it Go! Disney Princesses and Gender Norms” will be held in the University Center Multipurpose Room at 5 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by a “Love Your Body Yoga” class in Studio 2 at the Campus Recreation Center.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, “Loving You and Thinking Pink: a Free Bra-Fitting Event” sponsored in part by Pink Regalia will be held in University Center Multipurpose Room B from 1 to 4 p.m. Also that evening, an ArtTalk and reception to open the exhibit “David Raymond’s Other People’s Pictures” and “Eric Oglander: Craigslist Mirrors” will begin at 5 p.m. at the Fine Art Museum.

The week concludes with the Fun Run 5K on campus on Saturday, Nov. 1, in which participants will get coated in color as they run through color stations along the route. Runners must be at least 10 years old and can register online in advance at or near the Alumni Tower starting at 8 a.m. before the 9 a.m. race. The event is open to the first 250 participants and costs $12.50 for WCU faculty, staff and students and $20 for all others. Sponsors include a leadership class, Student Government Association, Office of Leadership and Student Involvement and WCU’s 125th anniversary celebration steering committee.

For more information and a full schedule of all Love Your Body Week activities, contact Carter at 828-227-2617.

Student presents research related to marketing travel courses

Autumn Earle, a senior from Hickory majoring in sport management and marketing, presented “In the Eyes of the Beholder: Student Perceptions of Value in Short-Term Travel Courses,” at the Atlantic Marketing Association conference held in Asheville in September.

Earle, who had participated in a marketing-focused travel course to England led by David Tyler, an assistant professor of sport management, worked with him to investigate what student travel course participants find most valuable about their experiences.

Motivating their research was the challenge faculty members face marketing short-term travel courses. Tyler said such experiences can be valuable to students’ education as global citizens and can broaden their career options, but sometimes faculty members struggle to recruit enough students to make such courses viable. The cost and time necessary to participate in short-term travel courses as well was anxiety can deter participation, he said.

To identify what students find most valuable about their participation in order to aid course marketing efforts, Earle and Tyler interviewed students who have participated in short-term travel courses to England and Japan. Their research suggested students felt the three most valuable aspects of their experiences were interacting with a foreign culture, meeting with professionals in the industry, and the experiential and hands-on nature of the coursework.

Health and Human Sciences launches WCU Health Educators Academy

Behind the launch of the WCU Health Educators Academy – a new model for professional development in health sciences – was a collaboration of the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences and Coulter Faculty Commons, and the enthusiasm of five faculty members comprising the inaugural class.

Vice chancellor honors parents, supports band students with new scholarship

Robert Edwards, who is stepping down in December as Western Carolina University’s vice chancellor for administration and finance after 37 years of service to the university, has turned around the age-old notion of “retirement gift.” Instead of merely accepting a gold watch or a rocking chair, Edwards has made a gift of his own to establish a scholarship fund honoring his parents and his high school band director.

WCU names director of International Programs and Services

Ling Gao LeBeau, an award-winning educator experienced with leading programs that support study abroad and international scholarship, joined Western Carolina University as director of the Office of International Programs and Services on Oct. 15.

LEAD:WNC economic development summit set for Nov. 12

Leaders from government, business and nonprofits across Western North Carolina will gather with economic development experts and others to discuss solutions leading to sustainable economic and community development at LEAD:WNC, a one-day summit set for Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Western Carolina University.

Students support Jackson County Glean Team

More than 100 WCU students have assisted the Jackson County Glean Team with harvesting more than 14,500 pounds of excess produce and goods to combat food insecurity since June.

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Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


Africa! More Than A Continent