Archive for November, 2014

Students and faculty participate in adventure education conference

More than 20 students and three faculty members from WCU’s Parks and Recreation Management Program attended the 22nd Annual Adventure Education Conference held at Brevard College on Nov. 7.

The first conference was initiated by WCU faculty member Maurice Phipps and the 20th annual gathering was held at WCU.

WCU student Myranda Sherrill, Irish exchange student Josh McGloin and Ben Tholkes, associate professor of parks and recreation management, presented a workshop titled “Extreme Adventure Sports.” In addition, Andrew Bobilya, associate professor of parks and recreation management, co-presented a workshop titled “Should Wilderness Instructors Aways Accompany Their Students: Three Views.”

The Adventure Education Conference draws more than 200 students, faculty and staff from regional institutions, including the University of North Carolina – Asheville, Warren Wilson College, Montreat College, North Greenville University, Young Harris College, Southwestern Community College, UNC-Charlotte and Appalachian State University, and is hosted by a different institution each fall.

The conference provides students at the host institution an opportunity to gain experience in conference and event planning in addition to encouraging student presentations. The 2015 conference will be hosted by Southwestern Community College at its new conference center in Sylva.

Bobilya’s article based on experiential education research published

Andrew Bobilya, associate professor of parks and recreation management, recently published an article titled “Participants’ Perceptions of their Outward Bound Final Expedition and the Relationship to Instructor Supervisory Position” in the Journal of Experiential Education.

The manuscript represents the latest publication from an eight-year research partnership involving Bobilya and his research team and the North Carolina Outward Bound School headquartered in Asheville and operating programs in the mountains of Western North Carolina and at Outer Banks National Seashore, the Florida Everglades and Patagonia, Chile.

The purpose of the mixed-method study was to understand participants’ perceptions of their Outward Bound Final Expedition experience and, more specifically, the relationship between the instructor supervisory position and participant’s perception of learning. The results suggest that minimizing instructor involvement enhanced perceived personal growth by increasing self-reliance and self-awareness, and enhanced perceived group development by encouraging greater group reliance, responsibility and cohesion, said Bobilya.

The findings may serve instructors, program managers and educators utilizing the Final Expedition in the existing programs as well as those interested in integrating autonomous student experiences in their programs.

Handmade Holiday Sale scheduled for Thursday

Handmade Holiday Sale 470

The annual Handmade Holiday Sale will be held in the Star Atrium adjacent to the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University on Thursday, Nov. 20, from noon to 7 p.m.

The sale will feature items such as scarves, ceramics, jewelry, knitted wear and books made by WCU community.

The Handmade Holiday Sale is held annually on the Thursday before Thanksgiving to enable community members to begin their holiday shopping and directly support local artists, said Dawn Behling, a gallery specialist.

Admission to the event and the museum is free, and purchases can be made by cash or check. A portion of proceeds will support programming at the FAM.

In conjunction with the sale, an opening reception for a portfolio exhibition of work in a range of media by students in WCU’s bachelor’s degree program in fine arts will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition, a two-part exhibition titled “David Raymond’s Other People’s Pictures” and “Eric Oglander: Craigslist Mirrors” is open at the museum.

The FAM is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Parking, available on both sides of the Bardo Arts Center, is free.

For more information about the sale, contact Behling at 828-227-3591 or

Former Mouseketeer to host evening of music, stories, laughter Dec. 2

Former Mouseketeer Lindsey Alley will present an evening of musical performances mingled with stand-up comedy titled “Blood, Sweat and Mousketears” at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University on Tuesday, Dec 2.

Lindsey AlleyDoors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

A performer since the age of 6, Alley was cast as a Mouseketeer in 1989 on the Disney Channel’s “All-New Mickey Mouse Club.” She was one of only three cast members to appear in the pilot and all seven seasons of the show, and she had the chance to work alongside such stars as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell.

Alley performed on Broadway in “Hollywood Arms,” written by Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton, and in off-Broadway productions including “Grand and Glorious,” “Like It Is,” and “Look Ma…No Ears,” which Alley co-wrote and produced.

In addition, her film and television credits include “How I Met Your Mother,” “I Didn’t Do It,” “Bedtime Stories,” “Company Retreat,” “B.L. Stryker,” “Earnest Saves Christmas” and “On the Patio,” her original hit Web series.

While on campus, Alley also will present workshops about the entertainment industry and auditions.

Admission to Alley’s show at WCU is $5 for students and $10 for all others. Tickets can be purchased at the Bardo Arts Center box office in person, by calling 828-227-2479 or visiting online.

The event is part of the Arts and Cultural Events Series at WCU. Upcoming ACE events this spring include a performance by the group Black Violin featuring two classically trained violinists and a deejay on Tuesday, Jan. 20; the family-friendly Imago Theater’s FROGZ show on Wednesday, Feb. 18; and a Langston Hughes Project multimedia concert performance on Thursday, March 19. For more information about the series, visit or contact Francis Ann Ortiz, assistant director of campus programming in the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement, at or 828-227-2612.

Hard Candy Christmas set for Nov. 28-29 at WCU

The 27th annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts and Crafts Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29, at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center on the campus of Western Carolina University.

More than 100 fine artists and master crafters will offer an assortment of heritage and contemporary items, including pottery, woodcrafts, jewelry, folk art, glass art, specialty sweets and breads, heirloom ornaments and miniatures, and fresh mountain greenery.

The Hard Candy Christmas show recalls simpler times, when the holidays were celebrated with an apple, an orange and a piece of hard candy in the stocking, and many gifts were handmade. From its 1987 beginning, Hard Candy has grown into Western North Carolina’s largest Christmas arts and crafts show, held each year on the weekend following Thanksgiving.

Admission is $4, with children 12 and younger admitted free. For a complete list of exhibitors, visit For more information, call 828-524-3405 or email

Duke Energy’s $75,000 gift supports WCU engineering program

A $75,000 gift from the Duke Energy Foundation is enabling WCU’s Kimmel School to purchase new power systems laboratory equipment and provide student scholarships, faculty development and programming to encourage more students across Western North Carolina to explore engineering as a profession.

Provost, husband establish fund for high-achieving students with financial need

As a first-generation college graduate, Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar says that she intimately understands the many challenges that students face today with the rising cost of tuition and other expenses.

Live Nativity scene, College Night headline 31st annual Dillsboro holiday festival

Community members attending Dillsboro’s annual Lights and Luminaries festival this year are invited to “Follow the Star” to a live Nativity scene, and Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College faculty, staff and students will be welcomed as special guests on the opening night of the festival on Friday, Dec. 5. WCU faculty member Betty Farmer and public relations students are coordinating College Night festivities.

Speakers stress regional approach at LEAD:WNC summit

Approximately 275 business leaders, chamber of commerce representatives, elected and appointed officials, educators, economists and entrepreneurs participating in the LEAD: WNC summit gathered at WCU for a day of discussion centered on six sectors of the region’s economy – education, tourism, health care, innovation and technology, the creative arts and natural products.

Ulrich tours in Russia

Members of the Fortress Brass Quintet, from left,  Dan Cherry, John McGuire, Mike Dunn, Eric Yates and P. Bradley Ulrich visit St. Basil's Cathedral.

Members of the Fortress Brass Quintet, from left, Dan Cherry, John McGuire, Mike Dunn, Eric Yates and P. Bradley Ulrich visit St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Bradley Ulrich, professor of trumpet, recently returned from a two-week tour to Russia that marked his eighth visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg, where he serves as the artistic director of the American Brass Autumn Festival. The festival features performances and clinics by American brass players each October, and Ulrich has brought 30 American brass players from across the United States to Russia over the years to share their talents as performers and teachers with Russian musicians and audiences.

For the second time for the Russia tour, Ulrich formed the Fortress Brass Quintet, an ensemble made up of five brass players from different universities across the country. Members were Ulrich on trumpet, Eric Yates from the University of Alabama on trumpet, John McGuire from Colorado State University on horn, Dan Cherry from West Chester University on trombone, and Mike Dunn from the University of Colorado on tuba.

While in St. Petersburg, the ensemble performed baroque period solos with piano accompaniment and brass quintet pieces, and also performed with a Russian military band in a concert at the Capella Hall in the historic center of St. Petersburg. The Fortress Brass also performed jazz compositions at the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace in the historic district.

In addition, the members of the quintet gave a four-hour clinic to the students of the St. Petersburg Music Academy. They coached brass players who performed solo compositions and, after the masterclass, performed a recital for the students. The academy’s trumpet teacher, Boris Taburetkin, surprised Fortress Brass members with tickets to attend a performance of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at the new Marinsky Theatre II. Other sightseeing highlights included visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Russian Art Museum, Peterhof and Catherine’s Palace, and attending a Tchaikovsky opera at the Rimsky-Korsakov Theatre.

Following their performances and teaching in St. Petersburg, the Fortress Brass Quintet traveled by high-speed train to Moscow. There, the group participated in the Brass Days at the Moscow Conservatory festival. The ensemble gave a two-hour brass clinic, which featured soloists on various brass instruments and discussions on the state of the arts and music education in America.

At the Brass Days Gala Concert, the quintet performed the Canadian Brass’ version of Fugue in G Minor and Quintet No. 2 by American composer Arthur Frackenpohl. Ulrich said following the performance, they met many of Moscow’s finest brass players at an outstanding reception. The ensemble also visited Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and visited the graves of Russian composers Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

“In addition to exchanging many ideas on teaching and performing with the Russian musicians, the Americans brass players were happy to find how many similarities they have with the Russian people,” said Ulrich. “The love of the arts and music surpass any current political differences and the Fortress Brass were extremely well-received everywhere they went.”

Ulrich’s participation was funded by the WCU School of Music, the interim dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts and a Chancellor’s Travel Fund Grant.

Young to meet with scientists, deliver keynote address at conference in Australia

Rob Young, director of the WCU Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, will deliver presentations and meet with scientists and planners in Australia in November at the invitation of the planning office for the State of New South Wales and Sydney, Australia’s largest city.

Rob Young

Rob Young

Young and his colleagues will compare Australian and American experiences in coastal management.

He also will deliver a keynote address, titled “Failure to Adapt! The US Experience Following Hurricane Sandy,” at the New South Wales Coastal Conference on Friday, Nov. 14, and will take part in a panel discussion with Australian scientists and managers.

In addition, he will represent the National Park Service in Sydney at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Parks Congress, an event held every 10 years. At the conference, Young will be present a session titled “Guidelines for Sustainability and Ecosystem-Based Climate Change Adaptation in the Coastal Zone.”

Bailey presents national webinar

Herb Bailey, director of gift planning in the Office of Development, recently presented a national webinar titled “The 3-Part Ask: Increasing Your ROI” for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

He also presented a session titled “Make a Meaningful Gift to WCU Without Costing You a Dime” to alumni and friends of WCU as part of Homecoming events.

Bishop to lead Haywood Waterways Association

Lauren R. Bishop, chief sustainability officer, has been selected to serve as president of the Haywood Waterways Association board of directors for 2014.

The mission of the association is to maintain and improve the waterways of Haywood County through education, public events and partnerships that bring technical and financial resources to restore degraded waterways.

The organization’s programs include Kids in the Creek, Polar Plunge and “Get To Know Your Watershed” monthly outings.

Bishop said Haywood County is a headwaters county, which means all water in the county starts in the county.

“That gives all of us unique opportunities and the sole responsibility for taking care of our waterways,” she said.

Delegation from university in China visits WCU

WCU administrators Ling Gao LeBeau (left), director of International Programs and Services, and Alison Morrison-Shetlar (fourth from left), provost, welcome Guangdong Ocean University faculty and administrative leaders (from left) Gui Wang, Ning Ling, Lilong An, Lisheng Zheng and Weibin Chen.

WCU administrators Ling Gao LeBeau (left), director of International Programs and Services, and Alison Morrison-Shetlar (fourth from left), provost, welcome Guangdong Ocean University faculty and administrative leaders (from left) Gui Wang, Ning Ling, Lilong An, Lisheng Zheng and Weibin Chen.

A delegation of five faculty and administrative leaders from Guangdong Ocean University visited WCU in early November to further explore possible collaborations between the institutions and plan next steps.

Ling Gao LeBeau, director of WCU’s Office of International Programs and Services, said the meeting was very productive and included discussion of possible faculty exchange for teaching and research, faculty-led summer programs, intensive English training, professional development programs and other opportunities.

Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar greeted members of the GDOU delegation, who also met with LeBeau; Yue Cai, associate professor of Global Management and Strategy; Dale Carpenter, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions; Jeff Ray, dean of the Kimmel School; and Dan Grube, associate professor and director of School of Teaching and Learning.

WCU‘s partnership with GDOU started in 2013 when a delegation of WCU faculty and administrators visited universities and colleges in China. GDOU is a provincial key university in China’s Guangdong Province with 80 years of history and is administered by the government of Guangdong Province and the State Oceanic Administration. A doctorate-granting university, GDOU has 18 academic schools and 26 research institutes.

For more information, visit the International Programs and Services website at or contact LeBeau at or 828-227-3433.

Open house at new primary care clinic space at WCU to be Nov. 13

Harris Regional Hospital will hold an open house at the Center for Family Medicine-Cullowhee, which is located on the first floor of WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building, on Thursday, Nov. 13, from 4 to 6 p.m.

CFM-Cullowhee opened in September to provide primary care services for patients of all ages, including residents of Cullowhee and those who work in the area. Same-day appointments are available, and services offered include referrals for lab and imaging procedures, and appointments with specialists at Harris Regional Hospital.

The clinic is staffed by Patti Sparling, a family nurse practitioner who began working with the Center for Family Medicine-Franklin in 2004.

The open house not only will offer visitors a chance to see the clinic space and learn more about what care is available but also to meet Sparling and learn more about nurse practitioners.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners has designated Sunday, Nov. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 15, as National Nurse Practitioner Week. Nurse practitioners are licensed clinicians with advanced education and clinical preparation who work in primary, acute and specialty health care settings.

Sparling is a graduate of WCU’s family nurse practitioner program and works closely with WCU’s family nurse practitioner students, providing the ability to learn in an active clinical practice under the direction of Tami Pearson, associate professor and director of WCU’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program.

The clinic developed from a partnership between Harris Regional Hospital and WCU.

“WCU offers excellent clinical education programs which are invaluable to us in providing world-class care, as evidenced by skilled practitioners like Patti,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO and president of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital. “We’re thrilled not only to be able to hire WCU graduates and benefit from their training, but to now also have a fully-operational clinic that serves community members in their clinical training facility.”

The open house event is free and open to the public. For more information about the event or to schedule an appointment, call 828-631-8800.

Recycling program targets home football games

The Office of Sustainability and Energy Management has been providing blue bags for recycling across the tailgating scene at WCU before home football games to encourage recycling aluminum, glass and plastic.

About 30 volunteers have assisted with the program, which has distributed an estimated 250 bags this year.

Lauren Bishop, chief sustainability officer, said participants are asked not to put food waste in the recycle bags and said tailgaters who are “caught recycling” may be awarded prizes by program volunteers.

“Please help us in our efforts to keep our beautiful campus clean,” said Bishop.

The last home football game for 2014 will take place Saturday, Nov. 15, as WCU takes on Virginia Military Institute.

Students sought to serve on Sustainable Energy Initiative Committee

WCU students can apply through Monday, Dec. 1, to serve on the Sustainable Energy Initiative Committee for 2015. The committee will allocate money to implement renewable energy, energy-efficiency improvements, research and internships on campus.

The committee’s annual operating budget comes from a self-imposed student fee of $5 per student per semester.

The application form can be downloaded from the SEI website. For more information, visit the website or contact the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management at or 828-227-3562.

Jackson County native to lead administration, finance division

Michael T. Byers, an associate vice chancellor for business affairs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who spent his childhood in Jackson County, is the next vice chancellor for administration and finance at Western Carolina University.

Library services dean retiring at semester’s end after 35-year career

Dana M. Sally, founding dean of library services at WCU since February 2008, will be retiring from that position, effective Dec. 31.

Rash releases short story ‘greatest hits,’ revises new novel, continues teaching

Just over 11 years after he joined the WCU faculty, author Ron Rash is celebrating the recent release of his short story “greatest hits,” putting the final touches on a new novel that holds a surprise for his fans, and relishing in the opportunities he has to nurture budding writers at the university.

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Commencement 2017


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