Archive for January 14th, 2015

Southern Living highlights Veteto’s work with Southern Seed Legacy

Jim Veteto, assistant professor of anthropology, was named one of Southern Living’s “50 People Who are Changing the South in 2015” for his work with the Southern Seed Legacy project. Through the initiative, Veteto has studied nearly 1,500 varieties of heirloom crops in Southern Appalachia and supported local seed saving and exchange networks to help preserve and encourage the cultural and genetic diversity of southern agriculture.

Royar to serve on WCQS Community Forum

Trina Royar, Mountain Heritage Day coordinator in the Mountain Heritage Center, was selected to serve on the WCQS Community Forum. As a forum member, Royar will participate in discussions about the public radio station’s programming, community service and impact on the community, and share information about local and regional issues.

Anantatmula’s paper published in international journal

A paper by Vittal Anantatmula, professor and director of the master’s degree program in project management, titled “Critical Chain Method in Traditional Project and Portfolio Management Situations” has been published in the International Journal of Information Technology Project Management.

Cruz and Penley author scholarly article about gamification

Laura Cruz, associate professor and director of Coulter Faculty Commons, and Johnny Penley, instructional training specialist with Coulter Faculty Commons, co-authored an article centered on gamification that was recently published in the Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology. The article was titled “Too Cool for School?: The Effects of Gamification in an Advanced Interdisciplinary Course.”

Ceramics publication features story by Erickson

Ceramics Monthly published an article by Heather Mae Erickson, an assistant professor of ceramics and studio art at WCU, titled “Setting the Table: Completing the Story” in the January 2015 issue.

Kossick lectures to international audience

Dr. Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing and graduate nurse anesthesia simulation coordinator, was the featured speaker at a conference held Nov. 17 in Las Vegas. His presentation included an eight-hour comprehensive EKG seminar with some participants attending from Australia and Canada. The meeting was sponsored by A. Webb Roberts Center for Continuing Medical Education of Baylor Health Care System in Dallas and Northwest Anesthesia Seminars in Pasco, Washington. Seminar attendees included anesthesiologists, hospitalists, nurse anesthetists and advanced practice critical care nurses.

Ha selected to serve as trustee of public policy research center

Steve Ha, professor of economics, was elected to serve a three-year term on the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research Board of Trustees.

Creasy authors article about approach to reducing production costs and improving quality

The article “Rock Solid” by Todd Creasy, associate professor of management, was published in the American Society for Quality’s December 2014 edition of Quality Progress. Creasy describes the use of a method called 6TOC, a combination of Six Sigma, lean and the theory of constraints, to help a mid-southern United States mining organization with more than 50 sites improve operational results while reducing or keeping inputs the same.

WCU Leadership Academy class to participate in polar plunge

Polar Pete (center) met recently with WCU Leadership Academy participants and facilitators to discuss participating in an upcoming polar plunge. Pictured are, second row from left, Hollye Moss, Tammy Frizzell and, Mandy Dockendorf, and third row from left, Michael Despeaux, Neil Calvert, Ryan Taylor, David Evanoff, Laura Cruz, Gayle Wells, Mike Corelli and Cheryl Johnston.

Polar Pete (center) met recently with WCU Leadership Academy participants and facilitators to discuss participating in an upcoming polar plunge. Pictured are, first row from left, Hollye Moss, Tammy Frizzell and Mandy Dockendorf, and second row from left, Michael Despeaux, Neil Calvert, Ryan Taylor, David Evanoff, Laura Cruz, Gayle Wells, Mike Corelli and Cheryl Johnston.

Members of the 2014-15 Leadership Academy will participate in the third annual Polar Plunge at Lake Junaluska on Saturday, Jan. 31, and are inviting members of the campus community to join and support them. The event raises money for Haywood Waterways Association’s Kids in the Creek and Youth Education programs, which help children learn about water quality and promote environmentally responsible behavior.

“The theme of the Leadership Academy this year is ‘leadership in action,’ so we are expressing this objective in the literal sense by jumping into a freezing lake,” said Lauren Bishop, chief sustainability officer at WCU, a member of the Leadership Academy and president of the HWA board of directors.

The WCU Leadership Academy polar plunge team has named itself the “WCU Purple Plungers” and has set up a website to enable others to join the group or make a donation.

Human resources graduate students help nonprofit organizations and small businesses

Students in the WCU master’s degree program in human resources served as consultants on 12 projects for five nonprofit organizations and small businesses in North Carolina and Tennessee during the 2014 fall semester.

The work was part of a course taught by Marie-Line Germain, assistant professor of human resources and leadership. Germain supervised the students’ consulting projects, and graduate students Marie Maguire and Martha McCoy served as project coordinators.

Projects included developing an employee benefits program, a new hire and orientation package, a discipline policy and a new employee coaching program for the Asheville Humane Society; an employee handbook for Autism Tennessee in Knoxville; a new hire packet, job descriptions, a performance evaluation system and a disciplinary action procedure for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville; a compensation concept and mechanics proposal and a performance management system for Carolina Day School in Asheville; and an employee handbook for the nonprofit HIGHTS community program in Cullowhee committed to serving at-risk youth.

Germain said the consulting work is about students cultivating skills and developing consulting relationships while helping nonprofit organizations and small business.

“We are all learning through the challenges these organizations face. The organizations learn about their own practices and how to improve them and we learn how to effectively solve real-life HR problems,” said Germain.

Marcus Metcalf, HIGHTS program director, said the work WCU students offered that organization was “impeccable.” “We would never have access to such a quality program if it were not for the efforts of this class and its leadership,” said Metcalf.

Asheville’s Carolina Day School also had a rewarding experience, said Robert McArthur, the school’s chief financial officer. “Both teams that worked on our projects were professional and gave us a great product,” said McArthur.

John Haas, chairman of the board of directors for the Asheville Humane Society, also said the work from WCU students was extremely valuable to the organization, which does not have a traditional human resource department.

Since 2011, graduate students in WCU’s human resources program have provided pro bono consulting on 61 projects for 38 nonprofit organizations and small businesses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

For more information, contact Germain at 828-227-3959 or

SBTDC earns re-accreditation

The North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center, which serves clients at sites including WCU, was recently accredited without conditions for the sixth time in 25 years by the Association of Small Business Development Centers – a record for small business development centers nationwide. In a separate review, the SBTDC’s Technology Development and Commercialization Program also was fully accredited.

The SBTDC is a statewide business advisory service of the University of North Carolina system administered by N.C. State University and operated in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBTDC provides management counseling and education services to businesses throughout North Carolina. For more information, visit

State department retiree joins Hunter Library’s reference department

Raymond D. Maxwell has joined the reference department of Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library. A research and instruction librarian, Maxwell will provide in person and online consultation at the reference desk and teach library instruction classes for students. He also will serve as the liaison librarian to the College of Business.

Raymond Maxwell

Raymond Maxwell

Maxwell retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2013 after a career that spanned more than 20 years. His most recent position was deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Near East Affairs, specializing in North African policy. Prior to that position, he was director of the bureau’s Office of Regional and Multilateral Affairs. He has served in management positions at United States embassies in Angola, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and London.

A native of Greensboro, he has a lifelong interest in libraries and worked as a page at the public library there as a high school student. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Florida A&M University and his master’s in international studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. After retiring from the state department, he attended graduate school at the Catholic University of America, earning his master’s of science degree in library and information science.

In addition to his professional experience in business and government, Maxwell has a strong interest and background in technology. He has served as a consultant in social media planning, learning management system use, web-design user experience and the moderation of massive open online courses, known as MOOC.

He is a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation and a former board member of the Foggy Bottom Association and the American Foreign Service Association.

Work on mixed-use facility to begin this spring

The next phase of a project on the Western Carolina University campus to build a new mixed-used facility on the site of a structure damaged by fire in November 2013 is expected to get underway this spring, university officials said.

Changes to ‘adverse weather’ policy in effect

WCU has divided its “Adverse Weather and Emergency Closings” policy into two polices and incorporated changes in accordance with updated guidelines issued by the N.C. Office of State Human Resources.

College of Business restructures, names new directors

A reorganization within the WCU College of Business has streamlined its four academic departments into three schools, and faculty members assumed leadership of the new units this month (January).

Campus MLK events set for Jan. 19-24

  Brandon A. Robinson, an attorney, two-time Western Carolina University alumnus and member of the WCU Board of Visitors, will be the keynote speaker for the institution’s annual celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Radio re-creation group to present ‘Robin Hood – The Legacy’ on Feb. 26

  The award-winning creative team from Western Carolina University that has done everything from destroying the world with a production of “War of the Worlds” to capturing the spirit of broadcasts from the Cotton Club with their “golden age of radio” re-creations has announced its selection for 2015.

Students develop mock trial inspired by novel ‘Serena’

WCU business administration and law students said the mock trial they developed based on the Ron Rash novel “Serena” – the university’s “One Book” selection for 2014-15 – helped them connect more deeply with their field of study and with each other.

Faculty assist with award-winning Cherokee language documentary

Two Western Carolina University faculty members assisted on a recently released award-winning film that chronicles efforts to revitalize the Cherokee language in Western North Carolina.

Carter describes love of poetry after recent publication

Catherine Carter, whose most recent book of poetry is titled “Marks of the Witch,” said among the rich experiences that fueled her love of poetry was meeting a man called the “Pit Bull.”

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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Commencement 2017


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