Archive for March 18th, 2015

Tyler interviewed about best, worst basketball cities for fans

David B. Tyler, assistant professor of sport management at Western Carolina University, was interviewed recently for an article published on the site titled “2015’s Best & Worst Cities for Basketball Fans.”

Tyler responds to questions about the NBA and gambling, establishing football and/or basketball franchises in Europe, the earmarks of a good fan, and thrifty fandom.

Last fall, Tyler and a colleague at Northern Kentucky University, Joe Cobbs, co-authored a study on the intensity of football rivalries that ranked them by school.

Essay contest being held in conjunction with ‘North Carolina in Dialogue’ symposium

Western Carolina University undergraduate students have until Friday, March 27, to enter their essays in a contest being held in conjunction with the upcoming interdisciplinary symposium “North Carolina in Dialogue: Our Past, Present and Future.”

Set for Friday, April 10, the symposium will bring a lineup of distinguished scholars, public activists and intellectuals to campus to offer perspectives on North Carolina history, politics and culture, said Rob Ferguson, an assistant professor in WCU’s Department of History who is co-organizing the event with Chris Cooper, head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs.

Panel sessions will address public education, farming and foodways, social change, and politics and voting rights. Among the speakers will be June Atkinson, N.C. superintendent of public instruction, and former Charlotte mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Harvey Gantt.

WCU undergraduates are invited to submit a 750-word essay that addresses the questions: “Where do you see yourself within the unfolding history of North Carolina, and how do you envision your role in shaping the present and future of the state?” The contest winner will receive a $200 prize and read his or her essay for the audience during the keynote portion of the symposium.

For more information about the contest, contact Ferguson at 828-227-3502 or Essays should be submitted to Ferguson via email.

By Randall Holcombe

Fowler joins EDUCAUSE panel

Craig Fowler, chief information officer, has accepted an invitation to join the IT Issues Panel of the nonprofit organization EDUCAUSE. As a member of the panel, Fowler will be involved in the development of the 2016 Top 10 IT Issues report.

The panel includes individuals from EDUCAUSE member institutions who provide quick feedback on current issues, problems, and proposals across higher education IT.

EDUCAUSE actively engages with colleges and universities, corporations, foundations, government and other nonprofit organizations to further the mission of transforming higher education through the use of information technology.

WCU names director of special events

Stacy MacGregor, former director of marketing and events at the famed Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York, is the new director of special events at Western Carolina University.

Stacy MacGregor

Stacy MacGregor

MacGregor, who also has worked in marketing and events planning capacities at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and for the Borders Books and Music district covering North Carolina and Virginia, begins her duties at WCU on Wednesday, April 1.

In her new role, she will be responsible for providing leadership and professional expertise in the planning and implementation of high-level university events, including functions related to significant campus announcements and to fundraising, alumni and government relations activities, said Melissa Canady Wargo, chief of staff at WCU.

“Stacy is the consummate event planner with more than 15 years of experience creating and executing successful high-profile events,” Wargo said. “She has demonstrated throughout her career the type of organizational skills, including the attention to detail and deadline, necessary for successful university functions. She will be a great addition to our team.”

A graduate of the University of Baltimore with a degree in business management and marketing, MacGregor has developed throughout her career events ranging from intimate affairs to large-scale functions attended by as many as 25,000 people.

“I absolutely love all aspects of event planning, from the initial creative vision to a beautiful final experience where your guests are having a wonderful time,” she said. “I thrive on working with and motivating a great team, and I see a great team already in place at Western Carolina. I am confident that, together, we can create amazing experiences that grow and develop every year.”

MacGregor succeeds Zeta Smith, who retired in December after directing WCU’s special events for nearly 12 years.

Garcia-Castanon reads poetry at Puerto Rico festival

Santiago Garcia-Castanon, professor of Spanish, is presenting several poetry recitals at the seventh annual Puerto Rico International Poetry Festival by special invitation, March 16-21. He will share his more recent poems at a number of universities, schools and other venues, as arranged by festival organizers.

The Puerto Rico International Poetry Festival is a major weeklong event organized by the Universidad Interamericana and sponsored by the Puerto Rico Senate and House of Representatives. The festival reaches an audience of several thousand people throughout the island. Each year, the organizers invite 17 to 20 poets from the Spanish-speaking world. Garcia-Castanon is one of only 18 international poets invited this year, and the only poet representing his native Spain.

Garcia-Castanon is the author or editor of 14 books, including various critical editions of Early Modern Spanish texts. The award-winning writer’s works include six poetry collections and two novels.

Mexican students to take ESL courses on campus this summer

Six Mexican students will study English as a second language on the campus of Western Carolina University beginning in June.

They are part of their government’s “Proyecta 100,000” program, which intends to place 100,000 Mexican learners in the United States by 2018.

Jill Cargile, director of the Intensive English Program at WCU, said the students will live on campus in residence halls. “We plan to have host families meet with students for a daylong experience to provide a connection to American and local North Carolina culture,” she said. “We are also organizing a number of activities in the local area to help students gain a better understanding of American culture.”

Their four-week study will be intensive. “Our four-level program consists of approximately 20 hours per week of intensive language study in academic English,” Cargile said. “Our courses focus on academic reading, writing, listening, speaking. We will test the students’ English level when they arrive and their proficiency at the end of the program. If the proficiency gains are significant, as I expect, we hope the Mexican government will send more students in the future.”

According to correspondence confirming WCU’s participation, Proyecta 100,000 is part of a “renewed spirit of cooperation between the governments of Mexico and the United States” under the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research that Presidents Pena Nieto and Obama initiated last year.

Institutions of higher education participating in the program include the University of Arizona, Western Kentucky University, Texas State University and California State University Chico, among many others.

Cargile said participation in Proyecta 100,000 supports IEP expansion and recruitment plans. “My goal is to double the number of students from both Latin America and Asia in the IEP here at WCU in the next two years, while maintaining the superior quality program and instruction that we have. Most IEP students continue in undergraduate programs of study at WCU, but we also welcome students who want to attend only the IEP for English language instruction or who want to attend for a shorter period of time than our semester-long programs. Allowing for this kind of flexibility in the IEP to promote both growth and diversity will help us expand our young, four-year old program.”

“I am so pleased that my proposal was accepted for these students from Mexico to be in our Intensive English Program during June this year,” Cargile said.

To learn more about the IEP or Proyecta 100,000, contact her at

By Keith Brenton

WCU seeks second win in Top Adventure College poll

The “Round of 32” finished at 9 a.m. Monday, March 16, with Western Carolina taking a decisive victory over Virginia Tech, 83 to 17.

BRO_TopAdventureCollegeSMNo, it isn’t March Madness on the basketball court, but the 2015 Top Adventure College poll sponsored by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and the “score” is in percentage points of online votes.

Last year when the contest was introduced, WCU enthusiasts mounted a massive online campaign and won, the victory announced in the August edition of the magazine. As many as 115,000 votes were cast in the 2014 contest, according to the magazine.

Votes are made and tallied at Participants may vote once every 24 hours.

The “Sweet 16” round began at noon March 16 and continues for a week.

By Keith Brenton

Hoffmann and Kopak article published in ACER

An article co-authored by Norman Hoffmann (adjunct professor, psychology) and Albert Kopak (assistant professor, criminology and criminal justice) titled “How Well Do the DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorder Designations Map to the ICD-10 Disorders?” has been published in the April edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

The paper’s third author is Steven L. Proctor, a psychology postdoctoral fellow with the Addictive Disorders Treatment Program at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

Kimmel School noted in ASEE annual report

The Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology at WCU is one of four university programs mentioned in the Oct. 2013 – Sept. 2014 annual report of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Noting the project-based learning core of the program, the article said:

“Western Carolina University’s engineering and technology programs have experienced tremendous growth in the past few years, primarily due to the programs in engineering and engineering technology adopting project-based learning (PBL) as their core curricula and pedagogy. The PBL approach exposes students to the engineering and professional skills upon day one on entering the E and ET programs.

“The culmination of the PBL approach is a two-semester interdisciplinary capstone project with regional industries through the Center for Rapid Product Realization, part of the Kimmel School. As part of the PBL curricula, students are exposed to the professional skills identified by business and industry as essential knowledge for entering engineers. The PBL approach is one that prepares graduates to step forward and be productive employees on the first day of employment.”

Other programs receiving a mention were those of Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of the District of Columbia.

The entire annual report can be seen online at

By Keith Brenton

IT division’s services expand with student enrollment

The Division of Information Technology at Western Carolina has been tracking increases in the demand for its services, and much of that demand has increased more than proportionally to the growth in student enrollment.

Number of wireless devices per student, personal computers, number and speed of Internet connection points, server load, storage, hosted applications, and digital signage were among the factors studied recently by the division.

Anna McFadden of IT has compiled a chart comparing the numbers in 2009 and 2015 in the division’s online newsletter, DoIT News:

WCU to host evening with NC women Supreme Court justices March 28

The three women justices who serve on the state’s highest court will discuss how their college studies prepared them for life and careers during a forum hosted by Western Carolina University on Saturday, March 28.

WCU to hold Women’s Leadership Conference March 27-28

Women serving in leadership roles in business, government and education in Western North Carolina will be among the speakers and panelists for the inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference, a two-day event to be held in March at Western Carolina University.

Friends of the Arts getting ready for April 24 fundraising event

Western Carolina University’s Friends of the Arts organization is gearing up for its annual benefit fundraiser, with a silent auction, raffle and special performance on the agenda to help raise funds for scholarships and arts programming for students in WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

WCU shines spotlight on student research during two March events

The Western Carolina University community will turn its focus squarely on the research conducted by students for two early springtime events, the Undergraduate Expo and Graduate Research Symposium.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

Commencement 2017
Commencement 2017


Africa! More Than A Continent