Archive for April 8th, 2015

Herzog receives UT distinguished psychology alumnus honor

Harold “Hal” Herzog, professor of psychology at Western Carolina University, will be recognized as the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus from the psychology department at the University of Tennessee during the department’s spring celebration event Tuesday, April 28.

Hal Herzog

Hal Herzog

Herzog received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the American University of Beirut and master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Originally trained in animal behavior, Herzog’s ethological studies have ranged from investigations of personalities in snakes to the vocal communication system of alligators.

For more than 25 years, his research has focused on human-animal interactions, including studies of the psychology of animal activists, the moral thinking of cockfighters, gender differences in attitudes towards animals, the decision-making processes of animal care and use committees, and factors that fuel rapid shifts in dog breed popularity.

Herzog’s articles have appeared in the research journals Science, the American Psychologist, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Behavior, the American Scholar and Biology Letters. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations and the International Society for Anthrozoology.

His book, “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals,” has been translated into nine languages, and he writes a blog on human-animal interactions titled “Animals and Us” for Psychology Today magazine.

Livsey co-authors article for medical journal

Kae Rivers Livsey, associate professor in the College of Health and Human Sciences, co-authored the article “A Model of Care for the Uninsured Population in Southeastern North Carolina,” published in the April edition of North Carolina Medical Journal.

Two colleagues at Cape Fear HealthNet joined Livsey in writing a descriptive analysis of patients seen in the episodic care clinic during the period August 2010 through July 2012.

Cobb to present WCU humanities lecture

Stephanie Cobb, professor of religious studies at the University of Richmond, will speak on “Virtue, Violence and Death: Gender and Language in Early Christian Martyr Texts” on Thursday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

She will explore the ways that the language regarding gender and virtue – such as the advice to Polycarp to “be a man” as he faced martyrdom – established group boundaries in early Christian communities.

Cobb’s presentation, one in a series of Jerry Jackson Lectures in the Humanities, is co-sponsored by the WCU Honors College and the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

Jackson, for whom the lectures are named, was an assistant professor of philosophy at WCU in the early 1980s. He lost his life in an automobile accident in 1985.

Kossick offers expertise on electrocardiography via podcast for anesthesia community

Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing and graduate anesthesia simulation education coordinator, has contributed an audio lecture recording to the online educational forum “From the Head of the Bed.”

His lecture is titled “EKG Lead Selection for Perioperative Monitoring” and can be accessed at

“From the Head of the Bed” offers online learning via podcasts for anesthesia providers worldwide.

Technology Commons video shares EDUCAUSE win

Western Carolina University’s Technology Commons video “Bring Your Own Device” was voted as one of the three 2015 winners in the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative video competition, sharing the honor with entries from George Mason University and Ohio State University.

Sara Smith, manager of the Technology Commons and student computing, appears in the video, recounting the services offered by the Technology Commons for students’ personal devices. Scott Swartzentruber, director of networking and communications, describes the increasing amount of wireless usage through personal devices on campus.

Institutions entering the competition chose from six technology topics – “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD),” “Flipped Classroom,” “Makerspaces,” “Wearable Technology,” “Adaptable Learning Technologies” and “Internet of Things” – to emphasize in their entries. The winners were chosen from among 23 videos submitted by 18 colleges and universities.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and a community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education.

The entries can be viewed on the organization’s Web page at

By Keith Brenton

Global Spotlight Series concludes April 13

The Global Spotlight Series sponsored by Western Carolina University’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs wraps up this semester with a Monday, April 13, panel featuring four presentations themed “Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Rapprochement and Middle East Peace.”

Robert Clines, WCU assistant professor of history, will discuss “The Medieval and Early Modern Levant: A Historical Perspective.”

Jackie Sievert, assistant professor of political science, will explore “Israelis and Palestinians After the 2015 Election.”

“Asymmetric Information: A Librarian’s View of Middle East Peace” is the title of the presentation by Ray Maxwell, reference librarian for the College of Business.

Jeffrey Vickery of the Department of Philosophy and Religion will address “Jerusalem, My Happy Home: One City, Three Faiths.”

Previous discussions in the series focused on climate change and on the South China Sea.

The April 13 event will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. For more information, contact Niall Michelsen, associate professor of political science, at 828-227-3336.

EYE on FYE Celebration set for April 9

The annual EYE on FYE Celebration for first-year students and the faculty and staff who work with them at Western Carolina University will be held in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall on Thursday, April 9.

The event will begin with the presentation of awards at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception sponsored by the Office of Academic Initiatives at 6 p.m. First-year student excellence will be recognized, as identified by the tenets of the WCU Community Creed, and FYE Advocate Awards will be presented to exemplary faculty, staff and graduate students, said Glenda Hensley, director of First Year Experience at WCU.

For more information, visit online.

Hunter Library hosting edible books contest April 16

Culinary creations inspired by books will be admired, judged and then eaten during the annual edible books contest to be held Thursday, April 16, at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library.

Any entry that relates to a book or book title and can be eaten is welcome in the competition. The dishes will be on display on the library’s main floor while the competition is underway.

WCU students, faculty and staff members and other visitors to the library on the day of the contest will cast ballots to choose the winners. Categories include best visual, most edibly appealing, most creative and people’s choice. The person whose entry gets the most votes overall will receive a $20 gift certificate to City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Entries in the competition should be brought to the library before 10 a.m. April 16. Voting will take place until shortly after 2 p.m., when the dishes will be served.

In past years, the edible books contest has drawn entries ranging from pies and cakes to vegetable dishes and fruit salads. Last year’s winner was a giant chocolate chip cookie resembling the monsters in “Where the Wild Things Are,” the children’s classic by Maurice Sendak.

The contest is one of several events planned at Hunter Library to commemorate National Library Week, April 13-18. Library staff members have installed a display tree of favorite books near the library entrance and invite visitors to add a book-themed ornament of their own. The library also is hosting a food drive for Jackson County’s Community Table during April.

For more information about the edible books contest, contact Shirley Finegan at 227-3402 or

By Christy Martin

Battle of the Plug continues through April 25

The fourth annual Battle of the Plug competition in which Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University compete to see which university’s residence halls can conserve the most energy is underway, and this year three other North Carolina higher education institutions have joined the fray.

The competition began April 4 and will continue through Saturday, April 25. This year, WCU also is competing for bragging rights against the University of North Carolina Greensboro, Meredith College and Elizabeth City State University, said Lauren Bishop, WCU’s chief sustainability officer.


The in-state competition is part of a larger national contest that involves more than 150 schools. WCU placed in the top 10 nationally last year, Bishop said.

Each institution will measure which of its residence halls saves the greatest percentage of energy as well as how the percentage of energy reduction in participating buildings overall compares with the percentage of energy reduction at the rival institution.

Campuswide Battle of the Plug events at WCU include free giveaways each week at locations across campus and in residence halls. The competition also will be represented at Cat Bash on Monday, April 20, and during the Earth and Wellness Celebration on Wednesday, April 22, Bishop said.

For more information, contact WCU’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Management at 828-227-3562 or email Bishop at The competition results can be followed at

By Randall Holcombe

Production of ‘Peter Pan’ April 16-19 to feature special flying effects

The Western Carolina University School of Stage and Screen will close its 2014-15 Mainstage season with a high-flying production of the J.M Barrie classic “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.”

Kimmel School dean, wife establish FIRST Robotics scholarship

A new scholarship fund at Western Carolina University being established by the dean of the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology and his wife is designed to provide financial support to students majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Spring Literary Festival to showcase regional, national authors April 13-16

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith and New York Times best-selling novelist Andre Dubus III headline a group of writers who will be featured during the 13th annual Spring Literary Festival at Western Carolina University.

Museum educator Koch recognized with organization’s highest honor

Peter Koch, education associate at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, was honored March 30 with the 2015 Professional Service Award from the North Carolina Museums Council.

WCU joins statewide alliance for diversity in health professions

Western Carolina University recently joined 19 North Carolina universities, colleges, organizations and health agencies in the creation of a new statewide alliance designed to increase minority representation in the health professions.

Sholder to introduce ‘The Hidden’ at film festival


Jack Sholder, professor of motion picture and television production, will introduce the crime/horror film he directed in 1987, “The Hidden,” at the Sci-Fi Spectacular on Saturday, April 18, at Chicago’s Patio Theater.

“The Hidden,” Holder’s third Hollywood film, depicts the pursuit of an alien possessing human hosts while on a crime spree in Los Angeles. It won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Avoriaz Film Festival, the Jury Award at the Sitges Film Festival and Best Director at Fantasporto. Premiere Magazine called it “one of the ten most underrated films of the ’80s.”

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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