Krissy Mabry, manager of desktop services and asset management in WCU’s Division of Information Technology, delivered the keynote address as more than 200 high school students and 100 adults gathered at the university’s Ramsey Regional Activity Center for the Western North Carolina Real World Expo.
The event, held Tuesday, May 19, was designed to provide local students with practical advice on topics such as jobs and finances. Students from seven counties and the Qualla Boundary participated.
Mabry opened the day’s events with a talk to students about pursuing their dreams and making the most of opportunities. She is a WCU alumna who formerly worked for the CNN network in Washington, D.C., and has now returned to the area.
Other WCU staff members assisting in the event were Frank Hachadurian and Eric Smith of the IT Division, Angie Robinson of the Kneedler Child Care Center, Bill Clarke and his staff from the Ramsey Center, and Jane Adams-Dunford of the Division of Student Affairs.
By Randall Holcombe
Duke University Press has released three new volumes of the Carlyle Letters Online, of which Western Carolina University associate professor of English Brent Kinser is the coordinating editor.
Volumes 39 to 41 are now available at carlyleletters.org. The Carlyle Letters Online is a free digital archive for institutions and students that contains more than 10,000 letters from Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. It is regarded as one of the most comprehensive literary archives about the 19th century.
The latest volumes are from December 1862 to April 1865, and include Thomas Carlyle’s only public expression of the American Civil War, “Ilias (Americana) in Nuce,” which was published in Macmillan’s Magazine. It also features his completion of Carlyle’s biography of Frederic the Great.
The Carlyle Letters Online receives more than 10,000 unique access events per week in more than 180 countries. It is now part of the Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium, for which Kinser serves as founding director.
By Marlon W. Morgan
The title of Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in College Student Personnel has been changed to Higher Education Student Affairs, confirmed Monday, June 22, by the University of North Carolina System.
“Changing the title of the program puts Western more in line with the field and with the direction the program is headed,” he said. “It is one of many things the program is doing, with university support, to meet the high need for professionals in student affairs with a high quality program.”
The need for the change became apparent after members of faculty and staff sought ways to improve the program, Carpenter said.
“Changing the title of the program came about as a result of a number of significant activities to develop and deliver a high quality program beginning with an external program review two years ago,” he said. “In addition, we recruited and hired a new program director last year in Adriel Hilton and added a new faculty position filled by April Perry. Adriel and April – whom I call ‘the A-team’ – took the program review and engaged the professional community to implement recommendations from the review and look at other parts of the program.”
The original degree program was approved by the system’s Board of Governors in 2002.
By Keith Brenton
Western Carolina University’s Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet recently returned from a 12-day concert tour of Hungary and Romania.
The quintet consists of P. Bradley Ulrich and David Ginn, trumpets; Travis Bennett, horn; Zsolt Szabo, trombone; and Michael Schallock, tuba. Will Peebles, bassoonist, also joined the quintet on the eastern European tour.
The May 17-29 tour included teaching opportunities and performances in Budapest, Hungary; Debrecen, Hungary; Cluj Napoca, Romania and Targu-Mures, Romania.
In Budapest, they performed at the prestigious Franz Liszt Conservatory of Music, in the Old Liszt Ferenc Music Academy Recital Hall, which once belonged to the composer and founder of the conservatory. Gusztav Hona, a longtime professor at the conservatory, opened the performance with four members of his trombone studio. “The SMBQ performed an entire program of pieces written by current and former WCU music faculty composers, representing many different styles of southern Appalachian music,” Ulrich said. Corpus Trombone Quartet also performed, and hosted a reception after the concert for SMBQ.
A panel discussion, three hours of brass master classes, and a recital featuring Peebles on bassoon filled the performers’ day at Debrecen’s Kodaly Zoltan Vocational School of Music, named for the internationally renowned composer and music educator Zoltan Kodaly. Ulrich said individual brass master classes “highlighted members of the SMBQ, instructing the finest student brass players in Debrecen.” Janos Kovacs, professor of trumpet at the school, accompanied the quintet in a performance of American composer Leroy Anderson’s “Bugler’s Holiday.”
After a nine-hour journey into Romania due to poor roads, the SMBQ rested for several days at Targu-Mures, hometown of their trombonist, Szabo. “The highlight of this portion of the trip was a feast provided by Zsolt’s mother, which consisted of many traditional Hungarian foods,” Ulrich said.
From there, they traveled to Cluj Napoca and performed at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy Recital Hall. The final two numbers, Romanian composition “Hora Staccatto” and an American arrangement of “St. Louis Blues,” were performed with the Transylvania Brass Quintet.
The musicians toured a number of Romanian and Hungarian historical places and attractions as they traveled.
“Szabo organized a tour of some of the fascinating sites in the area, including Sighisoara, renowned for being Dracula’s birthplace, and the massive underground salt mines in Praid,” Ulrich said. Concluding the tour was a performance in the Palace of the Cultures Arts Building in Targu-Mures. “This was the most beautiful concert hall of the tour, and many of Zsolt Szabo’s friends and family members were in attendance,” Ulrich said.
The tour was sponsored by the School of Music, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and the Office of International Programs and Services.
Learn more about the quintet at its website, http://www.smokymountainbrassquintet.com.
Special to The Reporter
Jill Nelson Granger, associate dean of academic affairs and director of the Honors Program at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, will be the next dean of Western Carolina University’s residential Honors College.
Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences welcomed two new leaders to its administrative team July 1 as Dave Hudson began his duties as associate dean and Ericka Zimmerman assumed the role of director of the School of Health Sciences.
Zimmerman comes to WCU from the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia, where she served as associate professor and program director for athletic training and as head of the Department of Athletic Training. She earned her doctorate in leadership studies at Marshall University in 2007 and her master’s degree in physical education/athletic training at Indiana State University in 1994.
Zimmerman joined the University of Charleston faculty in 2002, and in 2010 was a recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Service Award in recognition of her work on behalf of the athletic training profession.
Hudson joined the physical therapy faculty at WCU in 2007, coming to Cullowhee from the University of Delaware’s exercise science program faculty. He earned his master’s degree in exercise science and doctorate in biomechanics and movement science at the University of Delaware.
Hudson was promoted to associate professor at WCU in 2011 and associate head of the Department of Physical Therapy in 2014. His time at WCU also has included serving on the Faculty Senate, the Program Prioritization Task Force and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Compliance Committee.
Doug Keskula, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, welcomed Hudson and Zimmerman to their new roles and expressed appreciation to Mary Teslow, who served as interim director for the School of Health Sciences, and Shawn Collins, who filled in as interim associate dean of the college. Both served in the interim positions for two years.
“Mary brought to her interim position her considerable intelligence, fairness, humor and a deep-seated respect for all whom she encountered,” Keskula said. “Shawn is the consummate professional who brings his substantial talents in critical thinking, collaboration and compassion to every project. Both Shawn and Mary have paved the way for the success of their successors, as well as the faculty, staff and students of our college.”
By Randall Holcombe
Lane Perry, director of Western Carolina University’s Center for Service Learning, has been recognized twice this year for excellence in connecting students with opportunities to learn by serving in their communities and beyond.
On June 4, the American Association of Colleges and Universities presented Perry with the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement “in recognition of exemplary early-career leaders who are advancing the wider civic engagement movement through higher education to build a broader public culture of democracy.”
Several months earlier, Perry was named the 2015 Civic Engagement “Emerging Leader” Professional of the Year by North Carolina Campus Compact. The award recognizes one staff person in the state for efforts to institutionalize a campuswide vision of service, support the engagement of faculty and students, and form innovative campus-community partnerships. Perry has worked at WCU since August 2012.
In May, between those two recognitions, Perry led a group of nine students to the tornado-stricken Oklahoma City area to learn about leadership and disaster management for one week of a three-week mini-mester course. As an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Human Services, Perry co-taught the course with Tom Johnson, assistant professor in WCU’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and former chief of police at the university.
So the Oklahoma learning journey was not among the many service-learning efforts Perry has bee involved in that were cited by Carol Burton, associate provost for undergraduate studies, when composing Perry’s nomination for the Saltmarsh award in April. Among the ones she mentioned were opportunities to aid Hurricane Sandy victims in 2013, creating the Provost’s Advisory Board for Community Engagement that year, partnering with WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center and the Sylva Herald to sponsor a concert to benefit landslide victims in Snohomish County in Washington State the next year, and assisting with the conversion of a closed Haywood County prison to a shelter, soup kitchen and halfway house along with Ty Pennington, host of television’s “Extreme Home Makeover” – an event described in the spring edition of The Magazine of Western Carolina University.
Perry credits much of the success of the service learning program to the environment in which he says he feels fortunate to work.
“I have consistently been invested in by some of the smartest, most passionate, and strongest mentors on this earth – family, friends, supervisors,” Perry said. “I see it as my responsibility to do everything I can to be the same to the students I have the privilege of collaborating with and learning from. When it comes to this type of work, community engagement, the internal and external WCU communities – the people, the systems, the spaces, the history, the culture – are essential to the process.
“Within this region and on this campus there is a fertile ground for engagement education to thrive. There is not a day that goes by that I do not stop and think, ‘I get paid to think, mentor, dream, inspire, aspire, engage, and shape.’ I cannot think of a career better than higher education or a more fertile ground for this work than WCU.”
Perry said he believes that every discipline has a relevant and clear counterpoint to pedagogical learning in active civic life, participation and engagement.
“At its core, higher education is not only about teaching students to become better teachers, health care professionals, business people, scientists, or leaders,” he said. “It is also about preparing individuals to become better, more aware versions of themselves with the greater purpose of making communities collectively stronger.”
Working in concert with the community has rewards that go far beyond state or national recognitions, he said.
“Someone once said that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life,” Perry said.
Perry shares the Saltmarsh recognition with Adam Bush, the chief academic officer of College Unbound – an organization that “integrates students’ own purposes for learning with the needs of their workplaces and communities.”
John Saltmarsh, co-director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said that both recipients of the award named in his honor “are engaged in path-breaking civic engagement work that advances the deeply democratic purposes of higher education. We want to encourage more emerging leaders with their example.”
There is an interview with Perry in the October 23, 2012, edition of The Reporter.
By Keith Brenton
Tom Ashcraft, head of the sculpture program in the School of Art at George Mason University, has been named the inaugural Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts at Western Carolina University.
Area film lovers can anticipate viewing some freshly minted, award-winning student-created films in the second annual Best of Controlled Chaos Film Festival, Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands.
Western Carolina University is accepting nominations for the Mountain Heritage Award, an honor bestowed annually on one individual and one organization playing a prominent role in researching, preserving and/or interpreting Southern Appalachian history, culture and issues.
Nominations for the award will be accepted through Wednesday, July 15.
The university instituted the Mountain Heritage Award in 1976, and the first recipient was the late writer and journalist John Parris. Many of the icons of Western North Carolina’s traditional culture have received the award over the years, including Cherokee potter Amanda Swimmer, photographer and conservationist Hugh Morton and organizations such as the Old Buncombe Genealogical Society, the Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church Choir and the John C. Campbell Folk School.
Last year’s award winners were Davy Arch, internationally renowned Cherokee artist and mask-maker, and the Bethel Rural Community Organization, a nonprofit created to “to perform programs and projects that enhance the quality of rural life in Bethel Community.”
The university has given two awards annually, one for a person and one for an organization, since 2007. One award was presented each year from 1976 to 2006.
The awards are presented at Mountain Heritage Day, the university’s celebration of traditional Appalachian culture that takes place on the last Saturday each September.
Letters of nomination should not exceed five pages and should include the full name of the individual or organization being nominated, with a website address if applicable; the mailing address of the nominee; the founding date for organizational nominees; a list of the nominee’s accomplishments; a list of the awards and other recognitions received by the nominee; information about the nominee’s influence in the relevant field of expertise (such as crafts, music or organizational cause); and information about the nominee’s role as a teacher, advocate, leader or preserver of mountain culture.
Nomination letters may be hand-delivered to the Mountain Heritage Center at its new location in the Hunter Library building, Room 240; mailed to Mountain Heritage Center, 1 University Drive, Cullowhee NC 28723; or emailed to Pam Meister, MHC interim director, at email@example.com.
By Keith Brenton
Yang Fan, assistant professor of project management, delivered a presentation about analyzing project environment in late May at China’s Xi’an University of Technology. Graduate students and faculty from the Xi’an University’s Economic and Management College attended the presentation.
Fan used his project management experience in the Middle East to explain why and how to analyze a project context and identify environmental risks. He also pointed out that for Chinese projects conducted overseas, major risks may come from the governance system of the parent corporation as well as from external factors.
For more information about the presentation, contact Fan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The parking permit office moved July 1 from the Cordelia Camp Annex (Police Department) to the Room 106 of the Cordelia Camp Building, and the remaining parking and transportation offices will be making the move to Room 149 in Camp Building this week.
Fred Bauknecht, parking and transportation director, said services have not been interrupted and the phone numbers have not changed. “The permit office has everything you need to get parking permits and visitor passes, pay fines and get wheel-locks released. All your parking needs at one easy location,” he said.
“We are hopeful that this move will enhance our customer service capabilities and provide much needed space to the Parking and Transportation Operations Department.”
For more information, see the web page at http://parking.wcu.edu. A map of the campus, including the buildings mentioned above, can be seen at http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/visit-wcu/campus-map.asp.
The College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University is recipient of a $225,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to help increase the number of family nurse practitioners working in health care settings in rural Western North Carolina.
Christina L. Reitz, assistant professor of music, presented her research “Ole Bull and the Ill-Fated Norwegian-American Colony” at the 2015 College Music Society’s International Conference, which convened June 17-24 in Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland.
Reitz’s paper presentation primarily centered on archival research from the Potter County Historical Society in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, debunking the fanciful versions of violinist and settler Ole Bornemann Bull’s accounts of the failure of the colony there. Additionally, Reitz moderated a session on “Hmong Voices and Piano Music of Ramon Pagayon Santos.”
Signs inscribed with “FGC” can be seen across WCU’s campus this week, an indication that the Friends General Conference is having its annual meeting in Cullowhee.
More than 1,400 Friends, also called Quakers, are visiting campus from across the U.S. and Canada. Participants started arriving at WCU on Thursday, July 2, said Devon Nease, director of conference services in WCU’s Office of Residential Living. The Friends began a series of worship meetings and other activities Sunday, July 5. The annual meeting, referred to as the “Gathering of Friends,” concludes Saturday, July 11.
The Friends are being housed in Walker, Scott, Balsam and Blue Ridge residence halls during their visit, Nease said.
Justin Menickelli, associate professor of health and physical education at WCU, received a mini-grant of $500 from the Professional Disc Golf Association (www.pdga.com) on July 2, and has accepted an offer from Triumph Books in Chicago, Illinois, (www.triumphbooks.com) to publish his work, “The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf.”