Archive for September 2nd, 2015

Kossick selected to serve on national association’s practice committee

Mark A. Kossick, professor of nursing and graduate anesthesia simulation education coordinator, recently accepted an invitation by the Board of Directors of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists to serve as a member of the 2015-2016 Practice Committee.

The committee’s responsibilities include critiquing and standardizing the ranking of peer-reviewed research. This process is intended to develop and revise practice documents – standards of care, practice guidelines, position statements – so that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist practice reflects evidence-based standards and advances patient safety.

“Approximately 40 million anesthetics in the U.S. are delivered by CRNAs each year,” Kossick said. “Serving on this committee carries great significance for our practice across the United States.  I am very pleased to be invited to serve on this committee.”

Sievert presents research at conference in Madrid

Jackie Sievert, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, presented research at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute of Social Sciences in June at the Getafe campus of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain.

Jackie Sievert

Jackie Sievert

The title of her paper was “Opinions or Oppression? The Choice of Independent Courts and Repression in Authoritarian Regimes.”

Sievert was one of a panel of 16 colleagues at an international academic meeting exploring the topic “Institutions of Protection: The Organization of Security and Justice System Institutions in Autocracies.”

Employee Appreciation Day Celebration on Thursday to include free lunch

Western Carolina University’s annual Employee Appreciation Day Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 3) at Ramsey Regional Activity Center, offering a free lunch with barbecue pork and country fried chicken, a gift for the first 1,100 attendees, musical entertainment, prize drawings and a benefits/vendor fair on the concourse.

WCU’s Staff Senate will be accepting food and monetary donations for the Community Table of Sylva at the truck tunnel entrance of the Ramsey Center and at the Staff Senate table on the concourse. The Community Table is a nonprofit organization that serves meals to neighbors in need. Items requested include pasta noodles, canned meats, nonperishable goods, olive and vegetable oils, soups, peanut butter, cereal, baby food, dish and hand soap, plastic bags, oatmeal, aluminum foil and large trash bags.

Staff Senate also will host a drawing and collect donations for the Staff Senate Scholarship.

WCU employees who are celebrating years of service in increments of five can pick up their certificates on the main arena floor.

Members of the WCU Board of Trustees have meetings scheduled on campus late-week, and several are planning on attending the event at the Ramsey Center.

Golden Dragon Acrobats bring ancient performance art to WCU on Sept. 9

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will bring the 2000-year tradition of Chinese acrobatics to Western Carolina University at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as a premier Chinese acrobatic touring company.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as a premier Chinese acrobatic touring company.

The company’s stunts and acts feature different balances of skills in grace, coordination, agility, equilibrium, motion, stillness, timing, strength and frenetic energy, including a moment in which the performers ride a bicycle – the same bicycle, all at the same time.

Director Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine acrobatics, traditional dance, colorful costumes, ancient and contemporary music with theatrical techniques to present a show of skill and beauty often unfamiliar to western audiences.

The performance opens WCU’s 2015-16 Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices are $5 for students and $10 for all others.

Another ACE event coming up will be a Homecoming Comedy Show hosted by comedian Jose Barrientos at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Bardo Arts Center, featuring headliner Iliza Shlesinger with Chloe Hilliard and Kevin Yee. Tickets will be $5 for students and $10 general admission, going on sale Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The ACE series also includes the Southern Circuit Film Series, an eclectic collection of six unique documentary films presented throughout the academic year, with filmmakers available for an associated Q&A session.

A committee of student, faculty and staff volunteers selects the events and films for the ACE series each year.

Season tickets as well as tickets for presentations taking place at the Bardo Arts Center are available at its box office and can be purchased online at or by calling 828-227-2479.

For more information about the ACE series, visit or contact Francis Ann Ortiz-Pineda, assistant director for campus programs, at 828-227-2612.

Competitions enliven activities at Mountain Heritage Day, Sept. 26

The sound of chainsaws and the sight of men with substantial facial hair will typify the experiences of visitors watching competitions at this year’s Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Western Carolina University.

The 41st annual old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance, song – and spirited rivalry – will be held all day on the WCU campus.

Chainsaw events draw an early crowd at Mountain Heritage Day.

Chainsaw events draw an early crowd at Mountain Heritage Day.

Shawn Swartz, coach of the Warren Wilson College Timbersports Team, said he and his group have competed in chainsaw events at Mountain Heritage Day for the past four years.

“We have a new team every year,” Swartz said. “The events are usually early in the morning and then we have the rest of the day to participate in the festival.”

The chainsaw/timber sports competition registration opens at 9 a.m. and cutting begins at 10 a.m. this year.

For more information about the contest or to receive a registration package, call Norman Parris, contest chairman, at 828-586-2236.

The beard and mustache competition, a tradition of Mountain Heritage Day since 1990, will welcome anyone with facial hair – students, local residents, travelers – to compete at the Balsam Stage at 2 p.m.

Cagney Guest, organizer of this year’s competition, said he is hoping to see many competitors sporting their best whiskers this year.

“There’s been sort of a beard Renaissance lately,” Guest said. “We’ve got three judges we are bringing in from all over the community. They are going to be experts in the field of men’s fashion or they’re going to have significant facial hair themselves.”

Students will have their own category, and there will be two other categories open to all: natural and freestyle. For the freestyle category, Guest said competitors are welcome to wax or style their whiskers in wacky ways, though it is not required.

“You don’t have to have a full beard – a good mustache will suffice,” he said. “We’re hoping that people will get creative.”

The top winners of each category will receive a ribbon, bragging rights and have their photo taken. A grand-prize winner also will be selected to receive a ribbon and a cash prize. All winners will receive a gift certificate to a local barber or styling salon.

Squash recipes, best preserved foods and canned goods from the season will be judged in “A Gathering In,” the traditional foods competition. Top winners will receive ribbons on stage and visitors can check out a display of the winning items in front of the Cordelia Camp Building at the festival. A booklet explaining categories and qualifications is available online.

Arts and crafts vendors are invited by jury each year to display their skills and products. After they arrive and are set up for the day, secret judges circulate to select the best in show, first place, second place and best booth display winners in a contest sponsored by the Cullowhee River Club. Winners are recognized on the Blue Ridge Stage with a ribbon, a check and a sign for their booth.

The old-fashioned costume contest for children and adults finds contestants decked out in heritage outfits (circa 1900) of their choosing. The audience selects the winners after they appear on the Balsam Stage to model their creations’ authenticity and style.

Owners of vintage automobiles participate in the Classic Car Show sponsored by Andy Shaw Ford at the entrance to the festival. Plaques are awarded to the finest vehicles present while visitors can stroll among the colorful antique cars and cast their votes.

Sponsored in collaboration with WCU’s “Sport Events Management” class, the Mountain Heritage Day 5K Race begins at 8 a.m. from McKee Building and winds its way through the campus. The first 250 registrants receive a race T-shirt. Winners in age/gender categories receive prizes donated by local firms. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. All proceeds go toward a scholarship fund for students in the sport management program. For full race details and costs, visit

For contest and award times or for more information on joining the competitions, as well as a link to the food competition booklet, visit the Mountain Heritage Day website at or call 828-227-7129.

– Contributed information

WCU hits all-time high freshman retention rate of 80 percent

Western Carolina University has hit an all-time high in the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students who have returned for their sophomore year as 80 percent of last year’s freshman class is back in school this fall semester.

Mountain Heritage Center resumes full operation at Hunter Library

The Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University’s museum of Appalachian culture, is back at full operation after a summertime move from H.F. Robinson Administration Building to space at WCU’s Hunter Library.

Office of Career Services looks to grow under new leadership

It was during the job interview process, when Theresa Cruz Paul repeatedly heard about Western Carolina University’s emphasis on building and growing the Office of Career Services, and how it was a part of the university’s strategic plan, that she knew Cullowhee was the place for her to be.

WCU receives FCC construction permit for new FM frequency

Western Carolina University has received a construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission to create a new noncommercial radio station on the 95.3 FM frequency.

New model will expand academic learning communities beyond first semester, year

A new paradigm for academic learning communities at Western Carolina University emerged from the experiences of faculty and staff members attending the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities at Evergreen State College in mid-July.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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