Archive for September 30th, 2015

Fariello presents at Washington conference

Anna Fariello, associate professor at Hunter Library, presented at the 2015 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums held this year in Washington, D.C. Fariello’s presentation, “Curating Community: A Team Based Approach to Exhibition Development,” described the making of a touring exhibition that used a team-based approach to achieve a community perspective.

Through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Fariello led an exhibition team in creating an exhibit focusing on Cherokee language and culture using sound recordings as the basis for presenting a coherent story. Rather than translating from English, as is often done, the exhibit text was excerpted from conversations originally recorded in Cherokee. A native speakers’ group conversed with instructors from WCU’s Cherokee Language Program about historic photographs and artifacts. Their conversations were transcribed, translated, and included on the 15 panels that make up the exhibit.

Exhibit panels use smart phone technology and QR codes to link text and images to Hunter Library’s online archive. By pressing an on-screen “play” button, a visitor can listen to the Cherokee syllabary as it is spoken. Visitor evaluations revealed that hearing the language – even while not understanding a single word – expanded the meaning and sensory impact of the exhibition, Fariello said. The exhibit, Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future, is currently on view at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching through November.

Fariello also was selected to attend a workshop at Google headquarters. The daylong workshop, Tools for Preserving Indigenous Knowledge, was sponsored by the Google Outreach Program and focused on mapping.

— Contributed information

Ulrich and quintet tour three states next month

Bradley Ulrich, professor of trumpet, will be performing with the Fortress Brass Quintet in Kentucky, Ohio and Colorado during October.

The Fortress Brass Quintet performs a wide range of repertoire, and has twice been the featured brass quintet on the American Brass Autumn Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Fortress Brass Quintet performs a wide range of repertoire, and has twice been the featured brass quintet on the American Brass Autumn Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The quintet was created by Ulrich to perform during the American Brass Autumn Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2013, and consists of five brass faculty members from five universities across the United States.

“I only knew one of the other performers, and the other three were selected by reputation and word of mouth,” Ulrich said. “We met for the first time at JFK Airport in New York on our way to Russia, where we rehearsed for a couple of days in Moscow before our first performance during the Moscow Brass Days at the Moscow Conservatory.”

In 2014, the group was invited back to Russia for repeat performances. “After last year’s tour we discussed performing at each other’s universities, and this October we will be performing at the University of Kentucky, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. Next year, the group will come to WCU and the University of Alabama,” Ulrich said.

Group members are: P. Bradley Ulrich (trumpet/WCU), Eric Yates (trumpet/University of Alabama), Brad Kerns (trombone/University of Kentucky), John McGuire (horn/Colorado State University) and Mike Dunn (tuba/University of Colorado).

In addition to performing and teaching at each of the member’s universities, the Fortress Brass Quintet also will be performing on live radio and for a concert series in Lexington, Kentucky, and giving masterclasses and performing at the University of Louisville and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The Kentucky portion of the tour will take place Oct. 8-11 and the Colorado tour will be Oct. 22-25.

Ulrich serves as artistic director of the American Brass Autumn Festival in St. Petersburg.

For more information, contact him at 828-227-3274.

Carter to speak at Salisbury University

Catherine Carter, WCU associate professor of English, will give a reading and lecture at Salisbury University on Wednesday, Oct. 14, titled “Recycling the Elements of Life: Nitrogen, Carbon and a Few Good Words.”

Carter is author of the poetry collections “Marks of the Witch,” “The Swamp Monster at Home” and “The Memory of Gills.”

She will share the lectern with her father, Nick Carter, a former state biologist who is conducting lifelong ecosystem restoration on his property.

Birkhofer speaks at SUNY-Fredonia

Melissa Birkhofer, lecturer in WCU’s Department of English, traveled to State University of New York-Fredonia to deliver an invited lecture, “Breaking the Black/White binary en los Estados Unidos: police brutality against Latinas/os in 2015” on Sept. 22.

The lecture was part of SUNY-Fredonia’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

English department colleagues present at conference

The WCU English department’s Marsha Lee BakerEmily Darnell, Rain Newcomb and Laura Samal presented “Work That Won’t Kill Us: Worthy Teaching in Overcrowded Conditions” at the fall conference of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators in Little Switzerland on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The conference focused on working conditions that affect writing programs and writing program administrators.

WCU traditional music series to open with concert by Ritter and Ogletree

The 2015-16 First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Concert and Jam Series at Western Carolina University will get underway Thursday, Oct. 1, with a concert featuring the husband-and-wife duo of William Ritter and Sarah Ogletree.

Sarah Ogletree and William Ritter

Sarah Ogletree and William Ritter

Their 7 p.m. performance of traditional music in the ground-floor auditorium of H.F. Robinson Administration Building will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam session in which local musicians are invited to participate.

The music of Ritter and Ogletree focuses on old and new love songs and traditional mountain music. Ritter, a native of Bakersville, is a WCU alumnus who recently earned a master’s degree in Appalachian studies at Appalachian State University. Ogletree was raised in Jackson County and is a graduate of ASU’s sustainable development program.

The couple’s new CD, recorded at WCU, features all traditional songs except for “Be With Me,” which was written by Ritter.

Sponsored by WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center, the First Thursday concerts and jam sessions will continue through next spring, with programs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

The events are free and open to the public. Pickers and singers of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the jam sessions, which also are open to those who just want to listen.

For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.

By Randall Holcombe

Duke brings perspectives on music, teaching, learning to WCU

Teaching and learning expert, radio commentator and University of Texas-Austin music professor Bob Duke will have two public speaking engagements on the Western Carolina University campus during a two-day residency.

Bob Duke

Bob Duke

Duke appears on the weekly public radio program and podcast “Two Guys on Your Head” that looks life, learning and aspects of human behavior. He is the founder and director of the University of Texas-Austin Center for Music Learning and also directs the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, his academic research spans multiple disciplines, including motor skill learning and neuroscience. His most recent work explores memory and cognitive processes engaged during musical improvisation.

His talks are free and open to the public, and of particular interest to teachers:

  • Thursday, Oct. 8, “If We Learn Like That, Why Do We Teach Like This?” at 7 p.m. in the A.K. Hinds University Center theater.
  • Friday, Oct. 9, “Beautiful,” about not losing the emotional connection to music during music instruction, at 1:25 p.m. in Coulter Building recital hall.

In addition to the two talks, he will meet with WCU faculty in a brown bag lecture on Thursday, Oct. 8, and work with music students and instructors throughout his WCU residency.

Duke has directed national research efforts under the sponsorship of such organizations as the National Piano Foundation and the International Suzuki Institute. He lectures frequently on the topics of human learning, systematic observation and evaluation, and behavior management, presenting workshops and teaching demonstrations throughout North America. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavioral analysis software. His recent books are “Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction” and “The Habits of Musicianship: A Radical Approach to Beginning Band.”

His two-day residency is sponsored by WCU’s Visiting Scholar Program, College of Education and Allied Professions, College of Fine and Performing Arts, School of Music, Coulter Faculty Commons and university music fraternities. For more information, call WCU’s School of Music at 828-227-7242.

By Geoff Cantrell

North Carolina Folklore Society to hold Oct. 9-10 annual conference in Cullowhee

The North Carolina Folklore Society will hold its 102nd annual conference on Friday, Oct. 9, and Saturday, Oct. 10, at Western Carolina University and the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Gary Carden

Gary Carden

This year’s theme is “Native Voices: A View from the Mountains” and will feature a series of talks, demonstrations and exhibits on Cherokee culture, Southern Appalachian heritage and mountain traditions. The conference is open to the public, with most activities free of charge or covered by a $5 registration fee.

Both days feature a full program of activities and concurrent sessions. Opening day highlights include a reception, a regional book display and sale, and evening performances of live music by the Junior Appalachian Musicians and storytelling by Gary Carden.

The following day features paddle-stamped pottery and Cherokee stories by Dean Reed, and an exhibition on the Cherokee language. The keynote address, “Language as a Window into Culture,” will be delivered by Tom Belt, WCU’s Cherokee Language Program coordinator, who is fluent in the Cherokee language.

Tom Belt

Tom Belt

The conference will conclude with presentations of the Brown-Hudson Awards, which recognizes individuals who make significant contributions to the sharing and appreciation of traditional culture and folklore, and the Community Traditions Award to honor a group that supports folk life and traditional culture.

“Every year, the North Carolina Folklore Society comes together at a different location across the state to meet friends ― old and new ― and this year we are fortunate to welcome everyone to our doorstep,” said Anna Fariello, an associate professor at WCU and 2010 recipient of the Brown-Hudson Award. “We will showcase mountain arts and crafts, Cherokee language and wisdom, regional music and storytelling, and more. This is an accessible, casual event that celebrates community and all are welcome.”

The society promotes North Carolina heritage and culture through support of folklore practitioners and professionals, with recognition through publications and awards. The 2015 conference is sponsored by WCU’s Cherokee Studies program, Hunter Library and Mountain Heritage Center; Jackson County Arts Council; Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor; and City Lights Bookstore. Program and registration information can be found at

By Geoff Cantrell

New Talent Management System to launch in October

Western Carolina University’s Human Resources and Payroll Office is preparing to launch a major upgrade to its Online Talent Management System, which will streamline the hiring process for both hiring managers and job applicants.

“The new Talent Management site will improve the user experience for people who apply for positions at Western Carolina University, as well as streamline business processes for those who manage the hiring process,” said Cory Causby, associate vice chancellor for human resources and payroll.

The first phase of the new Talent Management site will go live for all position types Monday, Oct. 5. At that time, all new positions will be posted in the new system. The new site also complements several of WCU’s strategic initiatives, Causby said. “The upgrade will make our search, hiring and position management processes more efficient and effective and will replace several manual, paper-intensive processes that are currently in place,” he said.

The Office of Human Resources and Payroll is working with key stakeholders throughout the university to prepare for the launch and is currently offering training and general information sessions for faculty and staff who will use the system. Training is available through face-to-face sessions or online tutorials.

For more information on the new Talent Management system, visit or call 828-227-7218.

Award-winning interior designer Cynthia Leibrock to speak at WCU

Cynthia Leibrock, an award-winning author and interior designer, will deliver a public lecture titled “Residential Design for Health and Longevity” during a visit on the Western Carolina University campus.

Cynthia Leibrock

Cynthia Leibrock

Leibrock will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. The presentation will be followed by a book signing for her newest work, “Design Details for Health: Making the Most of Design’s Healing Potential.”

Leibrock also will lecture for interior design classes during her four-day visit in WCU’s School of Art and Design.

Leibrock has said her mission is to increase health and longevity through better design of interior spaces. She is the founder of Easy Access to Health, a firm in Livermore, Colorado, that offers consulting services in patient-centered design, planning for independent living, product analysis and judiciary witness services. Some of her projects have involved the Betty Ford Center, the UCLA Medical Center, a universal design exhibit for the Smithsonian done in collaboration with Julia Child, and special design of the interiors of Toyota automobiles.

For more information about Leibrock’s visit to WCU and public lecture, contact Erin Adams, associate professor and coordinator of WCU’s Interior Design Program, at

By Randall Holcombe

CAPS Cab provides students with a fun way to learn about counseling services

With the popular television game show “Cash Cab” no longer in production, Western Carolina University’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services has found a way to bring its version to campus.

WCU students hunt for phages through course funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Western Carolina University student Sean Kent didn’t pick the course, but when he saw he was registered for it, the name “Phage Hunters” immediately got his attention.

Former WCU economist Stephen Miller to take part in discussion on morality, free market

Former Western Carolina University associate professor of economics Stephen Miller will return to campus Monday, Oct. 5, to take part in a discussion about morality, big business and economic inequality as part of WCU’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series.

Categories | The Reporter

Photos | WCU News Services

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