Calendar of Events

Schedule of Upcoming Events

  • 2016-2017 One Book FYE - The Bright Continent Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa by Dayo Olopade
    The One Book selection committee plans to bring Olopade to WCU in the Fall of 2016.  The author's journalistic account of life in modern Africa celebrates African ingenuity.  Aligned with the WCU Interdisciplinary Theme: Africa! More than a Continent, The Bright Continent provides WCU students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to enegage in a common intellectual experience with One Book.  One Book 2016 is sponsored by the Office of Student Transistions, a unit in The Division of Student Success.  Most events* are open to the full university and local community.  For questions or to learn more about any of these events, please contact or by phone at 227-3017.  Upcoming events involving The Bright Continent include:

    • CANCELLED - September 15, 2016 (5:30p - 7:00p, UC Multipurpose Room):  Fishbowl
      Witness Civil Discourse in action as faculty members engage in a dynamic discussion about the themes explored in The Bright Continent with a live student audience who will also be invited to join in the conversation. 

    • September 20, 2016 (5:00p - 6:30p, Blue Ridge):  Reading Round Table
      Join your peers in a round-table book discussion, facilitated by your peers, as you explore the themes and topics of The Bright Continent.

    • October 4, 2016 (1:00p - 2:00p, UC Multipurpose Room): Panel Discussion #1 facilitated by Dr. Laura Wright
      The Nature Map: To Feed, Fuel, and Build the Future
      Join peers for a faculty facilitated discussion to examine themes and topics of The Bright Continent.

    • October 5, 2016 (4:00p - 5:00p, Blue Ridge Meeting Room A): Panel Discussion #2 facilitated by Tamera Cole
      Kanju: The Fine Line Between Genius & Crime
      Join peers for a faculty facilitated discussion to examine themes and topics of The Bright Continent.

    • October 6, 2016 (3:30p - 4:30p, Blue Ridge Meeting Room A): Panel Discussion #3 facilitated by Dr. Lane Perry
      Stuff We Don't Want: Doing Bad in Africa
      Join peers for a faculty facilitated discussion to examine themes and topics of The Bright Continent.

    • October 11, 2016 (12:30p - 1:30p, UC Multipurpose Room): Panel Discussion #4 facilitated by Colin Townsend
      Fail States: Why African Government Hasn't Worked
      Join peers for a faculty facilitated discussion to examine themes and topics of The Bright Continent.

    • October 26, 2016 (6:00p - 8:00p, UC Grand Room):  Author Event
      Dayo Olopade will discuss her journey of discovery and perspectives as author of The Bright Continent. The talk will be followed by a reception and a book signing event.

    • October 27, 2016 (8:00a - 11:00a, locations vary):  Author in the Classroom! (*This is not an open event.)
      Dayo Olopade will visit selected classes to engage in a conversation about the themes and her perspective as author of The Bright Continent.

  • October 6, 2016 (Campus Dining Hall):  African Menu during Lunch
    There will be an African Menu offered during the lunch hours in the Campus Dining Hall.  Recipes include:  West African Jollof Rice, Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes w/ Sautéed Bananas, East African Eggplant Stew, Moroccan Spiced White Fish, and African Peanut Soup.

  • October 24, 2016 (Ramsey Center Concourse):  Catamount Walkabout
    An event that is designed to bring together the WCU campus around a common purpose -- to raise awareness of the organization, Samaritan's Feet, and the nearly 1.5 billion individuals without proper footwear.  For more information, contact Lane Perry at or x2643.

  • October 24, 2016 (Hunter Library): Nigerian Book/Artifact Display
    There will be a Nigerian book and artifact display in Hunter Library in honor of Dayo Olopade's visit to campus.

  • November 3, 2016 (5:00p - 7:00p, McKee G22):  Digital Stories from Kenya Experience
    Graduate students (HESA program) who will be studying abroad in Kenya over Fall Break, will present digital stories of their learning experience.  All are welcome.  For more information, contact April Perry at or call at x3283.

  • November 7, 2016 (4:00p - 5:15p, UCT):  Free Enterprise Speaker Series @ WCU - Global Justice & Global Freedom: Book Forum with Author Q&A
    Fernando R. Tesón, Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar & Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University.  WCU's Free Enterprise Speaker Series offers a forum for the campus and community to explore all points of view on important issues of the day, hear from renowned experts from a variety of fields, and understand multiple perspectives through civil, informed, and fruitful discourse.  Sponsored by the Free Enterprise Club and the BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Programs.  For more information, contact Edward Lopez at or call at x3723.

  • November 14, 2016 (9:00a - 10:00a, UC Cardinal Room):  Africa and Africans in World History and Culture.
    Presenter:  Dr. Saheed Aderinto, History Department, WCU
    This presentation is about the contributions of Africa and Africans to global history and culture since the ancient times. It will reveal the contributions of Africans to world civilization and the collective history of humanity.

  • November 17, 2016 (10:00a - 1:00p, UC Grand Room):  Global Summit
    Students from two Political Science Global Issues courses this Fall semester are joining forces as global citizens to solve the problems of our time.  Twelve groups of students will represent countries from all over the world in a model-UN fashion.  They will present statements on how they have crafted solutions to global challenges such as extreme poverty, environmental sustainability, child education, gender equality, etc. and they will actively negotiate with each other.  Posters representing each country and issue will also be presented at this event.  As a final product, the Global Summit will produce a joint resolution, solving common problems of the 21st century.  For more information, contact Ingrid Bego at or x7475.

  • December 5th, 7th, & 9th, 2016 (Smoky Mountain High School):  African diaspora with Smoky Mountain High School
    Students from Dr. Saheed Aderinto's African Diaspora class will give five presentations on the history and cultural presence of Africans across the world at Smoky Mountain High School.  Smoky Mountain students will encounter notable Africans and events, and their contributions to the history of a shared global culture.  The event will feature some cultural immersion activities such as African fashion, language, and drumming. 

  • January 9 - February 21, 2017 (Bardo Arts Center):  Soft Diplomacy:  Quilting in Liberia
    More information to come.
  • February 9, 2017 (3:30p - 4:30p WCU Fine Art Museum): Soft Diplomacy: Quilting Cultural Diplomacy in Liberia - Round Table Discussion
         Saheed Aderinto, Ph.D., WCU Associate Professor, Department of History
         Stephanie Beck Cohen, Ph.D., Guest Curator, Soft Diplomacy
         Jennifer Schiff, Ph.D., WCU Associate Professor and Director of International Studies, Dept of Political Science and Public Affairs

  • February 9, 2017 (5:00p - 6:00p, WCU Fine Art Museum): Soft Diplomacy: Quilting Cultural Diplomacy in Liberia - Gallery Talk with Guest Curator Stephanie Beck Cohen
    Curated by Dr. Stephanie Beck Cohen, the exhibition Soft Diplomacy explores quilts made in Liberia, West Africa, and gifted across the Atlantic Ocean as part of cultural diplomacy with the United States. 

    During the nineteenth century, American settlers carried this artistic tradition to Liberia.  In the centuries that followed, quilts served as both an anchor to their American heritage and a medium through which Liberian women visualize their daily lives and their nation's histories and present.  Learn more about this exhibition by visiting the WCU Fine and Performing Arts website.

  • February 9, 2017 (6:00p - 7:00p, Star Atrium at Bardo Arts Center):  Soft Diplomacy Exhibition Reception

  • March 13, 2017 (2:30p - 4:30p, Bardo Room 130): The Nile Project - Muysic, Citizen Engagement and Water Resrouce Management Panel Discussion
         Dr. Lane Perry, Director, WCU Center for Service Learning
         Roger Clapp, Executive Director of the Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River
         Dr. Robert J. "Trip" Krenz, Assistant Professor, WCU Geosciences and Natural Resources
         Mina Girgis, Founder The Nile Project

  • March 13, 2017 (7:30p, Bardo Arts Center): The Nile Project
    The New York Times described it as "a committed, euphoric international coalition."  One of the tightest cross-cultural collaborations in musical history, the Nile Project brings together artists from across the 11 Mile countries, representing over 450 million people, to create inspiring music that promotes environmental awareness for The Nile River.  Learn more about this event by visiting the WCU Fine and Performing Arts website.

  • March 14, 2017 (10:00a - 11:00a, Bardo Arts Center):  The Nile Project - Matinee Performance for Local Schools
    The Nile Project

  • March 27, 2017 (6:00p, Blue Ridge):  The Heart of Africa: Ethics, Honor, and Bible Translation
    Presented by Dr. James Pohling, a former professor, pastor, and Bible translator who spent nearly a dozen years in West Africa working on Bible translations with Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Support for this program has been provided by the Department of World Languages, Philosophy and Religion, English, the Honors College, and the Coulter Faculty Commons.

  • March 28, 2017 (3:00p - 5:00p, Blue Ridge A):  Africa Campus Theme Showcase
    This event will showcase student groups who traveled to Africa along with posters, photos, and information.  Each group will give a brief presentation of their Study Abroad trip (representing Botswana, Kenya, and South Africa) along with time for Q&A.  There will be a performance by the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet.  Dr. Kofi Lomotey will discus an upcoming faculty-led trip to Ghana in the Fall 2017.  The showcase will conclude with a reception. For more information, contact Ling LeBeau at or x3433.

  • April 10, 2017 (7:00p - 9:00p, UC Theater):  Talking Black in America
    Q&A led by Erin Callahan to follow with director and producer Walt Wolfram, a pioneer in the field of social linguistics.  The documentary film charts the origins, development, and empirical reality of African American English in the U.S., from is beginnings in the slave travel to the Great Migration and recent demographic changes, including twentieth-century urbanization.

  • April 25 & 26, 2017 (Smoky Mountain High School):  African History Class Presentations
    Students in Saheed Aderinto's African History class will give five presentations on five African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt) to the students at Smoky Mountain High School.
  • April 27, 2017 (11:00a - 12:15p, Hunter Library 186):  Student Projects in GEOG 440 - Regional Geography: Africa
    Students in Dr. G. Rebecca Dobbs' geography course on Sub-Saharan African will be presenting their research posters on initiatives and innovation in Africa.  The public are welcome to drop in on this conference-style poster session. For more information, contact G. Rebecca Dobbs at or x2950.

  • April 2017: Spring Literary Festival
    More information to come.

2015-2016 Calendar of Events

  • September 2, 2015 (5:00p – 7:00p, UC Theater):  An Evening with Samaritan’s Feet CEO and Author of Sole Purpose, Manny Ohonme

    WHY: To bring to life the story of Manny Ohonme and an inspirational example of service, engagement, and goal achievement. Manny was born in Lagos, Nigeria. After being given his first pair of tennis shoes at the age of nine, he began to compete in sports activities in Africa, specifically basketball. This is how an inspirational journey begins. Come learn more about how this young boy from Nigeria earned a full athletic scholarship to the US, became a technology executive, built an international citizen organization from the ground up – Samaritan’s Feet.

    HOW: Invite your students to participate in an unforgettable experience and story. Manny’s story will bring to life much of what we are discussing over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. Seating is limited (roughly 150 seats total) so advise your students arrive EARLY for a great seat!

    BEYOND: At this event the sub-committee will be unveiling FOUR other awareness- and resource-raising initiatives that are scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year. 

    If you have any questions please contact Lane Perry at or call at x2643.

  • September 3, 10, 17, 24, 2015 (1:00p – 5:00p, Across Campus):  Student “Ambassadors” are going shoeless on campus to raise awareness about the work of Samaritan’s Feet and health issues associated with not having proper (or any) footwear. For more information, contact Lane Perry at or call at x2643.

  • October 19, 2015 (8:00p, Track):  The Catamount Walkabout: Whee will walk you!
    This event is in conjunction with Homecoming 2015 and will result in Homecoming points for those organizations participating in the competition.  We are planning on having each Team walk a collective (minimum) of 20 laps (which equals 10,000 steps, the average distance people walk in a day ~ 5 miles).  Around the track there will be posters that bring to life various issues associated with Africa so students making the walkabout will have some things to process, think through, and reflect on.  This is a great way to get students more aware of the work of Samaritan’s Feet and other ideas and content about Africa. 
    For more information, please contact Lane Perry at or call at x2643.

  • October 21, 2015 (12:20-1:10pm, McKee 121 & 7:00p - City Lights Bookstore in Sylva):  Homo naledi Strides Again - Deliberate Disposal of Dated Dichotomy by Dr. Zach Throckmorton
    Dr. Zach Throckmorton is an Assistant Professor Anatomy at Lincoln Memorial University's DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee and a Rising Star Associate at the University of Witwatersrand's Evolutionary Studies Institute in South Africa.  His research specialty is hominin foot and ankle evolution.  For more information, please contact the Department of Anthropology & Sociology or the Department of Biology.

  • October 26, 2015 (7:00p, UC Theater):  Southern Circuit Film Series -Shield and Spear
    An artist paints a caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma that provokes a lawsuit, death threats and a massive street protest. Around this incident, Shield and Spear explores a constellation of stories about identity, art, race, and freedom of expression in South Africa, twenty years into democracy. If you have any questions, please contact Francis Ann Ortiz at or call at x2612.  Cost: FREE

  • November 2, 2015 (2:30p - 3:30p, UC Catamount):  Panel Discussion - Africa! More than a Continent
    Explore the 2015-2017 campus theme with selected WCU faculty and staff.  This is a Coulter Faculty Commons Leadership Event. 

  • November 2, 2015 (5:00p - 7:00p, UC Theater):  Film and Conversation: Invictus
    Participate in a viewing and follow up discussion on the nature of leadership and cultural aspect of the film.  This is a Coulter Faculty Commons Leadership Event. 

  • November 3, 2015 (2:00p - 4:00p, UC Grand Room):  Common Ground Session
    A round tables sessions for "growing" opportunities for campus and community leadership.  This is a Coulter Faculty Commons Leadership Event. 

  • November 4, 2015 (12:00p - 1:00p, UC Multipurpose Room):  Perspectives on African Leadership
    Talk by WCU faculty member, Saheed Aderinto.  This is a Coulter Faculty Commons Leadership Event. 

  • November 4, 2015 (6:30p, UC Multipurpose Room):  Rising from Ashes
    This is a screening of the documentary Rising from Ashes an inspiring true story as told by Forest Whitaker.  The screening is in conjunction with the university's Africa! more than a Continent initiative and donations will benefit World Bike Relief which provides reliable bicycles to youth throughout Africa.  Presented by WCU Cycling Club and WCU Criminal Justice Club.  For more information, please contact O. Sefiha at or (828) 227-2176, or C. Hughes at

  • November 11, 2015 (Campus Dining Hall): African Menu
    Recipes include: Chicken Tagine, Couscous, Ragout Vegetable Curry, Yellow Rice, Beef Tagine, Tai Curry Fish Soup, and Moroccan Stew.
  • November 18, 2015 (6:30p, UC Multipurpose Room): Promoting Peace Through Health Care in Kenya by Dr. Ian McIntosh
    The Kenya-based Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare or AMPATH is a core component of, and anchors, the IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis)-Moi University Strategic Partnership. AMPATH was established in 1997 for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. AMPATH’s catchment zone includes a population of more than two million people. With over 120 collaborative research projects completed or underway, $90+US million in funding for its program of integrated health care delivery, and thousands of Kenyan employees, the innovatory strategies of AMPATH are now world renowned. AMPATH has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize and in this talk I ask, what has peace got to do with the continuing success of this unique model of collegial interaction, intervention, and healing in what is a volatile part of the world?

    Dr. Ian McIntosh: Australian anthropologist Ian McIntosh PhD is the Director of International Partnerships at IUPUI and the Associate Director of the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis. Dr McIntosh is a faculty member in the School of Liberal Arts where he teaches classes on peace and reconciliation in global perspective. He also leads study abroad classes (and a virtual study abroad class) to Australia, Kenya, Costa Rica and the Gaza Strip. Dr. McIntosh is a former Managing Director of the Harvard-based indigenous rights organization Cultural Survival Inc., and the former senior editorial advisor for the Cultural Survival Quarterly, the world’s premier journal focusing on the rights, voices, and visions of indigenous peoples. Dr. McIntosh has published three books and over 100 articles on indigenous issues and conflict resolution, and in 2010 he was named a Rotary International Peace Fellow. Dr. McIntosh has worked extensively in Aboriginal Australia on land rights issues, and also in the Republic of Armenia on reforestation and poverty reduction projects.

  • February 1 - May 20, 2016 (9:00a - 5:00p, Hunter Library 2nd Floor Gallery): From Apartheid to Democracy: The Struggle for Liberation in South Africa
    The Mountain Heritage Center will host From Apartheid to Democracy: The Struggle for Liberation in South Africa during spring semester 2016 as part of WCU’s campus-wide learning theme, “Africa! More Than a Continent.”  Created by the Apartheid Museum in South Africa and adapted by the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC, the exhibit will be on view in the MHC’s second floor exhibit space in Hunter Library from February 1 through May 20, 2016.

    The exhibit opens with the transformation of South Africa from its history of racial violence into the “Rainbow Nation.” Text and images illuminate parallels between the American South and the South African experience, and how each country addresses the legacies of poverty and racism. Similarities between Apartheid in South Africa and “Jim Crow” laws in the American South are explored, as well as a section on the non-violent campaigns in both countries, the role of unions in the United States, as well as the Black Power movement.

    The Mountain Heritage Center invites WCU faculty to utilize this exhibit for class tours, special programs and activities. For more information, contact Peter Koch, 227-3194,, or Pam Meister 227-3192,

  • February 29, 2016 (Campus Dining Hall): African Menu
    During African American History Month there will be an African Menu offered during the lunch hours in the Campus Dining Hall.  Recipes Include: Banana Fritters, Chicken Algerian Couscous, Eggplant Curry, Okra and Greens, and Chicken Tagine.

  • March 16, 2016 (4:00p-6:00p; Mountain Heritage Center Gallery):  Reception to Celebrate the Apartheid Exhibit Additions
    The Mountain Heritage Center opened the exhibit From Apartheid to Democracy: The Struggle for Liberation in South Africa on February 1 as part of Western Carolina University’s campus-wide learning theme, “Africa! More Than a Continent.”

    The original exhibit now has several additions, with loaned objects and new features contributed by WCU faculty, staff and students.  In celebration of the new exhibit features and their donors, the MHC will host a reception featuring traditional South African foods on Wednesday, March 16, from 4 – 6 pm on the second floor of Hunter Library.

    A companion exhibit, Cherokee Voting Rights: The Long Road to Suffrage, was created by Public History graduate students Justyn Kissam and Katie Welch. 

    Hunter Library faculty member Katy Ginanni contributed a collection of South African cultural objects, music, and books.  WCU alumna and Office of International Programs and Services staff member Hilary Lindler loaned an original 1994 South African ballot, and worked with the Center’s staff to create a mini-exhibit telling the inspiring story of the Amy Biehl Foundation.

    Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources faculty member Rebecca Dobbs designed a map of South Africa’s provinces for the exhibit, while recently retired faculty member Luther Jones and WCU student Joshua Vanderpool constructed a set of prison bars to add to the depiction of Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell.

    The exhibit will be on view Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm, on the second floor of Hunter Library through May 20.  Both the exhibit and the March 16 reception are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact the Mountain Heritage Center, 828-227-7129,

  • April 4-8, 2016: Serah Mucha and Ronnie Mdawadi
    Serah Mucha (project manager and public relations) and Ronnie Mdawadi (Kenyan country manager) for Kosmos Solutions International, an NGO working on sustainable development, women's empowerment, etc. in Kenya will be on campus.  Details will be forthcoming.

  • April 13, 2016 (Campus Dining Hall): African Menu
    During the International Festival there will be an African Menu offered during the lunch hours in the Campus Dining Hall.  Recipes include: Chicken Couscous, Eggplant Curry, Okra and Greens, Futari (coconut-peanut pumpkin), and Chinchin (fried pastries) or Banana Enrolada (banana rolled in pastry)

  • April 13, 2016 (4:00p-5:30p; UC Multipurpose Room): WCU Global Spotlight Series: Africa in World Affairs 
    Join us for the last Global Spotlight Series of the semester.  Presenters include: Dr. Jackie Sievert, Dr. Saheed Aderinto, Dr. Mike McDonald, and Dr. Jennifer Schiff.  Sponsored by: Political Science, History, and International Studies.
  • April 21-22, 2016 (3:00pm; UC 315):  Professor Kwesi Yankah
    We are honored to have Professor Kwesi Yankah from Ghana joining us as part of the campus theme celebration.  Professor Yankah is a world-renowned scholar on African proverbs.  He is currently the president of Central University College, the largest private university in Ghana.  Previously, he was the pro-vice chancellor (provost) at the University of Ghana, the preeminent university in Ghana.  He is a former professor of linguistics.  Professor Yankah earned his doctoral degree at Indiana University. 

    Professor Yankah will give a campus wide lecture, Between 9-11 and national tragedies in Africa: Comparative perspectives, on Thursday, April 21st at 3pm in UC 315.  In addition, he will be available to visit classes on Friday, April 22nd.  If you are teaching a Friday class that addresses issues on Africa and would like for Dr. Yankah to visit your class, please contact Dr. Kofi Lomotey right away.  Please encourage students to attend the lecture on April 21st.

  • 2016-2017 One Book FYE - The Bright Continent Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa by Dayo Olopade
    The One Book selection committee plans to bring Olopade to WCU in the Fall of 2016.During the International Festival there will be an African Menu offered during the lunch hours in the Campus Dining Hall.  More details will be forthcoming.

Western Carolina University's Campus Theme Connection Tracking offers the ability to track events and activities that are related to the 2015-2017 Campus Theme: Africa! More than a Continent.  Engagement Survey link

Africa More Than A Continent


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