Radio show explores life of Josefina Niggli
10/22/2009 -

A panel interview about Josefina Niggli, former director of drama at WCU, will air Wednesday and Friday on WWCU-FM. Panel participants, from left, are Kathleen Wright, Aaron D’Innocenzi (recording the show), host Don Connelly, Steve Carlisle, Luther Jones and Peggy Dawson.

An hour-long radio program featuring a panel discussion about the life of Josefina Niggli will air three times during the next week on WWCU-FM Power 90.5, the broadcast service of Western Carolina University.

The “Josefina Niggli Rountable Interview” will air at the following times:
- 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
- 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28
- 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

Don Connelly, associate professor and head of the department of communication, is host of the show, which WWCU-FM produced. Aaron D’Innocenzi, a senior communication major and student general manager of the radio station, recorded the show.

Niggli, of Mexico, was an accomplished poet, novelist, playwright and screenwriter. A collection of her folktales, titled “Mexican Village” and published in 1945, was adapted into a major motion picture titled “Sombrero,” which she co-wrote and which starred Ricardo Montalban. She joined WCU in 1955 as a journalism instructor and director of drama, and during her 20-year career at the university was a beloved, respected teacher and colleague. For the 2009-10 academic year, the Office for Undergraduate Studies is coordinating an organized, campuswide recognition of her contributions.

Radio interview topics included Niggli’s personality and teaching style, and the panel members’ first impressions of Niggli. Panel guests are Steve Carlisle, Honors College associate dean, actor and former Niggli student; Peggy Dawson, a friend and former Niggli student; Luther Jones, stage and screen faculty member, theater technical director and former Niggli student; and Kathleen Wright, professor emeritus with the department of communication whose career at WCU spanned 36 years.

Connelly’s goal with the panel discussion was to explore Niggli on a personal level. “We know academically what Niggli did, and there are many books about her work,” Connelly said. “For me, there were unanswered questions. What was Josefina Niggli really like as a person? What were her unique traits and habits? Essentially, what was her character? I wanted a glimpse into her character and to preserve it for others.”

More information about the roundtable interview is available WWCU’s Web site. The interview is available for any radio station or other entity that wants to use it in its entirety and for noncommercial purposes. For more information, contact Connelly at (828) 227-3851 or

Maintained by the Office of Public Relations
Last modified Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009



Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services