Your defining choice is one that you make every day. It's the choice to work harder than the person next to you, to fight for an ambition that seems impossible, to chase after a goal with persistent determination. Choosing a university is more than just a beautiful location or a degree program, it's about finding a supportive community that recognizes your potential and a program that will help you achieve your future.
WCU provides an extensive and comprehensive list of employment assistance, said Theresa Cruz Paul, director of the Center for Career and Professional Development. The regular scheduling of workshops, training and internship opportunities and linking students to the workforce is only part of the picture. Personal counseling and advice, along with building awareness of the center and high levels of community engagement, complete the picture, she said.
It took a while for Joanna Woodson to discover her true passion in life. But three universities and year and a half in the workplace later, Woodson has found her purpose, along with a home, at Western Carolina University. After a year at WCU, Woodson has not only settled on a major, she’s discovered a passion for politics that has led WCU to become a leader in voter participation across the University of North Carolina system.
“My decision to come to Western Carolina was solely based on him [Coach Mark Speir],” Crossen said. “He was a great guy when he came to talk to me in Garysburg. He drove down there in the snow. That speaks volumes. I really appreciate what he’s done for me and the chance he gave me to play at the Division I level at Western. Now, I guess I’m helping the program a little with recruiting."
Graduating veteran finds peace after 'journey of a million steps' | Graduated, enlisted, blown up, hospitalized, released, addicted, homeless, hopeless, rescued, enrolled, graduated, employed, enrolled, graduated, honored, redeemed. Read between those lines a minute, and listen...
“I could just go to school and that was like my place,” said Bevers, now a junior at Western Carolina University. “For me, school was normal and I was normal at school. I didn’t have to think about what was going on at home. It gave me something to distract myself. It was something I was good at.”
If ever there was a Western Carolina University graduate who was living his dream, it would be Tyler McKenzie. McKenzie, a 2013 graduate from WCU's School of Stage and Screen, is traveling across the country, dancing and singing as a member of the ensemble in the second national tour of the Broadway hit "Hamilton."
Earning an associate degree from Southwestern Community College after transferring there from Mars Hill, and a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University, where he graduated in December and gave the commencement address. He’ll continue his education in the fall at WCU, where he is enrolled in the school’s master’s degree program in social work. A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Blythe is believed to be the first Native American to give a commencement speech at WCU — an unexpected honor that left him in awe and “like the weight of the world” was on his shoulders — but in a good way.
If J. Alan Goggins’ life were a track and field event, it would definitely be the hurdles. And Goggins would be a world-class hurdler. Goggins recently completed his postdoctoral research and has landed a postdoctoral fellowship at Merck Pharmaceuticals, where he will work with the company’s vaccine bioanalytics team. He’s come a long way since flunking out of community college 11 years ago, and he credits his success to WCU.
Amanda Muse is one of very few female snare drum players who perform at the highest levels of marching band. After overcoming stereotypes and physical challenges, Amanda uses her talent to inspire a new generation of musicians. The Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has given her the opportunity to share her gift with thousands of younger drummers. It has also given her the ride of a lifetime while performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and at the Bands of America Grand Nationals competition in Indianapolis, Indiana.