Office of International Programs and Services

International Faculty and Staff Council

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to International Faculty and Staff Council at Western Carolina University!
The International Faculty and Staff Council (IFSC) was started in Fall 2016, by a group of international faculty and staff at WCU, to promote diversity and inclusion at WCU and hopefully in the local community. The establishment of IFSC has received endorsement from WCU Faculty Senate and supports from the WCU Chancellor and Provost.

The term "international" refers to all people with origins in the other countries other than the U.S. The International Faculty and Staff Council consists of faculty and staff at WCU with international heritage as well as faculty and staff who are interested in promoting international cultural understanding on WCU campus and in the communities of western Carolina.

The goals of IFSC are:

1. To work with WCU administrators to promote professional advancement, diversity and inclusion with international faculty and staff
2. To serve as guides and facilitators to international faculty and staff
3. To provide advocacy for resolutions to issues relevant to international faculty and staff

In January 2017, IFSC hosted its first official gathering and over 20 faculty and staff volunteered in various tasks. We are still at the stage of building up the structure for the organization. We would love to have your feedback and comments.


WCU International Faculty and Staff Council



Task Groups/Volunteers

Compiling Resources for Webpage Yanjun Yan
Jay Manalo
Malak Elzagadani
Ling LeBeau
Coordinating International Movie Series Yumiko Ono
Gael Graham
Nelson Granda-Marulanda
Coordinating Potluck Lunches/Semester Reception Katerina Spasovska
Adisa Haznadar
Farzaneh Razzaghi
Serving as Mentors for New International Faculty and Staff Maurice Phipps
Nelson Granda-Marulanda
Siham Lekchiri
Coordinating Forums on World Events Gael Graham
Farzaneh Razzaghi
Coordinating Events with U-Club (and other university organizations) Yue Cai
Michelle Sorensen
Nelson Granda-Marulanda
Coordinating Grant Proposals for International Faculty Development Channa De Silva
Michelle Sorensen 


On attractions and leisure
Romantic Asheville – website with area activities/resources, very comprehensive:

Nantahala Outdoor Center (whitewater rafting, outfitter stores, ziplines, etc.)

Tuckaseegee River Rafting (nearby campus in Dillsboro, NC)

Biltmore Estate

Local news/activities:

Cherokee, NC tourism

Smoky Mountain: Clingman's Dome, Chimney Tops, Alum Cave Trail, etc. Mount LeConte needs reservation almost a year ahead. Firefly watching.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Street Festivals

Cashiers/Highland: WhiteSide mountain. Multiple waterfalls ( Lake Glenville near the High Falls (Cullowhee Falls) has newly established a white sand beach, very nice.

Gingerbread competition in Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville from late-Nov to early-Jan. Walk outside to see the waterfall in its courtyard.

Films in Asheville (The Grail MovieHouse and the Fine Arts Theater)

Live music in Asheville and Sylva


On children and family

Day care:

Mountain Projects, Inc.
Community based non-profit; has info about Head Start and other services for families and children

Jackson County Family Resource Center
Services for children and families including respite care, parenting classes

WCU Kneedler Child Development Center
On campus daycare resource

Southwestern Child Development Commission
Has daycare

Haywood Community College Regional Center for the Advancement of Children
Has childcare

Cullowhee Methodist Church
Is just off campus and has pre-school

Refuge Church of North Carolina
Has childcare


Traditional public schools: Cullowhee Valley School, Fairview, etc
Public charter schools: Summit in Cashiers, etc
Independent (private) schools (boarding, day, and mixed)
The School of Math & Science (near Rayleigh, very competitive, public, boarding, 11th & 12th graders)
Home schooling
Early college (public high school)

Jackson County Public Schools
Cullowhee Valley School (CVS) is the closest elementary school to campus; they do bus drop off on campus
Fairview School is with the longest history in town and their FLL (FIRST Robotics League), Science Olympia teams are with longer history to be quite competitive, although CVS has also started those and done well.

Haywood County Public Schools

Macon County Public Schools

Swain County Public Schools

Parenting resources:

Our Town Western North Carolina – local newcomer's magazine

WNC Parent – Publication of Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper

WCU's Health & Physical Education Department and PE Majors Club periodically sponsors a Parents Night Out where they organize games and events for children – they inform WCU employees about this via email.

WCU typically runs a series of camps and programs for kids, especially in the summer:


Jackson County Recreation Center
Has recreational programming for children in and around Cullowhee and Sylva

Haywood County Recreation Center
Has recreational programming for children in and around Waynesville

Jackson county swimming team. Contact Danielle Haney M-Th roughly from 3:45pm-5:15pm. Monthly fee is $40, but if one can only come occasionally, that's $10 each time. Summer swim season is typically from May to July with M/W/F afternoon practice at WCU and Tue/Thu evening practice in Sylva pool. All-Stars final competition is near the end of July. The summer fee is a flat-fee. All ages are welcome.

Soccer, baseball, basketball, or other sports:
Jackson county recreation center. Spring/Fall seasons.

The nearest location is in Maggie Valley ( Group lessons through Jackson county recreation center (JCRC) in Jan and Feb (registration typically in Nov). You can ask to join JCRC's email list to get notified on the information. To get to Cataloochee ski resort, take highway 107 and exit at 102B, drive forward, turn left onto 94. Do not turn until you reach Ghost Town Village (you will past the Tube World on the left), and then turn right to climb the mountain till the ski parking.


Mrs. Pamella Parker <>, $20 for 30 minutes each week. Another teacher is the wife of a music professor at WCU, $30 for 30 minutes.

Mrs. Andrea is the wife of a WCU Music School professor Pavel Wlosok, and is approachable to pianists of all ages and considered a great piano teacher in this area. The rate is about $30 for 30 minutes. Contact: 828-399-1874.

Music classes in Sylva for various musical instruments, including piano, flute, etc.
Wonderworks Music studio.

JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians)
Sponsored by Jackson county art council. Contact Dusk Weaver Meet in CVS once a week after school till 5pm (day may vary in different years). Other schools' children, or homeschooled children can all join. Choose from fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, and autoharp to learn famous country music (not pop), for about $100 per semester.

WCU offers art classes and art days when the schools are closed but WCU does not close.

Other activities:

Contact Heather Gordon Mon Exploration program is the first Mon in each month, free, drop-off and pick-up in their office.

Watershed program
Funded by a grant to Dr. Karen Kandl ( (not sure how long it will run). In spring 2017 the weekly activity is on Thus, to let the kids wade in the water (they have those big water-proof pants for cold season, but when it's warm, they will get wet and have change clothes) and collect living organism samples, etc.

In the church on campus, meeting on Mon nights. Contact Eric Hester There are packs for Girlscouts, too.


4-H Summer Camp at Betsy-Jeff Penn camp (4-hours drive away in NC) for a week, for about $500 or so. Contact Heather in 4H (info above).

WCU Dulcimer Summer Academy (one week long with tuition, but scholarships are available) for both adults and kids.

WCU offers Robotics camp for a week in summer.

Duke TIP for gifted kids summer program. More expensive but worthwhile.

If the kids are in swimming team, there are many practices/meets in summer.


On ethnic living

Local grocery stores for daily needs:

Chain stores:
Ingles, Walmart, Harold's, Sav-Mor, Food-lion

Terry's Produce shop (not fancy, but lots of vegetables that are local and inexpensive).
191 W Main St, Sylva, NC 28779

Bryson Farm Supply (some organic food, also stuff for gardening)
1552 E Main St, Sylva, NC 28779
7:30am-5:30pm M-F, 7:30am-3pm Sat, closed on Sun

Farmer's market (not big, but with farm-fresh eggs, green leaves, cookies, and honey)

Kountry Kupboard (organic)
38 E Main St, Sylva, NC 28779

Asheville Asian grocery stores and organic stores:

YZ Asian Market
22 New Leicester Hwy, Asheville, NC 28806
Tel: 828-785-1653
Every day: 9:30AM – 9PM

Foreign Affairs Oriental Market
611 A Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805

Kim's Oriental Food & Gifts
5 Regent Park Blvd #110, Asheville, NC 28806

Whole Foods
Trader Joe's

Near Atlanta, GA (about two and a half hours drive from Cullowhee one way):
Great Wall (Chinese)
2300 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, GA 30096
Tel: 678-957-0558
Every day: 8AM – 10PM

Super H-mart (Korean)
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd #300, Duluth, GA 30096
Tel: 678-543-4000
Every day: 8AM–11PM

Patel Brothers (Indian, Sri Lankan)
1709 Church St F, Decatur, GA 30033
Tel: 404-296-2696
Every day: 10AM – 9:30PM

Costco ($55 annual membership fee for two family members, big packages but well worth it)
3980 Venture Dr, Duluth, GA 30096
Tel: 770-622-1330
M-F: 10Am-8:30PM, Sat: 9AM-7PM, Sun: 10AM-6PM

Whole Life Market (organic)
680 N 4th St, Highlands, NC 28741

Mountain Fresh Grocery
521 Main St, Highlands, NC 28741

Greenville, SC
Asian Market
3245 Wade Hampton Blvd # A, Taylors, SC 29687

Organic Box
$25 /week
summer program starts the week of May 14th and continues to the end of October. Pickup of
a full Box is every week, same day and location. Send Message to sign up for a Organic Box
From Yellow Mountain Garden
Share full of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. Example box: 10 scallions, 10 radishes, 1/2lb bag
of pre-washed salad mix, 1 bunch of kale, 1 head of lettuce, 1 lb of green beans, snow peas,
1/2lb of cherry tomatoes beef & steak tomatoes and 3 zucchini black berries Pint 3 cucumbers 3
Squash Mustard Green, Collard Green.


On Housing

The towns within an approximately 30-minute radius of campus include Cullowhee, Sylva, Webster, Tuckasegee, Dillsboro, Bryson City, Franklin, Waynesville, and Clyde. Asheville is a bigger town but is approximately an hour drive away from campus. The nearby towns that are easy to visit are also labeled.


When you need to rent or buy a house, a local agent is more helpful than websites (realtor, trulia, zillow, etc).
New listings are available to the agents much sooner than the websites. Some historical data on the websites can be useful, though. Many agents in this region manage both rental and house-buying and some rentals could be pet-friendly.

Some of us have used the agents below with satisfaction, but no particular agent is endorsed. The information is shared only to give you a starting point on your search:

Carol Taylor:
Phone: 828-507-5923

Cullowhee Real Estate (in business for long-time one with multiple agents. Norman West inherited it from his parents and he has recently retired.)

Kim Preston Real Estate – Mike Potts (realtor)

Remax – Ron Breese (realtor)

Sunburst Realty

Forga Rental Properties

Lowell Galloway – Property Manager
828 631-9203

To rent an apartment, you may find information from the sources below:

Vantage Point Homes at Balsam Mountain
Allows dogs up to 50 lbs.

The Sylva Herald
Local newspaper for Jackson County, NC – search the classifieds
Craigslist for Western North Carolina/Asheville area

Rolling Green Apartments
Pet-friendly, located near campus in Sylva

Catamount Peaks Apartments, Cullowhee, NC
Very close/walkable to campus; has some furnished units; there are other WCU staff who live there, but be aware that the majority of the residents who live there are likely to be WCU undergrads (so that may be something to take into consideration)

To buy or sell used items:
Cullowhee, Sylva, Jackson County Yard Sales

WCU Surplus Sale
MONITORS, CPU'S (hard drives have been removed), ALONG WITH OTHER VARIOUS ITEMS.
CASH AND CARRY ONLY!! Prices for items will be marked.
Surplus Sale customers will not be allowed to line up for the sale prior to 8:30am the morning of the sale due to safety and parking concerns.



Office of Web Services