Ke’La Porter is graduating from WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences with a degree in athletic training. As a high school student in Clayton, N.C., Ke’La played basketball and ran track, until suffering an injury during a basketball game. While undergoing physical therapy to treat her injury, Ke’La decided she’d like to become a physical therapist. However, when the high school brought an athletic trainer on board to work with her, Ke’La was introduced to sports medicine and realized she’d found her calling.
If there was one thing that Emma Hand was certain of coming out of high school, it was that she wanted no part of running cross country or track and field in college. After suffering through shin splints, and the stress and anxiety that come with running, Hand simply wanted to go to college and focus on her studies in emergency medical care. That was until former Western Carolina University cross country/track and field coach Danny Williamson convinced to her join his team in Cullowhee.
Madison Hale, originally from the North Carolina town of Albermarle, calls herself quiet, an introvert—but she’s already carved out an adventurous path for herself. After graduation, she plans to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail with her brother, who is graduating from high school. “We’re both taking a year to do this,” she says. “It’s been a dream of ours.” Though it could take four to six months, she wants to take her time. “I want to see everything I can,” she says, “since it’s a once in a lifetime thing.”
The success of our graduates doesn't stop once they walk across the stage. They'll continue to learn, grow, and push themselves to succeed on all sorts of stages and fields of study. Discover what a few of our graduates are doing after they graduate as they reminisce on their favorite memories at Western Carolina University.
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...
Jennifer Le’An Yoe-Gaddy, a graduate student receiving her master’s degree in social work, was the featured speaker for the 2018 Graduate School Commencement on Friday, May 11. The Weaverville resident spoke to her fellow graduating students about the circuitous route she took in earning her associate and bachelor’s degrees and said she had intended to speak to them about how to persevere in life. “We all have our stories,” she said. “Our stories, and the stories of all the graduates in this room, are certainly all unique, but undoubtedly we share one vital characteristic. We have grit, and it is your possession of this characteristic that is worthy of a sincere congratulations this evening.”