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WCU Stories

Eli building out his installation project

MFA student leaves his mark

The stadium is stunning, a beautiful geometric design built from contrasting woods that highlight the warmth and strength of the handcrafted structure. Sited in a public green space, surrounded by grass and trees, the small-scale model invites passersby to step inside and imagine its power — exactly what its builder had in mind.  

Alexa Turnbull

MFA Student Alexa Turnbull Uses Her Time and Talents for the Good of Others

Alexa Turnbull has always had a passion for art, which is why she is currently a student in the Master of Fine Art Program at Western Carolina University. Alexa is using her talent to fuel her other passion, which is helping incarcerated members of the LGBTQ community and sex workers. It’s a cause she feels deeply about, which is why after receiving her bachelor’s degree from Florida State, Alexa set up Seether Bookstore.   

Natalie Newman in her store

Drive, Ambition and Entrepreneurship: How One Alumna Stayed Local to Apply Her Degree

Natalie Newman knew she had the drive and ambition to run her own business, but what she needed was direction and inspiration. She found both in Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in innovation leadership and entrepreneurship through the College of Business.  

Constance Owl

Saving A Dying Language

Graduate History student working to translate Cherokee language from native newspapers. Constance Owl’s master’s degree thesis is more than a means to a graduate degree in American history. It’s a portal to understanding and perhaps saving, a disappearing language.  

Rory Jimerson

Sport Management Program Helped Jimerson Advance his Career at WCU

How Rory Jimerson got to Western Carolina University is interesting enough. How he’s managed to stay in Cullowhee thanks to the university’s Master of Sport Management Program and his love of athletics, which led to him becoming the school’s director of athletic facilities, is even more interesting.  

Joseph Guseman

Student Sees Parallels in Wilderness Experiences and Project Management

At age 23, Joseph Guseman is a bit of a paradox: old soul wonder kid. He graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management in December 2017, a semester early (of course). He’ll finish his master’s degree in project management through WCU’s College of Business in December, all the while working fulltime for WCU’s Facilities Management. He took the job for a few reasons: it would pay for his graduate degree...  

Rosemary Yelton

Graduate student tabbed for Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse

Since coming to Western Carolina University to complete her master’s degree in social work, graduate student Rosemary Yelton has seen firsthand the effects the opioid crisis is having on Western North Carolina. Wanting to help fight what has become a national epidemic, Yelton was excited to learn last summer that she had been named to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse.  

Crystal Ellwood

Graduate student explores dystopia, literature, and racial bias in journalism

Crystal Ellwood constantly toed the line between literature and art up until the moment she decided to pursue her graduate degree in English at Western Carolina University. Her passion for literature and creative arts inspired her to take a more creative approach to her literature masters and paved the way for her first novel.  

Graduate Student Emily Ashe

Graduate student explores bacterial communities in forensic science

Emily Ashe already knew what she wanted to do long before she came to WCU for her bachelor’s degree. Knowing that she wanted to have a future in medicine was a key factor in choosing WCU, where she eventually earned her degree in pre-med biology. Now, she is in the graduate forensic pathology program, after taking a year off for a fellowship with the FBI.  

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