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WCU Stories

Hannah Pollard

Graduate Profile: Hannah Pollard

Hannah Pollard is graduating from the College of Health and Human Sciences with her doctorate in physical therapy. During her time at WCU, Hannah has served as the quality improvement officer for the student-run Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services Clinic, providing effective, free physical therapy and social work services to the underserved and underinsured population of Western North Carolina. Hannah’s efforts have helped to improve the quality of life, health, and function of members of the community. She is also responsible for tracking all clinic statistics and using this information to improve clinic or student board procedures.  

Samantha Klaver

Graduate Profile: Samantha Klaver

Samantha Klaver is graduating with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. In terms of research, WCU faculty members say that Samantha has been one of the most productive students with whom they have worked. Samantha’s research focuses on understanding and reducing the impact of interpersonal violence, particularly in children who have been abused and neglected.  

WCU Campus

Graduate Profile: Rachael Finigan

Rachael Finigan is receiving her Master’s degree in Biology. She has completed her degree in only four semesters—and during 11 months of that, Rachael was collecting data for her thesis. Her research was part of a collaborative project with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the NC Wildlife Resource Commission to explore the feasibility of restoring native freshwater mussels to the Oconaluftee River within the Qualla Boundary.   

Hannah Buie

Psychology graduate student conducts research on issues of gender bias

When Hannah Leigh Buie completed her undergraduate degree in political science, she had no idea that her passion for advocacy and interest in institutional bias would lead her to a graduate degree and inspire her to study the relationship between humor, competency and gender.  

A shot of WCU Biltmore Park campus

WCU sees growth in graduate programs

Western Carolina University’s Graduate School saw an 18.2 percent increase in enrollment of new graduate students this spring, largely driven by programs preparing students for career growth in high-demand fields. Overall Graduate School enrollment climbed 3.7 percent.  

Shelley Steffey

Masters of Arts in Teaching Program leads to study of the intersection of creativity and meditation

Student researcher Shelley Steffey teaches yoga, art and mindfulness to children as well as other educators, introducing mind and body work in fun, interactive and interesting ways in which they can be combined with curriculum.   

Kevin Rumley

Alumni and Veteran Finds Peace After 'Journey of a Million Steps'

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 Yo Gaddy at Commencement

Jennifer Yo-Gaddy

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.”  

Burton during WCU's Dec. 2017 commencement.

Campus fixture Carol Burton creates scholarship to aid international graduate students

Through cash gifts, pledges and an estate gift totaling $50,000, Acting Provost Carol Burton has established a scholarship fund designed to help international students, especially those from Jamaica, earn graduate degrees at WCU.  

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