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WCU Stories

Social Work

Expert Commentary: Emma Miller, Social Work

Looking at the role of social workers and integrate health care in fighting the opioid epidemic  

Al Kopak

Expert Commentary: Al Kopak, PhD, Criminology

Want to Make Our Communities Safer and Reduce Overdose Deaths? Start in the Local Jail  

John Morgan in the woods

Share the Stoke for Geology - How One Student Strives to Protect the World We Live In

John Morgan spends a lot of his time searching in the woods for tiny trickles of water. Why? Because John believes that the better we understand the world that we live in, the more we can do to protect it.  

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.  

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.   

Kyle Monaghan

Engineering Students' Ingenuity Leads to a Trekking Pole for the Digital Age

Almost as ubiquitous as hiking boots is a hiking stick, an age-old means to steady a climb, keep one’s balance, push aside brush and ease a descent. Now, add one more function: phone charger, thanks to the ingenuity of Western Carolina University engineering student Kyle Monaghan.  

Grace Woodward

Students in upper echelon for presentations at national research conference

Research projects by Western Carolina University students numbered fourth highest in the nation and first in the state among higher education institutions having entries accepted for presentation at the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research.  

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