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...
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.
The publication's lists are based on information collected from nearly 1,400 institutions during spring 2019 via an annual statistical survey.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.