Skip to main content

WCU Stories

Portrait of rivercane

Master's Degree in Biology Cultivates a Career

Rivercane was once plentiful in Western North Carolina. The tall, slender plant, a member of the bamboo family, still grows in thick stands along some riverbanks, but not in an abundance as in years past. Increased development and intentional removal throughout the region have reduced its presence on the local landscape, in some instances quite dramatically.   

Students in a socially distant classroom

Teaching: COVID-19 Style

There was a time when faculty members spent most of their days preparing their lectures, presenting them to their students and being available during office hours for extra instruction. Some also had the additional task of preparing for laboratory work or work outside of campus, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Then came the coronavirus, COVID-19, and a new way of teaching was born.  

Student Life Masks1

US News and World Report rankings puts WCU in top listings of universities and colleges

The annual U.S. News and World Report rankings of colleges and universities for 2021 places WCU firmly in an upper echelon of institutions of higher education.  

WCU Campus

Alumnae Give Back by Serving on Accounting Board

Sue Swanger remembers them well: a group of bright and eager young women who all happened to be in her graduate auditing class together in 2003, all working toward their master’s degrees in accounting. That they now all serve together on Western Carolina University’s College of Business accounting advisory board is no surprise to their former professor.   

A photo of the overpass on I-40

Alumna Helping Local Wildlife

Anyone who has ever traveled along Interstate 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge near the North Carolina-Tennessee border knows how dangerous that stretch of highway can be. With its narrow lanes, twisting and winding curves through the mountains, rockslides, and speeding drivers, that portion of highway has been notorious for accidents. Well, just imagine what it must be like for wildlife living in those beautiful mountains that make up Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah and Cherokee national forests.  

Michaela Schmidlin

WCU Alumna Blends Project Management with Hospitality

Michaela Schmidlin, MPM ’18 can put your fear of hosting holiday company in perspective. As Entertainment and Event Programming Manager for Asheville-based The Biltmore Company, Schmidlin serves as the project manager for a number of estate events, the largest undertaking being Christmas at Biltmore and Candlelight Christmas Evenings.   

Discover Her Story  

Elizabeth Watson in her classroom

‘Gifted’ graduate grateful for opportunity to maximize her students’ learning

When Elizabeth Watson decided she wanted a master’s degree in education to better serve her gifted students, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “My sister attended Western Carolina University and graduated with a degree in special education. To this day, she is the best special education teacher I've ever seen,” said Watson, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in special education with a focus on gifted education. “I chose to attend WCU for the simple fact that I thought, ‘Well, they must be doing something right at this university.’”  

Joseph Love

Online Master's Degree Program in Construction Management Builds a Career

A few years ago, Joseph Love, now a construction coordinator for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, looked at Western Carolina University and its master's degree program in construction management as the curriculum he wanted and the career-building block he needed.  

Lydia See

MFA Student Emerges as a Change-Maker in North Carolina

Lydia See is an artist in her own right, but she’s using her new platform as a recognized and emerging “change-maker” in North Carolina to showcase the works of others whose voices are rarely if ever, heard.  

Discover Her Story  

Office of Web Services