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WCU Stories

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.  

Cassidy Burns

Freshman Cassidy Burns wins National Student Production Award

It was Halloween weekend and Western Carolina University freshman Cassidy Burns was visiting a friend at Clemson University when she got a phone call from her mother. Burns and her friend were in Starbucks when her phone rang. Her mom told her to check out Twitter where the Foundation of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was live-streaming its 4th Annual National Student Production Awards.   

Garrett Ozar

Entrepreneurship Alumnus Makes Most of Confidence Starting a Business and Facing the Shark Tank

Garrett Ozar, a 2009 graduate with a degree in entrepreneurship, took managerial skills and confidence gained from the Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Business, to start a success story. He is the co-founder of Eterneva, an Austin, Texas, based company started in 2017 that takes ashes from cremated remains, isolates the carbon and, with heat and pressure, creates diamonds as an everlasting keepsake.   

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.  

Students Studying

Lowering the Debt for WCU Students

$1.53 Trillion. That is the current estimated student loan debt in America, and it grows minute by minute. While those Western Carolina University undergraduates who owe student debt graduate with an average of $20,500 of debt - almost $17,000 less than the national average - our goal is to continue to provide options for students to incur as little debt as possible.   

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...  

Students studying

An Innovative Cross Discipline Degree Program

The College of Health and Human Science's Integrated Health Sciences degree is an adaptable program for students planning to seek careers or advanced degrees in the health field, and accommodating for those still determining their future paths.  

Latinx Students

New Latinx Studies Minor Available for WCU Students

For the first time, a U.S. Latinx Studies minor will be offered to WCU students this fall, headed by Melissa Birkhofer, a lecturer in the Department of English, who has been named director of the program. With the Hispanic population at WCU exploding over the last decade, Birkhofer is excited to see the minor added to serve that group of students.  

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.  

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