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WCU Stories

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Fire ant problems increase in mountains, including higher elevations of the region

Move over murder hornets. Fire ants, those vicious insects with a painful sting and destructive ways, are becoming more pervasive in the mountains, according to research from the Highlands Biological Station of Western Carolina University.  

Annie Vasquez

Annie Vasquez: The Value of People

Annie Vasquez, a graduating senior studying Spanish, was drawn to Western Carolina University by its close-knit community and the importance the university places on every student. She knew that becoming a Catamount would mean that she would be more than just a number in a system, rather she would be valued as a person.  

David Benoit portrait

Organizing a Future

First-generation senior David Benoit is graduating with a double major in political science and international studies. “I told upcoming freshman to say yes to everything, try everything at least once. Go to every organization, every meeting, at least one time, so you really know what you like and what you might not be fond of,” Benoit said. That’s what he did.  

Stephen in lab

The Power of a Peanut

No? Well, Stephen Adom, a 32-year-old graduate student in the Master of Science in Chemistry program, is pushing the boundaries when it comes to filtering water. He is originally from Ghana and is studying chemistry with a focus on environmental chemistry.  

MPA Alumni Derek Roland

MPA Alumni on the Front Line of Response to COVID-19

Locally executed, state-managed and federally supported. That’s how the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long described the ideal way to respond to major disasters. Graduates of WCU’s MPA program are on the front line of this‘locally executed’ response to COVID-19.  

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Graduates of WCU's MPA program on front line of 'locally executed' response to COVID-19

Locally executed, state managed and federally supported. That’s how the Federal Emergency Management Agency has long described the ideal way to respond to major disasters.  

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An abbreviated Spring Literary Festival moves online

Originally scheduled with events on campus, the Spring Literary Festival's presence will now completely be digital during the COVID-19 pandemic, with live and recorded interviews and book readings.  

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Highlands Biological Station stays on task, provides learning resources to region

With 'stay home, stay safe' orders in place and even the great outdoors seemingly closed, Highlands Biological Station, an installation of Western Carolina University, remains at work to meet the conservation and educational needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Alumna Sue Lynn Ledford

Alumni Spotlight: Sue Lynn Ledford

Sue Lynn Ledford learned to care for sick people as a young nursing student at Western Carolina University. Today, she uses the same approach as director of population health and field services for WellCare of North Carolina, a provider health plan for Medicare and Medicaid.  

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