A total of 210 Western Carolina University faculty and staff members were honored Tuesday, Oct. 29, for a combined 2,620 years of service to the university and the state of North Carolina during a ceremony to acknowledge the contributions of longtime employees.
The relaunch of the “Years of Service Celebration” event, originally proposed by WCU’s Staff Senate and supported by the university’s administration, recognized those employees who have hit a five-year incremental milestone in their years of service up to 40 years.
“These people represent 2,620 years of service. Wow, that is amazing,” WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown said at the event held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center.
“I believe the fact that so many of our faculty and staff have that level of commitment and dedication to WCU speaks volumes. I also believe that people are Western’s greatest asset. It is you, the staff and faculty, that make this university tick,” Brown said.
“You may teach our students in the classroom or tutor them when they are struggling. You may be traveling across the state to recruit students or write stories telling of their accomplishments. Perhaps you help ensure that our campus grounds are well-kept or make sure that your university colleagues get paid on time. Maybe you keep the steam plant running or patrol the campus to keep our students safe. Perhaps you make room assignments in our residence halls or make sure that the wireless connections in the classrooms are up and running,” she said.
“Whatever your job is here at Western Carolina University, you are an important part of our university team. I thank you for all that you do in your jobs, day in and day out,” Brown said. “The work that you carry out is important to the continued success of Western and, most importantly, to the success of the students that we serve.”
Cory Causby, associate vice chancellor for human resources and payroll, explained the method used to determine which employees were recognized at the inaugural event, which honored faculty and staff who achieved their respective milestone between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.
“The service to one institution provided by our honorees is something that cannot be minimalized,” Causby said. “Nationwide, the average employee stays with an organization for 4.2 years and will change jobs at least 12 times during a career. The continuity and commitment demonstrated by our honorees is a key component of what makes WCU what it is today.”
Alison Joseph, chair of Staff Senate, characterized the environment of working at WCU as more like a community or a family than a collection of co-workers.
“People often describe this campus community as a family. A big part of the reason for that perception is that there are so many long-serving employees on this campus, and so many collegial relationships that we develop with each other over the years,” Joseph said.
“We watch each other’s families grow and support each other with shared leave during times of illness,” she said. “We celebrate our victories and shoulder our set-backs and adversities together. Those personal connections strength our ability to work together, across divisions, departments and academic fields, to create something that is truly more than the sum of its parts.”
Enrique Gomez, chair of Faculty Senate, shared an epiphany he had during a conversation with other faculty chairs and the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors about the future of brick-and-mortar universities when he realized the expression “brick-and-mortar” was not accurate.
“This university is not just bricks and mortar. This university is you – your hearts and your faces. We are here to honor you and your years of service to this university because you have been the heart and the face of it,” Gomez said.
Causby closed the formal remarks portion of the event with a quote from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“Each of our honorees has given significantly to this institution, and each of you have had, and will continue to have, a hand in making WCU the special place that it is,” Causby said.
5 Years of Service
Nancy Alter, Office of the Chief Information Officer; Barbara Ballentine, Biology; Erica Barnett, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Emily Bingham, Admissions; Toby Burleson; Facilities Management; Dustin Cabe, Facilities Management; Jack Caldwell, Coulter Faculty Commons Embedded IT; Erin Callahan, English; Alberto Centeno Pulido, World Languages; Heather Coan, Biology; Mattie Davenport, Writing and Learning Commons; Lowell Davis, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success; Hank Davis, Chemistry and Physics; Robert Donnellan, English; Gail Elliott, School of Nursing; Diann Ferguson, Chemistry and Physics; Lisa Figueroa, Facilities Management; Brandon Flesch, Office of University Police; Donna Gallo, Marketing; and Chad Gerrety, Office of Athletic Programs.
Also, Taryn Gibson, Facilities Management; Turner Goins, Social Work; Sur Ah Hahn, Social Work; T.J. Hanson, Instructional Technology and Desktop; Liz Harper, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Kimberly Hedden, Facilities Management; Susan Hester, School of Nursing; Heather Hill, Admissions; Thomas Hooks, Emergency Services; Ashley Hyatt, Physical Therapy; Nathan Johnson, Economics, Management and Project Management; Jeremy Jones, English; Nikki Jones, Facilities Management; Berna Karayaka, Chemistry and Physics; Sudhir Kaul, School of Engineering and Technology; Morgan Kennedy, School of Art and Design; Doug Keskula, Office of the Dean – Health and Human Sciences; Kae Livsey, School of Nursing; Kofi Lomotey, Human Services; Shawn Lyvers, Center for Rapid Product Realization; Michael McKendrick, Print Shop; Tim Metz, Institutional Planning and Effectiveness; Hayley Moralez, Admissions; Alison Morrison-Shetlar, Biology; and Mike Moses, Cat-Tran.
Also, Catharina Nickel, Educational Outreach Programs; Candy Noltensmeyer, Communication; Beth Owenby, Admissions; April Perry, Human Services; Tony Rivera-Soto, Networking and Communications; Brent Russ, Purchasing and Accounts Payable; Rebecca Scheidt, History; Ethan Schilling, Psychology; Andrew Scott, Mathematics and Computer Science; Ophir Sefiha, Criminology and Criminal Justice; Steve Sheridan, Facilities Management; Lee Smith, Facilities Management; Eric Smith, Instructional Technology and Desktop; David Southards, Office of University Police; Sarah Steiner, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Colin Townsend, Office of the Dean – Honors College; Johanna Price Vinyard, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Drew Virtue, English; Tom Watterson, School of Teaching and Learning; Dave Wells, School of Nursing; Zachary Williams, Advising; Carson Williams, Facilities Management; and Yanjun Yan, School of Engineering and Technology.
10 Years of Service
Erin Adams, School of Art and Design; Kia Asberg, Psychology; Daniel Best, Mathematics and Computer Science; Kathy Boland, Student Financial Aid; Dana Boyer, Office of the Dean – Health and Human Sciences; Bob Boylan, Political Science and Public Affairs; Tim Bradley, Facilities Management; Brian Briggs, Admissions; Steve Brown, Criminology and Criminal Justice; Aaron Brunck, Networking and Communications; Brian Byrd, School of Health Sciences; Andrew Chockla, Mathematics and Computer Science; Mark Conlin, Office of Athletic Programs; Jennifer Cooper, Center of Community Engagement and Service Learning; Trish Davis, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Teri Domagalski, Economics, Management and Project Management; Pamela Duncan, English; Lydia Elliott, School of Nursing; David Evanoff, Chemistry and Physics; Yang Fan, Economics, Management and Project Management; Ken Flynt, Office of the Dean – Business; Nancy Ford, Human Resources and Payroll; Mike Garrett, Facilities Management; Ann Green, Budget Office; and Carrie Hachadurian, Center for Career and Professional Development.
Also, Tammie Hedden, Campus Recreation and Wellness; David Henderson, Philosophy and Religion; Jamie Hilton, Facilities Management; Jennifer Hinton, School of Health Sciences; Carrie Hockman, Office of Associate Provost; Karen Kandl, Biology; Brian Kloeppel, Office of the Dean – Graduate School and Research; Alison Krauss, Sponsored Research; Mary Anna LaFratta, School of Art and Design; Robert Lahm, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism, Marketing and Sport Management; Rebecca Lasher, Social Work; Lisa Laurenzo, Human Resources and Payroll; Will Lehman, World Languages; Joel Marchesoni, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Angela Mills, Health Services; Leigh Odom, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Lori Oxford, World Languages; Dean Paulk, Intercultural Affairs; Zach Phillips, Instructional Technology and Desktop; Christina Reitz, School of Music; Michael Rymell, Campus Activities; Holli Stillman, Undergraduate Studies; Jessie Swigger, History; Travis Taylor, Facilities Management; Beth Wall-Bassett, School of Health Sciences; Ramona Whichello, School of Nursing; and Shawna Young, Marketing.
15 Years of Service
Robert Adams, School of Engineering and Technology; Barbara Anders, Parking and Transportation; Bryant Barnett, Residential Living; Brian Boyer, Residential Living; Patrick Brannon, Highlands Biological Station; Kathleen Brennan, Anthropology and Sociology; Dawn Brown, Academic Engagement and IT Governance; Beau Busby, Alumni Engagement; Karen Butcher, Chemistry and Physics; Jolene Coggins, Registrar; David Dameron, IT Applications and Systems; Jerry Denton, School of Engineering and Technology; Wanda Dills, Residential Living; Sherita Fizer, Campus Activities; Phyllis Franks, Residential Living; Shelly Fulk, Office of the Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs; Brandon Green, Facilities Management; Steve Ha, Economics, Management and Project Management; Clint Hardin, Print Shop; Deb Henry, Suite 201; and Ricky Hooper, Purchasing and Accounts Payable.
Also, Christopher Hoyt, Philosophy and Religion; Alison Joseph, Budget Office; Jeffrey Kiska, IT Applications and Systems; Candice Laney, School of Nursing; Frank Lockwood, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism, Marketing and Sport Management; Charles Marth, Chemistry and Physics; Katherine Mathews, Biology; Joel McKenzie, IT Security Office; Kadence Otto, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism, Marketing and Sport Management; Malcolm Powell, Biology; Kathleen Prindiville, Residential Living; Ronald Rash, English; Michael Schallock, School of Music; Krista Schmidt, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Lori Schrodt, Physical Therapy; Gina Smith, Facilities Management; Jack Summers, Chemistry and Physics; Jeff Tatham, IT Applications and Systems; Jennifer Thomas, International Programs and Services; Holli Thompson, Program for Study of Developed Shorelines; John Williams, Anthropology and Sociology; and Michelle Wood, Admissions.
20 Years of Service
Jane Adams-Dunford, Office of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Candace Boan-Lenzo, Psychology; Darylene Brown, Facilities Management; Cory Causby, Human Resources and Payroll; Karena Cooper-Duffy, School of Teaching and Learning; Ted Coyle, Anthropology and Sociology; Russ Curtis, Human Services; Valerie Dillard, Admissions; Betty Dishman, International Programs and Services; Kristy Doss, School of Teaching and Learning; Brian Gastle, English; Robin Hitch, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Mark Lord, Geosciences and Natural Resources; Jim Manning, Communication; Judy Maurer, Student Accounts; Stephanie Sue Rowell, Campus Activities; Terry Shular, Print Shop; Carrie Shuler, Residential Living; Debby Singleton, Human Services; and Dora Walker, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library.
25 Years of Service
Peter Bates, Geosciences and Natural Resources; Ellie Blair, School of Teaching and Learning; Robbin Brooks, Office of Associate Vice Chancellor – Fiscal Affairs; Betty Farmer, Communication; Stephanie Gibson, Physical Therapy; Randall Holcombe, Communications and Public Relations; Mark Holliday, Mathematics and Computer Science; Jeffrey Hughes, Campus Activities; Wilma Nations, Advancement Services; Trina Orr, Student Financial Aid; Terry Riouff, Facilities Management; Scotty Smith, Mail Room; Lisa Surber, Residential Living; Scott Swartzentruber, Networking and Communications; Pam Taylor, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Ben Tholkes, Human Services; and Frederick Wright, Facilities Management.
30 Years of Service
Carol Burton, Office of the Provost; Donna Cabe, Office of the Dean – Hunter Library; Bill Studenc, Communications and Public Relations; and Mary Kay Waters, School of Music.
35 Years of Service
Phil Cauley, Admissions; and Gwen Nicholson, Office of the Dean – Health and Human Sciences.
40 Years of Service
Sheila Frizzell, School of Music; and Bruce Henderson, Psychology.