As a child, Max Domalavage had his heart set on becoming a firefighter and a paramedic when he grew up. But it wasn’t the sirens or the uniforms or the big rigs and ambulances racing through the streets that drew Domalavage in. He simply wanted to help people.
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.
“I liked science and math, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” said Laura Rabb, who graduated from WCU with a degree in biology with an emphasis in environmental health in 1989. “So, I went to talk to the environmental health program professor and he said, ‘take a class and if you don’t like it, it’s an elective.’”
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.
It’s no surprise that Donna Winbon drives a bright blue BMW Z4 roadster. They’re both sporty and fun, and in BMW’s words: an irresistible force that provides maximum excitement. (Sounds like Winbon, doesn’t it?)
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.
Western Carolina University’s Scott and Walker residence halls are scheduled for demolition soon to make room for new living spaces, but a watercolor version of the beloved dorms can hang on your wall forever, all while benefiting a good cause.
Annalee Blanks, a May 2020 graduate of Western Carolina University, has been selected as one of three University of North Carolina System presidential scholars. Blanks, who graduated from WCU in three years with a bachelor of science degrees in history and political science, and a certificate in public history, will begin her one-year appointment in July.
Outgoing WCU Alumni Association president gives his thoughts as he ends his time as the 2019-2020 Alumni Association President