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WCU Stories

Irene Hamrick

Medical director fights COVID-19 with legacy of tenacity

As news broke that a deadly international virus was churning its way across the United States and killing the country’s most vulnerable population, Dr. Irene Hamrick wasted no time in battening down the hatches to protect her patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home in Ohio.   

Spencer Childers in cap and gown

Undeniable

When Spencer Childers decided to attend Western Carolina University four years ago, he couldn’t possibly anticipate the roller coaster ride he would take.  

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.  

Sara Mears

Sara Mears

Those “I Voted” stickers Sara Mears’ parents wore after casting their ballots each election during her childhood really stuck with her, and now she hopes to persuade others that voting is the best way to show one’s citizenship.  

See Her Story  

Caryn Ramming

Coronavirus Sends Family Members to Separate Corners for Online Learning, Teaching

From classroom to computer to neighborhood rounds, Caryn Raming has learned to go with the flow since COVID-19 upended the world of education for students and teachers alike – and where online learning is the new norm.  

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Summer McMurry

Working Professional Summer McMurry Achieves a Milestone

Summer McMurry claims a singular distinction in Western Carolina University history ― she’s the first person to earn a doctoral degree in speech communication and disorders through a collaborative program with the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  

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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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