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.
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.
Adam Thomas is an assistant professor of history at Western Carolina University whose research examines questions of slavery, anti-slavery warfare, emancipation, race, gender, memory, childhood and kinship in colonial North America and the early U.S. We asked Dr. Thomas to provide some insight into the historical significance of Juneteenth and what the event means during these times of civil unrest and protest.
Becoming a teacher through Western Carolina University just got a little easier for people wanting to switch careers and enter high-demand fields of education. The College of Education and Allied Professions is offering new comprehensive education master of arts in teaching concentrations for people who already have bachelor’s degrees and want to become a teacher.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a public health crisis of historic portions, with the phrase “frontline workers” becoming a large part of the daily lexicon. And the Environmental Health Program at Western Carolina University has contributed its fair share of professionals to those ranks at the local, state and national levels.
With the hiring of a director to create an African American Studies minor program, Western Carolina University has come one step closer to fulfilling its promise to add the offering to its curriculum. David Walton, an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, has been named the director of WCU’s African American Studies minor. Walton will begin his new role, which includes being an assistant professor in the Department of History, Aug. 1.
When Elizabeth Watson decided she wanted a master’s degree in education to better serve her gifted students, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration. “My sister attended Western Carolina University and graduated with a degree in special education. To this day, she is the best special education teacher I've ever seen,” said Watson, who graduated in May with a master’s degree in special education with a focus on gifted education. “I chose to attend WCU for the simple fact that I thought, ‘Well, they must be doing something right at this university.’”
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.
A few years ago, Joseph Love, now a construction coordinator for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, looked at Western Carolina University and its master's degree program in construction management as the curriculum he wanted and the career-building block he needed.