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WCU Stories

Ben Grochowsky

Professor, former student reunited through national scholars’ conference

Scholarly conferences are an opportunity to network and meet old friends. Such was the case at the recent Nineteenth Century Studies Association annual conference presented virtually from Sacramento, California.  

Martin Schemdt on a construction site

From Graduate Student to Project Engineer

Martin Schmedt MCM ’18, project engineer for WCU’s Tom Apodaca Science Building, spent hours drawing plans for dream houses as a child. “After drawing so many, I began to envision building them for my friends and family,” Schmedt said.  

Dawn Brown at a conference table

Master of Project Management puts IT employee on a path of upward trajectory

A few years back, Western Carolina University’s Division of Information Technology added a project management office. Because IT employee Dawn Brown worked closely with the project office, she thought it might be beneficial to learn more about project management. She enrolled in WCU’s Master of Project Management (MPM) Program. Not only has it proven to be helpful in her IT role, but Brown said she now has a complete understanding of the entire project management process.  

Ann Crosby

Care, concern shown from WCU Nurse Anesthesia graduate

Ann Crosby, a certified registered nurse anesthetist found inspiration for her career during a difficult time and Western Carolina University helped provide the means for her goals.  

Forsyth Building

Alumni from Business Administration and Law Program elected as district judges across state

When the job description includes the words “your honor,” you know the role is one of importance. That certainly is the case for three alumni elected to state district court seats in the recent 2020 election.   

Salem Parris

CEAP alumna rises to pandemic challenge as first-year teacher, wins county award

Salem Parris, a 2019 alumna of the College of Education and Allied Professions, was selected as Haywood County’s 2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year.  

Portrait of rivercane

Master's Degree in Biology Cultivates a Career

Rivercane was once plentiful in Western North Carolina. The tall, slender plant, a member of the bamboo family, still grows in thick stands along some riverbanks, but not in an abundance as in years past. Increased development and intentional removal throughout the region have reduced its presence on the local landscape, in some instances quite dramatically.   

WCU Campus

Alumnae Give Back by Serving on Accounting Board

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.   

A photo of the overpass on I-40

Alumna Helping Local Wildlife

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.  

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