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WCU Stories

Jordan Strickland

Jordan Strickland: Balancing Act

A calming influence on her teammates, Student-Athlete Jordan Strickland successfully balanced coursework, competition and her health.  

Carlos Dotson

Carlos Dotson: Unlimited Potential

When Carlos Dotson found out that he had a chance to play Division 1 basketball, his entire life changed After being cut from his high school basketball team, Carlos focused in on his game and his studies so that he could have a chance to better his life by receiving a college degree.  

Emily Zipay playing soccer

Student-Athlete Emily Zipay Reaches the Culmination of Her Athletic Career with Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship

For Western Carolina women's soccer senior Emily Zipay, being awarded the Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship by the SoCon's Graduate Scholar Committee is the culmination of her career as a student-athlete. The scholarships given by the SoCon, each worth $2,000, are awarded to student-athletes about to receive their undergraduate degrees who intend to pursue advanced degrees in graduate or professional school. The student-athletes are evaluated on three criteria: academics, athletics, and community service.  

Jason McMillan

Jason McMillan: Student-Athlete Overcomes Adversity

With each Western Carolina University commencement, the Cherokee Center honors the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and those with close ties to the Qualla Boundary who earn a degree, with an occasion in the spirit of community and individual achievement.  

Justice Bigbie

Life Without Baseball

Southern Conference Preseason Player of the Year Justice Bigbie is coping with having the Catamounts' season canceled because of COVID-19. Justice Bigbie was starting to feel good about his swing after a seventh-inning solo home run pulled the Western Carolina University baseball team to within 5-4 of Bryant University, before the Catamounts eventually fell, 11-5.  

Basketball goes into hoop

Nothing is Impossible

Fifteen student-athletes, one head coach, three assistant coaches, one director of operations, one video coordinator, one strength and conditioning coach, one athletic trainer and eight student managers, is what creates Western Carolina University’s men’s basketball team. Nothing is impossible when this team comes together to battle against other NCAA teams.  

Graduate Emma Hand

Graduate Profile: Emma Hand

If there was one thing that Emma Hand was certain of coming out of high school, it was that she wanted no part of running cross country or track and field in college. After suffering through shin splints, and the stress and anxiety that come with running, Hand simply wanted to go to college and focus on her studies in emergency medical care. That was until former Western Carolina University cross country/track and field coach Danny Williamson convinced to her join his team in Cullowhee.  

Keion Crossen

A Coaches' Determination Helps Define a Student's Story

“My decision to come to Western Carolina was solely based on him [Coach Mark Speir],” Crossen said. “He was a great guy when he came to talk to me in Garysburg. He drove down there in the snow. That speaks volumes. I really appreciate what he’s done for me and the chance he gave me to play at the Division I level at Western. Now, I guess I’m helping the program a little with recruiting."  

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