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WCU Stories

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Restoring the Roan

How Red Spruce Responds to Forest Canopy Openings at Roan Mountain, NC. Thomas Hennessey, a current Master of Science in Biology student, was awarded first place in the 2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition for his presentation.   

screenshot of the video presentation

Social and Emotional Learning Built into Morning Meetings

Amy Childers, a current student in the Specialist in School Psychology program research "Social and Emotional Learning Built into an Elementary School Morning Meeting,” modified social and emotional learning lessons to fit in the morning meeting time in order to provide more consistent instruction in these areas. The goal is that this regular time of social and emotional learning instruction will lead to higher academic achievement, fewer behavioral issues, and an increase in classroom community and cohesion.   

screenshot of the video presentation

Optimizing Interprofessional Education in Health Care

Morgan Pillsbury, a current Doctor of Physical Therapy student, showcases research on "Optimizing Interprofessional Education in Health Care Professions” which highlights the importance of an educational session’s impact on interprofessional learning between Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant students in Western NC.  

Kenyata

First-Generation Student, Kenyatta Fortune Prospers in Graduate School

In December, Kenyatta Fortune will become a three-time graduate of Western Carolina University. Doing so didn’t come without facing significant challenges. “The dynamics are different,” Fortune said. “While the professors provide guidance, encouragement and support, the student is given full autonomy in setting personal timelines, meeting agendas and maintaining contact with milestone updates on their thesis research.”  

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Students in a classroom

Pandemic Drives Demand for Professional and Graduate Programs

As Asheville’s population and economy look to recover from months of slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regional professionals are increasingly seeking ways to develop their skills, increase their credentials and stand out among the competition for new opportunities and career advancement. Increased demand resulted in a record enrollment this fall for Western Carolina University’s Asheville-based programs, with a 10 percent growth in students served compared to fall 2019.   

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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.   

Students in a socially distant classroom

Teaching: COVID-19 Style

There was a time when faculty members spent most of their days preparing their lectures, presenting them to their students and being available during office hours for extra instruction. Some also had the additional task of preparing for laboratory work or work outside of campus, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Then came the coronavirus, COVID-19, and a new way of teaching was born.  

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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