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Student studying

Summer Undergraduate Research Program’s digital switch proving successful

SURP Goes Digital - The Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Western Carolina University is taking a different approach this year, a recalibration for the times.  

Explore the Research  

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.  

A black background with white text that says

The Historical Significance and Contemporary Relevance of Juneteenth

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.  

Fire Ant

Fire Ant Problems Increase in Mountains, Including Higher Elevations of the Region

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.  

Annie Vasquez

Annie Vasquez: The Value of People

Annie Vasquez, a graduating senior studying Spanish, was drawn to Western Carolina University by its close-knit community and the importance the university places on every student. She knew that becoming a Catamount would mean that she would be more than just a number in a system, rather she would be valued as a person.  

Lydia See

MFA Student Emerges as a Change-Maker in North Carolina

Lydia See is an artist in her own right, but she’s using her new platform as a recognized and emerging “change-maker” in North Carolina to showcase the works of others whose voices are rarely if ever, heard.  

Discover Her Story  

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.  

Students in a biology lab

Biology Professor Mack Powell Discusses Finding a COVID-19 Vaccine

As a professor in Western Carolina University’s Department of Biology who specializes in immunology and infectious diseases, Mack Powell finds the COVID-19 pandemic particularly interesting. The virus has rapidly spread across the world, shutting down many countries along the way, while killing thousands in the process.  

Constance Owl

Saving A Dying Language

Graduate History student working to translate Cherokee language from native newspapers. Constance Owl’s master’s degree thesis is more than a means to a graduate degree in American history. It’s a portal to understanding and perhaps saving, a disappearing language.  

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