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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.  

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Staff Senate expands campus support, community involvement

Staff Senate increased its expectations for community service this year, setting a goal of 450 volunteer hours and a 100 percent participation rate by senators.   

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Environmental health professionals provide additional, much-needed pandemic care

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.  

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Distinguished professorships in education, computer info, musical theatre filled by WCU trustees

The WCU Board of Trustees approved the appointment of four new distinguished professors to teach, conduct research and provide community outreach.  

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College of Engineering and Technology dean joins STEM organizational board

Jeff Ray, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, has been named to the board of directors for FIRST NC, a statewide nonprofit group that works to inspire the next generation of engineers, computer scientists and educators.   

David Walton, photo courtesy of UNC Pembrook

A Promise Fulfilled: David Walton was hired as director of WCU’s African American Studies minor

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.  

Learn More About the Program  

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BaShaun Smith officially becomes dean of students

After serving as Western Carolina University’s interim associate vice chancellor and dean of students since June 2019, BaShaun H.L. Smith had the interim tag removed May 1, allowing him to take on a position he said he has spent his entire career preparing for.  

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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.  

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Communication professor Don Connelly wins fifth Broadcast Education Association award

Don Connelly, professor of communication at Western Carolina University, recently became a five-time winner of the Charles and Lucile King Family Foundation “Best of Festival” award, presented by the Broadcast Education Association.  

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