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AB Tech Business Center Presents 2011 Student Expo Today at 12:30

Friday, May 6th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech’s Business Computer Technologies Department will present its 2011 Student Expo from 12:30 to 2 p.m. May 6 in Balsam 110 on the Asheville campus.

Graduating students will present their system projects in Web Technologies, Digital Media and Information Systems. Refreshments will be available. For more information, contact Jacqueline Larsen at [email protected] or phone 254-1921, ext. 847 or contact Jean Finley at [email protected], ext. 252.

Writers at Home Continues with Readings by Master of Liberal Arts Students

Monday, February 7th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Members of UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts program will present their creative writing works in the next installment of UNC Asheville’s Writers at Home series. Authors include Nathan Cook, Jordan Dolfi and Carolyn Ogburn. The reading begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. It is free and open to the public.

Ogburn is a recipient of an Asheville Area Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant and multiple fellowships to the Virginia Center of Creative Arts. She recently received her Master of Liberal Arts degree with concentrations in disability studies and creative writing. Cook recently received his Master of Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in political science; he holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Cook currently lives in Asheville. Dolfi is a current student of the Master of Liberal Arts program. Her work focuses on the creative expression of the human condition in memoir, stories of the self and lyric essay.

The Writers at Home Series is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. For more information, call the program at 828.250.2353.

Washington Center Honors Western Carolina University

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Western Carolina University is among six universities from across the nation to be recognized by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars for exceptional commitment to civic engagement and service learning.

The Washington Center has named Western Carolina a recipient of a 2010 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award, to be presented at the annual academic award luncheon Monday, Oct. 4, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The six honorees were chosen from among 120 nominees.

“Western Carolina University is a true role model for civic engagement in the academic community,” said Mike Smith, president of the Washington Center. “The university is teaching students a quality that can’t be learned in the classroom alone – the importance of getting involved, giving back and making a difference.”

The national honor is based in part on WCU’s recent emphasis on incorporating civic engagement into the undergraduate experience through its Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP requires students to develop an “education briefcase” – an electronic repository in which they will document their learning.

The award also recognizes the university’s Center for Service Learning, which develops campus-community partnerships, monitors engagement initiatives and assesses project outcomes. The Center for Service Learning hosts an annual symposium that welcomes participants from across the country. Civic engagement efforts by WCU students, faculty and staff have included planting a garden to help reduce regional food insecurity, assisting the municipality of Dillsboro with economic recovery, and participating in post-hurricane revitalization efforts in nearby Canton.

“The Washington Center’s Award for Higher Education Civic Engagement strengthens our national presence in civic and community engagement practice,” said Carol Burton, WCU’s assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate studies. “This national recognition for our increasing emphasis on civic engagement is a validation of the efforts of faculty, staff and students at WCU.”

Burton praised the efforts of the Center for Service Learning, director Glenn Bowen and assistant director Jennifer Cooper for their role in advancing an institutional mission of community and civic engagement.

“All members of the university community, our alumni, board of trustees and our community partners share this honor because all have contributed to our efforts in being selected to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with five other exemplary institutions,” she said.

This marks the second consecutive honor for Western Carolina from the Washington Center, which last year awarded honorable mention to WCU for its civic engagement activities.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, the Washington Center has close to 40,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.

For more information about service learning at WCU, contact Glenn Bowen, director of service learning, at 828-227-7184 or [email protected].

AB Tech Students Honored at Foundation Scholarship Luncheon

Friday, March 12th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Earning a college degree was a dream that didn’t seem likely for Yelena Litvinchuk. A native of the Ukraine who grew up in Russia, she struggled to simply find food.

“In order to get a good education in Russia, you need to have a lot of money, which my family never had. In the United States, you can be a hardworking, honest employee and make a good living. In Russia, you can scarcely make a living if you work honestly and pay all taxes,” said Yelena, an A-B Tech Associate in Science degree student.

Yelena spoke about her childhood in Russia under Communist Party rule at the A-B Tech Foundation Scholarship luncheon March 11. She is a recipient of the Adelaide Key Scholarship.

Yelena said her parents were not allowed to continue their education after high school because they did not belong to the Communist Party. “I remember those days, when we prayed for food and would find several rubles on the street, which helped us to buy bread,” she said.

Even though law changed and Yelena was allowed to attend college, money was still an obstacle. “As far as education is concerned, neither financial aid nor a loan system is available,” she said. Believing she would never go to college, Yelena found everything changed when she had the opportunity to move to the United States.

As soon as she arrived, she started work in a factory and found A-B Tech. Having an interest in the medical field, she enrolled in the Surgical Technology program in 2003. “I will confess it was very challenging for me with my poor English to get through the program. Almost every night, I read my books with a dictionary till early morning. Sometimes, I just sat and cried with a book in my hands,” she said.

Yelena’s perseverance paid off. She graduated with her diploma in August 2004, and landed a job in her field at a local hospital. “I enjoyed working in the operating room and helping other people, but I wanted to expand my limited medical knowledge,” she said.

Yelena decided to come back to A-B Tech to complete an associate’s degree, then transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree and prepare herself for pharmacy school.

“You help us to find our career path and a place in this big world. I hope that one day we will be able to help someone else in our turn,” she said as she thanked Adelaide Key, a community volunteer, philanthropist and former member of the A-B Tech Foundation Board of Directors, for her scholarship.

Foundation Board Chair Nancy Miller announced the following new endowments and scholarships at A-B Tech: an anonymous gift of $30,000 to endow Dental scholarships; the Bill and Alice Hart Endowment Scholarship; the Jennifer and Jason Hill Annual Scholarship; the Mike and Martha Cochran Memorial Scholarship and the Yesterday’s Tree Endowment.

Asheville Airport Unveils Latest ‘Art in the Airport Exhibit’

Monday, January 11th, 2010

FLETCHER, NC – Passengers traveling through Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) Friday were among the first to see the newest Art in the Airport exhibit, which opened Friday afternoon. The show, which runs through February 23, 2010, showcases the outstanding artwork of 12 local artists.

On display in this exhibit are more than 40 original pieces of artwork, including carved ostrich eggs, black and white photography, foil on paper, fused glass in steel, turned wood, and more.

“Western North Carolina is home to an abundance of talented artists,” says Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Airport Director. “We are proud to display their work in our gallery and bag claim areas, and feel it’s a great representation of the region, especially for passengers arriving in Asheville for the very first time.”

The Art in the Airport gallery is located on the pre-security side of the airport terminal and is open to the public during the airport’s hours of operation. Artwork can also be found in the baggage carousel cases near Guest Services.

In addition to the professional exhibits, passengers can also enjoy the recently updated Children’s Art display, located adjacent to the art gallery and presented in partnership with The Health Adventure. The new selection of artwork was created by the students of Odyssey Community School and continues the theme, Things That Fly.