Kevin Stiens , business administrator with the Greenville (S.C.) Parks and Recreation Department, was named among the “Best & Brightest 35 and Under” for 2011 by Greenville Business Magazine for his professional and community contributions. Stiens supervises and coordinates park projects across Greenville, is responsible for the city’s parks operations, and is the liaison between his department and outside organizations.


Bart Davis was promoted to the Duke Energy renewable energy team as a renewable energy dispatch operator in Charlotte. Previously Davis was part of Duke’s retail customer products and services team.

Ken Richardson was promoted to captain of the Huntersville Police Department. Richardson joined the Huntersville police in 1998 and in 2009 was named supervisor of the year.


Jeffrey Goss is an attorney practicing civil and criminal litigation with Ridenour Murphy & Goss PA in Sylva. In December, Goss acted as judge during a mock trial put on by students of business law professor Jayne Zanglein and held in the Jackson County Justice Center. Goss is a graduate of the Charlotte School of Law and lives in Sylva with his wife, Rosa, and their son, Gideon. Pictured are Goss at right and, from left, business administration and law students Robert Tyson and T.J. Eaves.


Barry Graham was promoted to captain on the Huntersville Police Department. Graham joined the Huntersville police in 1997.


Sarah Reneer Hutchings recently won a Boston Metro Opera international composers competition with a piece titled “Remember Me.” Hutchings earned her master’s degree in music at Florida State University and now is pursuing her doctorate in music composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She is married to Michell Hutchings and lives in Cincinnati.

Matthew McDonough MA received his doctoral degree in history from Kansas State University in December.


Jake Carstensen MS is the first-ever director of athletic marketing and promotions at Minot State University in Minot, N.D. For two years, Carstensen was an assistant men’s basketball coach at Minot State, which is transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division II status. He spent a season as an athletics department assistant/men’s basketball graduate assistant while at WCU.

Margaret Fisher has published “Blood Dawn,” an urban-fantasy vampire novel and the first in a projected four-part series.

Evelyn Squires Wilson MHS is an assistant professor in the WCU emergency medical care program. She married Jeff Wilson in September 2011.


Doug Bryson, emergency management coordinator for the Spartanburg County (S.C.) Office of Emergency Management, is president of the Carolina Emergency Management Association. He also is a member of the Leadership South Carolina class of 2012.

J.B. Long is director of safety and preparedness at Piedmont Community College in north-central North Carolina and an instructor in the college’s criminal justice technology program. He is pursuing graduate work in homeland security through American Public University.


Navy Seaman Ashely C. Ross recently completed Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., with honors.

Jimmy Thigpen is a procurement analyst with Benefitfocus, a South Carolina company that provides benefits technology. Previously, Thigpen was with KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp.

Carl Brad Torrence MS, a graduate of the School of Nursing’s family nurse practitioner program, co-authored an article with WCU nursing faculty members Dr. Claire DeCristofaro and Lydia Elliott that appeared in August in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The article, “Empowering the Primary Care Provider to Optimally Manage Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” was based on work Torrence did for a graduate school research project.


Paige Roberson MPA is director of the Downtown Sylva Association.