Gerald “Gerry” Austin MAEd ’69, a former NFL referee, in February was named the 2012 Annual Honoree by the National Football League Referees Association. The award is in recognition of an official’s outstanding career both on the field and in support of the NFLRA. Austin, of Summerfield, joined the NFL officiating staff in 1982 as a side judge and moved to the referee position in 1990, where he remained until his retirement at the conclusion of the 2007 season.


Betty Allen was honored for her work as immediate past president of the WCU Alumni Association at the Feb. 4 men’s basketball game against Georgia Southern in Cullowhee. Allen is founder and charter member of the Gaston/Lincoln County Alumni Club and recipient of the 2000 WCU Distinguished Service Award. She served on the search committee that resulted in the hiring of Chancellor David O. Belcher.


WCU interim provost Beth Tyson Lofquist MAEd ’79 EdS ’88 was recently bestowed the 2012 Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award for Administrative Staff at Western Carolina University.

Marion Trumbo MAEd was the 2012 John Marshall Foundation Teacher of the Year Award for excellence in teaching the U.S. Constitution to high school students in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Trumbo teaches at Bath County High School in Hot Springs, Va.


David M. McCord MA, head of the WCU Department of Psychology, has been named one of five members of the University of Minnesota Press Test Division Advisory Board.

Kevin Vasquez rang the NASDAQ closing bell in December along with “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan. Vasquez, who in 2007 received the university’s Professional Achievement Award, is president and CEO of the publically traded Butler Schein Animal Health. At the NASDAQ event he represented the no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization North Shore Animal League.


Edward M. Levy, vice president and global head of security for Thomson Reuters, a business data provider, was featured on the cover of the trade magazine Security.


Phil Cauley MS ’90, director of student recruitment and transitions at WCU, has collaborated on a children’s book with Darrell Frizsell, a former member of the design staff in the university’s Office of Public Relations.

Robert Dye, assistant professor of wilderness leadership and experiential education at Brevard College, has been named the 2012-13 recipient of the United Methodist Church Award for Exemplary Teaching.


Andy DeGrove MIT , mechanical designer and project manager with WCU’s facilities planning, design and construction team, was honored with WCU’s Star Staff Award.

Michael Delvecchio has been appointed assistant special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Atlanta Field Division.


Jerry Michel is the co-author of “Can You Hear Me Now? Applying Brain Research and Technology to Engage Today’s Students,” published by Shell Education and available through online outlets. The book introduces educators to trends in neuroscience research and the influence of technology on student learning and performance.


Kent Reed won the 2011 Million Dollar Club and the New Member of the Year award from the Georgia Association of Business Brokers.


Susan Garren MAEd is a school counselor at Fletcher Elementary School in Henderson County. Before arriving at Fletcher Elementary 12 years ago, Garren was counselor at Brevard Middle School and East Henderson High School.


April Tallant MHS ’01, assistant professor in the nutrition and dietetics program at WCU, won the 2012 WCU Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.

Susan Woodring authored a novel, “Goliath,” published by St. Martin’s Press in April. The story, set in a declining North Carolina furniture manufacturing town, begins with the suicide of a wealthy businessman and focuses on the life and longing of his faithful secretary.


Ryan Hampton is an insurance adviser with Craft Insurance Center in Greensboro. Hampton previously served as an agent with North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company for 10 years.


Lucile Teague recently joined the staff at Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, Texas, as a product development engineer. Previously, Teague was a physical chemist at Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina. She earned her doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003 and spent a year as a postdoctoral research associate in nanoscience at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. Teague is the recipient of a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at NIST and the 2011 SRNL Laboratory Director’s Early Career Award. She has more than 25 scientific journal publications and has given numerous research presentations nationally and abroad, including at the Royal Society in London.


Bruce E. Stewart MA has authored “Blood in the Hills: A History of Violence in Appalachia,” published by the University of Kentucky Press. The book provides historical analysis of hostility in the region from the late 18th to the early 20th century through exploration of Appalachian violence culture, skirmishes with the native population, conflicts resulting from the region’s rapid modernization and violence as a function of social control.


Mike Kilpatrick is an organizer of a Morehead City fishing tournament that raised approximately $140,000 for pediatric cancer research for the N.C. Children’s Hospital. Kilpatrick helped launch the event, now in its fourth year.


Tim Nicholson was appointed by Gov. Beverly Perdue to serve on the Western North Carolina Public Lands Council.

Stelfanie Williams MPM is president of Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson. Williams previously was vice president for economic and community development at Central Carolina Community College.

Rachel Wilson MAC ’07 was selected as a Methane Hydrate Research Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. Wilson, a post-doctoral researcher at Florida State University, will be studying controls on hydrate stability.


Chad Kindy and his wife, Heather, opened Mainstreet Bakery and Cafe in Sylva.


Sarah Reneer Hutchings was elected president of the Graduate Student Governance Association for the 2012-13 school year.

Shelley McGrail MS is director of talent management for industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. McGrail joined Eaton in 1993 and most recently served as director of organizational effectiveness.


Jeremy Michael Burris received his master’s degree from East Carolina University in 2011. In May 2011, Burris’ article “Pop Music Iconography” appeared in Magazine Americana. He is a developmental reading/English instructor at Isothermal Community College and is working toward having a Cherokee literature course added to the N.C. Community College System Combined Course Library.


Sarah Nuñez MPA is executive director of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, which works to cultivate respect and eliminate discrimination.

Navy Seaman Timale J. Petty recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

Michael Wilson II MCM finished his second year of law school at Elon School of Law. His mother, Sandra Wilson ’89, is a public health nurse in Catawba County.


Meghan Kearns MEd works for the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy of Washington, D.C., which promotes energy efficiency worldwide through research, education and advocacy. Working out of the organization’s Oakland, Calif., office, Kearns supervises student interns who implement energy efficiency projects on the campuses of four state universities in Southern California.

Sisters Constance and Patience Owl wrote a play titled “Cornbread and Cornbeads” and attended a performance of the play in November at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles as part of the final round of competition for the 2011 Award for Excellence in Playwriting.