Noteslead 2-15

Tom Smith ’76 (left) retired as head baseball coach at the University of North Carolina at Asheville after the last game of the season May 17. The opposing team, High Point University, won the game 9-2, but Smith and wife Karen Perkins Smith ’77 (center) still had reason to celebrate. High Point’s assistant coach is their son Kenny Smith ’11 (right), former Catamount All-American and Southern Conference Player of the Year. In Tom Smith’s long career as a coach, including 30 years at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville and seven years at UNC Asheville, he had nearly 700 wins.


Lee Clyde Phoenix celebrated his 96th birthday Sept. 26 at home in River Landing, near Greensboro. Phoenix, who has an excellent memory for details of the WCU campus before World War II, founded the WCU chapter of Future Teachers of America. He had a long and distinguished career as a teacher, principal and school superintendent in North Carolina. Margaret Agee, his daughter, is the director of corporate sponsorships for the Catamount athletics program.


The late Lane “Doc” Arrington MAEd ’67, who passed away in 2006, has been named to Glen Alpine’s Sports Hall of Fame. Arrington was a reserve halfback on the football team while at WCU. After graduating, he joined the faculty of Glen Alpine High School and for 20 years served the school in multiple roles – science teacher, junior varsity football coach, varsity assistant, assistant baseball coach, head football coach and principal. He returned to his native Haywood County in 1969 and served as a school administrator until he retired in 1983.


Philip Bowser MA is serving as the coordinator for a photography discussion group known as “Coffee and Critique” at the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon. Bowser, a member of the board of directors of the Portland Photographer’s Forum, shot photos for the psychology department when he was a student at WCU. His fine art prints are shown in galleries and art festivals in the Portland area.


Sherrill Barber, one of Western North Carolina’s best-known television personalities, retired Sept. 30. Barber served WLOS-TV in Asheville as a reporter for 37 years. During his career, he traveled with the Rev. Billy Graham to crusades in Russia, Hong Kong, California, Florida, Texas and South Carolina and covered major stories for the mountain region, ranging from devastating floods to politics.


Iris West Nichols of Waxhaw is serving as president of the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers. Nichols has 20 years of experience in managing primary care, specialty and multisite rheumatology practices.


Sam Fowlkes (right), who teaches paddle sports and rescue at WCU, accepted a prestigious award on behalf of the American Canoe Association for a conference he helped coordinate. Fowlkes, chair of the ACA’s safety and rescue committee, co-chaired the association’s Swiftwater Rescue Conference in 2013. In June, the conference received the international Higgins and Langley Award.

WCU Athletics Hall of Fame member Judith Stroud MAEd ’81 continues to serve in two major athletics roles — women’s regional adviser of officials for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the coordinator of women’s basketball officials for the South Atlantic Conference. Stroud has officiated in games all over the country for the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NCAA. She has served as an agent for State Farm Insurance in Hendersonville for 29 years.


Pollye Pruitt has retired from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction after a long career in public education. Pruitt taught special education for 20 years, mostly in Carteret County, where she twice was named Teacher of the Year. She also served as preschool coordinator, compliance specialist, assistant director and director of Carteret’s exceptional children’s program. She was named the most outstanding exceptional children’s director for Region 2 (Southeast) in 2006 and moved to Raleigh that year to work with DPI’s exceptional children division.


Patrick M. Murphy has been appointed by the city council of Alexandria, Virginia, to a four-year term on the historical restoration and preservation commission. Murphy owns and operates a landscape design company in Old Town, Alexandria.

Marion “Bo” Trumbo MAEd has been inducted into the athletics hall of fame of Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia. Trumbo, who has been a teacher and coach in several Virginia school systems, earned his bachelor’s degree at Bridgewater. He was a standout pitcher for the college’s baseball program and several of his records remain unsurpassed after four decades. His career 1.62 earned run average is still the best in program history.

Cam Walters and his career as a telecommunications entrepreneur were featured in an article published in Greenville Online on Sept. 1. Walters is the founder and president of ACI Telecom of Greenville, South Carolina, a company he started in 1993.


Clark Joel “Chip” Carringer MAEd ’81 has retired after a career of 34 years serving Graham County Schools, including five years as superintendent. Carringer is married to Yvette Brown Carringer ’82.


Wildcat Cliffs County Club of Highlands recently honored its longtime general manager George A. Shook Jr. Shook began his career at the club 30 years ago when he accepted a job as comptroller two weeks after graduating from WCU. He has been the club’s general manager since 1984 and manages a staff of 70 employees.


Kim Hoyle is the new assistant principal at Mount Pleasant Middle School in Cabarrus County.


Apex leaders selected Joanna Helms to be the first economic development director for the Wake County town. Helms comes to Apex from Goldsboro, where she served as president of the Wayne County Development Alliance of Goldsboro. In 2008, the North Carolina Economic Developers Association named Helms as the state’s Economic Developer of the Year.


Mark Martin turned back a challenge in the November elections for his chief justice seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, defeating Ola M. Lewis, a senior resident Superior Court judge in Brunswick County. Martin, of Apex, was appointed to the seat in late summer after serving as an associate justice for 18 years.

Lori “Kiki” Williams, a teacher at West Charlotte High School for the past 16 years, was featured in the September issue of Charlotte Magazine. Williams, who teaches interior design and apparel development at the school, is part of a team of teachers, counselors and social workers who visit homes of absent students to encourage them to take end-of-the-year tests.


Kenny Messer has been named president of Sartomer Americas, a global supplier of specialty chemicals headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania. Messer will oversee operations in North and South America. Prior to his new position, he was vice president of specialty chemical and packaging for Milliken Chemical in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Messer serves as a member of the WCU Board of Trustees.


Mickey Duvall MPA ’91 is the new executive director for the High Country Council of Governments. The council is the multicounty planning and development agency for the seven northwestern counties of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey.


Pam Moore Carpenter and husband Charles, who also attended WCU for two years, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August. Residents of Cherryville, they have a daughter in graduate school at Appalachian State University and a son who is a sophomore at WCU.

Teresa McKenzie is the new student accessibility services coordinator at Ohio University’s southern campus in Ironton, Ohio, where she assists students with disabilities.

Mitchell E. Medford is the new CEO of Bloodshed Motors, a company that retrofits electric power trains in American classic cars, including the Ford Mustang. Medford formerly was the CEO of RF Code of Austin, Texas. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hubbell Medford ’89, live in Austin.


Elizabeth Hubbell Medford is serving as the head of asset management in the U.S. central west region for Siemens Corporation in Austin, Texas. Medford leads a team of real estate professionals and oversees approximately 223 properties. She has held multiple roles with Siemens in North Carolina, Florida and Texas in her career of more than 24 years with the company. Her husband is Mitchell E. Medford ’88.


Sandra Renae Haskett Caldwell (center)and members of her family have been attending WCU during major anniversary celebrations for three generations. Caldwell was a WCU student during the 100th anniversary observance. Her father, Roy Haskett ’68, (left) was enrolled during the 75th and her daughter Kara Caldwell (right), a freshman, has been on campus for the 125th.


Eric Powell, past president of the WCU Alumni Association, is serving as a visiting professor at the United States Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. While serving at the military college, Powell also will be the assistant editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Homeland Defense and Civil Support. He has headed the paramedic and fire safety academic programs at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee, since 2009.


Nolan Davis is serving as interim vice president for student affairs at Indiana State University. Davis joined the staff at Indiana State in 2008. He previously was assistant to the vice president for student affairs at Northern Illinois University.

Stephanie Goodell is serving as a member of the 2014 Pipeline Fellowship in Boston, Massachusetts. Fellows are “angel investors in training” who work to increase diversity in the investing community. Goodell supports women business owners through her marketing company Samaya Consulting.


Brandi Henson has been named Jackson County’s tax collector. Henson, who previously served as town clerk and tax collector for the town of Sylva, began her new duties with the county in October.

Lee Tillery has been named director of parks and recreation for the city of High Point. Tilley served as assistant director for the past year. In his new position, he succeeds Allen Oliver ’78, who retired.


Kelly Donaldson was named assistant director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in June. Donaldson previously served as editor of the Crossroads Chronicle in Cashiers and was a sports editor in Gainesville, Georgia. In his new position, he works with the chamber’s executive director Julie Hooper Spiro ’98.

The new superintendent of Edenton-Chowan Schools is Rob Jackson MSA ’00, former chief communications officer for Union County Schools. Often recognized for his leadership and achievements, Jackson was the Wells Fargo North Carolina State Principal of the Year in 2011.

Christy Phillips-Brown of Charlotte was elected national vice president of Delta Zeta at the sorority’s national convention held in Tucson, Arizona, in July. Phillips-Brown is director of external communications and community relations for Food Lion.


Emilie Gambade is the new editor of ELLE Magazine South Africa. Gambade previously was the managing editor of Marie Claire magazine and fashion editor for the Daily Maverick. She is a regular contributor to the Mail and Guardian newspaper, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wingate University honored Barry Glass and his career in law enforcement during its Patriots’ Day celebration held in September. Glass is a Wingate native and served as the town’s chief of police for 10 years. He recently joined his family’s business, Unicon Inc., a poultry industry and transport company based in Wingate.

Brian Hoek is president and founder of Pinstripes Media, an advertising and marketing agency now in its 10th year. In September, Hoek was a speaker for the East Coast Marketing and Business Development Conference sponsored by the Virginia Credit Union League.

Fred Weinman MBA, former WCU women’s tennis coach, has been promoted to senior vice president of Northern Trust Company, a $6 trillion asset and custody management institution in Naples, Florida.


Kim Dechant MSA ’08 is the Principal of the Year for Asheville City Schools. Dechant is in her fourth year as principal at Claxton Elementary School.


Melvin Burnette has received his license from the North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects. Burnette has been employed at Sears Design Group, a landscape architectural firm located in Raleigh, since 2006. He earned an associate degree at Wake Technical College in 2007.

Joan Siler has returned to the mountains of North Georgia from Nebraska to become the director of health information management at Fannin Regional Hospital in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Siler has been living in Nebraska for the past six years, serving as a senior manager for Banner Health. She began her career in health information management 15 years ago at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


Trustmark of Jackson, Mississippi, has appointed Roger David Harwell, former assistant information security manager, as vice president of the firm. Harwell has more than 25 years of experience in financial and information securities industries.

Paula Wood Tate attended a three-week summer seminar about the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers’ Program held in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Tate teaches in the middle college at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro.


Ashley Clayton Peeler of High Point is a development director for the Raleigh chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Peeler manages events and fundraising for the foundation in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.

For the second year in a row, Gordon Smith MS was voted the top mental health therapist in the Best of Western North Carolina competition sponsored by Mountain Xpress newspaper of Asheville. Smith has 13 years of experience as a therapist and has a practice located in west Asheville.


Attorney Donna Cline is serving with EG Justice in Washington, D.C., as an advocate for human rights and the rule of law in Equatorial Guinea. Cline holds a law degree from the Charleston School of Law and earned her master’s degree in international human rights and criminal justice at Utrecht University in Amsterdam, Holland. She has published law review articles on international criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law.


Garrett Bush (center) is one of the National Safety Council’s “Rising Stars of Safety” for 2014. Bush, the regulatory compliance manager for Pike Enterprises Inc. in Mount Airy, was among only 41 recipients to receive the award. It honors safety professionals who are younger than 40 and have an outstanding record of leadership and innovation in improving workplace safety. He was recognized by Jeffrey J. Woodbury, chairman of the board of the National Safety Council (left), and Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO, at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo held Sept. 16 in San Diego, California.

Paige Henderson Bridges and husband Adam Bridges ’04 MPT ’11 have a young son, Carson James, born April 16, 2013. They live in Canton.

Kimberly Arrowood Cashwell and William Joseph Cashwell II were married on July 25 in Marion. Kimberly Cashwell is a customer service representative and county liaison for the McDowell County agency of the N.C. Farm Bureau.

Trevor Stewart MAT ’05 has been appointed to the faculty of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, as an assistant professor in the School of Education and the program leader for English education. Stewart’s research interests include the influences of educational policy and testing on English teachers’ instructional practices and the intersection between language and culture. He earned his doctorate at the University of Georgia.


Family nurse practitioner Patti Sparling MSN is serving patients at WestCare’s new primary care clinic that opened in September in the Health and Human Sciences Building on WCU’s west campus in Cullowhee. The clinic is a partnership between WestCare and WCU. Sparling practiced for nine years at WestCare’s primary care practice in Franklin.


Diane DePietropaolo Price, the former assistant public defender in Mecklenburg County, has been appointed to the position of indigent defense training manager for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Washington, D.C. Price develops programs for attorneys and coordinates training in consultation with a national working group of public defense experts.


After retiring from his 26-year career as a firefighter, Mike Cox went back to school with a dream to start a medical career. Last spring, Cox earned a master’s in physician assistant studies from the New York Institute of Technology. He recently joined the staff of Maxton Family Practice Center of Laurinburg as physician assistant. Cox is Lumberton’s former fire chief.

Capt. Gary Davis is serving as the interim chief of police at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Davis, a graduate of the law enforcement executive program at North Carolina State University, has been employed at UNCSA for 15 years.


Laura McIntosh Orr and Bruce Alan Burridge Jr. (right), who met as freshmen at WCU, were married June 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.


Matt Williams is working as a music producer and performer based in Asheville. Williams won a certificate from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his participation as a recording and audio engineer for the CD “All About Bullies…Big and Small,” which won the Grammy award in 2012 for Best Children’s Album.

Danielle Nowak Wrenn and husband Andrew Wrenn ’07 have a daughter, Brooklyn Paige, born July 7.


Justin Conley of Franklin was elected president of the Young Democrats of North Carolina for 2014-15. Conley was one of the organizers of the successful 2012 effort to increase the number of youth delegates to the Democratic National Convention. He also has served as the YDNC treasurer and as North Carolina’s national representative in the Young Democrats of America organization.

Natalie D. Moore MHS ’11 is an electronic health record and data specialist at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville. Moore provides consultation and support services to medical practices in a 16-county region served by MAHEC.

Singer-songwriter Andrew Thelston Robinson has been performing in Western North Carolina with his high energy rock band, American Gonzos. Robinson is an afternoon disc jockey at WTZQ radio station in Hendersonville.


Megan Cavanah MS ’11 and James “Jay” Salter were married Jan. 3, 2014, in Lakeland, Florida. Cavanah is a mathematics professor at Polk State College. Salter is a mitigation specialist for the public defender’s law office of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court.

Alan Goggins, a graduate student in the Tulane University School of Medicine, has been selected as a recipient of the American Society of Microbiology’s Robert D. Watkins Research Fellowship, an award that recognizes the best and brightest rising scientists in the country and provides them with grant money to support their research. Goggins is studying how chronic infections impact immunity.

Family and friends of Andrew R. Taylor MAEd ’13, former WCU resident assistant and area resource coordinator, have established a memorial scholarship fund for college students diagnosed with cancer who choose to continue their studies. Taylor, who passed away March 2, was an avid outdoorsman who obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees while battling cancer. Information about the Andrew R. Taylor F.I.S.H. (For Individuals Seeking Hope) Memorial Scholarship is available online at Contributions may be made at any branch of First Citizens Bank or mailed to the Andrew R. Taylor F.I.S.H. Scholarship Fund, 21 Wall Street, Asheville, N.C. 28801.


Megan Hegler is working as a digital sales specialist at WBTV, the CBS-affiliated television station in Charlotte.


Teaching, working and studying at WCU is a tradition in the family of Kimberly Corelli, assistant director of A.K. Hinds University Center. Corelli’s grandfather was the late Dan B. Wells, who was a member of the math faculty, and her grandmother, the late Jayne Wells, was a University Center staff member for several decades. Corelli’s mother, Sharon Wells ’75; sister Heather Rothrock ’99; and husband Mike Corelli MAEd ’09 also are WCU graduates.

Amanda McQueen completed her master’s degree in public health at the George Washington University. For the past year McQueen has served as an intern with the U.S. Global Change Research Program in Washington, D.C., and has been involved with the Third National Climate Assessment and initiative through the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy. In addition, she is interning at the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials.

Tom Pazderka has been awarded a fellowship to study for a master’s degree in fine art at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Pazderka’s work ranges from painting to sculpture, writing and performance. A native of the Czech Republic, he recently completed an artist residency at Trafo Studios in Prague.

Amber Swann and Caleb Korn were married July 26. Swann is studying for her doctorate in pharmacy at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy in Clinton, South Carolina. Korn is a paramedic for Greenville County Emergency Medical Services. They live in Simpsonville, South Carolina.


The North Carolina Society of Historians awarded the Paul Green Multimedia Award to Katherine Bartel for her feature-length documentary “Cataloochee,” about a historic Haywood County valley and the families that lived there before the area became part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bartel made the film as her senior project.


Michelle Owens, a Shelby native, has joined the staff of the Shelby Star as news clerk. Owens was an intern at a neighboring newspaper, the Gaston Gazette, while a student at WCU.