19th Annual Student Research Symposium on Campus

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA- North Carolina Wesleyan University hosted their 19th Annual Student Symposium for the 2024 Spring Semester on Wednesday, April 10 at The Dunn Center. The Symposium included student oral presentations, guest speaker, Meredith Gringle, and concluded with a student poster presentation.

Co-Coordinator, Dr. Heather Louch, shares that the Student Symposium started in 2004 as a way for students conducting research to share that research with the university community. It was modeled after a conference, where research is shared either through poster sessions or oral presentations. Louch states, “Presenting at a conference is something that most students do if they go on to graduate school; with the Symposium, they gain a similar experience and see the full circle of research from developing an inquiry to sharing the results with a broader audience. It has been a successful event for so many years only due to the ongoing support of colleagues at the University.”

Louch often asks students what they learned about “doing science,” and the admittance of frustration, lack of motivation or interest, and realization of how much work it requires is also paired with how rewarding and fun it can be. Louch responds, “All of these comments encompass the sentiments felt by researchers as they work through their investigations and prepare to share their research, so in that regard, students have experienced first hand the ups and downs of the research investigation while also being able to discuss those findings with the community. What better way to learn about ‘doing science’?”

Winners of the poster competition have received a certificate and a cash prize courtesy of the School of Mathematics and Sciences (all poster presenters were enrolled in science courses). The winners are as follows (upper and lower designation refers to the course number with 300/400 being the upper-level courses):

1st Place Lower-Level Category:
Dunya Salem – Does Texture Protect Caterpillars from Predation?  

2nd Place Lower-Level Category:
Mackenzie Landers, Wesley Owens, Stephanie Valle – How Ladybug Spots Affect Predation

1st Place Upper-Level Category:

Chloe Lynch, Kristalyn Minchew, Christian Van Norden – The Effects of Acetaminophen and Microplastics on Physella acuta Movement, Growth, and Reproduction

2nd Place Upper-Level Category:
Gracie Wade – Investigating and Observing Feline Activity Through the Eyes of Hunger

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Joseph Lane, states, “The Student Symposium represents the very best example of North Carolina Wesleyan’s personal, practical, and purpose-driven approach to education.  We are so proud of the students who presented their research and who demonstrated excellent command of their topics when answering questions from the judges, faculty, and community.”

Wesleyan Competes in Ethics Bowl Competition

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Eighteen teams from NCICU campuses participated in the competition this year. The 2024 theme was, “Ethics in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.” Students had to consider several complicated cases involving both artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, then make their arguments about their position on the case.

Final scores were tallied, semi-finalists were announced, and the two matches set: Queens University and High Point University were paired, as were St. Augustine’s University and Montreat College. Queens and Montreat met in the finals, where Queens University prevailed.

North Carolina Wesleyan lost close matches to Pfeiffer, Mars Hill, High Point, and Montreat. The Battling Bishops ethics team included Landon Duff, Fabio Felli, Amanda Modlin, Matthew Tiller, Noah Larkin, and Clarence Alex Sanderford who where led by Professors Jason Buel and Shane Thompson.

“We are so proud of our excellent Ethics Bowl Team as well as their coaches, Dr. Buel and Dr. Thompson.  These young people have taken the time and initiative to generate a considerable body of research on one of the pressing ethical dilemmas of our times.  Although we think they probably deserved to win more matches than they did, we know they represented us well and demonstrated the power of a North Carolina Wesleyan education in their presentations”, stated Provost Dr. Joe Lane.

“This year’s teams were exceptional,” said NCICU President Hope Williams. “It was clear they had done extensive research on the complex topics and developed well-organized, cohesive arguments to present to the judges. I was very impressed with all the teams.”

This was NCICU’s 13th Ethics Bowl. Williams believes it provides unique, important opportunities for the students. “By participating in the Ethics Bowl, students learn research and presentation skills that will serve them well in their careers,” Williams said.

But the most valuable opportunity, she noted, may have been interacting with the more than 70 professionals who volunteered their time as judges or moderators and who represent many networking opportunities and careers, from law, architecture, engineering and cybersecurity to banking, nonprofits, and state agencies.

Clark Dudek, a Triangle entrepreneur and AI expert, was keynote speaker at the dinner on Friday night at the North Carolina Museum of History. He discussed how society has adapted to emerging technologies. “AI is new and may be scary,” he said. “But we are working on how to connect with this new tool and learn how it can complement the rest of our tools.”

Exercise Science Team Attend 2024 SEACSM Conference

Zach Marquis, Victoria Farji, and Gustavo Rivas (left to right), represented the university at the 2024 SEACSM Student Bowl

On February 21 and 22, three NC Wesleyan’s Exercise Science faculty members, Dr. Meir Magal, Dr. Tim Dornemann, and Coach Vanessa Batchelor, and eight students attended the American College of Sports Medicine regional conference (SEACSM) in Greenville, SC. The students and faculty members attended presentations and tutorials on exercise science, sports science-related data analytics, physical therapy, and athletic training. Further, three students, Zach Marquis, Victoria Farji, and Gustavo Rivas (left to right), represented the university at the 2024 SEACSM Student Bowl.

The 2024 Annual Meeting had over 470 presentations including 6 invited speakers, 2 preconference sessions with 8 presentations, 17 tutorials, 15 symposia, 35 oral presentations, 48 thematic posters, 299 poster presentations, 24 posters in the Student Award session, and 9 lectures and 9 case presentations in the Sports Medicine Physician Track program. The event had close to 1,000 attendees again this year, the majority of whom are students, many attending their first conference or making their first presentation.

NC Wesleyan Placing Students’ Finances First

outdoor classroom with students sitting

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University is proactively addressing FAFSA financial aid setbacks to meet the needs of our students and families. The University has announced it is moving forward and investing in its students in the midst of the continued federal delays.

“It is our commitment to provide students with a transparent and affordable financial aid package shortly after they are accepted. To uphold this commitment, we have developed a plan to help bridge the gap” stated President Duff.

The U.S. Department of Education announced, “The Department will begin transmitting batches of FAFSA information—known as the Institutional Student Information Record or ISIR—to these colleges in the first half of March.”

In an effort to be proactive, North Carolina Wesleyan University will be providing estimated financial aid and award packages starting in February. This initiative will streamline tuition and award packages, providing students assurance to financing their education, so they can make informed decisions. If students qualify for additional aid once the FAFSA is finalized, NCWU will adjust those student’s packages accordingly. 

Visit the Department of Education website for more details: studentaid.gov/announcements-events/fafsa-support

Information for students that have already been accepted and deposited

If you have already committed to attending NC Wesleyan, complete our 2024-2025 SAI Information Form to apply. You’ll need your NCWU Student ID to complete the form. An email will be sent from the Office of Financial Aid within 48 hours of receipt of your completed form.  An estimated award letter will be emailed starting mid-February.

Information for prospective students

For prospective students who are considering NC Wesleyan, APPLY TODAY and take advantage of this financial aid opportunity. Don’t wait on FAFSA, choose the University that takes care of their students NOW!

Magal Named Inaugural Souza Professor

In October 2023, Wayne Souza (Class of 1973) pledged a transformative gift to North Carolina Wesleyan University to advance the University’s nationally accredited program in Exercise Science. In 2021, the program moved into Wesleyan’s new Indoor Sports & Education Facility (ISEF) and recently has hired two new faculty members. The undergraduate degree in Exercise Science now accounts for NCWU’s second most popular major among traditional, incoming first-year students.

Dr. Meir Magal

“I have a passion to give back to my alma mater.  When presented this opportunity, it gave me a chance to not only give back and lend a hand, but to pull forward both NCWU students and boost an incredible program.” stated Wayne Souza in a recent interview.

This gift has allowed the University to launch a significant upgrade in equipment and facility. It also created the Wayne Souza Chair of Exercise Science. Dr. Meir Magal has been named the inaugural Souza Professor.

“I want to thank Mr. Souza for this very generous gift, I am honored to be named the Inaugural Souza Professor of Exercise Science! This charitable donation has allowed the Exercise Science Department to equip ISEF with cutting-edge resistance training equipment, enabling our students to gain invaluable experiential learning and research opportunities and engage in strength training with the University’s athletic teams.” expressed Dr. Magal.

Dr. Magal came to the United States from Israel to attend the University of Southern Mississippi where he played NCAA Division I Tennis and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Exercise Science, as well as a Ph.D. in Human Performance. In 2002, Dr. Magal joined the faculty of North Carolina Wesleyan. In his 22 years at Wesleyan, Dr. Magal has won multiple awards including the Exemplary Teacher Award and the Jefferson Pilot Professorship. In 2011, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  

Dr. Magal has authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles as well as numerous book chapters. He served as an Associate Editor on the 10th edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription and as Co-Editor of the 6th Edition of ACSM’s Fitness Assessment Manual. In addition, he also serves on the Editorial Board of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal and ACSM’s open-access journal, Exercise, Sport, and Movement.  He has been particularly active in mentoring research with undergraduate students, serving as Chair for more than fifteen senior honors projects and a co-author with undergraduate students on multiple papers and conference presentations.

He currently serves as Program Director and Professor of Exercise Science and as Chair of the School of Mathematics and Sciences.

Dr. Joe Lane, Provost of North Carolina Wesleyan, noted, “Dr. Magal represents the epitome of the engaged teacher, scholar and advisor whom we want to develop and highlight on the North Carolina Wesleyan faculty.  We are proud to honor him as the inaugural Souza Chair, and we look forward to the incredible work that he and his colleagues will accomplish with our students in the years ahead.”  

University Awarded Funds to Expand Nursing BSN Program

NC Senator Lisa Barnes and NC Representative Allen Chesser secured funding with the newly approved state budget for North Carolina Wesleyan University’s BSN Pre-Licensure program. On Monday evening, November 27, they visited the University’s campus to highlight this achievement with a $350,000 check presentation.

Senator Barnes endorsed the initiative, stating, “I fully support Wesleyan’s efforts to expand the BSN program, creating a pipeline for more nursing students to pursue their educational goals while providing well qualified healthcare staff to offset the shortages. It’s a win-win opportunity for our area.”

“Ensuring our community has access to high-quality healthcare workers will have positive impacts on the well-being of residents, as well as expanding access to quality local healthcare and creating local job opportunities,” said Representative Allen Chesser. “I am proud of the work Senator Barnes and I have been able to accomplish; to ensure valuable community partners such as NCWU so they can continue their great work for Nash County and our surrounding area.”

Both Representative Chesser and Senator Barnes are active in the districts they serve, which includes Nash County. They understand the positive impact a BSN Pre-Licensure will have on our community and they fully appreciate the significance North Carolina Wesleyan University has on our region.

NC Wesleyan currently offers a Post-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing through their online RN to BSN program, allowing a pathway for registered nurses with an associate degree to advance their professional role in the healthcare system. With this additional funding, the University will now be able to expand their offerings to include a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) Pre-Licensure program. This will provide nursing students with the clinical skills necessary to deliver safe, evidence-based quality care, earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and sit for the NCLEX exam.  

“The nursing faculty and I are are extremely grateful for the monetary contribution that NC Senator Lisa Barnes and NC Representative Allen Chesser have secured for NCWU’s prelicensure nursing program, as well as their support for nursing in our community. As the healthcare system continues to evolve and become more complex, it is imperative that we provide educational opportunities for students in our community and surrounding areas to enter the nursing profession and provide high-quality care to the residents in the rural communities that we serve. We look forward to growing the nursing program at NCWU and offering the prelicensure BSN option to our students,” stated Dr. Crystal Ostheim.

President Duff also acknowledged, “Dr. Dan and Brenda Crocker have also pledged $100,000 to our BSN Licensure program. As a retired physician from our community, Dr. Crocker understands the value and importance of having qualified nurses in our healthcare system. We are extremely grateful for this donation and their unwavering support of NC Wesleyan.”

Those in attendance included: Dr. Joe Lane, NCWU Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dan Bell, NCWU Board Member; Roger G. Taylor ’70, NCWU Board Member; Terri Sharpe, NCWU Board Member; Paul A. Bauer ’86, Chairman of the NCWU Board of Trustees; Allen Chesser ’19, NC Representative; Cindy Edwards, NCWU Senior Executive of Operations; Lisa Barnes, NC Senator; Mark Hinson, NCWU Senior Executive of Philanthropic Engagement; Dr. Evan D. Duff, NCWU President; Suzanne Brackett ’87, NCWU Senior Vice President of Administration; Thomas Winstead, NCWU Board Member; and Dr. Daniel L. Crocker, NCWU Board Member.

New Offering at NCWU Allows for Two Degrees, Two Certificates in 2.5 Years

North Carolina Wesleyan University is introducing a new unique, accelerated program designed for students wishing to elevate their associate degree to a master’s degree. Through this new pathway, students will have the opportunity to earn an Executive Leadership Certificate, Human Resources Management Certificate, bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Strategic Leadership in approximately two and a half years.

This degree option was designed with working adults in mind by offering 100% online classes. Students can earn certificates as they go with a focus on two classes per term. The University also offers career assistance, supportive advisors and faculty, and special tuition pricing for North Carolina community college graduates*. Students admitted into the Associate to Master’s program must meet all undergraduate requirements, attain bachelor degree conferral and submit graduate admissions material before they begin the M.S. in Strategic Leadership program.

“NCWU remains on the cutting edge of programming to accelerate the educational attainment of working adults in our state. We have been a leader in alternative pathways for adults to complete their college degree for over 45 years,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff. “This is a one-of-a-kind program in North Carolina that allows community college graduates to fast track their learning while attaining multiple credentials along the way.”

Upon completion of the Associate to Master’s program, students will be qualified to attain the following industry certifications: SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) Certification, HRCI’s Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) Certification and the Strategy Planning Professional (SPP) Certification.

If you already have an associate degree, this is a great opportunity to advance your education in less time in order to gain a competitive advantage in the workforce. Apply today to gain new skills and earn multiple degrees at a top-ranked university, taking the first step towards accelerating your career! Those who are interested can learn more at ncwu.edu/associate-to-masters.

Veterans Day Celebration Planned at NCWU

Join North Carolina Wesleyan University on Friday, November 10 for a Veterans Day event celebrating and honoring the men and women of our armed forces. The morning will start off at 10:00 a.m. with a patriotic salute to all Veterans and a special pinning for Vietnam Veterans.

NCWU ROTC cadets stand and salute the flag

The event will be held at the main flagpole in front of the Braswell Administrative building with guest speaker, Rep. Allen Chesser. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Garner Lobby at The Dunn Center. Rep. Chesser is an alumnus of NC Wesleyan and currently serves on the University’s Veteran Advisory Committee. Elected in 2022, Rep. Chesser is currently the State Representative for North Carolina House District 25, which covers the majority of Nash County. Before serving in the North Carolina House, he was a police officer for the City of Raleigh and the Town of Nags Head. Rep. Chesser is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.

“With wars and rumors of wars consistently in the headlines, it is important to pause and recognize those who have served our Country and kept America free. We are thankful to have the opportunity to honor our Wesleyan and Rocky Mount Veterans by continuing our tradition of the Veterans Day Salute. We are excited to have Rep. Chesser, Dawn Cash-Salau and Andrea Bishop joining us this year and look forward to their contribution to the day,” stated Laura Estes Brown, Associate Dean of Veteran Services.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Dawn Cash-Salau will present the Christopher Cash Scholarship to this year’s recipients. In addition, the University is supporting the local Ride of Honor taking place November 10 and 11. This fundraiser benefits the PruittCares Foundation to help veterans and bring Camp Cocoon to Nash County. Andrea Bishop BSN, RN, Administrator of PruittHealth Hospice of Rocky Mount, will be speaking briefly about this event at NCWU’s Veterans Day Salute.

NCICU Congratulates Recipients of Criminal Justice Scholarships from N.C. Sheriffs’ Association

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce recipients of this year’s North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) Criminal Justice Scholarship. Students at 14 private colleges and universities in North Carolina received the $2,000 awards.

NCSA provides scholarships per academic school year for criminal justice students attending a North Carolina independent college or university. Applications are sponsored by local sheriffs and recipients must be North Carolina residents.

NCICU President Hope Williams thanked the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for supporting students pursuing a criminal justice curriculum. “We deeply appreciate this partnership with NCSA to assist students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement.” NCICU administers the program for independent college and university students.

Scholarship RecipientCollege/UniversitySponsoring SheriffCounty
Haley TolerBarton CollegeCalvin L. Woodard Jr.Wilson
Meghan TropeanoBelmont Abbey CollegeChad HawkinsGaston
Nathaniel MahoneyBrevard CollegeChuck OwenbyTransylvania
Derrick WadeChowan UniversityDexter HayesHertford
Colby KirklandGardner-Webb UniversityAlan NormanCleveland
Ashley Jusso-HernandezGuilford CollegeDanny RogersGuilford
Xavier BellJohnson C. Smith UniversityGarry L. McFaddenMecklenburg
Kaylee MessickLees-McRae CollegeMike HenleyAvery
Azia ThomasLivingstone CollegeTravis AllenRowan
Brandon EdwardsMars Hill UniversityBuddy HarwoodMadison
Alexandra ChapmanMontreat CollegeQuentin MillerBuncombe
Zachary ScottN.C. Wesleyan UniversityKeith StoneNash
Madison LoweryPfeiffer UniversityJeff CriscoStanly
Mariana CrespoUniversity of Mount OliveLarry PierceWayne

About the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association

NCSA is the statewide organization of the state’s 100 sheriffs. Through their association, the sheriffs work to strengthen the professional law enforcement services their offices provide to the people of North Carolina.

North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities

NCICU serves as the statewide office of private, nonprofit higher education in North Carolina. Our 36 colleges and universities are liberal arts, comprehensive, and research colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, colleges for women, and Minority Serving Institutions.

City of Rocky Mount and NCWU Team Up for Educational Opportunities

Leaders from North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) and the City of Rocky Mount (Rocky Mount) have signed a partnership agreement offering educational opportunities to employees of the city. The partnership allows employees to develop practical skills that they can apply to their careers through certificate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs at NCWU.

Dr. Evan D. Duff and Keith Rogers from the City of Rocky Mount smile for a photo
Dr. Evan D. Duff and Keith Rogers

“North Carolina Wesleyan University recognizes that the City of Rocky Mount is a critical and valuable resource when it comes to serving the needs of our citizens. As a member of the Rocky Mount community, NCWU is proud to partner with the city to advance the quality of services provided. Through this partnership, Wesleyan offers professional development, certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees to support their employees,” stated Michael Drew, VP of Enrollment.

This partnership allows NC Wesleyan to offer a one-time $250 University Award of enrollment in certificate classes to each Rocky Mount employee during their last semester of enrollment. North Carolina Wesleyan University has certificate programs in Executive Leadership, Healthcare Administration, Human Resource Management and a Public Health Graduate Certificate that can be completed in as little as 16 weeks.

For those who are interested in pursuing their bachelor’s degree, NCWU will offer a $1,000 University Award at the end of the first semester of enrollment in undergraduate classes. Additionally, a second award of $1,000 will be presented at the end of their last semester, for a total University Award amount of $2,000.

Employees enrolling in NC Wesleyan’s Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Criminal Justice (MSCJ), Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Strategic Leadership (MSSL) degree programs will receive a $500 University Award at the end of their first semester of enrollment in graduate classes. In addition, NCWU will award a second amount of $500 at the end of their last semester, for a total University Award amount of $1,000.

Mutually benefiting all parties, this partnership allows Rocky Mount employees to receive special rates to attend NCWU. In return, the city will market this opportunity and NC Wesleyan’s programs to all of their employees. In addition, the City of Rocky Mount will afford NC Wesleyan University an opportunity to educate their employees through email, on-site opportunities, flyers, brochures and the posting of other promotional materials. Rocky Mount employees must remain employed with the city in order for the employee to remain eligible for this award.