College is more than an education, it’s an experience – an often unexpected, exciting, life-changing experience that shapes who we become. College changes us, and it does so by bringing us together with diverse people and opening our eyes to different views of the world. Our Diversity Dialogues series sets out to give voice to those unique perspectives so that we all might learn.
In honor of Black History Month, we captured stories from African American students in our first ever Diversity Dialogue.
As WCU's Hispanic student population becomes the largest minority group on campus, we explore life as a Latino student.
Celebrating our campus theme of "Cherokee," we connect with the unique and diverse experiences of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at WCU.
Manifestation is the conscious creation of circumstances and outcomes that make for a fulfilling life. Raised in a single-parent household of four out of inner-city Cleveland, Ohio, BaShaun Smith understood at a young age what hard work looked like. “I learned early on that I didn’t have to run through a brick wall to know it hurts,” Smith said.
Once referred to as a “campus fixture” by beloved late WCU Chancellor David Orr Belcher, Carol Burton, vice provost, has dedicated 33 years to learning and leading with compassion and obligation. Raised by Jamaican parents Reuben and Yvonne Burton, Burton’s journey to higher education was predestined by her matriarchal, fearless, powerful and entrepreneurial mother. “An American degree is the way of the future,” Yvonne Burton told her.
Named after her late father, John L. Brown, Johnnifer Patrice Brown, assistant professor of interior design at WCU, spent her childhood watching her father master the art of upholstery in Montgomery, Alabama. Completing her BS degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University, and time spent working in both the automotive and commercial design industry, Patrice soon realized she was unfulfilled and needed a change.