WCU grad earns student-achievement award

Nicole McRight, who graduated from Western Carolina University’s communication sciences and disorders program this spring, recently received a statewide award for student educational achievement.

Presented by the North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association, the award is given on the basis of academic excellence and merit. The student recipient must have a grade-point average of no less than 3.0 while actively enrolled in or accepted to a program in communication sciences and disorders at a North Carolina university.

“Nicole won for a variety of deserving reasons,” said Bill Ogletree, head of the department of communication sciences and disorders at WCU. “She was consistently present, prepared and willing to participate and help in any way. In the classroom, she was an excellent oral presenter and writer, yet she in no way sought the spotlight for her accomplishments. As a clinician, she was intuitive, decisive, and effective, yet always open to learning.”

A resident of Sylva, McRight said she feels proud of her award and of WCU’s program. “I think … graduate program at WCU is a gem, and I believe the award was the result of the consistent support and encouragement the professors and clinical supervisors provided throughout the program,” said McRight, who will begin work as the speech-language pathologist at Blue Ridge School in Cashiers.
For more information, contact Tracie Rice, by telephone at 828-227-3378 or by e-mail at trice@wcu.edu.
Wanted: Host families for student exchange

Want to make a difference in a foreign student’s life? Asheville resident Sybil Argintar is seeking families to host a scholarship high-school student this fall from the republics of Georgia and Ukraine. The teens are participating in the Future Leaders Exchange Program, which awards full scholarships to selected high-school students from former Soviet Union countries. FLEX gives them the chance to experience life in a different society — with the goal of promoting democratic values and institutions in their home countries, as well as fostering communication, mutual understanding and respect between the people of different countries and cultures, Argintar explains.

The two FLEX students, one girl and one boy, will spend their school year here. Out of thousands who applied, the two students were chosen for their outgoing personalities, academic abilities and leadership potential. FLEX students also come with full medical insurance and a monthly government stipend.

Argintar is the local cluster director and looks forward to working with the students and their host families. FLEX students look forward to living like American teens for one school year — joining sports teams, studying for exams and participating fully in family life. Host families provide students with meals, a place to sleep and study, and a warm, supportive environment. Currently, host families who have a student enrolled in Asheville High or SILSA are preferred, but single parents, young couples and retirees are welcome to apply when additional schools become available. Families can host a student for the full school year or a single semester.
For information call Sybil Argintar at 828-230-3773, or the national office at (800) 555-6211, ext. 304.

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