WCU’s Cooper, Rash participate in NPR live event in Asheville

Two Western Carolina University faculty members took part in a National Public Radio live event Tuesday, Feb. 7, titled “Going There: When Your Hometown Gets Hot,” which featured a discussion of the phenomenon of Asheville and Western North Carolina becoming fashionable and trendy.

Chris Cooper, professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, was part of a panel discussion led by NPR’s Michel Martin, weekend host of “All Things Considered.” Ron Rash, WCU’s Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Cultural Studies, read a selection of poetry and a segment of his best-selling novel “Serena,” which is set in WNC.

Joining Cooper on the panel were Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, a teacher at Swain County High School and enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians; Scott Dedman, executive director of Mountain Housing Opportunities; Julie Mayfield, co-director of Mountain True; and Oscar Wong and his daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, of Highland Brewing Co.

The event, part of the national touring series “NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There,” was hosted by WCQS at the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville. It can be seen online at http://wcqs.org/post/watch-here-going-there-when-your-hometown-gets-hot.