Western announces new academic department heads

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University didn’t have to look far to find new leaders for two of its academic departments.

Elizabeth Addison, a member of the Western faculty since 1990, has been named head of the department of English, while Anna McFadden, who joined the faculty in 1996, has been named head of the department of educational leadership and foundations.

The promotions, effective July 1, were among the academic and administrative appointments announced during the Western Carolina board of trustees quarterly meeting in June.

Addison replaces former English department head Brian Railsback, who has been named interim dean of the university’s Honors College. Jill Ghnassia, who had served as dean of the college since 2000, decided earlier this year to return to a teaching position in the department of English.

McFadden succeeds Nancy Mims, who stepped down as department head in December, and Robert Pittman, who served as interim department head during the spring semester.

In other appointments:

Ronda M. Bryant, a former assistant director and internship coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Asheville who is now finishing up her doctoral degree work in higher education administration at the University of Virginia, has been named director of enrollment support in the Division of Student Affairs.

Debra F. Schwartz, assistant director of intramural sports at Western, was promoted to director, filling a vacancy created by the retirement earlier this year of longtime director Mike Creason.

Suzanne McDowell, museum curator for Western’s Mountain Heritage Center, has been named interim director of the center, filling a vacancy created when former director Tyler Blethen returned to a teaching position in the history department.

John McFadden, a member of the College of Education and Allied Professions faculty from 1970 until his retirement in 2003, was granted professor emeritus status.