University alumna Jessica Woods named assistant to chancellor

Jessica M. Woods has been appointed to the position of assistant to the chancellor at Western Carolina University, effective immediately.

WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown announced the appointment of Woods to the position in a message to campus Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Jessica Woods

Executive assistant to WCU Chief of Staff Melissa Canady Wargo for the past six years, Woods also had been serving as acting assistant to the chancellor following the April 2019 death of Claire Collins, who had been in that role since July 2016.

As assistant to the chancellor, Woods will report directly to Brown and provide principal administrative support to her, including management of her calendar. She also will serve as assistant secretary to WCU’s Board of Trustees, a role that includes preparing agendas and materials for the full board and its committees and taking the official minutes at board meetings.

“Ms. Woods brings significant expertise and experience to the position and has been a critical and valued staff member in the Chancellor’s Division since August 2013,” Brown said. “She has more than 10 years of experience working for the state of North Carolina. I am thrilled to have Jessica on board.”

Prior to becoming a staff member in the Chancellor’s Division, Woods served as executive assistant to the executive director of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, where she also supported that organization’s Board of Directors.

She worked for nearly five years as a paralegal at the law firm of Coward, Hicks & Siler, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in management in December 2018 while working fulltime at WCU.