The advisory board for the Cherokee Center is comprised of representatives from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Western Carolina University. The board meets once every quarter to provide continued support for the Cherokee Center director and activities. Please read below for a list of advisory board members and their current status.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed - is veteran of the United States Marine Corps., an entrepreneur/business owner and a former educator with Cherokee Central Schools where he was a vocational Instructor for 11 years. He is also a recipient of the 2013 National Indian Education Association's National Classroom Teacher of the Year. Chief Sneed loves to speak to the many surrounding communities and share his insight of higher education and leadership.
Carol has more than 25 years of experience at WCU and previous to her assuming the Acting Provost role this semester, served as Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies at WCU since 2007. She is now in her new role at Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. Carol earned her doctorate from North Carolina State University in adult and higher education and her baccalaureate and master’s degrees from WCU in nutrition/dietetics and agency counseling, respectively.
Ricardo Nazario-Colon – Chief Diversity Officer - Accomplished Higher Education Administrator with over twenty years of experience in various industries including the U.S. Military, Colleges & Universities, Corporate Banking and State Government. A high level of independence, organizational loyalty and self-discipline. A critical analyst with the ability to transfer ideas into practice.
Fouts holds a doctoral degree in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University, where her studies focused on the areas of training and development and lifelong learning. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science and a master’s degree in business administration from Western.
Prior to joining Western’s Division of Distance and Continuing Education, Fouts served as the director of workforce development for the business-led Southwestern Workforce Development Board in Bryson City.
During her tenure, the board completed a major study of the workforce and set an action agenda to address some of the workforce issues of the region. Fouts performed training needs analysis for business and developed training plans to meet those needs.
She served on several state committees and task force, including the North Carolina Workforce Commission’s dislocated worker task force that developed best practices for responses to dislocations and plant closures. She also helped develop strategic plans for area businesses and organizations to increase their competitiveness in the global economy.
Fouts has worked as a business and industry training coordinator and a director of continuing education in the community college system.
Two-time graduate of WCU. Undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development. Began working at WCU in 1984. Has held various positions at WCU, including director of admission, director of enrollment management for graduate and distance learning, and alumni director. Currently serve as assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment within the Division of Student Affairs.
Richard Starnes - has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2012. A historian and a WCU graduate, he teaches and writes about the American South and Appalachia.
A research archaeologist at UNC-CH since 2001, he worked previously as deputy tribal historical preservation officer for the Eastern Band. Riggs has an extensive list of publications and reports credits and has presented at numerous professional meetings and conferences. A board member for Friends of Junaluska and the Junaluska Museum, he also serves as executive board member for the National Trail of Tears Association in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was Native Affairs Liaison Committee chair for the southeastern Archaeological Conference. Riggs earned his doctorate and master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Wake Forest University.
Elias Huskey, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from the Big Cove Community, former Junaluska Leadership Council Chairman and Football State Champion (Once runner-up) graduated from Swain County High School in 2013. He is the former chairman of the Junaluska Leadership Council and is a 2013 alumni of the Remember the Removal bike ride that travels from New Echota, GA to Tahlequah, OK. As the Administrative Support for the Cherokee Center, Huskey works to provide excellent support to the Director of the Cherokee Center and his community.
An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Ms. Lossiah earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi. Following undergraduate school, she worked as an optician for 11 years. Following law school, she first worked for the tribe’s Prosecutor’s Office and then the tribe’s Office of the Attorney General. After working in tribal government for 11 years, she was elected to office as the Yellowhill Tribal Council Representative where she served one term. Ms. Lossiah is currently the Policy Analyst for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and always a strong promoter of higher education for enrolled members.
Mary began her federal career in June of 1971 when she joined the Peace Corps and served for 2 and ½ years as a Professor at a Women’s College in Kasserine, Tunisia in northern Africa. Upon returning to Cherokee, NC in 1975 Mary was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an elementary school teacher for the Cherokee Central School system.
In August of 1988, Mary transferred to the Indian Health Service working at the Cherokee Indian Hospital as a Health Educator. In 1990, Mary was promoted to the Nashville Area IHS Office as the Area Consultant for the Office of Health Programs. In 1997, Mary was promoted to the IHS Headquarters Office in Rockville, MD where she served as the Director of the Community Health Representative (CHR) Program. In 2000, Mary was selected to serve as the Program Director for the Office of Clinical and Community Services supervising 8 IHS Programs: Medical Records, Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Pharmacy, Head Start, Maternal and Child Health, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, as well as Health Education.
In 2003 Mary was served as the Lead Consultant for IHS Headquarters providing leadership, training and oversight to tribal and IHS programs across IHS on a wide variety of health care issues. Throughout her 25-year tenure with IHS, Mary was also a Budget Writer for the IHS and assisted in the submission of Budget Justifications to Congress as well as reports, statistics and data to Congress. As Lead Consultant, Mary supervised approximately 75 employees and was responsible for the administration of a $19 million dollar budget.
Mary, the daughter of John and Frances Gloyne, is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, NC and is married to Arnold Wachacha and they have 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. Mary and Arnold live in the Yellowhill community on the Qualla Boundary.
Charlie is a 1993 graduate of Western Carolina University with a B.S.B.A. in Economics and Finance. Charlie has enjoyed a variety of roles in his career, including roles with First Citizens Bank, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Preservation Foundation, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. He is currently Regional Manager of Direct Marketing for Harrah’s Cherokee and Valley River casinos. He has served on several boards and committees, including the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise Board of Advisors, Sequoyah National Golf Club Board of Directors, WCU 2020 Strategic Plan, NC Network of Grantmakers Board of Directors, and the Summit Charter School Board. Charlie is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He and his wife, Pam, and their son Camden live in Sylva, near WCU’s Cullowhee Campus.
Bachelors of Business Administration -2006 Montreat College
Prior Work History: February 1998-May 2017 I held the position of Recruiter for Harrah’s Cherokee for 16 years and that included international recruiting and traveling. 1.5 years as a Regional Talent Development Manager. Overseen the Training Department for HCCR for the Cherokee and Murphy property.
June 2017 Moved to the EBCI as the Secretary of Human Resources-complete oversight of Benefits, Employment, Training, Compensation, and Employee Relations.
James Bradley is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and resides in the Wolfetown Community. He graduated from Cherokee High School in 1981, completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at UNC-Greensboro in 1986 and received his Masters in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University in 2010. In June 2017 James was appointed as the Secretary of Education for the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Previously he was the Advertising/PR/Sponsorship Supervisor for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, a Manager Intern in the Harrah’s Cherokee Leadership Development Program, the Fiscal & Training Supervisor in the Tribal Education Program, Executive Director of the Cherokee Historical Association, Program Director at the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, and the founding director of the Cherokee Youth Center Boys and Girls Club. He serves on the WCU Cherokee Center Advisory Board and is a member of the Native Leader Institute through the American Indian Center at UNC Chapel Hill. He has also been a board member for the Friends of Mountain History and the Musical Theater Advisory Board at Western Carolina University.
Joyce Dugan is the first and only woman to hold the office of Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Before she retired from public service in 2011, Chief Dugan served as her tribe’s Director of Public, Government and Community Relations and as the Superintendent of the Cherokee School System. In 2006, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for her cultural preservation efforts. She currently serves on the Cherokee Indian Hospital Governing Board, the Development Foundation Board of Directors, the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees.
Patrick Frazier has been a part of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions since 2007. Patrick is currently the Associate Director of Marketing and Recruitment for Undergraduate Admissions. A native of Jackson County, Patrick graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelors in Business Management in Administration in 2007 and a Masters in Project Management in 2011. He is currently working towards the completion of a Doctoral Degree in Higher Education Administration and Leadership at Texas Tech University. Additionally, Patrick is currently serving as President for the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CACRAO) organization.
Wade’s background is in performing arts and he holds an undergraduate degree in Opera from the University of the North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem and a graduate degree in Performing Arts Management from the same institution.