Western Carolina University has scheduled three commencement ceremonies over a two-day period – Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6 – to recognize the academic achievements of graduating students who comprise what is expected to be the university’s sixth straight record spring class.Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be held at 7 p.m. May 5. Commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Allied Professions, and Fine and Performing Arts will begin at 10 a.m. May 6, and that event will be followed the same day by a 2 p.m. ceremony for the colleges of Business, Health and Human Sciences, and Engineering and Technology. All the ceremonies will take place at Ramsey Regional Activity Center.After all the scores from final exams are tallied and academic records are finalized, WCU’s spring class, including recipients of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, is expected to total more than 1,500 graduates, which would be the largest class in university history.WCU schedules three commencements on the Cullowhee campus in the spring to allow the Ramsey Center to accommodate the number of graduating students who will be participating in the ceremonies and the audiences that will attend. Nearly 1,400 students are expected to don caps and gowns for this year’s events. WCU commencements are open to everyone, with no limit on the number of family members and friends who can attend.For those who cannot be there in person, all three ceremonies will be streamed live at http://www.wcu.edu/commencement-stream.aspx.The Saturday morning commencement will include the awarding of an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Cherokee elder Jeremiah “Jerry” Wolfe. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Wolfe is widely regarded as a living repository of the traditional language and culture of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.Julie Johnson-Busbin, WCU professor of sales and marketing, and also the university’s recipient of the 2017 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, will deliver the primary address at the Friday night Graduate School commencement. Johnson-Busbin will receive her award during the Saturday afternoon undergraduate ceremony.Traffic is always heavy for commencement on WCU’s campus. University officials urge those attending to plan on arriving at the Ramsey Center at least one hour before the events begin. On-campus shuttle services will be available for all three ceremonies.
Tags:#Ernie Cline#Oculus Rift#Ready Player One#SXSW 2015#virtual reality Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Ernie Cline is running 20 minutes late. Finally, he finds a parking spot and slides in his 1982 DeLorean, its sides emblazoned with the Ghostbusters logo and a license plate that reads ECTO88. Virtual reality and gaming buffs might recognize it as protagonist Wade Watts’ car from Cline’s breakout novel Ready Player One.“It’s bad form to show up late in a time machine,” he says. “What’s your excuse, dude?”Ready Player One was published in 2011, when lifelike virtual reality still felt like a distant conquest. It imagines a dystopia where most of its characters live in poverty and see the OASIS, a vast world accessible through virtual reality goggles, as an escape from their true reality.“Ready Player One” was published in 2011, when virtual reality still felt distant.Cline began brainstorming Ready Player One in 2001, when he asked himself what would if happen if Willy Wonka was a video game designer. James Halliday, the eccentric billionaire who offers up his fortune to whoever solves his geek-tastic 1980s-inspired treasure hunt in the OASIS, is one part Wonka and one part virtual reality pioneer John Carmack. That makes Watts Charlie Bucket. A Mass Consensual HallucinationBack in 2001, consumer virtual reality was just a dream that had been dead since the early 1990s. Cline had to turn to the military to see a modern version of it. He drew on science fiction classics like Snow Crash and Neuromancer to build out his vision of the OASIS metaverse. Like the OASIS itself, Ready Player One is built from a mashup of previous cultural works.“(Creating the OASIS was) very easy when you’re just thinking about the future of video games,” Cline said. “When you’re out on the internet now, it’s not a 3D space, but it kind of is. Websites are like planets. There are virtual realities popping up to serve different fanbases. Can you imagine Hogwarts? If you could teach different classes in that setting, how much more engaging it would be?”The OASIS abruptly came within reach in 2012, when Oculus announced the Rift headset on Kickstarter. Founder Palmer Luckey built the first versions in a trailer in his parent’s driveway as a teen. Like Watts, who uses his knowledge of ’80s video games and movies to solve Ready Player One‘s puzzles, Luckey was a kid with the time and passion to do something many others thought to be impossible. Cline was invited to the company’s headquarters, where he finally got his first taste of modern VR. He remembers snow falling around him in the virtual world as the Oculus team stood nearby. He could see that it would change everything.It’s funny talking to Cline about virtual reality. He’s such a diehard gamer that he almost doesn’t seem to care about virtual reality technology itself. For him, it’s more an obvious progression for gaming. To him, humans have been creating online worlds for themselves since the very first video game consoles, when two friends could sit next to each other and interact on a screen. We have always been seeking to immerse ourselves in alternate realities; this is just the ultimate form.“Up until now, our whole experience has been through a two-dimensional screen,” Cline said, continuing:This is not the human experience. The human experience is 360 degrees, and all your senses immersed. Role playing games are a simulation for all the stuff we’re wired up by evolution to do, which is hunt and form teams and tribes. It simulates all this stuff you’re hardwired to do, but you don’t do it. You sit in a car or in a cubicle.One Virtual World, Or Many?There’s no doubt that gaming will have a place in virtual reality. Oculus was born in pursuit of immersive video games. But will there be an OASIS, an alternate world where Earth’s people congregate in the form of avatars?Cline thinks so, but he is uncertain if it will take the form of one all-encompassing galaxy like OASIS. He pointed to media libraries like Amazon and Hulu, which would make a lot more sense as one giant service. But maybe it would be too much power to concentrate access in the hands of one company. The whole point of Ready Player One is a battle between OASIS advocates like Watts and a mega-corporation battling to gain control.“If it’s one place it has a lot of power, the way Facebook has a lot of power, the way Google has a lot of power,” Cline said. “If the whole world is there, it has a lot of value. If there is a truly free … virtual world that is democratic and free, that’s the one that will prevail.”Ernie Cline’s 1982 DeLorean is a replica of the car “Ready Player One” protagonist Wade Watts drives in the OASIS after he becomes rich.No matter what the metaverse looks like, we are apt to find ourselves there someday, whether it is to access a classroom or play a vintage gaming simulator with a friend across the world. And like (spoiler alert) Watts’ friends Art3mis and Aech in the OASIS, we will experiment with new identities. Cline said people already do this today—they go online and explore how people react to different representations. They cast off the body their parents gave them and assume something new, even if only for a little while.“Video games in virtual reality, it’s all changing the course of human evolution right now,” Cline said. “It’s changing how we interact, and communicate and collaborate with everyone all the time.”At the same time, Cline described leaving his home state of Ohio and realizing that his “weird childhood” wasn’t so weird. He might have felt geeky and awkward as a kid, but there are people around the world who felt the same way. We’re not as strange as we think, and there is a new virtual landscape to help us explore that.Photos of Ernie Cline by Signe Brewster for ReadWrite; photo of Oculus Rift by Sergey Galyonkin signe brewster A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Huddersfield midfielder Philip Billing: No-one giving up hereby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town midfielder Philip Billing insists no-one is giving up on Premier League survival.The 22-year-old Dane was gutted by the 1-0 defeat at Fulham which leaves Town with a massive mountain to climb to avoid relegation back to the Championship.”We can’t be too disappointed (for too long) because we have another game coming up and we have to recover and get ready for that, and hopefully the fans will stick with us and support us at home,” said Billing ahead of facing Burnley.”It’s a strain (being where we are), but nobody ever told us it was going to be easy in the Premier League.”Last season we survived and I don’t see why we can’t again, taking every game at a time we just need that one game to turn it around and get that win. Once we get that anything can happen.”Right now it seems it’s hard, but we have to show some character and just keep being positive.”I know we can’t just keep saying that, but that’s the truth, you can’t come into training and just be negative and thinking we are going to get relegated – we have to keep believing to the last game of the season and that’s what we are going to do.”
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Juventus boss Sarri insists he believes in Dybalaby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus boss Maurizio Sarri insists he believes in Paulo Dybala.Dybala is yet to make any starts for the Bianconeri this season but did come on against Atletico Madrid for their 2-2 Champions League draw.Sarri said, “If I didn’t think he was ready, I wouldn’t brought him on at a decisive moment. Maybe he’s not yet at the top of his game, but he’s able to give us a hand.“In the future, I see (Federico) Bernardeschi becoming a specialist midfielder and not a winger.“However, right now I need him in attack. We’ll help him do his best: he’s a player with great quality.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Merson insists Man Utd attacker Rashford no natural strikerby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Paul Merson insists Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford is no natural striker.Rashford has been told he needs to get in the box more, with United having scored just nine goals in eight Premier League matches this season, and having won only two of those games.”He is not a natural centre forward,” Paul Merson said on Sky Sports.”He hasn’t got that instinct. You need a goalscorer. He is not a natural goalscorer like Ian Wright or Gary Lineker.”You have to get in the box if you are a real centre forward.”Merson added: “You can’t sell goals. (Romelu) Lukaku was a goalscorer – he might not chase the full-back down but he puts the ball in the net and that is what it is all about.”
pac-12 tournament bracket scheduleThe 2016 Pac-12 Tournament tips off tomorrow from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.Here’s the bracket for the tournament, which features Oregon, Utah, Cal, and Arizona as the four top seeds. Here’s the schedule for tomorrow’s games:No. 8 Washington vs. No. 9 Stanford, 3 p.m. E.T. on Pac-12 NetworkNo. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Washington State, 5:30 p.m. E.T. on Pac-12 NetworkNo. 7 USC vs. No. 10 UCLA, 9 p.m. E.T. on Pac-12 NetworkNo. 6 Oregon State vs. No. 11 Arizona State, 11:30 p.m. ET on Pac-12 NetworkThe top four seeds in the tournament play their first games of the tournament on Thursday.More: The 10 CFB Teams That Could Go Undefeated In 2016 >>>
Five stories in the news for Wednesday, July 18———PM TRUDEAU TO SHUFFLE CABINET TODAYJustin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches today to install ministers who will lead the Liberal team into next year’s election. Sources say some new posts will be added to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand. The shakeup will give ministers a couple of months to get up to speed on their new portfolios before they return to Parliament this fall.———TRUMP FORCES TRUDEAU TO WALK FINE LINEPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has levelled fresh condemnation at Vladimir Putin but refused to weigh in on the Russian president’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump — underscoring what experts say is a difficult tightrope Canada is forced to walk on the world stage. In his comments yesterday in Nova Scotia, Trudeau criticized Putin, but avoided mentioning Trump, who offered warm words for the Russian president this week in Helsinki while appearing to accept Putin’s denials of having interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.———THREE INDIGENOUS GROUPS SKIPPING PREMIERS’ MEETINGThree of the country’s largest Indigenous organizations are bowing out of a meeting with the premiers in New Brunswick, making it the second year in a row the groups are skipping talks ahead of a summer gathering of provincial leaders. Meeting host Brian Gallant says the half-day meeting in Bouctouche is to focus on economic partnerships and Indigenous children in care.———LIBERALS GAIN PARTY STATUS IN MANITOBA VOTEManitoba Liberals secured a seat for their new leader, Dougald Lamont, in an upset byelection win last night. The victory in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface riding also gave the party official status and the funding that comes with it. The seat had been held since 1999 by former NDP premier Greg Selinger. The Liberals have not had the four seats required for official party status in Manitoba for two decades.———ABDOUL ABDI WON’T BE DEPORTEDPublic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal government will not pursue the deportation of former Somali child refugee Abdoul Abdi. This comes days after a Federal Court judge set aside a decision to refer the Abdi case to a deportation hearing, saying Ottawa did not take his charter rights into consideration. Goodale aid last evening that the government “respects the decision filed on July 13 by the Federal Court concerning Abdoul Abdi.”———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— The Parliamentary Budget Officer will post a report entitled Extended April 2018 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.— Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips will announce supports for new clean technologies.— Federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers hold their annual conference in Vancouver, through Friday.— The B.C. Centre on Substance Use will release a report on expanding addiction recovery services in the province.— Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor will discuss the Canada Child Benefit and other federal programs in Liverpool, N.S.— A verdict is expected in the case of a Quebec provincial police officer charged with dangerous driving in the death of a boy.— The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will hold a media tour of the cannabis section of one of its stores.
Life’s been a whirlwind for United States women’s national soccer team players Alex Morgan and Hope Solo since their World Cup performance in the summer of 2011. In the midst of preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games set to take place in London, England, the two soccer stars made an appearance at Ohio State to speak at an event in the Ohio Union. Solo, who plays goalie, and Morgan, who plays forward, sat down for an exclusive interview with The Lantern before taking the stage and talking to students. Though the soccer tandem hadn’t seen much more than the airport, they said they were excited to be in Columbus and on OSU’s campus. “I’m so excited to be on campus and see really more or less what the student body is like than the city itself,” Solo said. The U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Japan in the World Cup final, but overall they said it was a great experience. “The World Cup was obviously an amazing experience,” Morgan said. “It was my first World Cup. We had a great journey through the World Cup. We did end up on the short side of the stick with that loss in the end to Japan. But we have no regrets.” The World Cup saw both players’ popularity soar and with that popularity, they were able to experience opportunities outside of soccer. Solo participated in the dancing competition “Dancing With the Stars,” and Morgan appeared in the most recent edition of the yearly “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition” in which she posed in body paint. “It was probably the longest day of my life,” Morgan said of the magazine photo shoot. “It took probably 14 hours to paint. I felt very uncomfortable at many times during that day, but I’m very happy with the results.” Solo said that though the players have seen their individual popularity grow, the popularity for the sport has increased as well. “We’ve gotten some younger, maybe, male fans because of certain other aspects,” Solo said. “But I can assure you that the passion of the game has grown on kind of a broader scheme.” And the players said their focus is on the game at the end of the day. “It starts with soccer and it ends with soccer,” Morgan said. “That’s our priority and although we have these opportunities outside of soccer, we need to go back and keep soccer our priority.” Though soccer doesn’t begin for the women at the Olympics until July, the players said their team is already in full training mode. Team USA will travel to Portugal, Japan and other locations before finally suiting up in London. And make no mistake about it. The team wants gold. “Is there any other way to enter the Olympics?” Solo said. As for all of Solo’s and Morgan’s male fans at OSU, they didn’t have any chance encounters with the athletes walking down High Street late at night. Morgan said she’s exhausted. “I’m going to call it a night pretty early tonight, which is sad,” Morgan said. “I wish I could see the city a little bit more.”
Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott warms up before a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis. OSU won. 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe Ohio State football team has two games left on its schedule, but the Buckeyes know a win — or a Michigan State loss — will give them a third.OSU (9-1, 6-0) is set for a shot to seal a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game against Indiana on Saturday at Ohio Stadium, but when it comes time for the noon kickoff, nothing will be a given.The Lantern sports editors picked five key questions needing answers as the Buckeyes look to book their ticket to Indianapolis and the Hoosiers try to delay their trip.1. Will sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott become coach Urban Meyer’s second 1,000-yard rusher?Chances are Elliott — who has accumulated 954 rushing yards on 167 carries this season — will break the 1,000-yard barrier this season. But if the Buckeyes establish the run game early, he could do it in the first quarter against Indiana.There’s no guarantee, but Elliott’s strong play in recent weeks has been key to OSU’s offensive attack. As he closes in on a career milestone, there’s no reason for the coaching staff to go away from him if he’s playing well from the start.Former Buckeye Carlos Hyde became Meyer’s first-ever 1,000-yard rusher last season, against Indiana, and Elliott — especially in recent weeks — has compared favorably to Hyde’s play.If he doesn’t pick up the necessary 46 yards, OSU won’t be guaranteed a loss. But a big win for the Buckeyes could come behind a big day from Elliott.2. Will playing at home help the Buckeyes eliminate mistakes?OSU is coming off of consecutive road wins against teams ranked in the top 25 of the College Football Playoff standings, but that doesn’t mean the team was flawless against Michigan State and Minnesota.First-half turnovers against Michigan State allowed the Spartans to take a 21-14 lead early on, but the OSU offense found a way to make up for it to take a 28-21 lead into the half. Against Minnesota, a pair of lost fumbles and an interception allowed the Golden Gophers to stay within three at halftime and eventually keep the game within seven when the clock ran out.Both games were played on the road — and the Minnesota game was played in below-20-degree temperatures — but many of the mistakes were still avoidable. Redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall’s two fumbles lost against the Golden Gophers almost single-handedly kept the game close, while the Buckeyes’ offensive explosion helped overcome some big plays given up after turnovers against Michigan State.Returning to Ohio Stadium might be the perfect remedy for OSU’s turnover issues, and if that’s the case, the Buckeyes could be in for a commanding win.3. How many yards will Indiana junior running back Tevin Coleman gain?Meyer said it best during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference: Coleman is “ridiculous.”The Hoosier running back is the focal point of the offense, and has carried the load with 214 carries totaling 1,678 yards so far this season. He’s also got 12 touchdowns on the ground, and is coming off a 307-yard performance in a loss to Rutgers last week.It’s hard to say how Indiana managed to lose a game when its running back put up that many yards on the ground, but Coleman getting rolling is one of the few things likely to keep Indiana in the game against OSU.4. Can Indiana freshman quarterback Zander Diamont step up in the Horseshoe?The Hoosiers entered the season with an experienced junior quarterback under center, but since junior Nate Sudfeld went down with a season-ending shoulder injury after playing in six games, Diamont has gotten the call.Sudfeld threw for 1,151 yards and six touchdowns to just three interceptions before getting hurt, and Diamont hasn’t come close to replicating those numbers. In the first two games of his collegiate career — consecutive losses to Michigan State and Michigan by a combined 63 points — Diamont completed a grand total of 10 passes on 23 attempts. Those 10 completions totaled just 35 yards and no touchdowns. He didn’t throw his first touchdown until his fourth game, and has completed just 46.9 percent of his passes as a Hoosier. Diamont starting wasn’t in Indiana’s this season, and having him start against the No. 6 Buckeyes could be too tall of a task. If he struggles from the start, expect the OSU defense to bring pressure early and often and force at least a few mistakes from the freshman signal caller.5. Can the J.T. Barrett and Joey Bosa combination continue to impress?The 2013 recruiting classmates have arguably been the top two players not only on the OSU team, but in the Big Ten as well. Thursday afternoon, Bosa was named a finalist for the Lombardi Award, which is given to the best lineman or linebacker in the country, while Barrett has the third-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy (15/1 as of Thursday evening) according to Bovada.com, an online gambling site. Both are coming off big games individually as Bosa recorded a season-high seven tackles in a 31-24 win over Minnesota and Barrett broke three school records including longest rush by a quarterback (86), most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback (189) and touchdowns responsible for in a season (38). Bosa will need to play one of his better games in order to shut down Coleman, as he said Wednesday that the goal of the defense is to hold the Indiana back under 100 yards. If Barrett can continue to play like he has since the loss to Virginia Tech, there is a very good chance he could be on a flight to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in early December.
Junior forward Carson Meyer looks down the ice during the second period of Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan on Jan. 11. Ohio State lost 2-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe No. 4 Ohio State men’s hockey team (13-5-4, 6-3-3 Big Ten) is set to play against No. 13 Penn State (13-7-2, 5-6-1 Big Ten) after a split series against rival Michigan.Ohio State is currently ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten, with Penn State at No. 4. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 1 in goals, boasting 107 this season while allowing 81 goals. Ohio State, meanwhile, has scored 67 goals and allowed 48.Penn State has scored 20 goals more than any team in the NCAA, and averages nearly a goal more than any team in the country. Ohio State already has had experience with Penn State this year, splitting an earlier series against the Nittany Lions. Ohio State junior forward Tanner Laczynski said he knows what to expect from Penn State’s team.“I think they’ve played the same the last couple of years,” Laczynski said. “They like to get a lot of pucks at the net. They’re a very offensive-minded team.”Penn State is led by three scorers who all rank in the top 10 in points in the NCAA.Sophomore forwards Alex Limoges and Evan Barratt are tied for No. 2 in the country with 30 points, and junior forward Brandon Biro is tied for No. 8 with 26.Barratt’s 13 goals is tied for the fourth-most in the NCAA.Ohio State senior defenseman Tommy Parran said his team won’t change its mindset to match such an aggressive opponent.“I think it’s just staying true to our training and what we practice every day,” he said. “They are pretty prolific in terms of their goal-scoring and their abilities and they’ve got some great forwards. We definitely know what we’re handling but it’s good to be cognitive of what they’re bringing.”So far this season, Ohio State has had bad history with Friday games, but it has been able to mount comebacks and win on Saturday nights.The Buckeyes haven’t lost two games in a row yet this season. Head coach Steve Rohlik said he believes this happens from extra motivation on the second night.“Desperation,” he said. “When you’re desperate and get beat or don’t play as well on Friday you usually are going to get a better hockey team on Saturday. We talked about it this week already. We’ve got to play desperate on Friday.”The Buckeyes match up against Penn State at University Park, Pennsylvania, at 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.