Concord’s education department was what initially drew Taylor Carter to the university, but like many freshmen, that major changed once she started taking classes. Taylor says she realized teaching wasn’t for her, but she really loved the geography classes she was taking. Now, Taylor is a Political Science and Geography double major. Her interest in politics lead to her involvement in SGA, and she is currently the president of that organization. Taylor is also in Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and Phi Alpha Delta, Concord’s pre-law fraternity. Concord’s small size was another factor in Taylor’s decision to come to Athens. During her time here, she says a smaller campus allowed her to explore a number of ways to get involved and feel known. “Once you find your niche at Concord, you’ll never want to leave,” Taylor says.
Shawn is a second generation Mountain Lion, but that is only one detail that finalized his decision to choose CU after graduating from Pikeview High School in 2017. The university also had the program of study he wanted, and its location meant Shawn could commute to save money. He is a Business Administration major with concentrations in management and finance. When Shawn isn’t in class, you’ll find him working in the business office as a work-study in the Accounts Payable office. Shawn says the real life experiences that professors share and the work experience he has received at Concord has prepared him for the kind of job he wants when he graduates, one similar to the job he currently does at CU. Education aside, Shawn says his favorite part about Concord is the people. “It felt like home from the time I stepped on the campus in 2017,” Shawn says. “Most of everyone is relaxed and will help out if you are in need.”
Instructor of Theater and Communication Arts
Karen Vuranch brings decades of theater experience and extensive knowledge to Concord University. Vuranch has performed shows in every county in West Virginia, in 35 states and three foreign countries. She completed five performance tours of England and Wales, and toured China with 35 other storytellers. In 1982, she moved from Ohio to West Virginia to work for the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia as a storyteller. Here, she met her husband and together, the couple eventually founded their own theater company, WV Enterprises. Vuranch has written many performance pieces, including Coal Camp Memories, a play she wrote based on oral histories she collected. She also has 12 living history characters – remarkable women in history – that she researched and performs. “Teaching is a culmination of my years of work,” Vuranch says. “I have had years of being on stage and accolades. Now, I am ready to share what I know and to see my students flourish.”