Dr. Candy Noltensmeyer, Associate Professor of Communication, serves as a Faculty Relations Fellow at Western Carolina University, WCU, together with Dr. Siham Lekchiri, Department of Human Services, CEAP for the academic year of 2024.

Noltensmeyer grew up on a farm in Southeast Kansas where she enjoys playing in fields and riding horses. She gained her PhD from the University of Missouri in Communication and joined WCU in 2013 as an assistant professor. 

Noltensmeyer has a huge interest in interpersonal communication. 

I am absolutely fascinated by relationships, how we get into/out of them and negotiating our interests/needs, successfully or not. I’m always trying to understand others’ perspectives and why they make the communicative choices they do,” said Noltensmeyer. 

Teaching not only gives Noltensmeyer joys and opportunities to learn more about her students’ experiences and lives, but also gives her a great chance to share what she has learned. Interpersonal communication is her favorite course to teach. 

“Interpersonal communication is a fundamental part of everyone’s life, and it is so fun,” said Noltensmeyer. “I get to show students different perspectives and how small tweaks in their communication can change their lives, and it’s entirely within their own control.”

In addition to enjoying teaching, Noltensmeyer also loves helping others. Serving as a Faculty Relations Fellow is a reward to Noltensmeyer.

“This is a great way for me to learn more about university resources so I can share with others,” said Noltensmeyer. “Additionally, it’s a great way to meet people on campus and see what cool things other faculty are doing.”

In this role, Noltensmeyer serves as a neutral informal resource for faculty at WCU. She provides a safe, and informal place for faculty to discuss any challenges or assists WCU faculty in any way that she can help.

“Sometimes a faculty member will call just for a reassuring conversation, they need a second opinion that they are on the right track. Sometimes they need to workshop ideas to prepare for a difficult conversation. Or sometimes faculty need assistance navigating the tenure process or having difficult conversations. I also conduct exit interviews for faculty leaving the university,” said Noltensmeyer.

One of Noltensmeyer’s missions when serving as Faculty Relations Fellow is, “helping others find the resources needed so they can move forward and achieve their dreams.”