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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Cheryl Walker

WFU historian featured on TLC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

JRuddiman-59-Print (1)Wake Forest University Assistant Professor of History Jake Ruddiman analyzed historical documents and provided on-air commentary for the April 19 episode of the TLC program “Who Do You Think You Are?” featuring actor Bill Paxton.

The show helps celebrities research their family history. In this episode, Paxton researched his ancestors’ participation in the American Revolution — reading firsthand accounts of the battles and visiting a battlefield.

Producers invited  Ruddiman to participate on the show based on his expertise on Revolutionary War history and his recently published book, “Becoming Men of Consequence: Youth and Military Service in the Revolutionary War.”

Ruddiman shared a few details about his experience:

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Administrator Lu Leake mixed dignity with a sense of humor

img014Lula M. “Lu” Leake came to Wake Forest as dean of women in 1964, two decades after the University opened its doors to undergraduate women during World War II, and served the University for 33 years.

Leake, who retired in 1997 as associate vice president for academic affairs, died April 13 in Winston-Salem. She was 89.

She served as dean of women for 20 years before becoming Wake Forest’s assistant vice president for administration and planning in 1984 and also serving as dean of the summer session.

In 1996 Wake Forest presented Leake with the Medallion of Merit, the University’s highest award for service. “She led our students through what was arguably the most significant era of change for women in the history of this nation,” said Thomas K. Hearn Jr., president of Wake Forest when the award was presented to her.

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Office of Chaplain hosts panel discussion on Islamophobia

Chaplain Tim Auman introduces panelists Michaelle Browers, Imam Adeel Zeb, Manzoor Cheema, Jade Brooks, Dani Moore, and Khalid Griggs.

Chaplain Tim Auman introduces panelists Michaelle Browers, Imam Adeel Zeb, Manzoor Cheema, Jade Brooks, Dani Moore, and Imam Khalid Griggs.

The Office of the Chaplain recently hosted a panel discussion, “Islamophobia: The Anatomy of Difference,” aimed at creating greater interfaith understanding.

The March 2 event was held in Wait Chapel and attended by faculty, staff, students and community members.

“We want people to practice deep listening, to hear personal stories about what it means to be Muslim and what Islamophobia looks like in people’s everyday lives with the goal of opening the door for relationships that include our differences – even the subtle and the most difficult ones,” said Chaplain Tim Auman, who planned the event. In his introduction, Auman encouraged talking “constructively and compassionately about difference.”

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25 Years Later: President Hatch’s Book on American Christianity

Christianity-Democratization-headerA quarter century after it was published, scholars are still talking about the award-winning book, “The Democratization of American Christianity,” written by Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch.

To mark the book’s 25th anniversary, Wake Forest will host a half-day symposium Feb. 6 featuring seven of the country’s most distinguished scholars of early American religion reflecting on the influence of the book.

The event will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. in Farrell Hall’s Broyhill Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. A detailed schedule is posted on the symposium website.

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Responses from Imam Griggs and Chaplain Auman

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The following is an open letter to the Wake Forest community from Imam Khalid Griggs, Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life:

It is with heartfelt emotion that I express my genuine appreciation for the overwhelming expressions of support that I have received in the aftermath of the unconscionable act directed at me, and by default, Muslim Life at Wake Forest University. The student initiated flower and card campaign has led to literally dozens of flowers, plant arrangements, and cards being delivered to my office door by students, faculty, staff, food service workers, campus police, and campus administrators. These deliveries often cause my eyes to water, especially when students, heretofore unknown to me, hand me cards or flowers while tearfully articulating their sorrow and regret that such an incident had occurred. Frequently, an entire departmental staff has brought me tidings of support.

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Interim law dean named

Suzanne Reynolds

Suzanne Reynolds

A message from Provost Rogan Kersh

This to affirm that Suzanne Reynolds (JD ’77) has graciously accepted my request to serve as Interim Dean for the coming academic year.  Ron Wright, similarly graciously, has agreed to replace Suzanne for the year as Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

President Hatch and I wish Dean Morant well as he transitions to his new position in Washington.  We have great confidence in our Law leadership team, under the experienced guidance of Suzanne, and look forward to working with the team–and, indeed, with all of you–to successfully navigate the shifting winds of legal education.

Ron Wright

Ron Wright

As President Hatch indicated in his university-wide note last week, we will launch a national search for Dean Morant’s successor, beginning this September.  My grateful thanks in advance to each of you for your support of this vital endeavor.  And a special note of appreciation to Suzanne and Ron for their willingness to take on these essential interim roles: your support will be all the more valued as we steer a forward course together.

Morant named GWU law dean

dean.morant.300x175President Nathan Hatch sent the following message to faculty, staff and students:

After seven years of exemplary service to Wake Forest University as Dean of the School of Law, Blake D. Morant will become Dean of George Washington University Law School on Sept. 1, 2014.

Under Dean Morant’s leadership, the Wake Forest School of Law has thrived despite the turbulent times legal education and the industry have faced nationally. As Dean since 2007, his tenure has seen a 13-point rise in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings to 31st, the law school’s highest-ever ranking. That rise also represents the highest jump by any law school ranked in the Top 50 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

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Charles Iacovou named Dean of Business

20140527iacovou5493A message from President Nathan O. Hatch.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Charles Iacovou has accepted my invitation to serve as the next Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Business, effective July 1. Provost Rogan Kersh chaired a national search for a leader of impeccable experience and an appreciation for the power of a well-rounded business education in a collegiate-university setting. Throughout the process, Dr. Iacovou distinguished himself as the best choice for Wake Forest.

Since joining the School of Business’ leadership team in 2007, he has served in a number of senior administrative roles, including Director of the Full-time MBA Program, Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty.  For the past two years, he has served as the School’s Vice Dean.  In this capacity, he has had oversight responsibility for undergraduate, graduate and non-degree programs. He also has been responsible for faculty affairs, academic centers and all administrative and professional staff functions of the school.

Under his leadership, the School of Business faculty and staff formulated a strategic framework for business education at Wake Forest between 2012-13, which is currently being implemented. This followed Dr. Iacovou’s successful efforts to co-lead the integration of the graduate and undergraduate business schools at Wake Forest.

Before joining Wake Forest University in 2001, Dr. Iacovou led an electronic bank, Laiki eBank, in Europe. Additionally, Dr. Iacovou has provided strategic planning, management consulting, and leadership training services to firms in the financial services, international trade, logistics, media and other industries. As Professor of Management, Dr. Iacovou has received numerous teaching and research awards from students, alumni and faculty.

Dr. Iacovou was a faculty member in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University from 1997 to 1999. He received his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of British Columbia and his B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont. He completed his undergraduate studies with the support of a scholarship administered by the Cyprus Fulbright Commission.

I am confident Dr. Iacovou will take Wake Forest to the next level as a distinctive and distinguished school of business.  Please join me in congratulating him on his new role.

Gillespie featured on CSPAN’s BookTV

gillespie.300x175Gillespie, author of “Katharine and R. J. Reynolds: Partners of Fortune in the Making of the New South,” was interviewed for CSPAN’s BookTV about her biography of R.J. Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and his wife, Katharine.

The program will air:

  • Saturday, April 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m.

Gillespie talks about the couple’s influence on progressive movements in the South during the early 20th century and Katharine Reynold’s philanthropic pursuits following her husband’s death.

She is Presidential Endowed Professor of Southern History at Wake Forest. Her books include “Free Labor in an Unfree World” and “Southern Society and its Transformations.”

Click here to read more about the book.

Fetrow named provost at University of Richmond

Jacque FetrowDean of the College and Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics Jacque Fetrow has been appointed Provost at the University of Richmond.

As Dean since 2009, Fetrow’s tenure has been marked by a strong reaffirmation of the College’s signature tradition of close student-faculty engagement, with support for the URECA Center, development of the Office of Academic Advising, and fundraising to support initiatives led by the Associate Dean for Student-Faculty Academic Initiatives. Her support for Wake Forest’s teacher-scholar model has been integral in U.S. News & World Report’s 11th place ranking for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” this year, as well as the school’s highest-ever ranking among national universities at 23rd.

“Jacque has been a much-valued steady hand at the helm during turbulent times for a liberal arts education nationally,” said President Nathan Hatch. “I have prized her leadership and integrity, as well as her good counsel on all matters affecting the College as well as Wake Forest as a whole.”

Fetrow has been a central figure in Wake Will: the Campaign for Wake Forest, helping to secure over $180 million in gifts and pledges for student scholarships and financial aid, faculty and departmental support including facilities improvements, and strategic initiatives. She also made great strides in aligning the College’s financial and budgeting processes with evolving University systems, and extensively reorganized the structure and management of the Dean’s Office and College more broadly.

“Jacque has been a key partner in virtually every significant issue and initiative arising at Wake Forest since I arrived in 2012,” said Provost Rogan Kersh. “I will greatly miss her creative imagination, her knack for envisioning positive solutions to problems within our budget constraints, and valued friendship.”

Throughout her deanship, Fetrow has sustained an active research program, closely involving both graduate and undergraduate students – including Wake Forest’s 2012 Rhodes Scholar – in her landmark work on protein structures and functions in the drug discovery process. She and colleagues in computer science developed a course that won the Wake Forest Teaching and Learning Center Innovative Teaching Award in 2006.

She currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Protein Society, and is on the Board of Directors of QuantumBio, an early-stage biotechnology software company. Prior to coming to Wake Forest in 2003, Fetrow served as chief scientific officer and director of GeneFormatics, a biotechnology software company. She also served on the faculties of the Scripps Research Institute and the University at Albany in New York. She earned her Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. at Albright College.

At the University of Richmond, she will also hold an appointment as Professor of Chemistry. She will begin her term on July 1.

Senior Associate Deans Rebecca Thomas and Randy Rogan, along with Associate Deans Anne Boyle, Christy Buchanan, David Levy, and José Villalba, will continue to work with Dean Fetrow in leading the College’s regular operations. A search advisory committee will soon be named to begin the process of choosing a successor as Dean of the College.