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Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Faculty News

Neal receives Excellence in Teaching Award from AAR

Lynn Neal

Lynn Neal, associate professor of the study of religions, recently received the Award for Excellence in Teaching from the American Academy of Religion (AAR). The award recognizes the importance of teaching and honors outstanding teaching in the field.

An interview with her will be featured in an upcoming edition of Religious Studies News.  She will also be the featured speaker at a forum at the 2017 AAR annual meeting in Boston.

Neal joined the Wake Forest faculty in 2006. She earned her doctorate in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Neal teaches courses in American religious history, religion and popular culture, and religious intolerance.  Her current research examines the intersection of religion and fashion.  Her writings include “Romancing God: Evangelical Women and Inspirational Fiction” and “Evangelical Love Stories: The Triumphs and Temptations of Romantic Fiction.”  She is the co-editor of “Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History” and has published other works on that topic.

Dr. John (Jack) Ernest Parker Jr.

This announcement was emailed to faculty and staff on Feb. 20:

We are saddened to announce that John (Jack) Ernest Parker Jr., Professor Emeritus of Education and Romance Languages, died Feb. 18.

A Winston-Salem Journal obituary announced on Feb. 20 that a funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 21 at Centenary United Methodist Church.  Additional information is available here.

Dr. Parker joined Wake Forest’s faculty in 1950.  He retired in 1987.  During his Wake Forest career he taught French.  At one time, he chaired the Department of Education.  He was a graduate of Wake Forest, also.

We grieve Dr. Parker’s death and extend our condolences to his family and friends, as well as those at Wake Forest who had the opportunity to know him.

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff. The Counseling Center may be reached at 336-758-5273, the Chaplain’s Office at 336-758-5210.  For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 336-716-5493.

Wake Forest Communications and External Relations

Proposals funded: Katula, Jayawickreme, Rejeski

Congratulations to Jeffrey Katula, associate professor of health and exercise science, who proposal entitled “HELP DI II” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by ((subaward/subcontract from) Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Congratulations to Eranda Jayawickreme, assistant professor of psychology, whose proposal entitled “Strengthening Character Through Success and Failure [Cayuse 16-0106]” has been funded by the Templeton Foundation and by (subaward/subcontract from) Arizona State University (WFU funding agency).

Congratulations to Jack Rejeski, professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Molecular transducers of physical activity consortium coordinating center (CCC) [Cayuse 16-0072]” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by (subaward/subcontract from) University of Florida (WFU funding agency).

Founders’ Day Convocation recognizes student leaders, faculty

Student leaders and faculty were honored Feb. 16 during Founders’ Day Convocation in Wait Chapel.

The University’s highest honor, the Medallion of Merit, was awarded to James Barefield and Herman Eure.  Other faculty received awards, too.

Students Richard Caban-Cubero, Ashley Laughlin and Cameron Silverglate—who won the 2017 Senior Orations Competition–made presentations during the event.

Additional information here.

February 2017 staff and faculty milestones

See a list of staff and faculty milestones:

1 Year

Katherine Elizabeth Booth; Health Law & Policy Res Fellow; Law: Instruction
Kaleb Clifton; Maintenance Technician; Graylyn: Maintenance
Laura Maurer Devonmille; Assistant Director; Finance Systems
Bryce A. Moore; Security Officer LJVM; University Police
Cierra Graham Raleigh; Executive Assistant; President’s Office
Peter Elliott Rives; Assistant Director; Health Promotion
Cody Dylan Rothrock; Turf Technician; Athletics: Turf Management
Debra Sue Vaiea; Server; Graylyn: Food Services
Kristi Wagner; HR Coordinator; Human Resources

5 Years

Sara Rachel Chaney; Budget Analyst; Residence Life & Housing
Jeffrey Mark Hucks; Senior HRIS Analyst; Human Resources
Justin E Sizemore; EHS Technician; EHS
Scott Allen Smith; Patrol Sergeant; University Police

10 Years

Sandra Marie Byrd; Custodian; FACS: Custodial Services
Cindy C. O’Hagan; Coord, Curriulum Materials; Education: Curriculum Center

15 Years

Sharon L. Fortner; Financial Assistant; University Police
Amy Boyd Willard; Asst Dir, Prof Development; OPCD: Career & Professional Dev

20 Years

William L. Davis; Teaching Professor; WFUSB-Instruction
Anthony A. Daluz; Head Coach; Athletics: Soccer – Women

25 Years

Andrea Shutt Cox; Administrative Assistant; Healthy Exercise & Lifestyle


New program offers opportunities for faculty in China

This is a guest post from the Center for Global Programs and Studies:

During the winter break Jon Smart, assistant teaching professor in Wake Forest’s Writing Program, traveled to Qingdao, China, to teach an academic writing course to eleven Chinese high school students who plan to study in the United States upon graduation.


Jon Smart teaching in China

The course was the result of a yearlong effort in the Center for Global Programs and Studies to provide Wake Forest faculty additional opportunities for meaningful cross-cultural interaction with international students in their home culture. Benefits of cross-cultural interaction include:

  • Greater ability to interpret events from multiple perspectives
  • Greater ability to communicate across difference to formulate solutions to complex problems
  • Increased self-awareness and understanding of how one interacts with others

For Smart, whose work focuses second language writing, the opportunity to visit Qingdao was a chance to become more familiar with the learning contexts and experiences of Chinese high school students.  It gave him a chance to interact with students, their instructors, and their parents, and he hopes to apply what he learned from teaching the course to his approaches to teaching at Wake. Continue reading »

Comings and goings for December 2016

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in December 2016: Continue reading »

Q and A with Engineering Chairwoman Olga Pierrakos

pierrakos-picture_head-shotOn Tuesday, Wake Forest University announced the appointment of Olga Pierrakos as founding chair of the Department of Engineering. One of Wake Downtown’s new anchoring academic programs, undergraduate engineering classes will begin this fall. The following Q&A with her has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What appealed to you about the opportunity to become Wake Forest’s first chair of engineering?

A: It’s a great opportunity to start a brand new engineering program anywhere, and starting a new engineering program does not happen every day. The fact that it’s happening at Wake Forest, an institution with a renowned national reputation in the context of an authentic liberal arts education is a tremendous opportunity. It is an honor and privilege for those that get to be part of it, including me.

Q: What is your vision for the engineering department at Wake Forest?

A: My vision is to build a top-notch undergraduate engineering program that others look to as an exemplar model of innovative engineering education. I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot (from mistakes too) in being a founding faculty member of the James Madison University (JMU) engineering program. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. To get a chance to build a new engineering program for a second time and at Wake Forest is truly an honor.

When I started as a founding faculty member and as an assistant professor at JMU, it was exciting and scary at the same time. To start a new engineering program at Wake Forest, I am not scared but thrilled. At JMU, I’ve touched almost every aspect of building a new program: curriculum, hiring, building facilities, accreditation, assessment, recruitment, mentoring, research, etc. At the National Science Foundation, where I am currently serving as a Program Director, I also see the innovations in undergraduate engineering education every day. It’s transformational to recognize which institutions are doing things right, which innovations we may choose at Wake Forest and maybe even which ones we can make even better.

I really believe in liberal arts education. How do you produce engineers that don’t just have the technical skills to deal with the complexities of the problems they’re going to have to face in a global context? How do you teach students to solve problems and understand the needs of humanity, the ethical implications, the responsibility and the privilege that comes with making the kinds of decisions that they will have to make as engineers? They must truly understand the systems they will impact and how their decisions will change the world around them. Continue reading »

Proposals funded: Bonin, Kim-Shapiro

Congratulations to Keith D. Bonin, professor of physics, whose proposal entitled “Real-Time Dopamine Signaling and Ethanol Drinking Behavior” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by (subaward/subcontract from) Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFU funding agency).

Congratulations to Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, professor of physics, whose proposal entitled “Antidote for Inhaled CO Poisoning Based on Mutationally Engineered Neuroglobin” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by (subaward/subcontract from) University of Pittsburgh (WFU funding agency).

January 2017 faculty milestones

See a list of faculty milestones in January 2017:

1 Year

Peter Santago; Professor; Computer Science

5 Years

Frederic Fries Bahnson; Director/Professor; Divinity School
Jennifer Lindsey Rogers; Assistant Professor; Counseling

30 Years

Douglas Beets; Professor; WFUSB-Instruction
Mark E. Welker; Professor; Chemistry

45 Years

George K. Walker; Professor; Law: Instruction