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Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Staff News

August 2015 staff milestones

See a list of staff milestones for August 2015:

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CRADLE program invests in faculty and grantsmanship

The Creative Research Activities Development and Enrichment (CRADLE) initiative is engaging with its fifth cohort of faculty this September and continues to experience interest and success.

The Office of the Provost and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) coordinate the program. CRADLE aims to develop competitive external proposals that support multiyear research projects and creative activities. Fellows receive assistance from both internal and external consultants to improve their grantsmanship and to articulate a five-year career plan that incorporates proven strategies for developing and funding superior research and creative activities.

“We began CRADLE because we wanted to help faculty develop competitive grant proposals,” said Lori Messer, director of ORSP.

On Sept. 18, the new cohort will attend the first of four seminars, “Winning Grants,” that will cover federal grants. In December, another seminar focused on foundation and corporate grants will be held. Other CRADLE sessions will focus on quality and team building. Participants also work one-on-one with a grants consultant to develop 90-day contracts that outline their grant plans.

The seminars are open to non-CRADLE participants.

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Innovative solution for WFU blind student leads to journal article

Michael Shuman and Robert Erhardt recently published an article in the Journal of Statistics Education, “Assistive Technologies for Second-Year Statistics Students who are Blind.” The article written by Shuman, interim director of Wake Forest’s Learning Assistance Center (LAC) and Erhardt, assistant professor of mathematics, focuses on the technology they developed to assist Kathryn Webster, an aspiring mathematician who also happens to be blind.

Michael Shuman, associate director of the Wake Forest Learning Assistance Center, poses in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

Shuman

Kathryn, a junior from Greenwich, Conn., enrolled in a course in statistics covering topics requiring her to both interpret and produce three sets of materials: mathematical writing, computer programming, and visual displays of data. While some resources for blind students taking mathematics courses or introductory statistics courses were available, none were adequate to assist Kathryn.

New Wake Forest faculty members pose for headshots during their orientation on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.  Robert Erhardt, Mathematics.

Erhardt

In addition to providing academic support to all Wake Forest students through coaching and peer tutoring, the LAC exists to enable students with disabilities to experience equal access to the academic, social, and recreational activities and programs at the University.

Though Wake Forest is a smaller institution than other similar private schools, the University still has a number of undergraduates with disabilities who request accommodations. Though Kathryn brought some of her own assistive technology with her to campus, Shuman was struggling with a novel way of representing visual data for her related to her math courses.

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WakeUnited: Live United Katy Harriger

Wake Forest political science professor Katy Harriger poses in her office in Tribble Hall on Friday, November 4, 2011.

Katy Harriger, professor and chair of politics and international affairs, has contributed to the WakeUnited Campaign for most of her 30 years at Wake Forest. “I understand the privileges I have as a college professor, and I have always believed that if you have the capacity to give to make your community better, that’s what you should do,” says Harriger.

On many occasions, she has happily served as her departmental liaison for the campaign because she believes in the work United Way does to alleviate unequal access to education, food, legal services and health care. “These are issues that I wish were more adequately addressed through our political system, but since they are not,” says Harriger, “I think it’s incumbent upon those of us who have access to these essentials to do what we can to make sure that others do as well.”

Harriger is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, which reflects her particular interest in recent years on projects related to improving the high school graduation rate in Forsyth County. “This focus proves that when resources and attention are focused on an issue, change can happen,” says Harriger. “Charitable giving is not a substitute for effective democratic government that works for all, but it is a very important supplement and helps close crucial gaps in services.”

Giving is easy through the WakeUnited Campaign on the Reynolda Campus. Harriger’s major connection with United Way is through her annual giving. “Being able to do it though payroll deduction made it easier to give smaller amounts in the early years and to gradually build my annual gift over time.”

‘Book club’ approach to first-year reading

The Wake Forest Summer Research Fellowship program allows undergraduate students to work with faculty mentors on research projects in their areas of interest.  Psychology professor Christy Buchanan works with psychology major Rebecca Abramson ('11) on a study of effective parenting techniques and how mothers perceive them. They talk about their research in Greene Hall on Thursday, July 22, 2010.

Christy Buchanan

Wake Forest took a “book club” approach to this year’s summer reading assignment for first-year students. From John Grisham’s “Gray Mountain” to Levitt and Dubner’s “Think Like a Freak,” to Susan Cain’s “Quiet,” incoming students can choose from 22 different books.

All of the books fit this year’s theme, “Exploring Difference, Embracing Diversity.” Contemporary novels, historical novels, non-fiction, and a collection of short stories made the list.

The Orientation and Lower Division Advising Committee originally planned to choose one common reading, but changed course when it received so many good recommendations from faculty members.

“Our committee asked the question, ‘Why do we have to pick just one?’” said Senior Associate Dean for Academic Advising Christy Buchanan.

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WakeUnited: Live United Ann Gibbs

Ann Gibbs, associate dean in the School of Law, served as the School of Law liaison for the WakeUnited Campaign last year.  Gibbs has been involved with United Way for a number of years as part of the Leadership Circle and the Women’s Leadership Council.   She decided to get involved with United Way initially because of her passion for strengthening public education.

Wake Forest Law School professor Ann Gibbs.

“I have volunteered in our local public schools for years, and strongly believe in the United Way’s mission to increase our public high school graduation rates.  With the support of United Way, we have seen remarkably positive results in this area,” says Gibbs.  “In addition to strengthening our community’s educational mission, I also like the United Way’s focus on financial stability and health.  With this three-pronged focus on education, financial stability, and health, the United Way continues to assist in making our community more vibrant and healthy for everyone.”

Her enthusiasm for the WakeUnited campaign is contagious. “We are privileged to work on a beautiful campus with the many benefits associated with interacting with fascinating and energetic students, faculty and staff,” says Gibbs.  “As part of the Wake Forest family, I consider it my duty to contribute to WakeUnited in order to have an impact on the larger community beyond the Wake Forest gates.”

Wake Forest Magazine wins two top awards

unnamedWake Forest Magazine won two top awards in the 2015 Circle of Excellence global competition sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The publication received a Gold Award in Periodical Staff Writing for a collection of five stories: “Out of This Art World” and “An Artful Friendship” by Editor Maria Henson (’82); “Oh, Those Lilting Banshees: Where Are They (Funny) Now?” and “Ted Gellar-Goad and the Secret of the Sphinx” by Managing Editor Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08); and “The Thing He Carried” by Senior Editor Kerry M. King (’85).

“Wake Forest submitted a diverse and thoroughly entertaining set of stories. From painting buddies in Winston-Salem to art on the Texas prairie, each entry delivered a strong, unique voice and command of the material,” wrote the judges. “Writing was crisp and informative. Even more importantly, the committee could delineate a direct connection between the subject matter and the mission of Wake Forest.”

The magazine staff, including Deputy Editor Janet Williamson (P ’00, ’03), also received a Bronze Award for General Interest Magazines over 75,000 circulation.

July 2015 staff milestones

See a list of staff milestones for July 2015. (The wrong list was posted earlier, briefly.)

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Department Chairs and administrative assistants for 2015-16

Please find below a list of academic department chairs and their administrative assistants for 2015-2016, as of July 1, 2015:

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June 2015 comings and goings

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in June 2015:

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