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Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Staff News

May selected to attend Leadership Institute meeting

Phil May, a senior project manager in Information Systems, has been recognized for leadership by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Piedmont Triad Chapter. He has been selected  to attend the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting 2015-North America on Oct. 8-10 in Orlando.

While there, May will attend meetings with PMI chapter leaders from all over the world to hear remarkable keynote speakers and benefit from more than 60 educational sessions, learn about tools and resources to assist with managing the local chapter, and network with more than 1,100 like-minded volunteer leaders.

May was selected because of his accomplishments as the chapter’s vice president of education, a role to which he was elected last January. Those accomplishments include leading a team in the development of a new course PM 101, A Day in the Life, organizing local Project Management Professional (PMP) prep classes, which includes offering these classes to Wake Forest MBA students through an on-going partnership with the University’s School of Business, and teaching PMP prep classes.

WakeUnited: Live United Stephen Edwards

Stephen Edwards, assistant director for alumni engagement, knew that he wanted to make a positive impact on his community from the time that he started at Wake Forest as an undergraduate.

Wake Forest alumni programs coordinator Stephen Edwards, Thursday, October 3, 2013.

During his four years as a student he volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, one of the partner agencies of the United Way of Forsyth County. Now, almost a decade later, he continues to be matched with the same young man, a senior at Mount Tabor High School.

“Being given the opportunity as a freshman in college to have this impact on a ‘little brother’ in the community,” said Edwards, was empowering for the both of them.

Now an employee of the University, Edwards serves on the Wake United Way campaign cabinet leading efforts for Young Leaders United (YLU), the young professionals giving group of the United Way. YLU not only provides an opportunity to give back to the community financially, it also encourages deep connection through volunteering and leadership development.

“YLU has given me the opportunity to meet fascinating people at other employers in Winston-Salem, learn from phenomenal speakers at monthly lunches, serve alongside peers in the community, and give back to the great work of the United Way in the community, through the support of my employer,” Edwards said.

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September 2015 staff milestones

See a list of staff milestones for September 2015:

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WakeUnited: Live United Andrea Ellis and Leigh Stanfield

Andrea Ellis, assistant vice president for innovation, and Leigh Stanfield, director of global campus programs, are Women’s Leadership Council coordinators for the 2015 WakeUnited Campaign. The campaign, which takes place during the month of October, is the Reynolda Campus initiative to support United Way of Forsyth County.

Wake Forest human resources director Andrea Ellis, Tuesday, November 29, 2011.


“The Women’s Leadership Council gives women opportunities to grow as leaders through opportunities to volunteer, network, and support education,” says Stanfield. “Right now our work is most closely aligned with the United Way’s efforts to raise the high school graduation rate in Forsyth County. Our goal is 90 percent by 2018, which is a big improvement from 71 percent when we started the program.”

Many members of the Wake Forest community have personal experience with United Way and then are inspired to do more.

“I wanted to do something for the community that was service related but wanted it to be something that I believe in and that is meaningful to me,” says Ellis.  “Initially, United Way touched my family through its Hospice organization.  Since that time, however, I have learned of countless other ways UW has an impact on the entire Winston-Salem community.”



“If we want to thrive as a community, we must engage with the community where we live,” says Ellis.  “Giving to WakeUnited helps make Winston-Salem a better place to live and, in a fundamental way, WakeUnited is Pro Humanitate.”

Want to get involved? Stanfield and Ellis are happy to talk with you individually, and they also suggest two opportunities to connect with WLC in September.

Join the WLC team (or cheer members on!) at the Moonlight Madness 5K & Fun Run to benefit United Way of Forsyth County at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, in Bailey Park, which is located at 575 N. Patterson Avenue in Innovation Quarter.

Wake Forest will host a WLC gathering on Monday, Sept. 28, from 4:30-6 p.m. on the patio at Fratelli’s restaurant on Reynolda Road. This is a great opportunity for members to get updates about the work of WLC, for newcomers to learn more about the group, and for everyone to enjoy food and good conversation.

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.


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.


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.”