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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Chemistry research team members to receive award

This is a guest post from the Department of Chemistry:

Chemistry department research team members supported by the Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability at Wake Forest have been selected to receive the SERMACS Industrial Innovation Award.

They are Abdou Lachgar, professor of chemistry; Marcus Wright, NMR laboratory manager; Chinmay Deshmane (a former post-doctoral fellow in Lachgar’s group); and Brian Hanson, a Virginia Tech faculty member who was part of the research team.

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WFDD to re-launch ‘Across the Blue Ridge’ radio program

This is a guest post from 88.5 WFDD:

88.5 WFDD, the public radio station licensed to Wake Forest University, is partnering with former 88.5 WFDD news director and NPR newscaster Paul Brown to re-launch “Across the Blue Ridge,” a program created by Brown at WFDD in the late 1980s. “Across the Blue Ridge” tells some of America’s most fascinating stories through the lens of Appalachian music and cultural history. It focuses on the southern Blue Ridge region known as a hotbed of old-time, bluegrass, blues, and country music. The show previously ran on WFDD for more than a decade until Brown left WFDD for NPR in Washington, DC.

WFDD logoBrown said, “I’m thrilled to collaborate with WFDD to bring ‘Across the Blue Ridge’ back to the airwaves, to the web, and to live performance venues. This is an amazing period in our music history, with a new generation of hot performers taking off in wonderful directions. I hope listeners will join me in sharing a truly fascinating, always-evolving story about the American south, its music, and connections to the wider world.”

88.5 WFDD has planned a January 2016 launch of the re-envisioned show, and has introduced an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to support the production of the program. “Producing a weekly radio program is costly,” said WFDD General Manager Tom Dollenmayer, “and we hope that our listeners who remember ‘Across the Blue Ridge’ fondly will want to contribute to aid in bringing back the show.”

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Francis and Sauerbry selected as members of task force

Jessica Francis, associate director of the Center for Global Programs and Studies (GPS) at Wake Forest, and Kristy Sauerbry, senior study abroad advisor, have been selected as members of Diversity Abroad Task Force.  Diversity Abroad Task Force members provide critical guidance and support to Diversity Network initiatives, and contribute to the development of new and valuable resources for Network members.

Francis will serve as chair of the First Generation College Students Task Force for the second year in a row.  Sauerbry will be serving on the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Disciplines Task Force for the first time.

The Diversity Abroad Network (“Diversity Network”) is the leading professional consortium of education institutions, government agencies, for-profit and non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusive good practices that increase access, achieve greater diversity and foster inclusive excellence in international education. Details of their awards can be found here.

Ta-Nehisi Coates to deliver Voices of Our Time address Nov. 17

coates.for.insidePresident Hatch sent a message to faculty, staff and students regarding the Nov. 17 Voices of Our Time.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

I’m pleased to share that Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for the Atlantic and author of The New York Times bestseller, “Between the World and Me,” will speak Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel as part of the Voices of Our Time speaker series.

Coates is a finalist for the National Book Award and was recently named a 2015 MacArthur “Genius” grant winner.

The event is free, though tickets are required. They can be reserved online at or by calling 336-758-5237. Wake Forest faculty, staff and students have an opportunity to reserve tickets in advance of the public announcement tomorrow, Nov. 4.

Voices of Our Time is a guest speaker series that exposes students, the Wake Forest community and the general public to some of the world’s leading thinkers — including scholars, scientists, writers, business and public policy leaders, activists and religious leaders — for discussions about timely national and international issues.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Ta-Nehisi Coates on Nov. 17.

Allison McWilliams: Ask powerful questions

Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development, will write occasional articles in 2015-2016 for Inside WFU.  This is her fourth for the academic year.  In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff drawn from her professional experience with students.

Allison McWilliams, the Director of Career Education in the Wake Forest Office of Personal and Career Development on Monday, October 10, 2011.

We all know the value of powerful questions in the classroom. A well-placed question makes us think, pushes us to make connections between events, challenges our assumptions, and generally helps us to learn. In much the same way, powerful questions help us to learn in mentoring relationships. A well-placed question causes us to reflect upon what has happened, to make connections, and to effectively assess how we can use this new knowledge in the future. This is, I believe, the gift of an effective mentoring relationship: it gives us the space and the tools that we need to be mindful and present in our own lives.

Effective mentors spend more time asking questions than they do answering them. A mentor’s role is not to be the information superhighway; we already have effective tools for that. A mentor’s role is to challenge assumptions, to offer objective feedback, and to push for clarity and accountability. She does so by making use of powerful questions. Powerful questions are open-ended, causing the mentee to reflect on the actions he is taking, the outcomes, and the next steps. Some examples of powerful questions include:

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WakeUnited: Live Malika Roman Isler

Malika Roman Isler joined Wake Forest in 2015 as the director of wellbeing, a role that she notes has several connections to the work of the United Way.

“At the foundation, both the United Way and the WFU Thrive Initiative approach community wellbeing holistically,” Roman Isler said.  “Both programs are inclusive of comprehensive strategies to not necessarily be directive about how people live, but to improve the conditions, opportunities, and tools we all have to help us thrive.”

Malika Roman Isler, Wake Forest Director of Well-Being, poses in the Benson University Center on Tuesday, January 7, 2015.

Indeed, Roman Isler points out that to support wellbeing in any community, programs must align with local priorities and support local capacity and infrastructure. Through the Thrive initiative, the Office of Wellbeing focuses on many areas of interest and need as defined by Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff: offering skills-building workshops and engaging programs to reduce stress, promote positive health behaviors and culture and build the sense of community.

In line with Thrive’s approach with the on-campus community, she says she appreciates the way that the United Way of Forsyth County does not employ a “band-aid” approach to community improvement.

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New faculty publications (Aug. 2015)

Gladding, Samuel. (Counseling). Groups: A Counseling Specialty, 7th ed. Pearson. July 2015.

Hena, Omaar. (English). Global Anglophone Poetry: Literary Form and Social Critique in Walcott, Muldoon, de Kok, and Nagra (Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics series). Palgrave Macmillan. August 2015.

Marsh, Tanya D., & Daniel Gibson. (Law). Cemetery Law: The Common Law of Burying Grounds in the United States. God’s Acre Publishing. August 2015.

Annual WFU Artisans’ Fair Call For Vendors

artisansfairIt’s time for vendor signups for the annual Artisans’ Fair, an event that showcases the artistic talents of WFU employees (staff or faculty), spouses of WFU employees, retirees or students. Items are all handmade by the representatives.

To register, you must complete this form, and turn in your $10 (cash only) to one of the committee members: Dana Hutchens (758.5246, Farrell, Room A54), Gale Newport (758.5230, Benson, Room 139), or Gloria Stickney (758.4971, Olin, Rom 305A).

All registrations MUST BE received by Nov. 4, and spots are on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 32 vendors spots open!

Proposals funded: Anderson, Carroll, Kiang

T. Michael Anderson


Congratulations to Michael Anderson, assistant professor of biology, whose proposal entitled “Spatiotemporal dynamics of woody cover in East African savannas” has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).



David Carroll


Congratulations to David Carroll, professor of physics, whose proposal entitled “Organic Thermoelectrics: the matrix composite approach” has been funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and by [subaward/subcontract from] Texas A & M Engineering Experiment Station (WFU funding agency).


Lisa Kiang


Congratulations to Lisa Kiang, associate professor of psychology, whose proposal entitled “Gratitude, Well-being, and the Decline of Materialism: A Cross-cultural Study of Character Formation in Children and Adolescents” has been funded by the Templeton Foundation and by [subaward/subcontract from] UNC-Greensboro (WFU funding agency).

September 2015 comings and goings

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

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