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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Office of Wellbeing: It’s time to nominate Wellbeing Champions

This is a guest post from the Office of Wellbeing:

It’s time to nominate your Wellbeing Champions!

The Office of Wellbeing is proud to recognize those within the Wake Forest Community who have embraced one of the eight dimensions of wellbeing: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.

In order to do so, we need your help!

Our Dimension Champion awards go to faculty or staff members who best embody the spirit of wellbeing through their contributions to the Wake Forest University community. One champion is selected in each area. To nominate someone (or yourself) who you feel has worked to inspire a culture of wellbeing, visit and click on Dimension Champions.  A list of previous champions can be found on the Dimension Champions web page.

Nominations are open until Tuesday, March 7.

Women’s March co-chairs to be on campus Feb. 16 in Wait Chapel

The keynote event for Black History Month will be a panel discussion featuring the national co-chairs of the recent Women’s March in Washington, D.C.  Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez will participate in the moderated discussion in Wait Chapel on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.

The discussion will be moderated by Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair and executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute.  She is also founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved here.

In addition, the event will be livestreamed.

Their appearance will be one of many events and activities presented by Wake Forest’s Intercultural Center and the Black History Month Committee.  A detailed schedule is available online.

Other events and activities planned for February include an opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. Greg Ellison, author of “Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men,” a book; an address by Payton Head, who was the student government president at the University of Missouri during the 2015 campus protests; a dedication ceremony at Maya Angelou Residence Hall; and much more.

The keynote event is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Black History Month Committee, the Pro Humanitate Institute, Intercultural Center, Student Union, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Personal and Career Development, Department of Communication, Black Student Alliance and Women’s Center.

SAC to hear presentations on Wake Downtown, poverty initiative

An update on the newly-opened Wake Downtown will be presented to the Staff Advisory Council on Feb. 9 by Rebecca Alexander, professor of chemistry and director of academic planning for Wake Downtown.

Other speakers will be David Coates and Allan Louden, who will speak about the “Making Wake Forest a Poverty-Free Space” initiative.  Coates is Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies and Louden is professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication.

The Staff Advisory Council will meet at 9 a.m. in the fourth-floor auditorium in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library.  Staff are invited to attend.

Campus activity related to executive order on immigration

This is a message emailed by Provost Rogan Kersh and Vice President Penny Rue on Feb. 3 to students, faculty and staff:

To the Wake Forest community:

On Monday, President Hatch affirmed the University’s values in the wake of the recent executive order singling out political/social refugees and other immigrants from a list of seven majority-Muslim countries. In addition, President Hatch, along with many other university presidents and chancellors, this week signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly emphasizing the “chilling effect” of the Administration’s executive order “on the ability of international students and scholars to continue to see the U.S. as a welcoming place for study and research.” Wake Forest University leaders pledge our continued support for all our students, faculty and staff, particularly those potentially at risk of having their education disrupted by this and similar policies.

We continue to work with students as well as faculty and staff on campus who have personal or familial concerns about possible changes to immigration status, including the DACA policy.  Law School professor Margaret Taylor is coordinating this effort, along with José Villalba of the College Dean’s Office.

Through conversations across our community we understand that many seek to engage directly in activities consonant with our mission and values: educating ourselves and one another about ongoing developments and their implications, or extending assistance to those newly arrived in our city. This is an initial list of the many encouraging actions taking place on our campus and locally. We will continue to update the list at the Community in Progress website.

If you are interested in supporting recently-arrived refugees in Winston-Salem, information about ‘Every Campus a Refuge,’ and related opportunities, is available through Michaelle Browers in the Department of Politics and International Affairs and/or Sam Perrotta in the Provost’s Office. Michelle Voss-Roberts from the Divinity School and Alessandra Von Burg from the Department of Communication have joined in this effort — a testament to the cross-university nature of many related actions.

For those seeking to learn more about the administration’s executive order on immigration/ refugees, open discussions, led by faculty, staff and students are scheduled in the near future.

Today at 3 p.m. in Pugh Auditorium, a group of interdisciplinary faculty will host a forum on the administration’s refugee and immigration policy.

Next Wednesday, Feb. 8, our chapter of the national political-science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, will host a discussion focused on the President’s first 100 days in office, featuring faculty from the politics and international affairs department.

On Monday, Feb. 13, at noon, Law School faculty experts will discuss Trump Administration executive orders and other policies affecting immigration, climate change, and safety regulations in the 2nd floor courtroom of Worrell Professional Center.

Additionally, several campus groups are offering information and support:

Our Office of International Students and Scholars is also providing regularly updated information about the executive order’s apparent implications.  Contact Kelia Hubbard for more information.

SAFAR is a group of Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff committed to supporting refugees in the Winston Salem community. Rose O’Brien is the founding member, and sponsored Refugee Day last semester. She is the 2017 recipient of a Martin Luther King Building the Dream Award for this work.

The Social Justice Incubator in the Kitchin Hall lounge is a discussion/engagement space for students concerned about the executive order and impact on immigrant and refugee populations. Contact Chizoba Ukairo, student coordinator, or Marianne Magjuka.

There are several ways to get involved beyond our campus boundaries. Several local organizations support immigrants and refugees:

World Relief High Point

CWS in Greensboro

North Carolina African Services Coalition

New Arrivals Institute

Faith Action

The Center for New North Carolinians

We salute the many Wake Foresters who are taking initiative, and urge all of us to do the same. If you are organizing or are aware of related efforts to inform, discuss or assist, please send details to Matt Williams or either of us, for inclusion on the Community in Progress site.

The degree of engagement across and beyond campus emphasizes the care Wake Foresters are taking, on many fronts, to ensure that our learning community is preserved and that our core commitment to inclusion is exemplified during this difficult time.

Spiritedly yours,

Rogan Kersh                                                                                       Penny Rue
Provost and Professor                                                                       Vice President, Campus Life


Allison McWilliams: Owning (and sharing) your learning goals

Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development, writes occasional articles for Inside WFU.  This is the second for the spring semester.  In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff 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.

Effective mentoring relationships are built around intentional action towards defined goals. Why should mentoring partners set goals? Mentoring goals help define expectations for the relationship and help define how you and your mentee will know when the relationship has been successful. Mentoring goals also provide a framework for the conversations that will take place during the relationship and for the work that the mentee will be doing.

For example, a student working on a research project might have as a goal, “Create a draft article to submit for publication by the end of the semester.” As the mentor, you can frame your mentoring conversations around the progress the student is making towards accomplishing that goal, stumbling blocks he or she encounters along the way, and how that goal connects to the student’s larger academic and career goals. This SMART goal also provides a timeline for the relationship – the end of the semester – and a measure of accountability, whether or not an article is completed.

Effective mentors facilitate their mentee’s ability to create, work towards, and achieve his or her goals. And, while the focus of any mentoring relationship should always rest squarely on the mentee, as a mentor you also should take the time to set learning goals of your own. What is it that you hope to accomplish during the course of this relationship? How will you learn and grow? Sharing your goals and your progress towards achieving them is another way that you role model behavior and provide an additional mentoring conversation opportunity. It also allows you to demonstrate the value of a adopting a growth mindset, the belief that innate talent and intelligence does not pre-determine our abilities to continue to develop, learn, and achieve throughout our lives.

If you’re struggling to come up with goals for your mentoring relationship, you can use the Mentoring Learning Outcomes and self-evaluations to identify one or more areas where you would like to see improvement for yourself. Each of the four Mentoring Learning Outcomes has four associated strategies which provide multiple opportunities for growth. For example, you may want to work on your ability to ask thought-provoking questions and practice active listening skills in your mentoring conversations. As you begin your mentoring relationship, share this goal with your mentee and ask for feedback on your progress. Effective mentors willingly disclose their own challenges and successes as appropriate to the mentoring relationship.

University appoints director of graduate programs in sustainability

USEPA Photo by Eric Vance. Public domain image

Stan Meiburg

Wake Forest has appointed alumnus and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Stan Meiburg (’75) as director of graduate programs in sustainability.

Meiburg served as Acting Deputy Administrator for the EPA from 2014 to 2017, capping a 39-year career with the agency.

He is known for leading efforts to protect the nation’s air and water, clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites, build collaborative relationships with state and tribal environmental programs, and promote sound management in EPA.

At Wake Forest, he will lead the master of arts in sustainability program and associated dual degree and certificate programs.  He will work with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES). Meiburg will join Wake Forest on July 1.

Full announcement available here.

It’s time to nominate people for Champions of Change Award

This is a guest post from the Office of Sustainability:

Do you know an individual who has made an impact on campus sustainability during their time at Wake Forest? Nominate him or her for a 2017 Champions of Change Award.

This year’s winners will be recognized at the fourth annual Campus Sustainability Awards ceremony on March 22.

Staff, faculty, and students are all eligible for this awards program, and nominations can be made in the following categories: resource conservation, academics and engagement, service and social action, leadership, and bright ideas. Nominate yourself or someone else as a Champion of Change for campus sustainability by Friday, March 3, 2017.

The Champions of Change will be recognized at a ceremony on March 22 in the Reynolda Hall Green Room at 4 p.m. We look forward to celebrating the work of sustainable change agents across campus. For more information, visit the Office of Sustainability website.

Panel discussion planned Feb. 3 on refugee, immigration policy

A moderated panel discussion on “The New Administration’s Refugee and Immigration Policy” will be held at Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium on Feb. 3 at 3 p.m.  Three Wake Forest faculty members and a Winston-Salem attorney will participate.

Panelists will be Hana Brown, associate professor of sociology; Hank Kennedy, professor of politics and international affairs; Margaret Taylor, professor of law; and Winston-Salem immigration attorney Helen Parsonage.  The moderator will be Phoebe Zerwick, associate professor of the practice in the Department of English.

The event is sponsored by the programs in Middle East and South Asia Studies and American Ethnic Studies.

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 »

Police Department’s open house to be held Feb. 1

From 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 1, the University Police Department will host an open house at Alumni Hall, where it recently moved its administrative offices from the H.S. Moore Building.

The police department is inviting students, faculty and staff to Alumni Hall to help the department celebrate having its first new home since the 1980s.

Visitors, including off-campus community partners, will be taken on guided tours following brief opening remarks by speakers and a ribbon cutting formally opening the department’s new offices.  Light refreshments will be served.

Speakers include President Nathan O. Hatch and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue.