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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

A message from Wake Forest’s new Dean of the College

michele.gillespie.300x175A message to faculty and staff from Wake Forest’s new Dean of the College Michele Gillespie

Dear Colleagues,

By now, the news has been shared that I will be taking on a new role at Wake Forest. It is a privilege to be selected as the next dean of the College.

I am eager to support the faculty in our pursuit of the teacher-scholar ideal and to support the staff in their commitment to our community.

I think we all embrace what is timeless and true about our liberal arts tradition—the quest for knowledge, the open exchange of ideas, independent thought, appreciation for diversity and difference, and commitment to the collective good. Such an education nurtures exploration, imagination and creativity—indispensable qualities in our increasingly complex 21st century world.

Wake Forest is a special place. We are a community of passionate educators, gifted researchers and talented staff. We pursue academic excellence. We cherish our community. We embrace Pro Humanitate.

I am grateful for this new opportunity, and I look forward to working together with those faculty and staff who have been with Wake Forest for many years and those who are newer to our community in pursuit of academic excellence and the education of the whole person.

Michele Gillespie named Dean of the College

A message from Provost Rogan Kersh

michele.gillespie.275x275President Hatch and I are delighted to report that, after an extensive national search, Wake Forest’s Presidential Endowed Professor of Southern History Michele Gillespie has been named the new Dean of the College. She will officially assume leadership of the College on July 1. I am immensely grateful to my search-committee colleagues who provided valuable insights throughout this process.

Dr. Gillespie joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1999. She was named Kahle Family Professor of History in 2003 and served as associate provost for academic initiatives from 2007-2010. In 2013, she was the first Wake Forest faculty member to be honored with an endowed Presidential Chair, which recognizes and supports faculty who excel in both academic leadership and outstanding scholarship. She also currently serves as the faculty representative to the Advancement Committee of our Board of Trustees and is a member of the University Senate.

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Leo Ellison, professor emeritus of health & exercise science, dies

5510d3da8e97c.imageWe are saddened to report that Leo Ellison, associate professor emeritus of health and exercise science, died March 21 in Winston-Salem.

Professor Ellison joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1957 and retired in 1999.

We grieve Professor Ellison’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.

A service celebrating his life will be held March 28 at 2 p.m. at Wait Chapel. Additional details are available in an obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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

Reminder: Nominate a ‘Champion of Change’

unnamedWake Forest’s Office of Sustainability is now accepting nominations for Champions of Change.

Have you facilitated a change to a sustainable practice on campus? Are you teaching a sustainability-focused course or leading a research effort with sustainability-centered outcomes?

On April 22 Wake Forest will host its second annual Champions of Change award ceremony. Complete this form by March 27 to nominate yourself or someone else as a Champion of Change for campus sustainability.

Categories include: Resource Conservation; Academics; Service and Social Action and Bright Ideas.

Click here for a list of last year’s winners.

Provost Kersh to address Faculty Senate

Rogan KershAt the invitation of the Faculty Senate, Provost Rogan Kersh will give his annual address to the University on Monday, March 30 at 4 p.m. in Benson University Center, Pugh Auditorium.

The Faculty Senate enthusiastically invites all Wake Forest faculty and staff to attend. Provost Kersh will speak about priorities, and the challenges and opportunities that face our academic mission and programs. The Senate is soliciting questions to ask Provost Kersh.

Please email your questions to Gale Sigal at or send your question anonymously to Gale Sigal in the English department via interoffice mail.

Creative teaching in biology class includes a ‘pool quiz’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUsually, taking a quiz requires paper and pencil. For biology course 311 and 312, snorkels and bathing suits were also in order.

Graduate student Ben Perlman, who co-teaches the sections on Ecology and Conservation of Coral Reefs with biology professors Miriam Ashley-Ross and Miles Silman, has been giving the “pool quiz” the past three years to prepare students for an annual spring break study trip to Belize and the lighthouse reef atoll located off its coast.

“I do this to help get my students prepared for all the different fishes and corals we’re going to see in the wild,” he said. “It’s a really fun activity just to get them used to their snorkel gear, and, for some students, it’s their first time snorkeling so it gives them practice.”

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Faculty & staff ‘happy hour’ Monday

unnamedCome celebrate the arrival of spring at the first faculty and staff happy hour of the semester!

Monday, March 23, 4 – 5:30 p.m. at Zick’s!

Please join colleagues from across campus, and make sure to be there for a special announcement from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

IF Labs: Inventing Futures – A maker festival

iflabs.300x175Organized by Lynn Book and students in her entrepreneurship and social enterprise class and as part of the 10 Year Celebration of ICE, IF LABs is a week-long festival from March 24-27 designed to shine a light on acts of making – and even what making itself means – here, now and into the next.

True to form, this boundary expanding event reflects the rigor and inventive energy that ICE and Wake Forest has become known for, and invites the campus and community to experience a fresh palette of creativity and innovation towards inventing futures shaped with imagination and purpose.

Any and all creative explorers can sign up for micro labs and hands-on workshops, to see performances, and to join stimulating discussions about 21st century creativity with a diverse mix of students, faculty, community members, staff and featured national and international guest ‘provocateurs’.

In one, two and three hour time slots, participants will have the opportunity to design and build, improvise and perform, make a scene and make a plan. Local leaders and global visionaries will engage methods and techniques from ancient to contemporary, digital to experiential, improbable to entrepreneurial. You will also encounter performances, artist talks and demonstrations that are sure to inspire.

The Wake Forest, Winston-Salem and larger communities are welcome! Click here for more information. Register for workshops here. A complete schedule with workshop locations is available here.

Inspiring stories: U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes at WFU

roadshow.300x175Elana Meyers Taylor, U.S. bobsled olympian, and Rico Roman, U.S. sled hockey paralympian, will be speaking on Tuesday, March 24 in Wait Chapel from 6-7 p.m. as part of the Deloitte Team USA Road Show event. The event is free and open to Wake Forest faculty, staff and students.

As a proud sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Deloitte is collaborating with the USOC to give the Wake Forest community a unique glimpse into the lives and triumphs of Team USA, whose commitment and sheer hard work has taken them to the top of their game.

Deloitte employees nominate colleges and universities to host their traveling Team USA Road Show. Wake Forest was one of 10 schools selected. Other schools hosting the Team USA Road Show are Baylor University, Bentley University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Michigan State University, New York University, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Illinois.

Watch this brief video to learn more about the experience

Register to attend by emailing Liz Hannah at

Wake ‘N Shake’s 10th Anniversary, faculty & staff needed!

wakenshake.300x175Wake ‘N Shake, Wake Forest’s 12-hour dance marathon benefiting the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund, brings the campus community together to support those affected by cancer. The tenth annual Wake ‘N Shake will be held on March 21 from noon-midnight in Reynolds Gym.

This year Wake ‘N Shake is bringing the cause back to its roots by celebrating its last decade of success, and more than 1,100 students have registered.

The event is open to the entire campus community — faculty, staff and students. It’s an occasion to fight a disease that has touched each of us in some way. Please consider the following options to join and make a difference in the fight against cancer:

  • Register to participate on March 21 (more details available here)
  • Support a student participant by donating to him/her
  • Donate to the cause in general though the regular donation portal
  • Download the App for updates on the day’s progression (more details available here)

If you have any questions about faculty and staff involvement at Wake ‘N Shake, please email for information. Be sure to visit the Wake ‘N Shake website, like Wake ‘N Shake on Facebook and follow Wake ‘N Shake on Twitter and Instagram @wfuWakeNShake