Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Proposals funded: Rejeski, Williams

Congratulations to Jack Rejeski, professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Patient-Centered Home Exercise Intervention to Improve Outcomes in PAD” has been funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and by (subaward/subcontract from) Northwestern University (WFU funding agency).

Congratulations to Richard T. Williams, professor of physics, whose proposal entitled “Improvement of Scintillators mainly Experimental WFU subcontract from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab” has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and by (subaward/subcontract from) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (WFU funding agency).

Discounts offered to student, faculty staff for Irish Tenors performance

This is a guest post from the Athletic Department and the Coliseum:

The Wake Forest University Athletic Department and the LJVM Coliseum is proud to present The Five Irish Tenors direct from Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday, March 21st (7:00 p.m.) at the LJVM Coliseum. Wake Forest University faculty, staff and students can purchase a select number of tickets at a discounted rate of $25 by entering the promo code WFUTENORS on the Ticketmaster website.

To purchase tickets, visit and enter the promo code WFUTENORS.   Please contact the LJVM Coliseum at 336-758-2410 with any questions.

Allison McWilliams: Mentors as Connectors

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 third for the spring semester.  In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff from her professional experience with students.

Effective mentors facilitate their mentees’ abilities to create and work towards specific learning goals. They do this by asking questions, providing objective feedback and guidance, and serving as a connector to opportunities and resources. Serving as a connector is one of the key strategies that we have identified in our Mentoring Learning Outcomes and can be one of the easiest and most effective ways that you can support your mentee.

From a career development perspective, finding a job and building a career today is as much about who you know as it is about what you know. Additionally, both research and practice demonstrate that we are better off developing networks of people who are willing to help us to achieve our goals, than to rely on one person to do it all. As organizational psychologist Adam Grant notes in his book Give and Take, effective networks, those that contain both strong and weak ties, provide access to private information, diverse skills, and power. As an added benefit, those who willingly provide that access, the givers, tend to be more successful than those who are out for their own gain alone. Being a connector pays off.

The rise of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn show the power of effective networks in action. No longer are we limited to our immediate social or professional circles of influence; through the power of technology one can find instant connections with hundreds or thousands of individuals across the globe. One of my favorite social media moments was reconnecting with the very first pre-school friend I had in this world, when I discovered that she was “Facebook friends” with someone whom I know in adulthood. These tools give us the opportunity to put the old “Six Degrees of Separation” game into action on a regular basis.

Being a connector does not require special skills or life experiences. It requires maintaining a healthy curiosity about other people’s skills and experiences, and a genuine desire to help others be successful when they need it. The power of effective mentorship lies not in the impersonal distant connection but in the interpersonal exchange of ideas, aspirations, goals, and action plans. Effective mentors open doors and give their mentees the needed push to walk through them. Only by knowing who your mentee is and what his or her goals are, can you know which are the right doors to open.

Forum to be held March 1 and 2 on Rethinking Community plans

This message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 27 by the Rethinking Community Steering Community:

Dear Wake Forest faculty, staff and students:

After several months’ informal conversations, we write to launch a campus-wide planning effort to culminate in a yearlong Rethinking Community series of conferences, dialogues, national speakers, performances, and much else. Beginning with a pair of planning forums later this week, we hope to engage many of you in helping shape and execute this vital effort, which will run through the 2017-18 academic year.

Our animating inspiration: Wake Forest graduates, across all our schools, enter a society that is more virtualdiversepolarized, and global than ever before. At a time when meaningful communal bonds are both desperately needed and increasingly frayed, rethinking what it means to be in community—on our campus, in Winston-Salem and the many other cities and towns where our students settle, as a nation—is essential.

Wake Forest’s recent history includes both ‘theme years,’ many of which engaged us campus-wide from the late 1990s forward, and a pair of national conferences—Rethinking Admissions and Rethinking Success. Taken as a group, these provide valuable precedents for our Rethinking Community effort. As significant, a hallmark of Wake Forest’s culture is a willingness to revisit core practices in order to ensure that our graduates are best prepared to navigate and lead dramatic shifts in our world – we look forward to establishing Wake Forest as a national convener and facilitator of these important conversations.

If these general details pique your curiosity, please attend an initial campus-wide forum meant to elicit ideas, avoid wrong paths, and otherwise spark discussions about what a successful Rethinking Community year will look like. Two sessions are scheduled for this week:

Wed., March 1, 5-6 p.m., Kulynych Auditorium in Byrum Welcome Center

Thurs., March 2, 4-5 p.m., Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium (Room 404)

We also welcome every member of our community to submit proposals for events, speakers and programs that will engage us on these important topics across disciplines, industries and experiences. A call for proposals will be circulated on March 3.

Finally, we want to ensure that students are engaged in this important work. If you would like to nominate a student to serve on our steering committee, please email Matt Williams at and Sam Perrotta Turner at by Friday, March 3, at 5 p.m. with your nomination.

We look forward to your ideas and proposals in the spirit of strengthening the communities engaging current and future Wake Foresters.


Rethinking Community Steering Committee

Ash Wednesday services to be held March 1

The Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life and the Office of Spiritual Life at the School of Divinity are sponsoring Ash Wednesday services on Hearn Plaza and Manchester Plaza on March 1.  The services are open to students, faculty and staff.

An announcement by those offices explains that “Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a 40-day journey of introspection and repentance in the Christian tradition.”

The Ashes on the Plaza services will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon on the steps of Wait Chapel on Hearn Plaza and from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. on Manchester Plaza.

In addition, various religious groups will be holding Ash Wednesday services at campus locations.  Details are available from those religious communities.

TechXploration to showcase academic uses of technology in April

This message was emailed to faculty on Feb. 8 by Mur Muchane, associate vice president for information technology and chief information officer:

This spring we are hosting our much anticipated annual TechXploration event that showcases academic uses of technology. Have you discovered a use of technology that helps with teaching, learning, or scholarship that you would like to share with your colleagues? Do you have a student working with a particular technology that you would like to see at TechXploration?

The purpose of this event is to allow faculty, staff and students to see how technologies are being leveraged in teaching, learning, research, engagement, and creative activity at Wake Forest University. Each year, participants and attendees increase as TechXploration brings together faculty and faculty-recommended students to share their experiences with current technology.

TechXploration will be held on Tuesday, April 18th, in room 401 of the Benson University Center. Each presenter will have a space set up in room 401 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to display a poster board, presentation materials, and their technology. Attendees are invited to walk around and learn more about the exciting use of technology on the Wake Forest campus any time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The event will be catered by Aramark. If you cannot be present for the entire event, we would still appreciate you participating for as much time as you can.

Please contact Pat Idol or Ginny Mikkola at by Tuesday, March 21st, to inform us of your plans to participate in TechXploration.

Reaffirming support for our transgender community

This message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 23 by University administrators Rogan Kersh, Penny Rue and Barbee Oakes:

Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff:

We have reviewed new guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice regarding transgender students. This Dear Colleague Letter rolled back significant guidance issued last May delineating institutional responsibility to treat trans students according to their gender identity.

On behalf of Wake Forest University, we are in full support of our transgender community. We invite you to read the thoughtful message, prepared by LGBTQ Center Director Angela Mazaris and Program Coordinator Kayla Lisenby, which affirms our values and support for all people. We are fortunate to have such caring leadership in our LGBTQ Center, which has been at the forefront of providing education, advocacy, and support to the campus community around issues of gender identity and sexual orientation since its inception in 2011.

In addition, our Transgender Policies Workgroup formed last fall aims to ensure that Wake Forest provides the best possible experience of inclusion for trans members of our community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – and it will continue to do so. The recently released Dear Colleague Letter does nothing to change our steadfast commitment to helping create a safe and supportive educational and work environment for trans students and colleagues. Leaders across the University share our affirmation.

Now is the time to reach out and provide support to members of our transgender community as we seek to create an inclusive, welcoming and supportive campus. Our LGBTQ Center, Counseling Center, Student Health, Dean of Students Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Chaplain’s Office and many other campus resources are all ready and eager to help students navigate the shifting legal landscape and claim their place here at Wake.


Rogan Kersh, Provost
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer

Comings and goings for January 2017

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in January 2017:

Continue reading »

Dalton appears in new documentary ‘Teacher of the Year’

Mary Dalton

Professor of Communication Mary Dalton appears in the new documentary “Teacher of the Year,” which will premiere at Wake Forest on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium.

Free and open to the public, the screening is part of the Teachers, Teaching and Media Conference at Wake Forest.

“Teacher of the Year” features social studies teacher Angie Scioli from Leesville Road High School in Raleigh and was created to start conversations about how much is required both professionally and personally from good educators.

More details here.

It’s time to nominate Champions of Change

This is a guest post of 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. The Champions of Change will be recognized at a ceremony on March 22 in the Reynolda Hall Green Room at 4:00 p.m.

We look forward to celebrating the work of sustainable change agents across campus. For more information, visit the Office of Sustainability website.