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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Physics grad student excels in science competition

Huang is third from the right.

Wenxiao Huang, a graduate student in physics professor David Carroll’s research lab, was part of the team that won the final four in the BASF 150th Anniversary North American Science Competition.

Huang teamed up with University of Connecticut collaborators to come up with innovative, lightweight solutions to tackle challenges of a sustainable future.

Overall, this science competition encourages ideas from young researchers who recently joined or will soon become a part of the creative workforce. BASF invited Ph.D. students and young researchers to submit their innovative and game-changing ideas that address global challenges in three areas: Food, Smart Energy and Urban Living.

Huang and his team proposed “Reinforced cellulose for sustainable structures” as a green construction and transportation materials to resolve the future environmental impact of a growing urban population. As a finalist team, they entered the “proof of concept” stage of the competition and presented their project at BASF North America headquarters at Florham Park, N.J., on June 5. BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Wojcik-Gross teaches technology tips and tricks

Wake Forest information systems staff member Sarah Wojcik-Gross, Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

Have you taken a technology class through Information Systems or the Professional Development Center? If you have, chances are you know Sarah Wojcik-Gross. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in French from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and an Master of Science in Education in Adult and General Education from Elmira College in upstate New York.

She began her career in Wake Forest’s Information Systems department in June of 2007, starting at the Service Desk, and in 2008, she joined the newly-formed Learning Team. In January of 2010, she became the Manager of the Learning Team and has developed and taught dozens of technology workshops through the University’s Professional Development Center and internally for the I.S. department.

Her workshops vary in topics from introductions to applications such as Microsoft Office to WebEx, Show and Share, Google Mail and Calendar, to more detailed training sessions on services like Google Drive.  She also conducts 15-Minute Wednesday Webinars for folks who have very limited time, but would like to learn new information and gain additional skills.

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Faculty publications: May update

Gala, Candelas. (Romance Languages). Creative Cognition and the Cultural Panorama of Twentieth-Century Spain. Palgrave Macmillan. May 2015.

Leonard, Bill. (Divinity). Word of God Across the Ages: Using Christian History in Preaching, 3rd expanded ed. Smyth & Helwys. May 2015.

Wilson, Eric. (English). Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life. Sarah Crichton Books. May 2015.

Shasta Bryant, professor emeritus of Romance Languages, dies

201506125703bryantshastaA message from Wake Forest Communications and External Relations

We are saddened to report that Shasta Monroe Bryant, professor emeritus of Romance Languages, died June 10 in Winston-Salem. Dr. Bryant joined the Wake Forest faculty in 1966 and retired as chairman of the Romance Languages department in 1987.

We grieve Dr. Bryant’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 memorial service will be held June 20 at 1 p.m. at Parkway United Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home at 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. Additional details are available in an obituary from Moody Funeral Services.

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.

Physics grad student named Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow

Physics graduate student Jeremy W. Ward, who successfully defended his thesis in April, has been selected as the 2015-2016 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow.

Ward’s thesis, “Enhancing the Electrical Performance of Organic Field-Effect Transistors Through Interface Engineering,” was completed under the direction of assistant professor of physics Oana Jurchescu.

“This is a wonderful accomplishment for Jeremy and very well deserved. Jeremy was an excellent graduate student and I owe him much of the success of my newly established research program,” Jurchescu said. “In addition, for the last three years of his graduate studies he was supported by a National Science Foundation fellowship, a highly selective honor given to less than 10 percent of the applicants.”

Ward was selected to serve a one-year term working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee by The Materials Research Society (MRS) and The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

He will begin his fellowship in early September in Washington, D.C.

“Science, to me, is more than the culmination of facts and equations,” said Ward. “It is the combination of those, with the ability to view a problem from a variety of perspectives and then use those perspectives to generate creative solutions.”

The purpose of the Congressional Fellowships program is to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress.

Staff, students continue water conservation success


Biology professor Miles Silman makes his conservation pledge.

Out of a field of 125 colleges and universities, Wake Forest students placed in the top five in fresh water savings for the second year in a row during the 2015 Campus Conservation Nationals competition.

Campus Conservation Nationals is a nationwide, three-week effort among institutions of higher learning to conserve electricity and water.

From Feb. 9 to March 1, Wake Forest students competed to achieve the greatest reductions in their residence halls in electricity and water consumption. Due to extremely cold weather conditions, Wake Forest was unable to place in the top 10 in electricity reduction like last year. However, the cold weather did not stop their efforts with water usage. Students saved over 37,000 gallons of water during the competition window.

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Aaron receives American College Health Association award

aaronDarren Oliver Aaron, associate director of Wake Forest University Student Health Service, has been selected as the recipient for the American College Health Association (ACHA) Affiliate New Professionals Award for 2015. The award recognizes ACHA members who have provided service to the field of college health for five years or less and who have made significant contributions to their institution.

The award was presented during the Awards and Fellows Dinner at ACHA’s annual meeting in Orlando on May 28.

This spring, Aaron was presented a Faculty/Staff Service Excellence Award from the Pro Humanitate Institute and was named Advisor of the Year 2015 by the Office of the Dean of Students. Both awards were for his work and engagement as an EMT and advisor for Wake Forest Emergency Medical Services.

Aaron is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University where he was a business management and administration major. He earned his Master of Science in Health Administration from The Medical College of Virginia/VCU.

Floyd selected as primary NCAA site representative

Max Floyd, director of campus recreation, was selected as the primary NCAA Site Representative at the Division One Men’s Baseball National Championship for the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois Regional. After several days of working with the event staff, facility operations, coaches, media, spectators, student athletes, institutional representatives and some tough rain delays, the championship game was held on Monday, June 1.

This is the fifth time that Floyd has been selected to manage a regional and the first time that the University of Illinois hosted the event.

Fulp to discuss cyber security at Tech Council Speaker Series

Errin Fulp


Wake Forest computer science professor Errin Fulp will participate in a panel discussion on “Cyber Security: Not if, but When?” — an introductory conversation on cyber security.

The discussion, part of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce Tech Council Speaker Series, will be held at Flywheel Co-Work on Thursday, June 11, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. with coffee and networking to follow from 10-10:30 a.m.

On an app or over the phone, in person or online; the Internet allows us to work more efficiently and more accessibly. Previous concerns of email and website security are intensified with new services like cloud storage and online payment processing. This discussion offers a snapshot of cyber security, feedback from area experts, and actionable steps.

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‘Vision 2020′ — ideas for technology and the future of learning

In August 2013, the Information Technology Executive Committee (ITEC) commissioned a Vision 2020 task force to investigate the use of emerging technologies in support of teaching, learning, scholarly and creative work at Wake Forest University. The task force, comprised of faculty, staff, administrators and students, developed a report to be shared with the campus community suggesting ideas for how to use technology effectively and responsibly in carrying out the University’s mission over the next five years.

In May 2014, the task force presented a draft report to ITEC, which was shared with the campus community in October 2014 to solicit feedback. Two campus-wide open forums were held in the fall and a number of groups provided written feedback.

“The Vision 2020 report is a valuable resource for considering the supportive role of technology in the academic life of the University. With observations from experts in the field and thoughtful ideas and perspectives from across our community, we can begin to imagine together what the future of technology might look like at Wake Forest,” says Provost Rogan Kersh.

The revised “Vision 2020: Charting a Course for Academic Computing at Wake Forest (PDF)” report, available online, looks into the near-term future of educational technology and presents opportunities for faculty, staff and students to enhance the teaching, learning, scholarly and creative work at Wake Forest.