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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Piscetelli, Williams received Winston Under 40 Leadership Awards

The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce has named Michael Piscetelli, associate athletic director of development, and Matthew Williams, director of communication in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Winston Under 40 Leadership Award winners.

They were among 20 who were presented the award this month at a Winston-Salem event.

According to the Chamber, the winners are “actively influencing the growth, prosperity, and quality of life in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.”

Winston Under 40, started three years ago, is the Chamber group “that’s committed to attracting and retaining young professionals in our community.”

A message from President Hatch concerning Hurricane Matthew

This message was emailed by President Hatch to students, faculty and staff on Oct. 10:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Wake Forest University offers its support to students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff who have loved ones in affected areas.

While Winston-Salem was outside the storm’s direct impact and those on our campus are safe, we are concerned about people along the Eastern seaboard, including eastern North Carolina, and are mindful that many in our campus community have family and friends that were in the storm’s path.

We encourage you to contact the following resources, should the need arise:

  • The University Counseling CenterChaplain’s Office, Campus Life and resident advisers are available to listen to students who need to speak with someone here.
  • Parents are encouraged to contact the Office of Family Engagement at should the University need to be aware of any extraordinary circumstances affecting their students.
  • And, as always, our Alumni Office is here to assist with the needs of Wake Forest graduates.

For those wishing to volunteer time or donate to relief efforts, the North Carolina VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) has links to agencies supporting disaster relief.

The University will continue to monitor recovery efforts and determine what specifically we can do to help students here as well as the greater Wake Forest family.


Nathan O. Hatch

WakeUnited: O’Rourke focused on community impact

Wake Forest faculty and staff headshots, Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Kathleen O'Rourke, HR.

This is the second of a series of pieces written about Wake Forest community members who are committed to WakeUnited, the United Way campaign at Wake Forest.

When Kathleen O’Rourke was in college she got a firsthand look at the difference community organizations make.

“During college I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters,” says O’Rourke, Human Resources representative at the University. “Having the opportunity to see the incredibly positive impact that organization had on youth within the community, I knew I wanted to continue to be a part of something equally inspiring after I graduated.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer supported mentoring network focused on helping children who face adversity, was a United Way agency. When the opportunity came to become involved with the United Way through WakeUnited, O’Rourke jumped at it.

“I knew that was my opportunity to engage in an organization that also helps empower communities to thrive,” she says.

She believes that United Way’s focus on innovation and collaboration is especially important, as no single organization can address all the challenges Forsyth County and the rest of the Triad face. That mirrors the University’s focus on finding innovative ways to provide people in the community with the resources they need to succeed.

“The United Way is always brainstorming ways to collaborate with local partners in an effort to obtain the most success possible,” she notes.

As a member of the United Way campaign cabinet, O’Rourke now has an opportunity to multiply the impact of her community engagement at the University. She would like you to join her.

“No matter how small or large your donation may be, ultimately, you are still making a difference in the lives of those around you,” she says. “We all have the chance to be a part of something that will strengthen our community.”

The 2016 WakeUnited campaign encourages faculty and staff to pledge support for United Way and its critical mission in the community. A personalized pledge link has been sent to your email, or you can make your pledge at


Mary Gerardy to speak at Staff Advisory Council meeting

Mary Gerardy, associate vice president for campus life, will speak on the history of Wake Forest student activism at the Staff Advisory Council meeting Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium.

All staff are invited to attend the meeting, which will conclude by 10:30 a.m.

In addition, Angela Culler, assistant vice president for human resources, will speak on a benefits-related topic.

Staff are encouraged to follow the SAC on social media:

–@WFUSAC on Twitter
– on Facebook
–wfusac on Instagram.

Wake Forest Magazine’s Maria Henson speaks at Pulitzer event

Wake Forest University opens the Words Awake! conference, in which alumni writers return to campus to talk about their craft, with a reception at the Byrum Welcome Center on Friday, March 23, 2012. Magazine editor Maria Henson.

Wake Forest Magazine editor-at-large, journalism lecturer and associate vice president Maria Henson (’82) recently spoke at the Pulitzer Centennial Celebration at Harvard University (video).

Henson is Wake Forest’s only Pulitzer Prize winner. She won in 1992 for a series of investigative editorials on domestic violence while at the Lexington Herald-Leader (Ky.). In 2005, she edited a series on Yosemite National Park in The Sacramento Bee (Ca.) that won for editorial writing. In 1993-94, Henson was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

In a powerful 11-minute speech before more than 1,000 people, she recalled the impact of “To Have and to Harm,” a yearlong series of 30 editorials that made recommendations for improved response and protections for battered women in Kentucky. In 1992, the Kentucky state legislature passed every aspect of domestic violence reform the Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board recommended and the courts changed their practices as well.

“All these years later, at a time of such discouragement and disenchantment over our public life, I look back and remember the power of the press and ordinary citizens to effect change – both of them out of a love of community and a passion for fairness. And all these years later, I have not given up on what is possible,” Henson said.

Henson was inducted into the Wake Forest University Writers Hall of Fame this year, in conjunction with Words Awake 2! Read an Inside WFU interview with her commemorating that occasion.

Secrest Artists Series begins season with Fretwork


Wake Forest University will host Fretwork on Thursday, Oct. 13. at 7:30 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall. The performance launches the 2016-17 season of the Secrest Artists Series.

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Fretwork is the world’s leading viol consort—a historically-informed chamber ensemble who plays the music of early modern England on Renaissance instruments that are the forerunners to modern-day stringed instruments. Their recordings have won both the Grand Prix du Disque and a Gramophone Award, and they have been featured on the soundtracks of two films by the American director Jim Jarmusch. The concert program will feature works by Byrd, Gibbon, Purcell, Taverner and Tye.

A pre-concert talk, led by Stewart Carter, chair of the Department of Music at Wake Forest University, past-president of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music and also of the American Musical Instrument Society, will begin at 6:40 p.m.

Wake Forest and WFUBMC faculty, staff and retirees receive free admission for themselves and one guest to each Secrest Artists Series performance. WFU and WFUBMC students receive free admission for themselves. Simply show your WFU I.D. at the door.

Tickets for members of the community range in price from $5-$18. Tickets and more information at or (336) 758-5757.

A list of Secrest Artists Series performances for 2016-17 is available here.

Wake Forest monitoring weather forecasts for University area

Wake Forest officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Matthew and its progress in coordination with local and state partners. We encourage anyone traveling to the community to monitor the weather and evaluate transportation plans for safety.  Current weather predictions suggest minimal impact in Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas. All planned activities are proceeding as scheduled. For the most up to date information about Family Weekend, go to

Reminder: Wake Alert test to be held Oct. 6

The Wake Alert emergency notification system will be tested Oct. 6.

Students, faculty and staff will receive test messages starting at 9 a.m.  No action will be required by anyone who receives the test messages.

The test is being conducted to assure that the emergency notification system is operating properly.

It will be carried out by the University Police Department and the Office of Communications and External Relations.

Call for vendors for the annual Artisans’ Fair!

artisansfairAre you gifted in woodworking, arts, crafts, etc. and wish to share/show your hand-made products with other Wake Foresters?

Plans are being made for the Artisans’ Fair to be held on campus on Friday, Dec. 2. If you are a WFU employee (staff or faculty), spouse of a WFU employee, retiree or student, you are eligible to participate.

Restrictions are as follows:

  • Vendors must be WFU employees (faculty, staff or their spouses), retirees, or students who wish to sell or display their work. Outside vendors will not be permitted.
  • All items to be sold must be handmade by the representative.
  • Vendors must arrange to staff their booth. Tables cannot be left unattended.
  • All vendors must pay a $10 table registration fee (you will get one 6-foot table and one accessory table). This fee will be used to cover event expenses. No refunds available.
  • The Planning Committee reserves the right to refuse any exhibit not appropriate for this event.

To sign up, email Dana Hutchens at to be sent the registration link.

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

Only 32 vendors spots open!

Test of Wake Alert emergency notification system set for Oct. 6

This information was emailed to students, faculty and staff Oct. 3 by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations:

Students, faculty and staff will receive test messages starting at 9 a.m. Oct. 6 when Wake Forest conducts a test of the University’s Wake Alert emergency notification system.  The test will not require any action by those who receive the test messages.

The test is being conducted to assure that all aspects of the emergency notification system are operating properly.

The test will consist of the following:

–The 0utdoor alert system will be activated.  Chimes will be heard.
–A text message will be sent to undergraduate students.  The same message will be sent to graduate/professional students and faculty and staff who have registered to receive emergency text messages.
–A message will be placed on the Wake Alert web site (
–An email will be sent to students, faculty and staff.
–A voice mail message will be sent to faculty and staff.
–A message will be placed on the University’s weather/emergency phone line (758-5935).

The test will be conducted by the University Police Department and the University’s Office of Communications and External Relations.

Anyone with questions about the test may email University Emergency Manager August Vernon at