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Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff


Summer courses now offered in Charlotte

charlotte.centerStarting this summer, Wake Forest will offer summer courses at the Wake Forest Charlotte Center. Four faculty members will teach six courses, two in each of the following disciplines: communication, psychology and English.

This new summer initiative will benefit both students and faculty who live in or near the city, said Randall Rogan, dean of academic programming and planning. “It can be prohibitive for faculty to come to Wake to teach if they don’t live in Winston-Salem,” he added. “We also expect a positive turnout of students since around 300 students initially expressed interest in taking classes in Charlotte.”

The decision has already received positive feedback from faculty members. “Students have the opportunity to study in some other place than Winston-Salem,” says Marina Krcmar, an associate professor in communication who lives in Charlotte. “It also allows me to teach for a summer to both Wake and non-Wake students close to home.” Krcmar will teach two communication courses.

Cathy Seta, professor of psychology; John Petrocelli, associate professor of psychology; and Sharon Raynor, visiting assistant professor in the writing program, will teach the other courses. Classes will run June 2-27.

Outside of the Triad, more Wake Forest alumni live in the Charlotte area than any other geographic region. Rogan said adding undergraduate summer school classes from the College to the business school offerings already available in uptown Charlotte is a natural extension of the University’s commitment to students, faculty, staff and alumni in the area.

By Elizabeth Law (’14), Wake Forest News and Communication Intern

January 2014 comings and goings

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in January 2014:

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Proposals funded: Rejeski and Harriger

Jack Rejeski

Congratulations to Walter J. Rejeski, professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “LookAhead Extension” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the WFU Health Sciences (WFU funding agency).

Katy HarrigerCongratulations to Katy J. Harriger, professor and department chair of politics and international affairs, whose proposal entitled “Follow-up Study on the impact of the Democracy Fellows program on alumni” has been funded by the Kettering Foundation. Also included in the project were Christy Buchanan, professor of psychology and associate dean of academic advising and Jill McMillan, professor emerita and research professor of communication.

Update from the Department of Communication

The communication department has provided a roundup of activities and accomplishments from fall 2013.

Keep up with the Wake Forest communication department on Twitter @WakeComm and through the Communication at WFU Facebook group.

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Catanoso at the forefront of climate change reporting

Justin CatanosoJustin Catanoso’s reporting has established him as an expert in fraud in the tobacco industry, the business economy in North Carolina, and the process of becoming a saint. Now Catanoso, a veteran journalist and director of the journalism program, is shifting his focus to raising awareness about global climate change.

Catanoso traveled with a team of climate researchers from the biology department to the remote Peruvian cloud forest this summer to witness firsthand the impacts of 21st century warming on this vital ecosystem.

He said that the experience working with Miles Silman, biology professor and director of the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, and many of the world’s leading tropical biologists, who like Silman are part of the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group, helped him recognize the monumental importance of inspiring the current generation of world leaders to act on this issue now.

“The next generation could look back and say, ‘What did you do?’” Catanoso said on WFDD. “And if you didn’t do enough, was it just because you were so focused on short-term gains and your own wealth that you didn’t see that this planet was baking and baking too fast to be healthy for us in the future?”

Catanoso’s subsequent climate change coverage, supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, has appeared in prominent news outlets like National GeographicBusiness InsiderWUNC, and in a five-part series on WFDD.

External support for WFU research remains strong

The following letter is adapted from director of Research and Sponsored Programs Lori Messer’s introduction to the October issue of Research News:

Reynolda Campus research had an excellent year. For fiscal year 2013, total external support for projects exceeded $9.8 million, the second-highest amount in campus history, and that was not including five fellowships for scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The total is even more remarkable when you consider that $8.4 million, about 86 percent, comes from federal sources limited by sequestration budget cuts.

FY13 saw 22 departments and centers receive sponsored research funding, and nearly all increased its total over FY12. Health and exercise science received the most, with physics running a close second.

Faculty and staff in 32 departments and centers submitted 152 external proposals, requesting more than $38 million. Chemistry submitted the most proposals and requested the most funding.

We would like to recognize two of our former CRADLE program participants, Oana Jurchescu and Timo Thonhauser, both in physics, who received prestigious CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation. WFU has received five such awards, with Patricia Dos Santos and Rebecca Alexander in chemistry and Dave Anderson in biology already gaining that distinction.

CRADLE (Creative Research Activities Development and Enrichment) is a two-year program that helps Wake Foresters develop competitive external funding proposals.

The NSF CAREER Award is a $400,000 award given to the nation’s top junior faculty members and is meant to support their research, encourage excellent teaching, mentorship and community outreach.

Another graduate of the CRADLE program, assistant professor of chemistry Lindsay Comstock-Ferguson, received her first independent federal funding. The following faculty and staff also received their first individual external grants at WFU:

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November 2013 staff milestones

See a list of employment milestones reached by staff in November 2013: Continue reading »

WFU featured in local media

Current and former Wake Forest faculty and staff have made a number of appearances in local news outlets recently. Here’s a roundup of some of the mentions:

  • Gloria Stickney, a business manager in physics, was featured in the Winston-Salem Journal for her business, Sew Fabulous, which makes Wake Forest quilts, among other items. Read more »
  • Winston Blair, who works with Mail Services, was featured in Winston-Salem Monthly for his collection of political memorabilia focused on Ronald Reagan. Read more » (Blair also was featured in the Winston-Salem Journal in 2012.)
  • Phoebe Zerwick, a lecturer in English, was featured in the Winston-Salem Journal for her work on “The Story of My Life,” a new exhibit at the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts that follows the lives of six developmentally disabled adults who are residents of Group Homes of Forsyth County. Read more »
  • Mary Dalton, a professor of communication, film studies and women’s and gender studies, was featured in the Shelby Star in a story about Martha Mason, who graduated from Wake Forest despite spending most of her life in an iron lung because of polio. Read more »
  • Several professors were featured in the Winston-Salem Chronicle for their work on a new book, “Trauma and Resilience in American Indian and African American Southern History,” which was edited by ethnic study professors Anthony Parent and Ulrike Wiethaus. Read more »
  • Former volleyball coach Heather Holmes was featured in the Journal for her battle against breast cancer. Read more »
  • Former soccer coach George Kennedy was featured in the Journal for his induction into the N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame. Read more »

Communication MA exceeds the norm for research productivity

Faculty in the communication department publish more research than the average Ph.D granting department, according to a recent newsletter by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS).

CIOS measures productivity using ComAbstracts database, which contains more than 70,000 articles from 140 mainline communication journals. Productivity is determined by faculty size and degree offerings, and it is based on how many articles faculty in a communication department publish. Wake Forest was among a group of universities whose communication master’s programs have accumulated more research than the average Ph.D. program.

Hyde named Distinguished Scholar by NCA

Michael HydeMichael Hyde, Distinguished Professor of Communication Ethics, has been selected as a 2013 Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association (NCA). Hyde will be receive his award during the NCA’s 99th annual convention on Nov. 21-24 in Washington, D.C.

The NCA Distinguished Scholar Award was created in 1991 to recognize and reward NCA members for a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication.

“I am grateful for the award and especially proud that I received it while serving Wake Forest University and its Department of Communication,” Hyde said.