Thomas elected president-elect of North Carolina Housing Officers

D’Najah Thomas, associate director of residence life in Residence Life and Housing, was elected in October as president-elect of the North Carolina Housing Officers (NCHO) organization.

This month, she chaired the NCHO Annual Conference in Winston-Salem this month.  Under her leadership, NCHO volunteers and Wake Forest’s Residence Life and Housing staff carried out the responsibilities of staging the three-day event.

Last year, NCHO honored Thomas as the NCHO Mid-Level Professional of the Year.

She joined Wake Forest in 2017 as assistant director of residence life. Last spring, she was promoted to associate director following a restructuring of the residence life unit in Residence Life and Housing..

Categories: Inside WFUStaff News

Canzona honored with Winston Under 40 Leadership Award from Chamber of Commerce

Joshua Canzona receiving his award

Joshua Canzona, assistant dean of academic affairs in the School of Divinity, was among 20 local leaders honored by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce in October.  All were recipients of the 2019 Winston Under 40 Leadership Awards.

Held annually, the Leadership Awards highlight the accomplishments of 20 young leaders in the community, recognizing them for their talents and service.  According to the Chamber, this year’s recipients represent the diversity of the Winston-Salem community and local industries.  The awards celebrate the accomplishments of the winners and the importance of young professionals to the community, as a whole.

Canzona has been associated with the School of Divinity since 2016, when he began as an adjunct family member.  Early this year, he was named administrative coordinator for academic affairs.  This past summer, he was promoted to assistant dean and part-time assistant teaching professor.  He teaches courses examining comparative theology, contemplative theology and Muslim-Christian dialogue.  A former public high school teacher, he also writes and conducts workshops on classroom practice, curriculum design and assessment.

Born and raised in the Winston-Salem area, he has been an active community volunteer since returning to Winston-Salem to join the School of Divinity.  His activities have included reviewing public education grants for the Winston-Salem Foundation each year and is a former chair and current member of the Community Agency Allocation Committee responsible for reviewing all grants issued by the city government of Winston-Salem.  He is the University ombudsman for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Categories: Faculty NewsInside WFU

A Historic Milestone

President Nathan Hatch announced a historic milestone on Oct. 15 in a message e-mailed to students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends:

Dear Wake Forest community,

On this day in 1951, President Harry Truman helped Wake Forest College break ground on a new campus in Winston-Salem. That historic moment, made possible by an act of incredible philanthropic support by the Reynolds family, expanded the horizons for what would become a nationally admired institution of higher education. Today, philanthropic support again gives us occasion to celebrate a historic milestone in the life of Wake Forest University. I am humbled to announce that the Wake Will Lead campaign has surpassed the $1 billion milestone thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents and friends.

A $1.5 million gift from Arnold Palmer’s Trust to endow a professorship in literature pushed the campaign past this noteworthy mark. I am pleased to announce that Dean Franco, who has taught in the Wake Forest English Department since 2001 and currently serves as the Director of the Humanities Institute, will be the first to hold the Winifred W. Palmer Professorship in Literature. The endowed professorship, named in memory of Mr. Palmer’s late wife, is one of 52 endowed positions established during the Wake Will Lead campaign.

In his 2005 Commencement address, Mr. Palmer shared that at Wake Forest he learned about “the meaning of a productive and meaningful life.” While most people know Mr. Palmer as an iconic sports figure, an uncanny knack for bringing people together contributed as much to his meaningful and productive life as his athletic prowess. Mr. Palmer personified friendliness and honor, and the stories from his life and career with which he often regaled eager listeners emphasized the importance of relationships. Connecting the memory of Arnie’s beloved Winnie with his beloved alma mater is a fitting way for us to mark this milestone in a campaign that has united so many people.

With support from nearly 60,000 Wake Forest families and friends, the momentum behind this campaign will continue to create opportunity, educate the whole person and inspire excellence. In July, when the campaign has officially concluded and we account for the full influence of our community’s generosity, I believe that the most significant impact will not be calculated by what the University has received, but will be felt by what Wake Forest gives back to our world.

Please join me in celebrating this moment, and please accept my most sincere gratitude for your belief in Wake Forest.

Franco awarded the new 'Palmer Professorship in Literature'

Dean Franco, Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University, has been awarded the new Winifred W. Palmer Professorship in Literature.

Arnold Palmer’s Trust funded the professorship in memory of Palmer’s late wife. Her passion for literature will be remembered through this generous gift.

Dean of the College Michele Gillespie chose Franco for his outstanding excellence within the English Department and his tireless pursuit of scholarship, mentorship and leadership.

“Dean Franco is a superb example of the consummate teacher-scholar at Wake Forest. He is a dedicated, demanding teacher; a senior scholar who has shaped his field of 20th century American Literature, and especially American Ethnic Studies; and deeply committed to the equity and wellbeing of our community and the broader community we live in,” Gillespie said.

Franco, who joined the English Department in 2001, has served in a variety of roles, including associate chair from 2010 to 2016. His third book, “The Border and the Line: Race, Literature, and Los Angeles,” was published in January; and he continues to draft, edit and peer review essays and journal submissions. He co-authored the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for the Engaged Liberal Arts awarded in 2018. He serves as a noted scholar on panels and as a guest lecturer on topics involving race and literature. Most recently, he presented the lecture, “On Race, Scale and Literary History,” at Indiana University Oct. 10.

Inside the classroom, Franco devotes his attention to his students, from their first year through graduation. His first-year seminars on such topics as “Inauthentic, Abnormal and Queer: Social Values in Art, Literature and Film,” “The Sacred and Secular in Public Life,” and “Uncertainty” have expanded the worldview for incoming students and provided an introduction to the Pro Humanitate motto that all Wake Forest students strive to achieve. He continues to mentor and guide English majors through their intellectual pursuits while also serving as the founding director for the Jewish Studies minor that began in 2014. Franco also contributes to the campus community through his role as the director of the Humanities Institute, which establishes programs and provides funding for University faculty in the humanities and other fields of study engaging in humanistic inquiry and scholarship.

Jessica Richard, chair of the English department, calls Franco an invaluable colleague and an exceptional contributor to the department, College and University.

“In his most recent book, Dean Franco examines ‘how we all live in relational proximity to our neighbors,’ and his commitment to understanding what divides and unites us is also the bedrock of his work at Wake Forest,” Richard said. “From his role as a co-founder and current director of the Humanities Institute to his department leadership and his classroom teaching, Dean models how literary study enables us to connect across difference. We’re thrilled to see his nationally recognized scholarship and his outstanding campus leadership and teaching recognized with this professorship.”

Proposals funded: Beavers, Gendrich, Rejeski

Congratulations to Kristen Beavers, assistant professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Incorporating Nutrition, Vests, Education, and Strength Training in Bone Health (INVEST in Bone Health) has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Congratulations to Cindy Gendrich, professor of theatre and dance, whose proposal entitled “Served: Forklift Danceworks at Wake Forest University” has been funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Congratulations to Jack Rejeski, research professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Molecular transducers of physical activity consortium coordinating center (CCC)” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and by (subaward/subcontract from) the University of Florida.

Categories: Faculty News

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Chaplain's Emergency Fund
As you consider opportunities to give, the Chaplain’s Emergency Fund supports Wake Forest community members experiencing financial hardship.

Business 40 Traffic Advisory

Business 40 from US-52 to Peters Creek Parkway is closed, effective Nov. 17, 2018, until 2020. 

N.C. DOT details and updates:
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University News

WFU’s Project Pumpkin to commemorate moon landing

October 17, 2019

More than 800 Winston-Salem children are expected to converge on Wake Forest for candy, fun and...

Arnold Palmer Trust moves Wake Will Lead campaign past $1 billion milestone

October 15, 2019

A $1.5 million gift from Arnold Palmer’s Trust establishing the Winifred W. Palmer...

WFU hosting international exhibition “video ergo sum,” I video, therefore I exist

October 11, 2019

Wake Forest University’s Hanes Art Gallery and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art...