"Christina Soriano" Archive

Birds of a feather learn together

When first-graders at Brunson Elementary were learning about birds, 17 Wake Forest students visited their classrooms to connect the biology lessons with the arts by exploring how birds move and leading bird-themed creative projects.

“The students used poetry, dance, visual art and music to help anchor the lessons,” said Christina Soriano, associate provost of the arts and associate professor of dance who co-taught the class Integrating Arts and Movement into the Elementary Curriculum with associate professor of education Alan Brown.

“They always asked when our ‘Wake friends’ were coming to visit,” said Lauren Hicks, one of four first-grade teachers who collaborated with the students.

The students had originally scheduled five visits to Brunson, but could only come twice before the coronavirus pandemic changed everyone’s plans.

We had to reimagine our plans due to remote teaching, but we have been excited to find new ways for Brunson and Wake Forest students to engage from afar,” said Brown. It took about a week of figuring it out and a couple of Zoom class meetings to decide how to keep the collaboration going.

The entire story about Wake Forest’s collaboration with Brunson Elementary is available here.

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Categories: Faculty NewsInside WFU

'From the Ground Up' showcased facilities staff and their contributions to campus

Housekeeping staff, arborists, turf crew members, locksmiths and carpenters were among the nearly 70 participants performing on Hearn Plaza in the original dance piece “From the Ground Up.” Performances were held on Oct. 3, 4 and 5.

Click here to download the program.

More than two-and-a-half years in the making, “From the Ground Up” was a collaboration between Wake Forest and Forklift Danceworks, a dance company based in Austin, Texas, whose mission is to use creative dance to build community. Cindy Gendrich, theatre professor and director of the University’s Interdisciplinary Performance and Liberal Arts Center (IPLACe); Christina Soriano, dance professor and associate provost for the arts and interdisciplinary programs at Wake Forest; and John Shenette, vice president, facilities and campus services, were the forces that helped move the project forward.

For more information and a video about the production, visit here.

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Categories: Inside WFUStaff News

Nominations sought for commencement 2020 speaker

The Office of the Provost e-mailed this announcement to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 24:

Dear Wake Forest Community,

As members of the Commencement Speaker Advisory Committee, we look forward to engaging our graduating students and other members of the university community in the selection process of our 2020 Commencement speaker. As we begin this exciting task, we look to you to provide us with speaker nominations for Commencement 2020.

Please submit your suggestions to CSAC@nullwfu.edu by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. Submissions must include:

  • Name of nominee
  • A response to the question: “Why do you think this person would be an exceptional Commencement speaker at Wake Forest University?”
  • Any contact name(s) for your nomination (if possible) and/or any connection to Wake Forest

We are especially interested in hearing from graduating students and of nominations with a Wake Forest connection. Suggestions are also gratefully welcomed from faculty and staff.

As you can imagine, people of this caliber are in high demand. While we hope to host a speaker from suggestions we receive, we cannot guarantee that our invitations will be accepted.  Your thoughts will be vital to informing our approach and to selecting a speaker.

This committee is dedicated to the transparency of this process, but please understand that the actual invitation process must remain confidential. Announcement of the Class of 2020’s commencement speaker will follow a similar timeline as in years past.

We look forward to reviewing your nominations.


The Commencement Speaker Advisory Committee

Rogan Kersh, Provost and Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Kyle Adams, Class of 2021 and Student Trustee
Shannon Dubuisson, Executive Director of University Events
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College and Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History
Eranda Jayawickreme, Associate Professor of Psychology
Mark Knudson, President of the Faculty Senate and Professor of Family Medicine
Sophie Leruth, Wake Forest Fellow in the Office of the Provost
Mellie Mesfin, Class of 2020 and President of Student Government
Julia Mroz, Class of 2020 and President of Student Union
Matt Schlosser, Wake Forest Fellow in the Office of the President
Harold Pace, Assistant Provost for Academic Administration and University Registrar
Samantha Perrotta Turner, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Provost
Mary Pugel, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Christina Soriano, Associate Provost for the Arts and Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Associate Professor of Dance

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Proposals funded: Soriano, Rejeski, Comstock-Ferguson

Congratulations to Christina Soriano, associate provost and associate professor of theatre and dance, whose proposal entitled “A Randomized Trial of Dance of Mood, Balance and Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and by (subaward/subcontract from) Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Congratulations to Jack Rejeski, research professor of health and exercise science, whose proposal entitled “Promote weight loss in obese PAD patients to prevent mobility loss: The PROVE trial” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and by (subaward/subcontract from) Northwestern University.

Congratulations to Lindsay Comstock-Ferguson, associate professor of chemistry, whose proposal entitled “RNA modification and antibiotic resistance” has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and by (subaward/subcontract from) Emory University.

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Categories: Faculty NewsInside WFU

Soriano named Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow


Christina Soriano

Christina Soriano, associate provost for the arts, has been named a 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. Soriano, who is also associate professor of dance and director of the University’s dance program, is one of eight change-makers in the United States who will begin a one-year fellowship at the Kennedy Center Arts Summit on April 29.

She researches how improvisational dance can improve brain health in older adults.  She is widely recognized as the creative force behind an integrative method of dance that emphasizes physical and mental fitness for those with neurodegenerative diseases.

The Citizen Artist Fellows program recognizes artists nationwide who use their art form for positive impact on communities. It was launched in 2016 as part of the center’s celebration of President John F. Kennedy’s legacy through his ideals of courage, freedom, justice, service and gratitude.

More information is available here.

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Categories: Faculty NewsInside WFU