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2010 October

Happy Halloween

It’s Friday afternoon and it’s a beautiful day in Winston-Salem. This morning was quite chilly, but the sun has warmed the Quad and the fall leaves are at their peak. Great day to be a student. Great day to take a walk around campus or to Reynolda Village, and there are numerous social activities this weekend – from movies to the Dead-utante Ball – for students to enjoy.

As the calendar turns to November, students will be starting the home stretch on the semester. There’s little over a month before finals, so students will be amping it up and going into high gear in the next couple weeks to finish their final papers and projects.  Very soon it will be Thanksgiving, and most of our students will be home for one last bit of parental TLC before finals begin in earnest. This is especially key for first year students, who tend to have a bit more anxiety about their first set of finals, just because they aren’t sure what to expect.

For now, encourage your students to enjoy the great weather and the splendor of the fall season.

Project Pumpkin is here!

Today is a great day on campus – Project Pumpkin!  From 3-6 p.m., Wake Forest students will host over 1,000 local Winston-Salem children, as well as children of faculty and staff, for an afternoon of games, trick or treating, clowns and face painters, live music, and more.

This is a signature event on campus and even if your student hasn’t volunteered as a helper for the event, encourage him/her to go to the Quad this afternoon and see all the joy of the children. 

Though we had lots of rain and wind on campus yesterday, the forecast shows only a 10% chance of rain, so it promises to be a great afternoon.  Thanks to the Volunteer Service Corps and all the students who have worked on Project Pumpkin.  Go Deacs!

In other spooky news, Student Union invites students to the following events this weekend: 

“Dare to journey through the dark, winding path to Reynolda Village, and you’ll find yourself at Student Union’s first ever LIVE Haunted House in the Reynolda Meadows Friday from 8-11pm. Come out and enjoy a scary time with friends!

What would you expect from a Southern school on Halloween? A Deadutante Ball of course! Come to the Reynolda Meadows Party Tent this Saturday night for a night full of Halloween shenanigans from 8-11pm. DJ, dancing, and food all for FREE! Sport your best Halloween costume for a chance to win a fantastic PRIZE!! Can’t wait to see you there!”

State of the University Address

Yesterday afternoon, President Hatch delivered the State of the University address to the campus community (read it online here).  In the address, he saluted a number of faculty and staff who have made extraordinary contributions to our campus community. 

Parents, the faculty he mentions here aren’t just in a lab somewhere doing their own research and interacting only with PhD or MA students – these same amazing faculty are teaching undergraduates and doing research with them. People like David Carroll, who is a guru in nanotechnology and discovering amazing new and innovative solutions to our world’s problems. 

One of my advisees was just talking to me about English professor Dean Franco, who she has for a class; Dean Franco and others Dr. Hatch mentioned have worked hard to develop a Humanitites Institute.  I know some of the faculty personally, both as a student and as an administrator, and they are outstanding teacher-scholars who give back considerably to their students.

I hope as you read the president’s address, you get a sense of just how close a community this is at Wake Forest.  This is a place where people know one another – if not by name, at least by face and to say hello as you pass them on the Quad.  A place where people work together because they are excited about teaching and mentoring students and helping them learn and grow while they are here.

Dr. Hatch illustrated this sense of commitment this way: “These are not academic professionals merely climbing the ladder of success.  This atmosphere also challenges the ethic so evidently on display today among icons in sports and entertainment: ‘It’s all about what makes me happy, what I find most fulfilling.’  We seek faculty and staff, administrators and coaches, who take joy in investing in the lives of students.  It is that genuine, heartfelt commitment that makes for a magical connection.”

“The All-American corner back Alphonso Smith made this point strikingly when, as a senior, he paid tribute to one of his coaches.  ‘It finally dawned on me,’ Alphonso said. ‘It is simple; Coach Hood clearly cared more about me and my teammates as people than as players. I made the right choice,’ he continued, ‘and I will always cherish the Black and Gold.’”

Parents, please read the State of the University. As always, feel free to email parents@nullwfu.edu with your thoughts about Wake Forest.

The 5th Quarter

Wake Forest is known for “Brian’s Song,” the movie about alumnus Brian Piccolo whose life was cut short by cancer (and who was the inspiration for the student-led Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund). But there is another tragic and beautiful true story about Wake Forest football that is coming to life.

First the background. Jon Abbate (’07) was an incredible linebacker for the Deacs. His impressive play helped move Wake Forest to the Orange Bowl in 2006 and its best season ever. Jon created a tradition of holding up five fingers in honor of his brother Luke, who he lost in a car accident. Great ESPN feature story here.

A 5th Quarter movie has been made.  The trailer is available online and there have been initial screenings in New York (details of the screening here) and at the Boston and Los Angeles Wake Forest club.

My hope is that the 5th Quarter sees many, many theaters. Not only is it a great story, it’s a great Wake Forest story.

Chances to Hear from President Hatch

Does your student have a question for President Hatch? Or just want to have a cup of coffee and have a discussion with other students?

Student have two opportunities to hear from the president this week.  In the popular “Hang with Hatch” event on Tuesday the 26th at 11 a.m., Dr. Hatch will be in Starbucks to enjoy a cup of coffee with interested students. Students were invited to “stop by with questions about the future of our great university, his favorite band or the book he’s currently reading.”

A second chance for students to hear from the president is Tuesday afternoon.  Dr. Hatch will be in Wait Chapel at 4pm to deliver the State of the University address. Students, faculty and staff are invited to hear him speak and then join us for the Campus Picnic at 5 p.m.

In past years, the Campus Picnic has been great fun. Faculty and administrators (and sometimes their families) gather together informally for food and fun. It’s part of the community atmosphere at Wake Forest – so please encourage your students to attend!

The Difficult Issue of Discussing Alcohol

A colleague in Student Life forwarded me an article about the death of a student at Radford University.  The article suggests the student had been at a party, had been intoxicated and that friends put him to bed to ‘sleep off the intoxication.’  My heart goes out to this student’s family and friends, and the larger Radford community.

A different article discussing college drinking habits appeared in the Washington Post’s ‘Campus Overload’ web site.  It describes “Four Loko — fruity energy drinks with 12 percent alcohol — started popping up on college campuses this spring. The 23.5 oz cans sell for less than three bucks each and come in 10 flavors, including blue raspberry and fruit punch.”  The article goes on to talk about the dangers that can be associated with consumption or excessive consumption of this type of beverage.

Both of these situations are dangerous in their own ways.

Letting a severely intoxicated person go to sleep can be life threatening.  There is a Wake Forest web site called Party Smart that offers students information about how to deal with an intoxicated friend.  Though this page has been promoted to students, we know that parents also have great influence on their children.

If your student is not already aware of Party Smart – or if you want to talk to your student about your family’s personal beliefs and expectations regarding alcohol and ‘trendy’ drinks like Four Loko – the Party Smart site offers advice for those conversations.

A final word about Four Loko from our health educator, Natascha Romeo:

  • The number of drinks in a 23.5 oz can of Four Loko is 5.6, not 3-4.
  • The caffeine masks the effect of alcohol so that the body doesn’t listen to normal cues of effect of alcohol except when the alcohol has been fully absorbed.
  • A 135 pound woman who drinks 2 Four Lokos in 2 hours will have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .32-.36 (the legal limit in many states is .08)
  • Novice drinkers (many first year students) think they’re just having a drink or two not realizing that in fact they’re having 5-11 drinks.

The number of drinks in a 23.5 oz can of four loco is 5.6, not 3-4. (23.5X.12)X2

-The caffeine masks the effect of alcohol (students here call it cocaine in a can) so that the body does’nt listen to normal cues of effect of alcohol except when the alcohol has been fully absorbed.

-a 135 pound woman who drinks 2 four locos in 2 hours will have a bac of .32-.36

-Novice drinkers (many first year students) think they’re just having a drink or two not realizing that in fact they’re having 5-11 drinks.

Flyers Around Campus

Here’s a sampling of some of the sights on campus – these are upcoming flyers for events, or informational signs student groups have hung.

There is a leadership program being advertised…

A flyer looking for volunteers for a “Scare” project for Halloween…

Interesting point to ponder on diets and weight…

And an advertisement for a Sublime concert coming up this weekend.

Interfaith Events Scheduled

There is an article on the “Inside WFU” website about the Chaplain’s office and efforts on campus to promote interfaith dialogue.  Here is an excerpt:

“The Chaplain’s Office is sponsoring several programs this semester to promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation. Among the highlights are the screening of a new documentary film, ‘Little Town of Bethlehem,’ on Thursday night and a forum next month with the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance.

‘Students, faculty and staff must speak out about the importance of religious pluralism and continue to make interfaith cooperation an active part of campus life,’ said Chaplain Tim Auman.” Read the full article here.

Speakers and Events on Campus

An important part of a student’s education at Wake Forest is having access to guest speakers and artistic events. There are a couple coming up that may be of interest.

  • On Thursday, October 21st from 4-5:30 pm in the Worrell Center large courtroom, Susan Ivey will speak as part of the Executive Lecture Series.  Susan Ivey is Chairman, President and CEO, Reynolds American Inc. as well as president of RAI Services Company.She was formerly president and chief executive officer of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (B&W), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.  She is ranked No. 26 in Fortune magazine’s 2009 listing of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and is No. 58 in Forbes magazine’s 2009 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is also ranked No. 33 in the Financial Times’ 2009 Top 50 Women in World Business.
  • Also on Thursday from 4:30-6 p.m. in Tribble Hall B16, Professor Bryan Frances, Fordham University, will speak on “The Problem of Gratuitous Evil.”  Can believers in God give a rational and informative explanation of why God allows so much horrific suffering, much of which seems to be pointless? Students will hear his thoughts.
  • At 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Brendle Recital Hall, three Wake Forest faculty members will present a program of chamber music for flute, clarinet, and piano, including “Dolly Suite” by Gabriel Faure and “Jeux d’Enfant” by Georges Bizet. Featuring Kathryn Levy (flute), Eileen Young (clarinet) and Joanne Inkman (piano).

These are just a sampling of the campus activities in which your students can participate. For more information, visit the University Calendar (and encourage your students to bookmark this site and visit often).

Everyday Chemistry Taught in London at Worrell House

I received an email the other day from the Office of Academic advising about an exciting opportunity for students to fulfill a divisional requirement this summer in London – under the tutelage of an excellent teacher-scholar here, Christa Colyer of Chemistry (profiled here in 2009 for her work with student research).

Dr. Colyer will be teaching CHM 108 & 108L “Everyday Chemistry” at the Worrell House in London next summer (July 01 – 29, 2011). This is a 4-hr course that satisfies a division V graduation requirement. 

While CHM 108/108L will also be offered here on campus during the spring ’11 semester, Dr. Colyer wanted to make the special summer-abroad offering known to students in case this might affect their registration choices for the spring.  For more information about the Worrell House, Summer ’11 CHM 108/108L offering, please do not hesitate to contact her at colyercl@nullwfu.edu.

The Worrell House is one of Wake Forest’s residential study abroad houses. Here’s a brief history and description from the Center for International Studies page:

“In 1977, Wake Forest purchased a large brick house in Hampstead for its London program. The house, a gift from Eugene and Ann Worrell, was named in their honor. Formerly known as Morven House, the building served as the home and studio of landscape painter Charles Edward Johnson.

Worrell House has four stories and is situated on Steele’s Road (named for essayist Sir Richard Steele) in a sector of suburban London known as Hampstead. Hampstead is primarily a residential neighborhood and home to Hampstead Heath, Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill, and the Keats Cottage. Two underground tube stops are within a 5-10 minute walk.”

As an aside, several of my best friends from Wake Forest studied at the Worrell House, and they unanimously say that it was an incredible semester and the friendships they formed with their WFU companions are unparalleled. Parents, as your students consider studying abroad, urge them to look into Worrell or our other residential programs in Venice or Vienna.