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2010 September

Colorful celebration of world cultures

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Steel drums, Brazilian fight dancing, Polynesian dancing and a World Fusion band were part of the World Cultural Festival held on Sept. 17 on Manchester Plaza. Over 700 students, faculty and members of the community joined in the celebration. In addition to the music and dance, food, games and prizes were part of the celebration. This is the second year for the festival, which is co-sponsored the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for International Studies. Wake Forest is home to international students representing over 20 countries.

>>View the photo gallery

Bound by Haiti

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Imagine you’re filming a documentary in a Caribbean country and the ground begins to move beneath your feet. At first, you don’t realize what’s happening until buildings begin to topple and chaos is unleashed. You know immediately that the film you planned has changed dramatically, and your joint responsibilities as journalist and filmmaker have changed. The scope of the disaster makes it clear that you’re capturing an event that will change the lives of the people you’re filming—and perhaps the lives of the people who see your film—forever.

directorsThat’s exactly what happened to Jon Bougher (left) and Roman Safiullin while they were in Haiti filming a story about Aaron Jackson and John Dieubon, two men dedicated to eradicating intestinal parasites and inspiring a new, self-sufficient generation of Haitian children. The January 12th earthquake added an unexpected and devastating component to the story. Directors Bougher and Safiullin, graduate students in Wake Forest’s documentary film program answer questions for this blog about their experiences filming Bound by Haiti. They will also take questions after the “works in progress” screening of their movie on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in Wake Forest’s Annenberg Forum. The event is free and open to the public.

What did you learn during filming of Bound by Haiti?

Jon: As a documentary filmmaker, you must be extremely flexible. No matter what events are in the story – even the drama of an earthquake – it is the relationship between the audience and the characters which makes the greatest impact.

Roman: For me, learning to be patient and willing to temporarily suspend my own beliefs was the biggest lesson of this film — it helped me to overcome my own prejudices and allowed me to learn things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Technically, what was most challenging about filming?

Jon: We shot in rural parts of Haiti that were hours from Port-au-Prince with no electricity. This and the congested streets of the city made the production process grueling.

Roman: Having to communicate through a translator, we were forced to rely on the tone of the voice, eye movement, body language and other subtle queues during conversations. Once or twice we’d finish a scene thinking we’d captured something substantial, but after reviewing the translated footage during the editing process it turned out to be simple or mundane. At times, it was frustrating.

How long did it take to create the film?

Roman: We made five trips to Haiti over a period of about a year. Between that and the shoots in Florida, NY and LA, we had 66 hours of footage. Jon and I finished a version of the film in about three months and did additional post-production work over the past summer.

What do you hope people who view the film take away from the experience?

Roman: Our film is told from a personal perspective. It has unique footage and because it is longer than most other media formats, it allows the audience to better understand the problems that plague Third-World countries.

Jon: Interest in the developing world should not just be about making financial donations in times of crises. I hope the film encourages people to research small, grassroots organizations that are working to solve the long-term problems in developing countries and support these efforts regularly.

Winning teachers

melanietalleyMelanie Huynh-Duc  (far left) of Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro and Amy Talley of Ashley Elementary School in Winston-Salem received the 2010 Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award.

Huynh-Duc received her award at Northwest Guilford High School on Sept. 16. Talley received the award at a surprise event during a PTA meeting held at her school on Sept. 21. >>News 14 video

The Waddill Award is presented annually to two outstanding public or private school teachers who are alumni of Wake Forest. Each winner receives a $20,000 cash prize, one of the largest monetary prizes of any teaching award in the country. The award, named for Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Marcellus Waddill, was created in 1994 and is funded by his son, David Waddill.

Shuttles and car sharing create a sustainable campus

Ride the Wake shuttle serviceCollege campuses nationwide grapple with insufficient parking. Many respond by building parking decks or charging hundreds of dollars for prime spaces. But Wake Forest is working to find more environmentally sustainable solutions through car-sharing and shuttle service. And green-friendly students, faculty and staff are supporting these initiatives.

• Membership in the Zipcar car-sharing program has doubled since its launch in January 2010.
• Juniors, seniors, faculty and staff are using the “Ride the Wake” shuttle service regularly.

• The number of first-year students purchasing fall parking permits decreased to 298, down from 352 in September 2009.

• A weekend evening shuttle service to downtown Winston-Salem is a popular alternative to driving.

“We spent a lot of time and did a thorough job of thinking through our needs at Wake Forest before we planned alternative transportation options—and it’s been one of our biggest hits,” says sustainability director Dedee DeLongpré Johnston.

Download the iPhone “Ride the Wake” GPS App to track the shuttles’ locations.

Keep up with sustainable initiatives through the Office of Sustainability.

Jumpstart the job search

495x300.20100903.flockWith many new college graduates struggling to land a job, Ladd Flock, Wake Forest’s director of career services, offers 10 steps seniors can take to improve their chances of finding a job by graduation.

The top 5 are …

1. Register with the university’s career office — Update your career center profile with current career interests, job experience, and GPA.

2. Update your resume — Employers may come recruiting as early as one or two weeks into the semester.

3. Line up your references — Many employers require a letter of recommendation or references for new hires.

4. Prepare your interviewing attire — Employers are eyeing you as a potential full-time employee. Dress the part.

5. Begin your professional presence online — Start by cleaning up your Facebook page and creating a Linked In profile.

Parents need to know when to stop hovering

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Call them Velcro parents, helicopter parents or dive-bomb moms, when children leave home to begin college, it’s time for them to stop being overly involved in their offspring’s lives, according to Johnne Armentrout, assistant director of the Wake Forest Counseling Center. ”Young adults need to learn how to make mistakes and recover from those mistakes,” says Armentrout. “Preserving self esteem at all costs has inadvertently made kids feel anxious about disappointment, and some lack the emotional coping skills necessary for dealing with the normal ups and downs of life. “Tips for parents include: Remain calm when your child encounters a challenging situation (if you overreact, so will they), stay out of the classroom (let your child enjoy academic exploration) and avoid using cell phones and Facebook for reconnaissance missions.

Armentrout is available to answer questions related to the social and academic challenges facing the millennial generation at competitive colleges, and coping strategies for empty nest syndrome.