September 30th, 2011 | Faculty News
The Rise of the Zuckerverb: The New Language of Facebook Sentences [have] become mere instruments for sharing easy-to-digest morsels of personal information. (Ananda Mitra, a professor of communication at Wake Forest University, has dubbed these morsels “narbs” short for “narrative bits.”) All of this represents a re-engineering of the very syntax of natural language, and to what aim? Is it designed for “telling one’s story,” or for satisfying the needs of advertisers looking to collect personal data for targeted marketing?
September 27th, 2011 | Faculty News
Curb the Stress of School Expenses by Prioritizing: The whole family may feel the stress, according to Samuel T. Gladding, PhD, professor of counseling, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. Parents may feel guilty about not providing their children with all that they want, and their children may feel resentful, according to Gladding. However, even though you shouldn’t court it, “adversity can teach us a lot,” Gladding says. Families can set priorities, decide common goals and work together to manage financial belt-tightening, say counseling experts. “Families do pull together when they lack resources,” Gladding says.
But first they have to talk.
September 23rd, 2011 | Faculty News
More college officials learn about applicants from Facebook: The number of college admissions officials using Facebook to learn more about an applicant has quadrupled in the past year, underscoring the effect social media has on U.S. culture and academic life, a survey shows. Googling is nearly as prevalent.The rise suggests a growing acceptance of the practice, despite concerns that it invades student privacy.…Others offer a more positive reason for checking an applicant’s Facebook profile. Wake Forest University Admissions Dean Martha Allman says her younger staffers like to see (an applicant’s) “digital personality.”
September 20th, 2011 | Faculty News
When to Negotiate: How to Get a Better Deal on Just About Everything “Focus on the result, not on the misplaced embarrassment for asking,” says Charles Lankau, professor of practice at Wake Forest University. “As a consumer in today’s economy, just ask yourself, ‘Am I about to spend some money?’ If the answer is yes, negotiating is almost always appropriate.” One tip: Track your results.“I keep a note card in my glove box and jot down every time I do better with a purchase,” Lankau says. “It’s a great motivator. We all do this with weight loss and getting out of debt.”
September 13th, 2011 | Faculty News
Why Fathers Have Lower Levels of Testosterone?: Perhaps cultural dynamics may be at work, says Robin Simon, a sociology professor at Wake Forest University who studies gender and parenthood, among other things. “I’m not familiar with the gendered context of parenting in the Philippines, but primary parenting at least in the U.S. is considered to be a female activity,” says Simon. “Maybe men might find it emasculating.”
September 7th, 2011 | Faculty News
Do Obama (and Other Politicians) Deserve so Much Blame?: “While politicians (especially presidential candidates) often act as if all our economic troubles can be laid at the feet of their opponents, while they will miraculously solve all our ills, it is important to realize that economic growth and unemployment trends are determined by the decisions and interactions of billions of individuals around the globe,” Wake Forest University Economics Professor Robert Whaples said in an online interview. “Elected officials and central bankers can take some actions that will influence economic confidence and boost spending, but these tools take time to work and often have disappointing results.”
September 6th, 2011 | Faculty News
What to Say When…Your Child Asks About a Tragic Event:
Limit media exposure. “You know that little game ‘Memory’ where you try to find the matching pairs?” says Deborah Best, Ph.D., developmental psychology professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “A preschool kid will beat you in a minute.” That’s because visual memory is particularly strong in little kids. Here’s an example: If you were a child when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, odds are you can visualize exactly how that wreckage looked in the sky. Try to avoid photographic and video exposure for young children and limit the constant replays for school-aged children.
Make your child feel safe. Even if the tragedy was close to home, you can still reassure your child. For example, if you live in or near New York City where the Twin Towers once stood, tell them the story of that day. “But you then explain that that was 10 years ago, and since then we’ve learned a great deal about how to protect ourselves from these things,” says Best. “Focus on protection and try to put the event in a distant box, so it’s not something that’s immediate and going to happen again.”
“I don’t know” is okay. Why did a wall of water kill thousands? Why did a madman open fire? As your child ages, the questions will become harder to answer. And it’s okay to say, “I don’t know,” says Best. “We don’t really know sometimes why tragedies happen, and it’s okay to admit that,” she says. Understanding that there isn’t always an answer is part of growing up.
September 1st, 2011 | Faculty News
Flexible electronics hold promise for consumer applications: The technology, developed by Oana Jurchescu, assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest, her graduate students Katelyn Goetz and Jeremy Ward, and interdisciplinary collaborators from Stanford University, Imperial College (London), University of Kentucky and Appalachian State University, eventually may turn scientific wonders — including artificial skin, smart bandages, flexible displays, smart windshields, wearable electronics and electronic wallpapers — into everyday realities. Jurchescu says plastic or organic semiconductors, produced in large volume using roll-to-roll processing, inkjet printing or spray deposition, represent the “electronics everywhere” trend of the future.