2013 October

Decrease in Halloween spending is nothing to get spooked about

Spending on Halloween down from last year
A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation estimates that 158 million Americans will celebrate Halloween, down from 170 million last year. The survey also estimates that the average person will spend $75.03 on such items as candy, costumes and decorations, slightly less than the $79.82 spent last year. Marketing professor Roger Beahm says he doesn’t expect the Halloween spending trends to change that much,” Beahm said. “Yeah, there will be year-to-year fluctuations based on how the economy is at the time, but I think this long-term trend is going to continue.” Beahm is executive director of the Wake Forest University Center for Retail Innovation, a retail marketing center established within the School of Business to create knowledge and cultivate industry leaders through data analytics and channel partner collaborations.

College admissions without the SAT/ACT

Should SAT scores be a factor in college admissions?

Joseph Soares, sociology professor and author of “SAT Wars: The Case for Test-Optional College Admissions,” talks with Kerri Miller (MPR) and Peter Coy (Bloomberg Businessweek) about why standardized tests still have so much power in college admissions decision-making. What are alternatives to the SAT and ACT? Do standardized tests threaten to make higher education elitist? Wake Forest has been getting “more creative students, more diverse students and stronger students” since going test optional, says Soares. The discussion focuses on Coy’s article, “What’s Holding American Students Back? The SAT.”

Scalding McDonalds coffee went from media uproar to cultural legend

Not Just a Hot Cup Anymore

It’s been 20 years since Stella Liebeck sued McDonalds over dangerously hot coffee. In a New York Times Retro Report video, communication professor John Llewellyn talks about how the facts of the case were lost in the media uproar. “This is the most widely misunderstood story in America,” says Llewellyn. “The public perception of it is Stella Leibeck won the lottery. She bought the coffee. She spilled it on herself, and now she’s a millionaire, but of course the facts are much more complicated.”

Sports economist talks World Series

10 things the World Series won’t tell you

Sports economics professor Todd McFall, an expert on tournament competitions and sports regulatory policies, was quoted by Charles Passey in Market Watch on the lopsidedness of baseball’s World Series. “Teams with monster payrolls (can) buy a competitive advantage over their rivals,” says McFall. McFall points to the Boston Red Sox as one such example: The club swept both the 2004 and 2007 World Series in four games — against the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies, respectively — with a payroll that was tens of millions of dollars larger than that of its opponents, writes Passey.

WFU graduate’s documentary film examines food delivery systems in African-American communities

Project examines changes in food systems in African-American communities

“Foodways and Roadways,” a 16-minute documenatry developed and produced by Jessica Pic, a graduate of the Wake Forest University Documentary Film Program, and Margaret Savoca, research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine was screened at Wake Forest Biotech Place and gave the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. The documentary looks at how the construction of a highway in Winston-Salem split the community and displaced about 10,000 families. Over time, a great change in nutrition and meal patterns in these neighborhoods occurred.

Art and architecture blend with skiing in professor’s new book

Outdoors through lens of architecture

Margaret Supplee Smith, professor emerita at Wake Forest University, recently published a book combining her architectural history expertise with beautiful photos of snowy, American ski slopes and resorts. An article on her book, “American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience,” was recently published in the Winston-Salem Journal. This book is about the outdoors, “…but outdoors through the lens of architecture,” Smith said. “And architecture shapes our experiences when we ski as much as the mountain.”

Read more in Wake Forest Magazine.

Career expert says have a plan before asking for a raise

How to get a raise when they’re not handing them out

Katharine Brooks, executive director of the Office of Personal and Career Development and author of You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career, says asking for a pay raise should not be done without careful planning. “Being prepared can help you overcome your hesitation.” Aside from keeping track of your accomplishments and contributions, you can plan by thinking about things like timing. “This is key,” Brooks says. “If others are being laid off, or there has been a cutback in revenues to the organization, that is generally not the time to ask for a raise. Wait for things to settle, then assess the situation.”

Business school’s ‘living room’ concept inspired by Pixar headquarters

New Wake Forest B-School building has a living room feel

Wake Forest’s Farrell Hall, home to the School of Business, was recognized in the “B-School Life” blog for its living room concept. “I’d rather be in the living room than in my office,” says Derrick Boone, associate dean of the MA in Management program. “Students stop by and ask questions not only about class, but about careers, their interests, and my interests.” Construction of the $55 million building was funded in part with a $10 million pledge from Mike and Mary Farrell of Summit, N.J., parents of Michael Edward Farrell, a 2010 Wake Forest graduate.