2014 February

Higher education must help grads secure employability over a lifetime

Colleges ramp up career guidance for students: In a story for USA Today on higher education and job preparation, Mary Beth Marklein writes that Wake Forest was one of the earliest adopters of a more career-focused campus. Andy Chan, vice president of Wake Forest’s Office of Personal and Career Development, explains that an upgrade in career services reflects the changing nature of the workplace. “Unlike earlier generations, young professionals today are likely to switch jobs multiple times,” he says. “It’s imperative for universities to help equip young people with the tools and the mindset of, ‘How am I going to be employable over my lifetime?'”

WFU-designed aircraft used for ecological monitoring

Drones to add flying eye on our ecosystem: Wake Forest biology graduate student Max Messinger and biology professor Miles Silman are featured in the News & Observer. Their remote controlled helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft are used to create photo mosaics for ecological monitoring. Messinger and Marcus Wright, a Wake Forest chemistry lab manager, received funding from CEES and the National Science Foundation to assemble and test two different drones for use in the Peruvian cloud forest. The first, a copter drone, relies on eight small propeller units and is capable of flying at 15 mph for up to 20 minutes at a time. It can be equipped with either a conventional visible light or thermal imaging camera to gather data on everything from leaf and flower characteristics to temperature readings and animal behavior. Their second robot resembles a small airplane. Launched like a javelin, it uses a single electric motor and propeller to fly up to 50 mph for over an hour.

Super Bowl: When America watches the commercials

Why Super Bowl is a distinctly American cultural event: “Companies developing ads for the Super Bowl usually go above and beyond to make sure their messages stand out,” writes Roger Beahm, professor of marketing and executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University School of Business. “Getting into high-stakes Super Bowl advertising is still a big gamble. This year a 30-second spot cost advertisers a cool $4 million or over $133,000 per second. But with more than a third of the entire U.S. watching, advertisers gladly pay the high out-of-pocket cost for this level of reach – and to compete for most memorable Super Bowl ad.” Beahm’s opinion piece ran in Fox News on January 31, 2014.