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News Center Media Report for Oct. 3-9

The WFU News Center Media Report for Oct. 3-9 is now available online.

Thousands hear Cox speak at Wake Forest

Laverne Cox is proud to be a black transgender women, even though she said transgender people face violence and bigotry every day.

“Transgender people can use justice and love today,” Cox said in a speech to about 2,200 people in Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University. “People of color can use some justice and love today.”

Cox, 31, who is best known for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix television series “Orange is the New Black,” talked about her life and how she copes with being one of the most visible transgender women in the U.S. “I have often carried tremendous amounts of shame about various aspects of who I am,” Cox said.

Read the entire Winston-Salem Journal story here.

Graduates, students explain what drew them to their colleges

Harsh Patolia, a Wake Forest senior, was one of nine current students or recent graduates to share the factors that helped them pick the right school.

“It took only one visit for me to fall in love with Wake Forest. As a researcher at the school’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, I have worked in a lab to process 3-D images of organs, which allowed me to see some of the cutting-edge advances that technology is bringing to medicine. I am a biophysics major but have thrived by taking advantage of the diverse experiences Wake offers. Two of my favorite classes have included one on Latin American literature and a survey of Slavic literature.

Wake Forest also encourages students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. It is this combination of classroom, research and service experience that has prepared me well for a medical career and developed my interest in public policy.”

Read the full U.S. News and World Report story here.

Saving VW: Next CEO faces 5 big challenges

The next CEO needs to become the surgeon who starts by removing the tumor – the culprits who perpetrated the fraud of adding software to 11 million diesel cars to have them meet emissions standards on the test stand, but not in the real world. That means a purge from the lowliest technician to the highest executive.

“This was blatantly unethical, and they knew it was unethical,” says Sean Hannah, executive director of the Center for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University School of Business.

Read the full USA Today story here.

Wake Forest professor weighs in on impact of Pope’s visit

After weeks of anticipation, Pope Francis finally arrived to the United States on Wednesday. The Leader of the Catholic Church wasted no time delivering his message to those in attendance and President Barack Obama, speaking directly about air pollution and climate change.

Lucas Johnston, associate professor of religion and environment, said it was an important moment and a timely one for the Pope whose message may reach more people than in previous years. He said the Pope’s humanity and humility has shined a new light on the Catholic Church. “I think it’s refreshing to a lot of people,” said Johnston. “His popularity in the U.S., even among non-Catholics, is quite high.”

See the story from Time Warner Cable News here.

WFU receives $6 million federal grant to study weight loss of osteoarthritis patients

Wake Forest University has received a $6 million grant, the largest ever awarded to the University, from the National Institutes  of Health to study the effects of exercise and     dietary measures related  to knee osteoarthritis.

The grant was awarded to Steve Messier, professor of Health and Exercise Science, and his team, which includes associate professors Gary Miller, a nutrition expert, and Shannon Mihalko, a health psychologist. Messier said he hopes his team can develop a “turn-key” community-based health and exercise program that can be implemented in such locations as church fellowship halls, recreation centers, workout gyms and other community facilities where doctors can send their patients.

“I know we can do this,” Messier said. “It’s not going to be easy.”

Read The Winston-Salem Journal’s story on the $6 million grant here.

Wake Forest University signs on as tenant in Innovation Quarter

Wake Forest University will have a presence within Innovation Quarter in former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. space now being renovated.

The University announced that it will lease space to accommodate programs catering to a student population of up to 350 within the research park, with the first students beginning class work and research in the building in 2017.

“Our interest in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter allows us to explore fully the intersection of arts and science, scholarship and entrepreneurship, and tradition and innovation,” said Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch.

Read the entire story from the Triad Business Journal here.

If you’re in this debate, you may have already lost

So, how in the world do you win a debate for losers?

“Don’t go,” said Allen Louden, a debate coach, professor and an occasional adviser to political candidates. “I’m serious.” Louden provided comment on the recent GOP debate, featuring four long-shot Republican candidates and front runner Donald Trump.

Read the full story from The Washington Post here.

U.S. News ranks WFU 27th

U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guide ranked Wake Forest University 27th among 280 national universities. Wake Forest has been ranked in the top 30 in the national universities category for 20 consecutive years and was also 27th in last year’s guide.

Wake Forest was included in the following rankings as well: 10th among national universities for “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching;” 21st among national universities on the “Most Innovative Schools” list; 27th among national universities on the “High School Counselors’ Top Picks” list; and 30th on the “Best Values” list.

See the full list of National Universities rankings from U.S. News and World report here.

Here’s what happened when these colleges ditched SAT scores

A growing number of schools – about 850 and counting – no longer require applicants to submit their scores. And college officials say that a test-optional policy helps them attract strong applicants that may not have previously applied – including students of color, and those from low-income families.

While the academic research is mixed, some of the schools that implemented the policy early on have seen big changes in their student bodies. Before Wake Forest made its admission process test-optional for freshmen entering in 2009, about 18 percent of the students were non-white. The following year, the number jumped to 23 percent and it now stands at 30 percent.

Read CNN Money’s story about colleges that ditched SAT scores here.