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Students ‘Thrive’ at exam time and year round — balancing work and relaxation

Recommended Resting:  Napping students — exhausted by long nights of studying for exams or writing term papers — are common in campus libraries. But at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, sleeping students can now be found resting in comfortable recliners, instead of snoring into open textbooks…Wake Forest isn’t just concerned about the stress of students cramming for final exams in the library. In the last two years, the university has revamped its approach to addressing student well-being across campus — and it’s not the only institution trying to help students better-handle the stresses of college.

Wake Forest volunteers make Thanksgiving meals for the hungry

Wake Forest volunteers make meals for the hungry: This week more than 150 Wake Forest students, faculty and staff volunteers will cook about 400 made-from-scratch Thanksgiving meals and deliver them to nonprofit partner agencies who serve food-insecure residents in the Triad.

Wake Forest featured in segment on test-optional admissions

More colleges dropping the SAT requirement: Each fall, high school seniors nationwide begin the college application process, and many worry their SAT/ACT test scores will overshadow their academic achievements and talents. CBS Evening News featured first-year student Natalie Casimir in a story about the increasing number of colleges and universities making the SAT optional. In the story, she says she feels “valued, not by a number but for my character.”

Focus on the right path for students, not just the first job after college

Finding a Student’s Calling: In a recent Inside Higher Ed story on students seeking advice from campus chaplains on career direction, Wake Forest’s Vice President of Career Development Andy Chan had the opportunity to comment on the importance of finding the right path after college rather than just the first job.

While the process may be a little more philosophical, and even spiritual, than most career counseling, Chan said he’d like to see a similar focus at more colleges. “I think a lot of times, we get so focused on outcomes — do students have a job, do they go to grad school — that all the energy is focused just on what a student might be skilled at,” he said. “And sometimes that might take a student down a path that’s not the right fit for them as a person.”

“There’s a lot more pressure now on universities to demonstrate positive outcomes. How are the students doing in respect to getting jobs or going to graduate school? I think for a long time schools have not really spent too much resources in that area, and now there’s this sense that we need to make up for that,” said Chan.

 

Art professor talks with NPR about sculptor’s answer to WWI facial wounds

One Sculptor’s Answer to WWI Wounds: Plaster, Coper and Paint: Sometimes art can change how people see the world. But Anna Coleman Ladd made art that changed how the world saw people. It was World War I, and soldiers were coming home from the battlefield with devastating injuries. Those who survived were often left with disfigured faces. “The part of the soldier’s body that was most vulnerable was his face, because if he looked up over a trench, that was the part that was going to be hit,” says David Lubin, a professor of art at Wake Forest University.

“These men couldn’t be seen on the street,” says Lubin. “They’d gone through multiple operations, and they were seen as so hideous people would sometimes pass out from seeing them.”

 

Says WFU’s Melissa Harris-Perry (’94), ‘This is the job I want to retire from.’

Harris-Perry returns to WFU to teach: Melissa Harris-Perry, 40, has returned to Wake Forest as faculty member the Department of Politics and International Affairs. She has been named as a Presidential Chair, an endowed position at WFU. She comes to Wake Forest after working for three years as a political-science professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. Harris-Perry said she decided to accept WFU’s offer and leave Tulane for several reasons. “This is a job that I always wanted, but I thought I wanted it in 10 years (from now),” she said. “This is the job I want to retire from.”

Wake Forest kicks-off ‘Thrive’ – a new, campus-wide approach to wellbeing

Wake Forest launches wellbeing initiative:  Wake Forest University is joining a few other campuses nationally in starting a new initiative, Thrive, dedicated to the wellbeing of students, faculty and staff that goes beyond academic performance and into physical, spiritual and other realms. Thrive includes eight markers of wellbeing: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. Wake Forest has also hired a director of wellbeing, who starts work next month.

 

Wake Forest is making news

During the second quarter of 2014, Jill Abramson delivered the Commencement speech for the Class of 2014, and the world mourned the passing of author, activist and Wake Forest’s professor of American Studies Maya Angelou. University experts were featured in national news outlets from the Los Angeles Times to The Washington Post to The Boston Globe to CNN and MSNBC. Wake Forest News (PDF) features national and local news clips, and campus highlights from this time period.

Educating the whole person means supporting well-being after graduation

College grads grade their higher education: A recent survey, developed by Gallup and Purdue University to help schools gauge their effectiveness in preparing students for long-term success, shows there is room for improvement when it comes to overall fulfillment for college grads. Other institutions, including Wake Forest, are developing their own instruments. A study of well-being “is really an outgrowth of our goals, which is that we educate the whole student,” says Penny Rue, vice president for campus life at Wake Forest. “We just want to be able to know that we’re making difference.”

Research shows breeding down among blue-footed boobies in the Galápagos

A new study published in Avian Conservation and Ecology and featured in National Geographic shows the population of blue-footed boobies in the Galápagos Islands has dropped from around 20,000 in the 1960s to 6,400 today. At the same time that breeding has declined, the number of sardines has also decreased—and past research has shown that successful booby breeding occurs when the birds’ diet is made up almost completely of sardines.

Now Wake Forest biologist Dave Anderson, the lead investigator in the study, says he and his research team see studying sardines as an important next step.

“Understanding the population dynamics and distribution of sardines in Galápagos is a logical follow-up project—essentially nothing is known at present,” Anderson told National Geographic’s Mark Miller.

If the numbers of offspring continue to drop this will create a population of birds in about ten years “that are not so old that they up and die, but are too old to breed effectively,” Anderson said. “A lot of 70-year-old humans would be an apt analogy.”