News Center Media Report for March 19-25

The WFU News Center Media Report for March 19-25 is now available online.

Wake Forest expands downtown

Wake Forest University will offer new programs in biomedical sciences and engineering, the university announced Friday. Students will study in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., a hub for biomedical sciences and information technology. The university is preparing space adjacent to the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s newly renovated facilities, which are scheduled to open this summer.

The programs, which will be offered starting in 2017, include a B.S. in engineering, a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a concentration in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

Wake Forest is pitching the new programs as a solution to the growing need for undergraduate biomedical science and technology graduates. Between 2012 and 2014, the university says, demand has grown by 58 percent nationally.

Want a college admissions edge? These schools might give you a gender advantage

The Washington Post analyzed admission rates for men and women at about 200 prominent colleges using federal data for the 2014 cycle, the latest available. There were significant gaps favoring men at many colleges and women at others. But a large number of schools had no gender gaps or minimal gaps in admission rates.

The schools were included in the review if they ranked among the top 100 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report lists of national liberal arts colleges and national universities. Wake Forest (32 percent women, 38 percent men) 6 points.

The King of Wake

How famed golfer Arnold Palmer came to study at Wake Forest University is detailed in this feature article – “Palmer likely never would have ended up at Wake Forest had it not been for his best friend, Buddy Worsham, who accepted a golf scholarship at the school.”

“Worsham’s older brother Lew had just won the 1947 U.S. Open, and Buddy was a top-flight recruit, especially for Wake Forest, which was not yet a golf powerhouse.”

News Center Media Report for March 12-18

The WFU News Center Media Report for March 12-18 is now available online.

Race on campus, nontraditional leaders, rising confidence: A survey of presidents

College and university presidents overwhelmingly describe race relations on their campus as excellent or good … Those are among the key findings of Inside Higher Ed’s 2016 Survey of College and University Presidents, produced in conjunction with Gallup. Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, said he suspected that the presidents rating campus race relations as good were simply asking if they had experienced “huge flare-ups” such as those that attracted so much attention in the fall. Others, he suspected, may be proud of increases on their campuses in the representation of minority students.

Wake Forest hasn’t had major protests in the last year and has attracted an increasingly diverse student body. Hatch said, however, that it’s wrong for presidents to assume that good demographic data and the absence of protests mean that minority students are happy.

With fellow administrators, Hatch has spent a lot of time reaching out to minority students and listening to concerns, and many have such concerns, he said.

“Diversity by itself,” he said, doesn’t create inclusivity. Colleges need to work at that, whether or not they have protests. Personally, Hatch said, he would be “much more cautious” about declaring race relations on campus to be good, even if he feels that his institution is making progress.

As the SAT evolves, so do opinions on its value

Many test-prep experts say the new SAT now looks more like its competitor, the ACT, which more students have opted to take in recent years. And it’s no coincidence. The SAT is losing market share to the ACT and has come under fire not only for its expense, but access. One of the many criticisms of the SAT is that the test creates a disadvantage for women, minorities and the poor who are less likely to afford the costly prep courses.

Some colleges are completely opting out of the SAT and ACT as a requirement for admission altogether. The premise isn’t entirely new. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than 850 colleges and universities nationwide are now test-optional. Bates College first became test-optional in 1984 and Wake Forest University was the first major school to ditch test requirements in 2008.

Woodpecker drumming signals wimp or warrior

Animal behavior researchers at Wake Forest University have found that the highly territorial downy woodpecker interprets drumming intensity from adversaries to figure out who is or isn’t a threat.

Instead of a distinctive song, woodpeckers bang on trees with their bills to create a sound called drumming. The birds use it to communicate when they want to attract a mate or defend a territory. Wake Forest assistant professor of biology Matthew Fuxjager and his research team, which consists of graduate student Eric Shupee and several undergraduates, tested how woodpecker pairs perceived the drumming to see how it influenced territorial interaction and coordination of defensive behavior.

News Center Media Report for March 5-11

The WFU News Center Media Report for March 5-11 is now available online.

Beetroot juice and Kim-Shapiro featured on Russian television

Translational Science Center Director Daniel Kim-Shapiro was interviewed by a Russian broadcast company on the health benefits of beetroot juice.

NTV Broadcasting is the biggest non-governmental TV-network in Russia with an audience of 100 million people in countries of the former Soviet Union.

The interview was conducted in Wake Forest’s new state-of-the-art television broadcast studio.