Class Notes

Winning teachers

melanietalleyMelanie Huynh-Duc  (far left) of Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro and Amy Talley of Ashley Elementary School in Winston-Salem received the 2010 Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award.

Huynh-Duc received her award at Northwest Guilford High School on Sept. 16. Talley received the award at a surprise event during a PTA meeting held at her school on Sept. 21. >>News 14 video

The Waddill Award is presented annually to two outstanding public or private school teachers who are alumni of Wake Forest. Each winner receives a $20,000 cash prize, one of the largest monetary prizes of any teaching award in the country. The award, named for Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Marcellus Waddill, was created in 1994 and is funded by his son, David Waddill.

Social media: make it worthwhile

social mediaA question that comes up when discussing social media is, “Are we getting the results we’re looking for from our videos, podcasts, photo galleries, audio slide shows, Tweets and blogs?”

Ricky Van Veen (’03) in an article on CNN Tech today says before making a video, ask why anyone would want to watch it. Van Veen was the keynote speaker at the Mashable Media Summit in New York, and is the founder of CollegeHumor. “We only shoot for 9s and 10s [on a scale of 10],” Van Veen said, “On the Internet, 5s and 6s don’t matter.”

Alumnus recalls lunch-counter sit-ins

Fifty years ago, George Williamson (’61) joined a group of students from Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State to protest segregated lunch counters in downtown Winston-Salem. Watch a video of his remarks and Dr. Rev. Brad Braxton’s sermon at Worship in Wait.

The ‘holy land’ of racing


Should Grant Kahler’s instincts for the continuing craze of real-life-meets-television prove accurate, racing at Winston-Salem’s Bowman Gray Stadium could become the next big thing on television.

“Madhouse,” an hour-long weekly series following the personal lives of race-car drivers and their racing highs and lows on the track during the 2009 season, will become part of the History Channel’s lineup on Jan. 10. The program is the latest project for Kahler (’01), a Los Angeles-based freelance film producer and editor with a lingering fondness for his spectator days at the celebrated Winston-Salem racetrack.

Media contact: Kerry M. King, 336.758.5237,

Law alumnus plays key role in settlement

Alumnus David C. Smith (’81, JD ‘84) played a key role in a 13-year class-action lawsuit against the federal government that recently resulted in a historic $3.4 billion settlement for American Indians.

Top 10 admissions questions


With high school students in the thick of the college application process, Director of Admissions Martha Allman (’82, MBA ‘92) offers her top ten list of the most frequently asked admissions questions.

WF family comes to aid of flood victim


As Helen Jugovic (JD ’06) contemplated rebuilding her life after a flood destroyed her apartment, she never dreamed that three years after graduating, classmates and faculty from Wake Forest would be among the first to reach out to help her.

A lost ring circles back

Lloyd K. Rector carefully removes the ring from an envelope, then opens a small plastic jewelers’ bag. The ring was presented to the Wake Forest College Bachelor of Laws Class of 1953. The initials “LKR” are engraved on the inside; the university motto, class information and the symbol for the international legal fraternity — Phi Delta Phi – are carved on the ring’s surface.

Written on the plastic bag: “10 karats, 17.6 grams.”

A cursory glance shows the ring to be ordinary, forgettable even, except for the obvious damage. A black onyx, the centerpiece around the gold casing, is missing. As Rector pictures it in his mind, he remembers that the stone bore a small crack, the result of an accident during military basic training.

Now in place of the stone is a hole, its jagged edges worn from time yet clearly visible.

How long the stone has been missing is unknown, but the plastic bag shows the stone was probably sold, though maybe not by the person who found it in Gander, Newfoundland, on a cold December day 52 years ago.

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Katina Parker (’96) brings gang violence to film

A free screening of filmmaker Katina Parker’s (’96) documentary “Peace Process” will be held at the Forsyth County Library on Fifth Street in Winston-Salem on Wednesday, August 5, and Saturday, August 8, at 10 a.m. The story follows a teen poet, Jabril, through an informal intervention program during which he is trained to interview other teens, former gang members, journalists, artists and community activists who have been affected by gang violence. “Peace Process” is showing as part of the National Black Theatre Film Festival, and a Q&A with Parker, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay, will be held after the screenings. More information, including a trailer, is available on the Facebook Peace Process fan page.

Ross Smith (’82), debate director, dies unexpectedly

Ross K. Smith (’82), the award-winning director of debate who led Wake Forest University’s debate team to a national championship in 2008, died unexpectedly July 19 in Winston-Salem.  He was 54.

A guestbook has been created on the university Web site at

Donors who wish to give in memory of Ross Smith may do so online. Under “Gift Designation” choose “other” and indicate in the comment field that you wish to give to the Ross K. Smith Debate Fund.