Staff News

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.

Scientists want to study the world’s best humans

Researchers at Wake Forest University recently won a $3.9 million grant intended to fund a three-year research initiative studying the most morally upright people they can find, nominated by the people who know them. They hope that these “moral superstars,” as the researchers dubbed them, will provide some lessons for the rest of us on how to be good.

Will Fleeson, a Wake Forest psychologist who is leading the project, hopes to include both people who act in small, everyday ways for the good of their community, and people who make huge and costly sacrifices, like anonymous kidney donors. “These are everyday people,” Fleeson said. “They don’t get celebrations; they often never even meet the person they’re helping. They’re never directly thanked.”

Read NY Mag’s story about the $3.9 million grant here.

Dynamic Decade: President Hatch reshapes Wake Forest University with an eye toward the future

After 10 years and with no plans to retire, Wake Forest’s President Nathan Hatch is charting the University’s course forward in his own way. Highly invested in the reputation of his institution, he takes its successes and failures personally, setting a high bar for Wake Forest’s future. Read the Winston-Salem Journal’s feature story on President Hatch here.

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.

 

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.

From USA Today to The New York Times Wake Forest is making news

During the first quarter of 2014, Wake Forest University experts were featured in national news outlets from CNN to The Washington Post to Yahoo! to ABC and The New York Times. Wake Forest News (PDF) features national and local news clips, and campus highlights.

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?'”

President Hatch offers thoughts for streamlining NCAA reform efforts

Streamlining the NCAA: In anticipation of the upcoming NCAA Convention on Jan. 15-18, Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch shares his hopes for streamlining the association in an op-ed piece printed in U-T San Diego.

“One idea is to leaven the board, which is principally university presidents, with a set of other distinguished individuals who can bring outside expertise and perspective. Second, I hope that governance reform will allow Division I to remain intact.…Third, the board must work to restore the membership’s trust in the governance structure and ensure better communication between decision-makers and those affected by the decisions. Fourth, the board needs to work to re-engage athletics directors in the work of the NCAA.…And most importantly, the board must reassert the core responsibility of its member institutions to student-athlete well-being and serious academic purpose,” writes Hatch.

 

An ‘awesome career services program’

The College Solution: Lynn O’Shaughnessy recently tackled the issue of post-graduate success in her blog, The College Solution. Her post encourages parents and their high school students to seek out meaningful employment statistics and to talk about these as part of the college decision-making process. She writes: “I am mentioning these conversations now because of a crowd-sourced report issued this year – A Roadmap for Transforming the College-to-Career Experience – that takes a critical look at college career services. The report, which was edited by Andy Chan and Tommy Derry, at Wake Forest University (which has an awesome career services program!), was the culmination of a conference hosted by Wake Forest that brought together 250 college administrators, professors, corporate executives and thought leaders.”

Read more about Wake Forest’s Office of Personal and Career Development here.

Beat the odds: Don’t focus on your major, focus on skills

Gambling on the ‘Right’ College Major

A recent ‘Career Transitions’ post by Katharine Brooks, Wake Forest’s executive director of personal and career development, was named an essential read by Psychology Today. The article explains why there is no one major that leads to guaranteed post-graduation career success.

“The major isn’t the only deciding factor in a successful job search,” writes Brooks. “There are way too many other variables, such as interviewing skills, motivation, grades, experience, emotional intelligence, social skills, etc. Bottom line: employers hire a package of skills, not a specific major. So let’s get away from this concept of the ‘major’ and its so-called centrality in the job search. Let’s focus on the connections between the major and other courses the students take.…Because, in the job world, there are no guarantees. It’s complex, and outside factors (like a poor economy) can intervene. But by focusing on all of these issues rather than just the major, a student has a much better chance of succeeding in the job market. I would take those odds.”