Stories this week at WFU

WAKE FOREST STUDENTS MOVE IN TO RESIDENCE HALLS – New students will move into their Wake Forest residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Part of the group of new students will include eight freshmen who will live in the university’s new “Technology Quarters,” in Luter Residence Hall. The students will learn about new technology, share technical expertise with one another and occasionally help the university test new equipment that is being considered for use on campus. Students will begin arriving for move-in day around 8 a.m. For more information on Technology Quarters, contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237. To arrange coverage of move-in day, contact the News Service.

FALL SEMESTER STARTS AUG. 27 – Classes for Wake Forest’s fall semester will begin Aug. 27.

HOW CHILDREN CAN FIND THEIR SOCIAL NICHE – A new school year means new social groups for many students. Two Wake Forest professors can provide suggestions for how children can find their social niche. Children are more likely to be accepted by their peers if they show interest in another person, says Mark Leary, professor of psychology at Wake Forest and author of “Interpersonal Rejection.” Showing kindness to others is another way to make new friends, says Samuel Gladding, chairman of the Wake Forest counseling department and president-elect of the American Counseling Association. To arrange interviews, contact Cheryl Walker at walkercv@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237. More back-to-school story ideas can be found here.

HOW DO BETTA FISH CHOOSE A MATE? – Students in Professor of Biology Bill Conner’s summer class on animal behavior are studying what traits attract the female betta fish to a male betta. Their research does not involve scribbled notes or clumsy folders, however. They are using hand-held computers that allow them to use a touch-screen to enter data. A software program written by Wake Forest staff members specifically for the class compiles the data into a spreadsheet that the students can then convert to an ethogram, a graphic representation of an animal’s behavior. Conner says the technology has allowed for faster and more accurate research. The class ends Aug. 8, but students will be using the technology in various ways throughout the fall semester. To arrange coverage of the animal behavior class, contact the News Service.

DEEP SOUTH TOUR RETURNS HOME – Fifteen Wake Forest students who participated in the university’s two-week travel tour of the Deep South will return to campus Aug. 8. The class, “Social Stratification in the American Deep South,” was designed by Earl Smith, chairman of the sociology department, and Angela Hattery, associate professor of sociology, to help students better understand social, economic and political issues in the South. The group has traveled by bus from Atlanta to the Mississippi Delta through cities, towns and rural areas in five southern states. Online journals posted on the university’s Web site chronicle their experiences. To arrange coverage of their return and interviews with the students or faculty, contact Cheryl Walker at walkercv@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

THE ART OF MAKING ROOMMATE ASSIGNMENTS – The Residence Life and Housing staff at Wake Forest sorts through hundreds of housing agreements by hand each year, looking to make perfect matches for students who often have never shared a room with another person or even been away from home for an extended period of time. “The incoming students fill out a short preference sheet with questions about things like study habits and smoking,” says Connie Carson, director of Residence Life and Housing. “We try to match most of their preferences, but we intentionally try to put students together who have some differences. It’s part of the first-year experience.” With some help from software programs, housing staff tries to match North Carolina students with students from other states. When all out-of-state students have been matched, housing staff works to match students from rural areas with those from urban parts of the state. Since first-year students at Wake Forest are not allowed to choose a particular roommate or residence hall, the staff has the challenge of making decisions about all incoming students. Carson says the task can be extremely challenging, especially because students’ preferences tend to change significantly during the summer before their freshman year. To arrange an interview, please contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

RECEIVE WAKE FOREST NEWS IN YOUR E-MAIL – Reporters and editors may receive the Wake Forest News Service weekly tip sheet and story ideas directly in their e-mail. To add your name to our e-mail distribution list, or to comment about the weekly media tip sheet, contact Sarah Mansell at manselss@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Campus Life, Community, Research, Student