Media Advisory: WFU Awards and Recognitions Briefs

Barbee Oakes, a recognized leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives, was appointed as Wake Forest’s first chief diversity officer. She retains her assistant provost title and responsibilities, developed over her six years in that role.

“As our first chief diversity officer, Barbee is beautifully positioned to advance strategic planning and execution of Wake Forest’s diversity and inclusion initiatives,” said Provost Rogan Kersh. “She will confer regularly with the president’s cabinet, deans, governance boards and the larger campus community on issues involving the University’s progress on inclusive excellence initiatives.”

While moving forward with several high-priority goals for this year and beyond, she is also focused on documenting how far Wake Forest has come on diversity and inclusion efforts. “Wake Forest has made tremendous progress in transforming our institutional culture to foster inclusive excellence during the past five years,” she said. “We are building a framework to realize an intercultural mindset by leveraging our growing international diversity and providing cultural competency education initiatives for all students.”

WFU ranked in Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities

Wake Forest University appears in the inaugural Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities, recognizing its achievements as one of the world’s most innovative universities. The Reuters Top 100 ranking aims to identify which institutions contribute the most to science and technology, and have the greatest impact on the global economy.

Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wake Forest 21st among national universities among “Most Innovative Schools,” a new category that recognizes schools that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch said recently announced plans to hold undergraduate classes in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter will positively position Wake Forest in a manner that aligns with the institution’s liberal arts tradition. “Our interest in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter allows us to explore fully the intersection of arts and science, scholarship and entrepreneurship, and tradition and innovation,” Hatch said.

WFU researcher receives NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

Kristen Beavers, assistant professor of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University, has been awarded a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award. It’s the first K01 awarded to a junior research faculty member at the University.

K01 awards are designed to promote career development while providing support and protected time for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences – ultimately leading to research independence. Beavers’ K01 award is in the amount of $473,549 and will support her research to specifically focus on bone health of older adults. Her mentor team includes Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D, principal investigator of the Wake Forest Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, one of the 13 such centers supported by the National Institute on Aging, and W. Jack Rejeski, Ph.D., a WFU professor and researcher who studies aspects of weight loss and physical activity in older adults.

Michelle Voss Roberts wins award for excellence for book

The American Academy of Religion has selected Michelle Voss Roberts, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of theology in the School of Divinity as one of its 2015 recipients of the Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion for her book, “Tastes of the Divine: Hindu and Christian Theologies of Emotion.”

Morosini presented award in Italy

Roberta Morosini, professor of Romance languages, received the Luigi De Lise Culture Award for 2015 in a Sept. 6 ceremony in Italy.  She is in Italy this fall for a sabbatical. The award is named in honor of a playwright from Sarno, Italy, Morosini’s hometown.

WFU senior awarded grant to study miniature painting

Wake Forest senior Cami Burruss was awarded an Atlantic Coast Conference Inter-institutional Academic Collaborative grant to pursue training in the art of miniature painting in the ancient town of Chamba in northern India. She spent two months this summer as an apprentice to Vijay Sharma, a master painter who creates these detailed and precise works using traditional pigments and paints. Burruss’s work will be exhibited in Wake Forest’s student-run START Gallery in Reynolda Village from Oct. 13-31. The Opening Reception is Oct. 20 from 5-7 p.m.

Fleeson awarded national psychology honor

Will Fleeson, professor of psychology, has been awarded the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The award recognizes scholars whose work have added substantially to the body of knowledge to the personality field and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology. He will be honored at the annual SPSP annual convention in Florida in January 2016.

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