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Wake Forest students leave a legacy and get ready for their future

May 13, 2010

STUDENT’S BREAST CANCER SCARE LEADS TO BOOK FOR CHILDREN—At the beginning of the spring semester of her senior year, biology major Jesse Conyers discovered a lump on her breast. The tumor was not cancerous, but the experience inspired her to write a children’s book, “Cancer Answers,” as the final project for her cancer biology class. The book helps young children understand the concept and basic biology of cancer. Students from Lothrop Elementary School in Omaha, Neb., illustrated the book for her project.  “Through my personal research on breast cancer and treatments, I found first-hand how frightening and complicated the disease can be,” says Conyers. “I began to think about who might benefit most from a book that could explain the disease in a simple way, and  decided to reach out to children.” Conyers and her biology professor Dan Johnson are working this summer to secure a publisher for the book.

RECESSION MEANS DEBT IS BURDENSOME FOR CLASS OF 2014, SENIORS HELP—The Senior Class Scholars program at Wake Forest is a new initiative that uses money secured by graduating seniors to pay down debt for select students in the class of 2014. Senior class members raised $12,500, enough to name five scholars who will receive $2500 each to help pay down educational debt. “The program gave graduating seniors the chance to give several first-year students a financial boost. We hope the funds will allow the Senior Class Scholars the freedom to make a greater impact on the community during their four years at Wake Forest,” says senior communications major Melissa Beckett. Seniors hosted events each semester, and students were encouraged to donate at the door if they hadn’t already given. Beckett says, “The satisfaction of knowing we would be able to help students just like us was enough!”

TREE CARE PLAN HELPS KEEP REYNOLDA CAMPUS SUSTAINABLE—New construction and renovations to the Reynolda campus inspired senior biology major Andrew Collins to develop a campus tree-care plan during his internship with the Office of Sustainability. The plan identifies policies and procedures to protect campus trees. Promoting species diversity and protecting high-value, heritage trees are two of the policy’s primary goals. Collins gained a solid understanding of trees and forest structure during his study abroad in Peru where he researched tree species diversity and during an internship in Switzerland where he gained hands-on experience in environmental management issues. “The tree-care plan provides a policy structure for the Reynolda Campus now and far into the future. With guidelines in place, the University can continue to grow as a campus, yet at the same time, take into account the value of our tree communities and their benefit to our campus's overall natural environment,” says Collins.


JOB PROSPECTS LOOKING BRIGHTER FOR GRADUATING SENIORS—In another sign that the job market may be thawing, Wake Forest has seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies that have visited the campus this spring. The number of companies that have recruited in some form is up 47 percent from 2009. The number of job interviews nearly doubled during the same time period. “Hiring needs, which had stalled because of the economy, seem to be picking back up, and we’re seeing a combination of new companies that have never visited the campus before, as well as a good group of companies that are coming back,” said Ladd Flock, Director of Career Services. He added that companies appear to be more interested in “just-in-time” hiring rather than making job decisions many months in advance. While the career office has not yet tallied the number of job offers that resulted from the campus visits, interest from companies remains high. “We’re still getting phone calls and emails from companies that have job postings right now,” Dana Hutchens, assistant director of recruiting, said. “They do realize that classes are ending, but they still want to reach out to our students.”

AMERICAN EXPRESS CEO TO DELIVER WAKE FOREST’S COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS—Kenneth I. Chenault, the chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Company, will deliver Wake Forest’s 2010 commencement address on May 17. The commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Hearn Plaza. The ceremony is reserved for graduates and their guests and is not open to the general public, but media is invited to cover.  About 1,500 May graduates—nearly 1,000 undergraduates and more than 500 graduate and professional school students—and their families will attend. About 500 more students whose degrees were conferred during the academic year in August and December of 2009 will also participate in the outdoor ceremony.  Media should contact the Communications and External Relations office to request parking passes, which will be required to enter campus.  

Press Contacts:

Cheryl Walker
(336) 758-5237

Ellen Sterner Sedeno
(214) 546-8893

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