Pro Humanitate: Students in the Community
August 11, 2010
FAMOUS PAINTING IS ‘READING’ ASSIGNMENT FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS — Rather than assign a book to incoming first-year students to read before they arrive on campus this fall, Wake Forest has assigned a painting. Wake Forest’s more than 1,200 first-year students will view and discuss Frederic Church’s 1855 painting, The Andes of Ecuador. The famous landscape painting is on display at Reynolda House Museum of American Art and the museum is partnering with the university on the project. It is common practice for universities to assign summer reading as a way to get a head start on building intellectual and community connections. Wake Forest puts a new twist on the traditional assignment. A website with videos, images and selected readings will help students engage with questions of science, politics and religion associated with the painting. A video features Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch’s explaining the religious context for the painting. Suggested readings from Charles Darwin, Ralph Waldo Emerson and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt are included for students to review. On Sunday, Aug. 22, first-year students will tour the museum and view the painting in person before a dinner and discussion with faculty advisors on the front lawn of Reynolda House.
GREEN LIVING: NEW SOUTH RESIDENCE HALL MODELS SUSTAINABILITY — With solar panels on the roof to heat water and touch screens in the hallways for monitoring energy usage, Wake Forest University’s new residence hall has the latest in green technology. First-year students will move into South Residence Hall Aug. 19. A dedication ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 16. The 67,000-square-foot building on the south side of campus will house 201 students. “This is going to help students understand what it means to live in a sustainable environment,” said Donna McGalliard, dean of residence life and housing. “Sustainability is not just a fad or passing trend. We want to be good stewards and teach students to be good stewards of the environment.” South Residence Hall was designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) certification — silver level standards. The building reflects the university’s commitment to sustainability across campus.
1,240 FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS TO JOIN THE WAKE FOREST COMMUNITY — Smiles, hugs and a few tears will mark the beginning of a new journey as the Class of 2014 begins arriving next week. Eighty-one percent of the first-year students were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. Of the new faces, 22 percent are North Carolinians, 22 percent are students of color and 3 percent are international students. Students participating in pre-orientation programs will be on campus Aug. 15. The remainder of first-year students will move in on Thursday, Aug. 19. Media are welcome to cover move-in day and orientation activities. A schedule is available online.
WHY IT MATTERS WHAT WE EAT — Grass fed, grain fed, organic, or local, eight first-year students participating in a new pre-orientation program will find out why our food choices are important economically, environmentally and socially. “Sustainability in Action is a way for students to learn about how the choices we make, make a difference,” says sustainability director Dedee DeLongpre Johnston. “It’s more important than ever that this generation of young people take an interest in where their food comes from.” As part of the program, students will tour River Ridge Farm, a grass-fed beef farm, and 6th and Vine, a restaurant in Winston-Salem where the meat is on the menu. They will also work in the campus garden and join in a local service project. The program runs from Sunday, Aug. 15 through Thursday, Aug. 19.
GAME TESTED AT HANES MIDDLE EARNS GLOWING REVIEWS WORLDWIDE — The educational video game that Hanes Middle School students helped develop last fall has racked up top marks within the first week of its release. CellCraft was created by a student-faculty team at Wake Forest University and tested at Hanes as well as Reagan High School. “It just goes to show that games are a very powerful tool for teaching science,” said Jed C. Macosko, Ph.D., who teaches physics at Wake Forest and advised the group that created CellCraft. Within 10 days of release, CellCraft was played more than 1 million times on top-level, free gaming sites including Kongregate.com and Newgrounds.com. Players have ranked CellCraft in the top 100 best games of all time out of more than 30,000 on Kongregate. That’s unheard of for a free educational game. Research at Hanes and Reagan showed that the game, which teaches advanced cell science by challenging players to save the platypus species, helped students to better learn and retain science concepts. It will be used in classrooms around Winston-Salem when the school year starts.
Cheryl V. Walker