Higher Education Notebook: WFU professor awarded prestigious fellowship

WFU professor awarded fellowship

The American Physical Society has elected Timo Thonhauser, a Wake Forest University associate professor of physics, among its 2017 society fellows, WFU said in a statement.

The society’s fellowship program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, including physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education, WFU said.

Thonhauser’s research group at Wake Forest conducts research in theoretical and computational condensed-matter physics and materials science.

First-year class grows at Bennett College

GREENSBORO — Bennett College has experienced a 38 percent increase in enrollment in its first-year class from last year, officials have announced.

Officials attribute the increase to several factors, including increased marketing, a heightened social media campaign and streamlining the admissions process for prospective students, the college said in a news release.

“We created a one-stop-shop environment by which we invited students to come on campus to move through the admissions process in a single day,” said Gisele Abron, interim associate vice president for enrollment management/registrar.

WFU researchers

get grant

Ever put an unripe avocado into a bag with a banana to make it guacamole-ready?

Ripening in the avocado is driven by the plant hormone ethylene, which is a gas that is released from fruit and other plant tissues. This important hormone controls many other aspects of plant development.

Now, thanks to a $900,000 award from the National Science Foundation, Wake Forest University researchers are examining how this hormone affects growth and development of the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a genetic model used to provide insight into other plants, WFU said in a news release.

This collaborative grant brings together researchers in biology, computer science and mathematics.

UNCG honors first Reynolds Scholars

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first graduating class of Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholars at UNC Greensboro.

Since its inception, more than 500 Reynolds Scholars have graduated from the university, UNC Greensboro said in a statement.

“Without this-life changing scholarship, I probably would not have attended UNCG,” said Alyssa Sanchez, a Reynolds Scholar majoring in biochemistry (pre-pharmacy) who will graduate with full honors in 2019. “Affiliation with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has provided opportunities for me to grow as a student and leader.”

In 1962, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation trustees established a merit-based scholarship program at UNCG, then Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, to commemorate the life and legacy of alumna Katharine Smith Reynolds — wife of R.J. Reynolds and mother of Z. Smith Reynolds.

New hub for Deacon students in D.C.

In the morning, Wake Forest University sophomore Jay Sherrill rides the D.C. Metro to Capitol Hill to work on trade policy briefs for a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the evening, he shares his first-hand experience with classmates in his “U.S. Policymaking in the 21st Century” class at the new Wake Washington Center.

Sherrill is one of 16 students in the inaugural cohort of the Wake Washington program, a semester-long program in the nation’s capital.

The Wake Washington Center opened this fall at One DuPont Circle as a new home base for the thousands of Wake Forest alumni who live in the area and the increasing number of students who plan to work or study in D.C. after graduation.

WFU President Nathan Hatch said that the center is an important part of the university.

“Not only are we opening a new facility and providing extraordinary opportunities for our students, we are building important bridges between the campus and Washington, D.C.,” Hatch said.

Forsyth Tech online program earns honor

Forsyth Technical Community College is No. 1 in the nation for online entrepreneurship associate degrees, according to Best College Reviews.

The rankings were created using the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator database. The top 15 online associate degree programs were ranked by the following criteria — tuition, customization options and the “wow” factor, the college said in a news release.

“Forsyth Tech is proud of its ranking as the top online entrepreneurship associate degree program in the country,” President Gary Green said. “Winston-Salem has a great, continuing tradition of entrepreneurship, and Forsyth Tech is building careers by building new businesses.”

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