Alumna Update: Leslie Zampetti

Alumna Leslie ZampettiWhat am I up to? After spending 20+ years in special, public and school libraries cataloging rocket launch videos to Lego rocket ship models, presenting SEC documents and story-times, and negotiating with everyone from Lexis-Nexis to the PTA, I’ve changed careers. No longer do I buy books for libraries, I write them myself. Currently working on my third novel for children and hoping three’s the charm for publication! Having joined Dunham Literary, Inc. over a year ago as an assistant, I’m now representing my own clients as a literary agent. I’m happy to read queries from fellow WFU alumni; send your query and first five pages to my attention at


Hearing from a Reynolds Scholar alumna

We’re always inviting our alums to share their reflections and updates. Thank you to Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholar alumna Mary Beth (Ward) Lambert for sharing these thoughts!
“Wake Forest prepared me to be successful both professionally and personally, thanks in large part to the constant wisdom and wit of Dr. Tom Phillips.”
“I recently graduated from my Pediatrics Residency and have joined Sandhills Pediatrics in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. Additionally, we welcomed a son (William Grayson Lambert, Jr. “Gray”) in December 2016.”

Carswell Graylyn Scholar at Undergraduate Research Day

“Undergraduate Research Day epitomizes the spirit of the intellectual community here at Wake Forest. During the event, the passion, creativity, and drive of this community of scholars is palpable. I loved seeing my own work – this year, a study of the ambivalence of the United States towards multilateral environmental agreements – presented alongside posters describing research in pure math, music history, green chemistry, and just about every other discipline one might imagine. The diversity of student inquiry fostered at Wake Forest is truly incredible.” Thomas Poston

Stamps Scholars at Undergrad Research Day

We’re proud to see our Stamps Scholars presenting on their research at Undergraduate Research Day! Here they are in action discussing their research topics.

Josiah LowJosiah LowAmyloid precursor protein regulates proliferation of cancer cells in human and murine cell lines

Clay Hamilton Clay HamiltonWhere Music Dwells: Vienna’s Role in the Development of 18th Century Classicism

Celia ZhouCelia ZhouPerception of Healthy Eating in Amsterdam’s Primary Schools

Tucker Payne Tucker PayneSynthesis of Phosphine Ligands for Au, Ag, Cu and Ca Catalyzed Hydroamination Reactions

Robert BradfordRobert BradfordRegionalism in the Modern Swing Dance Community

Ben Steere

Ben SteereCongratulations to Poteat and Mullen alum Ben Steere on the publication of his recent book! We recently asked our scholars alums about their time at Wake Forest. Here’s what Ben had to say. You can learn more about his book here and read more about his work here.

“During my time at WFU I developed a clear sense of vocation, and thanks to excellent teaching from dedicated faculty, I was well prepared for graduate studies and a career in professional and academic archaeology.”

Wake Forest University Student Spends Summer in Russia with U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Critical Language Scholarship Program

Date: 10/5/2017 Telephone: 202-632-6452

Wake Forest University Student Spends Summer in Russia with U.S.
Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program

Wake Forest University student Tatiana Ostwalt spent the summer studying Russian in Vladimir, Russia as an awardee of the 2017 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.

For eight weeks, Ostwalt and 24 other American students from institutions across the United States participated in intensive Russian courses at KORA Russian Language Center in Vladimir, an historic city in Russia’s “Golden Ring,” a group of cities northeast of Moscow which are home to culturally important architecture, religious art and historic churches and kremlins.

Ostwalt and her fellow CLS program participants lived with local Russian-speaking host families and met regularly with local peers to learn more about the Russian language and develop their personal networks. The group engaged in cultural excursions, lectures and other enrichment activities designed to support and enhance language learning and exposure to the host culture.

During one excursion this summer, CLS students had the opportunity to visit a local mosque and learn about Islam in Russia today. Throughout the summer students gained insight into several religions important in Russian society, including Russian Orthodoxy and Islam.

Students visit a mosque and speak with the local imam.
Students visit a mosque and speak with the local imam.

With over 150 million native speakers, Russian continues to be one of the most in-demand languages among employers in both the public and private sectors due to its international relevance and unique versatility.

The CLS Program runs every summer and is open to American students at colleges and universities. Applications for the 2018 CLS program are available at Applications are due November 15, 2017. What is the CLS Program?

The CLS program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills in languages that are less commonly taught in U.S. schools, but are essential for America’s engagement with the world, contributing to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.

In 2017, 555 American students representing 217 colleges and universities across the United States were competitively selected from over 5,000 applicants to receive a CLS award. Each CLS scholar spends eight to ten weeks in one of 22 locations studying Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu.

The program provides funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS scholars serve as citizen ambassadors, representing the diversity of the United States abroad and building lasting relationships with people in their host countries.

They are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers. For further information about the Critical Language Scholarship or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please contact and visit our websites at and

Alum Update: Ken Meyer

We’re always excited to hear about the great things our alums are doing out in the world! We wish Ken the best in his new work with MIT’s Solve initiative tackling global problems.

“Ken Meyer is the Online Engagement Manager for MIT’s Solve initiative, where he works to build communities online, on social media, and on our open innovation platform to CrowdSolve global challenges.

Before moving to Cambridge, Ken served as Vice President Biden’s Director of Digital Strategy at the end of the Administration helping to run digital and social media communications.”

1984 Reynolds Scholar Alums

Thank you to Wake Forest Magazine for sharing this great photo and blurb about these Reynolds Scholars alums!

#wakeflashback#flashbackfriday 1984: You know you’re old if you went to Wake Forest University when there were still phone booths on campus (not to mention a single phone per hall or suite). For some reason, the Howler photographer crammed these four Reynolds Scholars — Janice Telfer (’88), Jeanette Sorrell (’86), Jeff Chamberlain (’88) and Donna Bowman (’88) — into the phone booths that were once in Reynolda Hall.

Where are they now? Meenu Krishnan

Alumna Meenu Krishnan“After graduating from Wake in 2013, I moved to England to earn a master’s degree in international relations, before spending a year in Spain as a Fulbright Scholar, where I researched the culture and history of the Roma. I then enrolled at Yale Law School, where I focus on media law, technology law, and intellectual property in my courses and clinical work.

I can trace many of my current interests—newsgathering rights, access to information and records, and First Amendment—to my experiences at Wake Forest, where I helped edit the Old Gold & Black and wrote my honors history thesis, in part, on media representations of Cuban immigrants. I am very grateful for the intellectual freedom and rich mentorship that I was lucky enough to receive at Wake, and I look forward to visiting Mother, So Dear soon. “

Alumni Update: David Willis

We recently reached out to our alumni to ask where are they now, as we look forward to Homecoming and seeing many alums at our open house next month. We have several stories to share and we start with David Willis.Alum David Willis

“After graduating, I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, living in a “favela” area and working with a missionary group that helps at-risk children and youth. Then I spent a school year in Argentina through the Fulbright Program (thanks to the help and encouragement of the Wake Forest Scholars Program), helping teach college-level English and serving as a cultural ambassador in a small town there.

I currently teach AP Spanish Language & Culture and other Spanish courses as chair of the World Languages Department at Cape Henry Collegiate School. I have had the opportunity to take groups of students to Guatemala and Panama for cultural and language exchange programs. I am also the music director for my church, Iglesia Bautista del Camino, which holds services in Spanish. I have had the chance to spend time in 15 Spanish-speaking countries and hope to make it to the rest in the future.”