By Erik Johnson, Professor and Chair of Biology
Dr. Wayne Silver has been the consummate example of the teacher-scholar ideal, and his career is a model for new and old faculty alike in the Biology department and across Wake Forest. His 38 years at Wake Forest have blended world-class scholarship with an unwavering commitment to his students and to the department. Dr. Silver has been a champion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues before this term permeated academic culture. His service to the department, to the college, and to the institution has been exemplary and he has been a university leader in promoting the values of Wake Forest.
One description that captures Dr. Silver’s career is that he has always been a fearless participant in everything he does. He launched the neuroscience minor and has led the interdisciplinary minor from modest beginnings to becoming one of the largest minors. He obtained extramural funding from NIH to provide neuroscience educational opportunities for underrepresented minorities, demonstrating his commitment to D.E.I.
He has taken numerous graduate and undergraduate students to regional meetings like SYNPASE and international meetings on chemical senses. He has led several abroad adventures for Wake students, including Salamanca, Vienna, and Slovenia.
I have had joint lab meetings with Dr. Silver, and he has pressed faculty and students alike to use precise language to help make the “science clear.” He has a question for every seminar speaker and has a comment or question in departmental and College faculty meetings that is pertinent, critical, and demands discussion. He has done all of this with humor – he really does have a joke for everything – and humility.
Many faculty colleagues and students have offered testimonials, including: