The Deacon Blog

A magazine staff blog with news of alumni and the WFU community

Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08)

Vision of a scientist, eyes of an artist

A recent story in The Stokes News describes Ken Bridle (MA ’85, Ph.D. ’91) as a conservationist by profession and artist by passion. Bridle, who has spent much of his career promoting conservation and appreciation of natural resources, discovered that he could put his artistic skills to work in accomplishing those same goals. He started painting watercolors that capture nature’s beauty.

Ken Bridle is stewardship director for the Piedmont Land Conservancy.

Ken Bridle is stewardship director for the Piedmont Land Conservancy.

Bridle believes his watercolors are an engaging way to educate the public about conservation..

Bridle believes his watercolors are a good way to educate the public.

“Since my graduation from WFU as a Ph.D. in biology I have had many jobs and interests,” Bridle wrote to Wake Forest Magazine. He has been working with the Piedmont Land Conservancy, where he is stewardship director, to use science to educate the public about local conservation issues.

“Recently I have begun to paint watercolors, and I find that they are also a good tool to help capture the interest and educate the public,” said Bridle.

The Visitors Center at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina, (about 30 miles north of Winston-Salem), will feature Bridle’s work at a reception from 2-4 p.m. March 8.

“I appreciate my past and continuing association with WFU to help me accomplish these goals,” he said. — Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08)

Happiness is recognition from our peers


Wake Forest Magazine has been honored by its peer institutions in the 2014-15 District III (Southeast) competition of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

“An Artful Friendship,” written by Editor Maria Henson (’82) and published in the Spring 2014 issue, received an Award of Excellence in feature writing. The touching story is about college roommates Dick Peterson (’67) and Charlie Stott (’67), who reunited after many years apart and re-established their friendship through art.

artful-friendship“When I moved back to Winston-Salem it was Charlie, the painter, who put a brush in my hand and said, ‘Why don’t you come over and paint with me?’ I had never painted before, but Charlie gave me a gift that has greatly enhanced my life and deepened our friendship through art,” Dick said.

Editor Maria Henson ('82)

Editor Maria Henson (’82)

Charlie said of the article, “Beyond the obvious story, you recognized that there was something more to our friendship. As I went missing for three months of cancer treatments, you told the story of how cancer has impacted our friendship. It’s a story that has resonated with many others.”

The alumni magazine, which is published three times a year in print and year-round online, won an Award of Excellence in print/digital publications. In addition to Henson the magazine staff includes Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08), managing editor; Kerry M. King (’85), senior editor; and Janet M. Williamson (P ’00, ’03), deputy editor. Members of Wake Forest’s creative group on the magazine production team are Hayes Henderson, creative director; Jill Carson and Kris Hendershott, graphic designers; Gretta Kohler, project manager; and Ken Bennett, University photographer. Julie Helsabeck, a freelance designer, is also part of the team.

— Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08)

A familiar sight in a faraway place

Last month Joyce and Douglas Boyette (MD ’75, P ’03) were part of a 35-member medical mission team serving in Barahona, Dominican Republic, when Joyce spotted something familiar. A young child, hundreds of miles from the Wake Forest campus, was wearing a T-shirt that read “I may be little but I’m a BIG Demon Deacon fan.”

“It really made my day to be in a foreign country and find a WFU T-shirt,” wrote Joyce, who shared her photo with the magazine. “As one can see, we were in a very poor place in the mountains of Dominican Republic.”

A little Deacon fan, photographed by Joyce Boyette.

A little Deacon fan, photo by Joyce Boyette.

The medical mission team included surgical and clinical groups, she said. The former, including Wake alum Dale Williams (MD ’82), performed 63 surgeries during the week. The clinical group saw 618 patients.

“Each year, there is a January group from mostly Greensboro and Shelby. In February, there’s a group from Winston Salem and in March, a group from Asheboro goes down,” she wrote. “I would suspect that someone from Winston-Salem donated clothes in the past and thus, the WFU shirt.”

Thanks to the Boyettes for sharing this story and for reminding us that the spirit of Pro Humanitate is far-reaching, as is the community of Deacon fans.

— Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08)

TIME for the paperless classroom?

If you’re thumbing through the Oct. 20 issue of TIME Magazine you might recognize a fellow Deacon on Page 36. That’s alumnus Matthew Gudenius (’00) with his Calistoga, California, elementary school students. Theirs is not just any classroom — it’s a paperless classroom, and the article is about how this innovative young teacher is using technology.

Matthew Gudenius ('00) oversees his students in their California classroom. (Photo TIME Magazine)

Matthew Gudenius (’00) oversees his students in their California classroom. (Photo TIME Magazine)

Gudenius, who double-majored in computer science and communication, began his career as a software engineer, developing websites for Hallmark, a European travel portal and an Italian bank. In 2002 he decided to pursue something more socially meaningful and recognized that education — especially in K-12 schools — was an area “behind the times” when it came to purposeful development and integration of technology.

“I became a teacher, figuring the best way to learn the needs of classroom teaching is to experience it firsthand. I came to love the human interaction and the impact I could make as a teacher, and have been continuing in that profession ever since,” said Gudenius, who was in the first freshman class to receive ThinkPads and also participated in technology integration through the RTA (Resident Technology Advisor) and STARs (Student Technology Advisors) programs.

Now that he’s teaching he has not given up programming. The thesis for his master’s degree in educational technology involved development of speech-recognition enabled e-book reading software for primary students, and he is developing an all-in-one classroom management tool incorporating gradebooks, rubrics and behavior management into Google Drive / Google Apps for Education.

“My degrees in computer science and communication have both been invaluable for these endeavors, as well as the model WFU set in its early adoption of technology for education,” he said.

— By Cherin C. Poovey (P ’08)