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Steve M. Virgil

Director and Professor of Law

Steve VirgilSteve Virgil is the founding director of the Institute for Public Engagement and a professor of law.  Steve is also the founding director of the School of Law’s Community Law and Business Clinic, where Wake Forest clinical students offer legal services to non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs who create new businesses in low-wealth areas in Forsyth County.  Before joining the faculty in 2008, Steve directed a similar law clinic at Creighton University School of Law; practiced law with the Urban Development Office of Cleveland Legal Aid in Ohio and the Kutak Rock law firm in Omaha; and clerked for the Honorable George W. White, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio. He is the founder and general counsel of the Great Plains Environmental Law Center and a former National Association for Public Interest Law Equal Justice Fellow with the Nebraska Appleseed Center.

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  • Telephone: 336-758-5030 or 336-631-1953

Norma-May Isakow

Associate Director

Norma-May Isakow is the Associate Director of the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University (IPE).  She graduated from law school in South Africa, practiced law, taught at the University of Cape Town, and supervised student legal aid clinics. She received an LLM degree from the London School of Economics and is admitted to the California and Colorado State Bars.  She created a judicial internship program and served as Director of Public Interest at the University of Denver College of Law.  At the University of Alabama in Birmingham, she served as Director of the Office for Service Learning, merging her experience in community-based education with her enthusiasm for working with undergraduate students.   Her focus in the Institute of Public Engagement is on the ACE Fellows Program (supporting faculty to incorporate service-learning in their teaching), Public Engagement Fellows Program (supporting students wanting to pursue careers and/degrees in public service, public policy and public administration), and Summer Nonprofit Immersion Program (enhancing development of undergraduate students by exposing them to multiple aspects of the nonprofit sector and expanding the capacity of community partners).   Norma-May creates and supports initiatives to address hunger locally and globally,  is a member of the Wake Forest Hunger Board, and chairing the NC Campuses Against Hunger Conference to be held at Wake Forest on September 6-7, 2013.

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  • Telephone:  336-758-4021

Ananda Mitra

Faculty Director of the Ace Fellows Program,  Professor and Chair of  Communication

Dr. Ananda Mitra,  designed and directed Wake Forest’s summer study abroad program in India in 2010 and 2011. He teaches courses on communication and electronic media and specializes in survey research. He has also taught and conducted research on various communication and cultural issues in India. His recent publications have focused on the impact of new technologies on global communication and culture.

Dr. Mitra was an ACE Fellow in 2010/2011.

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  • Telephone:  336-758-5134

Sherri Lawson Clark

Faculty Director, Center for Community Solutions, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Lawson Clark has more than a decade of community-based research experience.  She has examined the effects of housing and welfare policy on individuals, families, and communities in both urban and rural settings.  Most recent publications from her research include “In Search of Housing: Urban Families in Rural Contexts” (2012).  Rural Sociology, 77(1): 110-134 and “Housing, Power, and Intimate Relationships in the Lives of Low-Income Puerto Rican Mothers” (2011).  Journal of Family Issues, 32(3): 369-393.  Dr. Clark is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and also teaches in the American Ethnic Studies program and the Women’s & Gender Studies program where she oversees the Internship program for WGS majors/minors.

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  • Phone: (336) 758-3556

Nan Smith

Aministrative Coordinator

Nan joined the staff of the Institute for Public Engagement in fall 2012.  She also serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Humanities Institute.  Nan has worked at Wake Forest since 2006, first as an Administrative Faculty Assistant in the School of Law, and most recently as a Coordinator in the WFU Community Law & Business Clinic.