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October 25, 2006

ADOLESCENTS GET DAILY HAPPINESS BOOST FROM ETHNIC IDENTITY – Ethnic pride can help teenagers maintain happiness when faced with stress, according to a new study by a Wake Forest University psychologist published in the October issue of Child Development.  Adolescents with positive feelings toward their ethnic group say they are happier on a daily basis than those who have a more negative attitude about their ethnic identity, said Lisa Kiang, assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study.  The study, involving 415 ninth-graders from Chinese and Mexican backgrounds, shows the protective effects of ethnic identity on daily psychological well-being, Kiang said.  “Adolescents with a high ethnic regard maintained a generally positive and happy attitude in the face of daily stressors and despite their anxious feelings,” she said.  “So, having positive feelings about one’s ethnic group appeared to provide an extra boost of positivity in individuals’ daily lives.”

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, walkercv@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

VOTER TURNOUT A CRUCIAL VARIABLE IN 2006 ELECTIONS – Voter turnout efforts, or what political scientists refer to as the electoral “ground war,” are always important in determining election outcomes but are even more crucial in mid-term election years, according to John Dinan, Wake Forest associate professor of political science.  Although voter turnout in recent presidential elections has ranged between 50 and 60 percent of the voting-age population, Dinan says that it will be surprising if turnout this year even exceeds 40 percent, judging from past mid-term elections.  Such a small turnout makes pre-election polling and predictions even more hazardous than usual, he says, because of the difficulty of estimating who will actually vote.  Strong partisans are more likely than independents to participate in mid-term elections, and older, wealthier, and more educated individuals also have higher turnout rates.  But much will also depend on the effectiveness of the now highly specialized party “get out the vote” efforts.

Contact:  Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

PROJECT PUMPKIN:  HALLOWEEN MEDIA OPPORTUNITY Wake Forest will host nearly 1,000 children from community agencies across Winston-Salem for “Under the Big Top,” its 18th annual Project Pumpkin, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26.  The circus extravaganza, held on Hearn Plaza between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall, will feature carnival games, face painting, haunted houses and costumed student volunteers escorting children through residence halls for trick-or-treating.  Entertainment, including music and dancing, will be provided by campus groups.  A “mad scientist” will also perform experiments in his “laboratory.”  The event is not open to the general public.  The media are invited to attend.  Morning show segments can be arranged.  Organizers will begin decorating Hearn Plaza at 5 a.m. Oct. 26.  Media representatives are required to check in at the media table in front of Wait Chapel.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

KING, BRAFFET FEATURED AT BOOK READING – Authors Owen King and Kelly Braffet will give a book reading and signing at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum, Room 111.  King, an award-winning writer and son of writers Stephen and Tabitha King, will read from his acclaimed novella, “We’re All in This Together.”  Braffet will read from her latest release, “Last Seen Leaving.”

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

‘CAN THERE BE MORALITY WITHOUT GOD’ A prominent philosopher and atheist from Dartmouth College and a theologian from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary will debate the question “Can There Be Morality Without God?” at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Wake Forest.  The free, public event, hosted by the University Philosophy Society, will focus on the alleged dependence of moral truth on the existence of God.  It will take place in Pugh Auditorium in Wake Forest’s Benson University Center.  The featured debaters for the event are Bruce A. Little, professor of Christian philosophy and associate dean of theological studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, professor of philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies at Dartmouth.  For more information, contact (336) 758-5359 or visit the philosophy department Web site at www.wfu.edu/philosophy/events.html.

Contact:  Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

CAN MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, JEWS LIVE IN PEACE? In a time when issues of religious intolerance seem to be at an all-time high, is it possible for a theater production to help bring peace?  G.E. Lessing thought so in the 18th century, and theater artists at Wake Forest believe his message is relevant today.  At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 1-4, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 5, the Wake Forest University Theatre will present Richard Sewell’s adaptation of Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise” in the MainStage Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center.  The play, a theatrical fable that follows the religious journey of a Jewish merchant named Nathan, offers a compelling and urgent argument that reminds audiences of the power of reconciliation and communion between and within nations.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

COMIC ARTIST’S WIDOW TO VISIT CAMPUS Jeannie Schulz, the widow of Charles M. Schulz, will discuss her late husband’s life as a comic artist as well as her own work with the Charles M. Schulz Museum at “A Conversation with Jeannie Schulz” at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 in Scales Fine Arts Center, Art Department, Room 102.  The event is being held in conjunction with the exhibit “Charles M. Schulz:  His World in Art and Objects” at Wake Forest’s Charlotte & Philip Hanes Art Gallery.  The Matteson Blues Trio will also perform Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” jazz compositions at a catered reception in the gallery lobby immediately following the lecture.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

DISCOVER HOW MEXICANS HONOR THEIR DEAD “Dias de los Muertos” or “Days of the Dead” is an ancient Mexican religious celebration, considered a festive time when family members remember and honor the dead and the continuity of life.  Today, it has evolved into a celebration that blends ancient Indian and Christian traditions.  The holiday is celebrated Nov. 1-3.  Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology will feature a “Days of the Dead” exhibit through Nov. 4.  It is the largest representation of this annual exhibit in the gallery’s history.  The exhibit features a traditional “ofrenda” (a home altar with sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts of skeletons, food and beverage offerings, marigolds and photos of deceased relatives), photographs of public ofrendas from urban areas in Mexico as well as toys and objects used in children’s ofrendas.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

GHOST HUNTER SEEKS HAUNTED LORE Michael Renegar, author of “Roadside Revenants and Other North Carolina Ghosts and Legends” and self-proclaimed ghost hunter, will hold a booksigning at Wake Forest’s College Bookstore on Hearn Plaza (main Quad) at 2 p.m. Oct. 31.  He is also seeking ghost and monster stories, particularly never-before-published accounts for his second book.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

LOOKING FOR A LAUGH? – The Wake Forest Student Union will host its first annual Comedy Show featuring former “Slow Clapper” Kyle Cease and “Ruminations” author Aaron Karo at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 in Wait Chapel.  Tickets are available at Benson University Center Ticket Office at (336) 758-4265 for $10; $7 students.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, barretpm@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

WFU HOLDS KICK-OFF FOR ‘CAMPUS KITCHEN’ PROGRAM – “Homerun,” a program started in 1999 by Wake Forest graduates Karen Borchert and Jessica Jackson, has grown into a national project called “The Campus Kitchen Project.”  This fall, Wake Forest’s “Homerun” program has joined the national group to form “The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest,” a food recycling program that provides healthy and nutritious meals for the needy in the community.  Organizers have planned a special kick-off celebration for the program for 3:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Food Court of the Information Systems Building.  Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch will speak during the event, and refreshments will be served. 

Contact:  Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

DEBATE COACH, WFU GRADUATE CREATE POLITICAL DEBATE BLOG Ross Smith, debate coach at Wake Forest, and Timothy O’Donnell, a 1992 and 1997 graduate of the university, have created Debatescoop.org, the first Weblog or blog dedicated to electoral political debate in the United States.  During the weeks prior to the Nov. 7 elections, the blog will cover many of the key debates in races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and numerous gubernatorial races.  A team of debate scholars from across the nation will contribute analyses in order to promote public understanding of what constitutes good debate.  “Such coverage of political debates by debate experts is unique and unprecedented,” Smith said.  O’Donnell, director of debate and associate professor of speech at the University of Mary Washington, said he and Smith hope Debatescoop.org will eventually lead to a change in the nature of political debates in the United States.  “For too long, those who are best positioned to contribute to the national discussion of debate have been silent, letting the media and campaigns guide public understanding of debate.”

Contact:  Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.


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