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Stories this week at Wake Forest


November 1, 2006

STUDENTS PREPARE, DELIVER MEALS FOR LOCALS IN NEED – Three times a week, Wake Forest University student volunteers gather to prepare and deliver nutritious meals for the needy of Winston-Salem through the national program “The Campus Kitchen Project.”  The project, which has 10 chapters across the country, was started in 1999 when Wake Forest graduates Karen Borchert and Jessica Jackson were still students at the university.  Their local project, “Homerun,” has grown into a national network of community-based kitchens located on college and high school campuses.  The project uses food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities.  Wake Forest students involved in the project prepare meals in a campus facility provided by the university and its dining services provider, ARAMARK.  The students use a combination of food donated by ARAMARK and food purchased at wholesale prices through a local vendor.  About 100 meals a week are delivered to local residents in coordination with four agencies, including AIDS Care, Children’s Home, Prodigals Community and Ronald McDonald House.  “Homerun” continued at Wake Forest after Borchert and Jackson graduated in 2000, and now it will officially integrate with “The Campus Kitchen Project.”  A kick-off celebration for the program will be held at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Information Systems building cafeteria.  Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch will speak at the event.  Student cooking demonstrations at the event will showcase the kinds of foods provided in Campus Kitchens meals.  Karen Borchert will also speak at the event.  Interviews are available.

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


VOTER TURNOUT 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 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.  Dinan is available for interviews and for analysis of Nov. 7 election results.

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. 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.


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.


LOOKING FOR A LAUGH? – The Wake Forest Student Union will host a Comedy Show featuring former “Slow Clapper” Kyle Cease and “Ruminations” author Aaron Karo at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 in Pugh Auditorium in the Benson University Center.  Organizers plan to turn the Comedy Show into an annual event.  Tickets are available at the Benson University Center Ticket Office at (336) 758-4265 for $10; $7 students.

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


ATTENDING COLLEGE CLOSE TO HOME On Nov. 6, about 40 local high school students will gather at Wake Forest for an admissions program called “Wake Forest – Near and Far,” designed to introduce students from Forsyth and surrounding counties to their hometown university.  “Many outstanding high school students from this area fail to consider Wake Forest as a college option because it is ‘just too close to home,’” said Martha Allman, Wake Forest’s director of admissions.  “To address this issue, we have created this program for local students.”  Prospective students will be introduced to Wake Forest faculty and students from the area who will discuss programs and opportunities which make the Wake Forest experience global in scope.  Study abroad and student faculty research will be highlighted as well as day-to-day issues of attending college close to home.  The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium.

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


SÃO PAULO ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM LATINESQUE CONCERT The Orquestra de São Paulo of Brazil will perform the third concert of Wake Forest’s Secrest Artists Series at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in Wait Chapel.  A Secrest Signature Talk with Patricia Dixon, senior lecturer in music at Wake Forest, will be held prior to the concert at 6:40 p.m. in the Balcony Room.  Conducted by John Neschling, the orchestra will perform a Latinesque, percussion-filled program.  Award-winning Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses will be the featured soloist. 

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


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.


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