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Stories this week at Wake Forest University


January 10, 2007

NEW STEM CELL RESEARCH HAS MAJOR POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS – The announcement this week by researchers at Wake Forest and Harvard universities that amniotic stem cells could hold some of the same promise for research as embryonic stem cells has significant political implications, says John Dinan, associate professor of political science at Wake Forest University.  “The challenge in recent years has been to find a way to encourage beneficial research in a way that does not run afoul of the strong moral concerns that many Americans have about research conducted using embryonic stem cells,” Dinan said.  “This new study could finally lead to the forging of a workable political consensus that would allow politicians working in good faith to find common ground on an issue that otherwise has the potential to be deeply divisive.”  Dinan is available to discuss the political implications of the new findings, including how this revelation could impact some political candidates.

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

GLOBAL WARMING:  IS THERE CAUSE FOR CONCERN? “Yes,” says Miles Silman, ecologist and professor of biology at Wake Forest.  “Our research has shown that plants and animals in the Tropical Andes, the world’s richest biodiversity hotspot, have narrow climatic ranges, and that the predicted pace of climate change is at least 10 times greater than anything experienced in the Andes in the last 50,000 years, including the end of the last ice age,” said Silman, who spends time each year in Peru tracking climate change and its effects on plants and animals.  Silman received an $800,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to study biodiversity and climate change in the Andes.  He is concerned we could be “facing an extinction crisis, particularly because humans have fragmented landscapes in ways that make it even harder for species to migrate to areas with climates where they can survive.”  Silman advocates for immediate action to slow global warming.  “First, we need to work to reduce the human component of climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses and working to change the heat balance of the planet.  Through natural means, and, if things get bad enough, with technology,” he said.  “Second, given that there is already guaranteed climate change coming, we need to create conservation areas that give species migration corridors so that they can remain in equilibrium with the climate they need.”

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

STUDENTS RETURN AFTER LENDING HELPING HAND More than 40 Wake Forest students will return to the Triad Jan. 12-13 after helping disadvantaged people in Vietnam, South America, India and the Gulf Coast during winter break.  Eleven students traveled to the Ben Tre Province in Vietnam to build a school.  Twelve students provided computer training to disadvantaged local citizens in the Kayamandi Township of South Africa.  Eleven others worked among Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Mercy in Calcutta, India, and 10 students, including three from Salem College, provided clean-up efforts in Mobile, Ala. and Mississippi.  Group representatives are available for interviews after they return.

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

WFU COMMEMORATES MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. – Wake Forest will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with several events between Jan. 15 and 21.  Events are free unless otherwise noted.  The annual WSSU/WFU Joint MLK Celebration, “On Common Ground: Committed to the Dream,” will be held at 7 p.m. Jan 15 at Winston-Salem State University in Dillard Auditorium in the Albert H. Anderson Conference Center.  The collaborative event will feature keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams, civil rights activist and widow of Medgar Evers.  The following four other events will be held on the campus of Wake Forest:  5 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Atrium, Wake Forest Senior Micah Andrews will deliver an MLK Commemoration Speech titled “What’s Goin’ On;” 8 p.m. Jan. 19, a step show titled “Nine Steps Closer to the Dream” will be held in Brendle Recital Hall.  Admission is $10 at the door.  The 9th Annual MLK Basketball Tournament, featuring intramural teams from several North Carolina universities, will take place Jan. 20 from noon until 8 p.m. in Reynolds Gymnasium.  The Second Annual MLK GospelFest, featuring Byron Cage, the WFU Gospel Choir and WSSU’s Inspirational Voices, will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 in Brendle Recital Hall.  Admission is $5 at the door; free to students with ID.

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

‘WOMEN OF PROUD NATIONS’ CELEBRATED AT WFU CONFERENCE Wake Forest will host a four-day conference titled “Celebrating Women of Proud Nations: Creating & Sustaining Hope for American Indian Women & Their Families” Jan. 18-21 in Benson University Center.  The conference will open at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 with a cultural evening that is free and open to the public.  The conference, which will focus on strengthening education, spirituality, health and entrepreneurship among American Indian women and their communities, will include cultural events, large group sessions, focus groups and workshops with American Indian community leaders and scholars from numerous Southeastern and other tribal nations.  Conference fees are $150 general admission; $75 for American Indian elders and non-Wake Forest students.  Scholarships and group rates are available by contacting Ulrike Wiethaus at (336) 758-7190.  Wake Forest students and faculty can attend workshops for free; evening events cost $47 for faculty, $42 for students.  Certificates of attendance for continuing education credit are available for attendees for $10.  For a complete schedule or to register, visit www.wfu.edu/humanities/celebratingwomen.  For information, call (336) 758-5359.

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

CALLOWAY GRADUATES RANK FIRST IN NATION ON CPA EXAM Graduates of Wake Forest’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy rank first in the nation for their performance on the 2005 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, according to the most recent scores available from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).  They rank first in the nation on three of the exam’s four sections:  financial accounting and reporting (95.5 percent passing rate); auditing and attestation (90.9 percent passing rate); and regulation (95 percent passing rate).  On the fourth section, business environment and concepts, Wake Forest students rank second in nation (95 percent passing rate).  Wake Forest also ranks first in the nation for the number of candidates who passed all four sections of the exam (88 percent passage rate).  Since the Calloway School began offering a master’s degree in accounting in 1997, Wake Forest candidates have consistently performed well on the exam, ranking first in the nation for five years and second in the nation for three years.  This is the second consecutive year Calloway School students have been ranked first in the nation since the exam was reformatted in 2004.  “This has become a proud tradition at Wake Forest,” said Lee Knight, director of the Calloway School’s accountancy program and Hylton Professor of Accountancy.  Knight says the exam was reformatted to better test the skills required of CPAs in today’s workplace.  “The new exam places more emphasis on research, communication and critical thinking skills,” Knight said.  “The computerized format requires technology skills also necessary for success in the quickly evolving field of accountancy.”

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

SPRING SEMESTER BEGINS – Wake Forest students begin returning this weekend for the start of the 2007 spring semester.  Classes for undergraduates and graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Divinity School begin Jan. 17.  Spring classes for the Babcock Graduate School of Management and the School of Law have already started.


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