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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

January 17, 2007

WFU COMMEMORATES MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. – Wake Forest University continues its celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. this week with several events.  All programs are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.  Wake Forest senior and varsity football player Micah Andrews will deliver an MLK Commemoration Speech titled “What’s Goin’ On” at 5 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Atrium.  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, or (336) 758-5237.

WAKE WORKS TO KEEP K-12 TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM Teacher quality is critical in the promotion of success for all students in North Carolina, but many qualified and well-prepared teachers are leaving K-12 classrooms, said Ann Cunningham, assistant professor of education at Wake Forest.  To help address this problem, Cunningham and other faculty in the education department have created the Emerging Teacher Leaders Network to support new teachers who have recently graduated from Wake Forest’s education programs.  A key part of the initiative is the Emerging Teacher Leaders Conference Jan. 19-20.  The conference will bring together about 35 new teachers for sessions on classroom management, coping with first year issues, and breakout sessions focused on instructional strategiesfrom 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.  Three Wake Forest education department graduates who have each taught for at least five years will lead a panel discussion on Friday evening, Jan. 19, from 6:45-7:45 p.m.  “Teacher retention is directly related to pre-service preparation and the level of professional support provided during the first years in the classroom,” Cunningham said.  The network is also designed to keep young graduates connected with the Wake Forest faculty and with each other.
Contact:  Cheryl V. Walker, 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, 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  For information, call (336) 758-5359.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, 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, or (336) 758-5237.

‘WORSHIP IN WAIT’ SERIES RESUMES JAN. 28 Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch will lead the first spring semester event for the new “Worship in Wait” lecture series at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in Wait Chapel.  Hatch, author of the 1989 book “The Democratization of American Christianity,” is recognized as one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America.  The book, which won national acclaim and garnered three major prizes, offers a reassessment of religion and culture during the early days of the republic.  It argues that during this period, American Christianity was democratized, and commoners became powerful actors on the religious scene.  “Worship in Wait” is a new series of talks started in the fall of 2006 in an effort to bring distinguished preachers from diverse religious traditions to the university’s most recognizable landmark, Wait Chapel.  The series brings preachers to the university and to the Winston-Salem community who are recognized for their work as pastors, teachers and writers.  The goal of the free, public speaker series is to respond to contemporary issues within the context of ecumenical worship.  It is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Wake Forest Divinity School and the Office of the Chaplain.  For additional information, call (336) 758-5121 or visit

Contact:  Jacob McConnico, or (336) 758-5237.

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