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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

July 12, 2007

PROGRAM STRENGTHENS U.S./EUROPEAN TIES –– To strengthen connections between American and European youth, Wake Forest is hosting a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program for high school students from 36 countries through July 31.  Named in honor of America’s first diplomat, the “Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative: Summer Institute for Youth” (BFTFI) is the first youth-oriented program funded by the U.S. Department of State to focus exclusively on U.S.-European relations and to involve youth from all regions of Europe.  Approximately 70 high school students, representing countries from Norway to Uzbekistan and 20 U.S. high school students from across the nation are participating in workshops addressing diplomacy-related topics, completing a community service project and visiting Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “This program’s aim is to empower the younger generation of Americans, Europeans and Eurasians to face global challenges with an understanding of perspectives beyond their own region,” said Allan Louden, director of the BFTFI and associate professor of communication at Wake Forest.  For a schedule or suggestions on the best days/times for coverage, contact the News Service.

Contact:  Cheryl V. Walker, or (336) 758-5237.

LOCAL TEACHERS COLLECT DNA, LEARN ‘CSI’ SCIENCE - Fifteen middle school science teachers from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are becoming students themselves during a July 9-19 workshop at Wake Forest University called, “The Science Behind Biotechnology,” taught by Wake Forest associate professor Rebecca Alexander.  In the laboratory, they are learning hands-on activities they can replicate in their own classes such as isolating DNA from strawberries using household chemicals and cheesecloth.  During the two-week workshop, the teachers get to discuss issues such as plastics and recycling, the forensic science seen on popular TV shows like “CSI” and even the ethics of biologically engineered foods and stem cell research.  Participants also visit the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the biopharmaceutical company Targacept at Piedmont Triad Research Park to see real-life examples of cutting-edge biotechnology.  Alexander’s workshop is funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

Contact: Eric Frazier, or (336) 758-5238


BLOGGING IS KEY PART OF HISTORY MAJOR’S INTERNSHIP IN WASHINGTON, D.C. – Opportunities for learning and contributing during internships are changing with the times as Andrew Britt, a Winston-Salem native and rising Wake Forest junior, has discovered this summer while working at the American Historical Association in the nation’s capital.  In addition to helping digitize historical documents and assisting professional historians with their research projects, Britt is writing a blog on the AHA’s Web site.  Attending history conferences at the National Archives and writing for a professional audience is a natural fit for Britt, who plans to double major in history and English and later pursue a doctoral degree in history.  He credits Wake Forest history professors J. Howell Smith and Michele Gillespie for helping him find his calling as a historian.

Contact: Eric Frazier, or (336) 758-5238

STUDENTS RETURN FROM VIETNAM SERVICE LEARNING STUDY ABROAD TRIP – A dozen Wake Forest students returned this week from a six-week academic and service learning trip to Vietnam. During this joint program with Virginia Tech and three other schools, the students helped build a bridge and two houses in a village in South Vietnam near the city of Can Tho, the political, economic, cultural, and transportation center of the Mekong Delta region. Students had the opportunity to tour Vietnam, and participated in cultural activities such as visiting the tombs of the Nguyen emperors as well as a Buddhist monastery, taking Vietnamese cooking lessons and observing daily worship at the Cao Dai temple. Several of the students are from the Triad area and are available for interviews.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or 336-758-4393


Members of the media are invited to experience firsthand the challenges faced by participants in a weight loss and exercise study for the elderly suffering from osteoarthritis. While wearing a weighted vest, reporters can go through some of the same testing and try the same exercises as the study participants.  Stephen Messier, professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest, says the goal of the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) study “is to maintain quality of life and independence for those suffering from osteoarthritis.” The study began in January with the first set of 45 participants. The third set of participants joined the study July 9.  Participants are available for interviews, and there are many visual opportunities for photos and b-roll.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-4393

GAMES, CRAFTS, FOOD FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY DAY—Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology will hold Native American Family Day July 21 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the museum.  The family-friendly event will celebrate Native American culture with stories, games, dances, crafts, music, food, face-painting and films presented by members representing the diverse Native peoples living in North Carolina.  Lumbee, Navajo, Sioux, Coharie, Mohawk, and Haliwa-Saponi people will participate.    The celebration is in conjunction with the museum’s summer exhibit “Rosebud Sioux:  A Lakota People in Transition.”  Admission is free and open to the public.

Contact:  Cheryl V. Walker, or (336) 758-5237.

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