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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

July 19, 2007

ECONOMICS PROFESSOR CAN COMMENT ON SOARING STOCK MARKET – With the stock market’s best-known indicator, the Dow Jones industrial average, cresting 14,000 for the first time Tuesday and closing at record levels four days in a row, Robert Whaples, professor of economics at Wake Forest, says most economists he has surveyed see a bright, long-term future for the United States economy. “They expect the growth rate to be about the same in the next 60 years as it’s been for the last 60 years,” Whaples notes. “And since we’ve been growing about 2 percent a year over the last 60 years, that implies if we continue to grow at that rate, our incomes – our grandchildren’s incomes 60 years from now – will average almost $150,000 each. That’s the kind of growth that we’ve had in the past and that’s the kind of growth that economists I’ve surveyed expect to have in the future.”

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


RUSSIAN/AMERICAN YOUTH CONNECT–– Alexandr Perepechenov, a high school student from Siberia, is one of 70 Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellows learning about technology and diplomacy at Wake Forest.  Perepechenov won a U.S. Embassy essay contest for his paper “Handshakes in Space” about the historic 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project that marked the first U.S.-Russia cooperation in space.  On July 20, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., he and other participants in the Ben Franklin Transatlantic Initiative (BFTFI) will present podcasts and video projects that address key diplomacy-related topics such as what happens in the Middle East after Iraq and how the world should respond to the situation in Darfur. The studentsare involved in public advocacy workshops leading up to Friday's presentations in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.  The performances/presentations will be designed to reach broad online audiences.  The students will then submit their videos to CNN and hope they will be chosen to air at the Democratic primary debate hosted July 23 by CNN and YouTube.  BFTFI is designed to strengthen connections between American and European youth.  It is a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program for high school students from 36 countries such as Croatia, Bosnia, Turkmenistan and Poland, and runs through July 31.  Named in honor of America’s first diplomat, the (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.  On July 23, students will help local service agencies during a community service day.  They are staying with Winston-Salem families, so interviews could also be arranged with host families.

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

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


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

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

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. 

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

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