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Stories this week at Wake Forest University


September 12, 2007

EARLYBIRD TOURNAMENT DRAWS HIGH SCHOOL DEBATERS – Wake Forest, along with North Forsyth and Mount Tabor high schools, will host the National Earlybird Forensics Tournament from Sept. 14 through Sept. 16.   The tournament, considered one of the country’s top competitions for high school debate, is open to the public.  The Wake Forest debate program, which won the national intercollegiate debating championship in 1997, annually sponsors workshops and tournaments for high school students.  The event will bring more than 150 high school debate squads from across the country.  Events will take place at all three locations.  Visit http://groups.wfu.edu/debate/earlybird/BirdEntryInformation/EARLYBIRDInvit.html for a complete schedule.

Contact:  Cheryl V. Walker, walkercv@wfu.edu or (336) 758-6073

FAITH, THE FOUNDERS AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT – Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Leland and Benjamin Franklin were among the founders who forged the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  At 11 a.m. Sept. 15 in Wait Chapel, Wake Forest’s Constitution week observance will focus on how these men fought for freedom of religion – and how those battles continue today.  Join James Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy at the Divinity School, as he shares surprising stories about the founding fathers.  Melissa Rogers, visiting professor of religion and public policy, will discuss how current issues dealing with public prayer, taxpayer-funded religious education, activities and expression were anticipated by the founders, who wrote their solutions into the constitution and First Amendment.  The Constitution week observance is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Divinity School.  The program is free and open to the public. 

Contact:  Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-4393

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER TO SHARE INDUSTRY INSIGHTS – The field of software development is entering a new phase.  Traditional development focused on the process and optimization of sub-processes, but created waste and caused data to back up in queues.  Guy Beaver, director of software engineering at Critical Point Group in Charlotte, will discuss the next phase of software engineering - a complex adaptive system which requires rapid feedback in order to reach a solution.  Beaver will describe how this method is used to provide risk scores and analytics for financial institutions at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in Manchester Hall, Room 24.  Beaver has more than 23 years experience working with the Department of Defense, NASA and financial services, and is a Wake Forest graduate.

Contact:  Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-4393

‘FESTIVAL ON THE QUAD’ HIGHLIGHT OF WFU HOMECOMING – Wake Forest alumni and friends will gather on campus this weekend for the university's homecoming.  In addition to the football game, weekend events will include reunion gatherings of alumni, a service of remembrance in Wait Chapel and a homecoming "Festival on the Quad" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 15 on Hearn Plaza. 

Contact: Wake Forest News Service at (336) 758-5237

MINISTER TO DISCUSS UGANDA 25 YEARS AFTER IDI AMIN – The Rev. Jackson Senyonga, founder and senior pastor of Christian Life Church in Kampala, Uganda, will speak Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel.  After his father was murdered during Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s regime, he reconciled with his mother, who had left him when he was an infant.  Now Senyonga is a leader in helping to transform Uganda and East Africa.  When he founded Christian Life Church 11 years ago, it grew from seven to 2,000 people in just two weeks.  Today the church has 40,000 members in hundreds of churches across four African countries.  His lecture is free and open to the public.

Contact:  Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-4393

PROFESSOR DESIGNS ATOMIC EMISSION DETECTOR FOR HOMELAND SECURITY- Brad Jones, a professor of chemistry at Wake Forest, is leading a team of researchers to develop the first handheld, field instrument capable of detecting and identifying radioactive particles at the site of potential contamination.  The device will enable authorities to quickly test dust, soil, water and crops in the event of a terrorist attack such as a “dirty” bomb.  The three-year project is funded by the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, which asked scientists to submit proposals for radioactivity detection devices.  Jones, who specializes in creating spectroscopic instruments, saw the potential to adapt a design he originally conceived years ago to permit rapid field testing for lead in blood samples.   

Contact:  Eric Frazier, frazieef@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5238

UNIVERSITY PREPARES FOR IMMIGRATION FORUM –Wake Forest will address one of the United States’ most hotly debated issues—immigration—at a three-day conference Oct. 3-5.  Titled “Immigration: Recasting the Debate” the conference is the first event in the university’s 2007-2008 Voices of Our Time speaker series.  “Immigration reform is not only one of the most pressing domestic issues of our time; it is also one of the most intractable,” said David Coates, Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies at Wake Forest and co-organizer of the event. “It is hard to think of a political issue more in need of the quiet light of serious scholarship than this.”  Peter Siavelis, associate professor of political science and co-organizer, agreed.  "We want researchers to shed more light on this issue, but not do it through the partisan sniping that is increasingly passing for political dialogue in our country.”  The conference will feature keynote addresses by major public figures giving both Democratic and Republican perspectives, including Ray Marshall, a former member of both the Clinton and Carter administrations, and Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida. 

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

REFORMED MAFIA BOSS TO VISIT CAMPUS – Michael Franzese, the highest-ranking Mafia official ever to quit the crime organization and live to tell about it, will present a lecture titled “Blood Covenant” at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in Pugh Auditorium in Wake Forest’s Benson University Center.  The event is free and open to the public.  The son of a Colombo crime family kingpin, Franzese joined the Mafia at age 24 and became one of the mob’s biggest money earners since Al Capone.  Although he drew the attention of then-federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani and a 14-agency government task force charged solely with taking him down, he managed to elude conviction on numerous racketeering indictments.  After marrying, he gave up his life of crime, pleaded guilty and accepted a prison sentence.

Contact: Eric Frazier, frazieef@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5238

STUDENTS ‘HIT THE BRICKS’ FOR BRIAN PICCOLO, CANCER RESEARCH – Teams of seven to 15 students, representing fraternities, sororities, a variety of student organizations and freshman residence halls are competing in a long-distance run around Wake Forest’s Hearn Plaza (main Quad) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 20. The students will relay a baton around the brick oval surrounding the Quad throughout the day, competing in two categories – total distance and most money raised. The event concludes at 7 p.m. with a symbolic final lap to fight cancer. Luminaries will light the Quad to honor cancer victims and survivors.  Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams for the most laps and the most money raised as well as a raffle drawing of additional prizes from the Wake Forest College Book Store.  This is an extremely visual event, perfect for television stations or print outlets looking for stand-alone art.

Contact: Wake Forest News Service at (336) 758-5237.


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