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September 20, 2007

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

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.

 EXPLORING THE MEDIA, BODY IMAGE CONNECTION – Kristen Harrison, an expert on the impact of the media on body image and eating disorders, will speak at Wake Forest at 4 p.m. Sept. 27.  “The Body Electr(on)ic: Lessons from a Decade of Research on Media, Body Image and Eating Disorders,” will be held  in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.   The lecture is free and open to the public.  Harrison, associate professor of speech communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana –Champaign, has recently completed a five-year research project studying how media images and messages lead child viewers to develop discrepancies between their actual and ideal self-images.  She also investigated how these differences increase the risk of developing low self-esteem, a poor body image and disordered eating.

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

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


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