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Stories this week at Wake Forest University


October 3, 2007

LEADING THINKERS ON IMMIGRATION TO GATHER AT WAKE FOREST –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.”   Go to www.wfu.edu/voices for a complete schedule of events.  The 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. sessions on Oct. 4 will focus on immigration and the economy and immigration issues in North Carolina.

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

                                                       

FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR TO OPEN IMMIGRATION CONFERENCE – Ray Marshall, former U.S. secretary of labor in the Carter administration, will kick off “Immigration:  Recasting the Debate” at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in Wait Chapel.  “The immigration debate has reached a stalemate because of the complex and conflicting issues involved, and the failure of past policies to effectively legalize immigration flows,” said Marshall, “We have a very narrow window of opportunity to design effective policies compatible with our national values and interests.  We might not get another chance.”   The immigration conference is the first event in the university’s 2007-2008 Voices of Our Time speaker series.

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

SEN. MEL MARTINEZ TO CONCLUDE IMMIGRATION DISCUSSION – Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) will discuss the importance of immigration reform in the closing session of “Immigration: Recasting the Debate” at 4 p.m. Oct. 5 in Wait Chapel.  “Immigration is at the heart of our nation’s successful history, and we have to be thoughtful about how we reform our policies for the future,” said Martinez.  “The current laws are insufficient and true reform will have to be comprehensive and address the needs of our nation.”    Sen. Richard Burr will introduce Martinez.

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

NEGATIVE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS GET THUMBS UP FROM PROFESSOR— “Negativity is good,” says Allan Louden, associate professor of communication.  “Although negative advertising is almost universally condemned by media and pundits, negative campaigning is where voters actually learn something about the campaign and the candidates.  When people mix it up, they can actually talk about the issues.”  Negative political campaigns are the focus of Allan Louden’s first-year seminar, “Negative Campaigning:  Controversy in Theory and Practice.”  In the class, students are exploring the following questions:  Are negative ads/campaigns effective?  Are they necessary?  Do negative ads/campaigns affect voter turnout?  Do negative campaigns impact the ability to govern?  Students in the class will debate both sides of each question in class.  To talk with Louden and/or sit in on the class debates, contact the News Service.

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

FRESHMAN SEMINAR SPARKS START-UP COMPANY, BIOBOTZ — Six freshmen got so excited about their first-year seminar in biophysics last year they started a nonprofit company, BioBotz.  The company aims to produce an educational interactive online game, an animated television series and ancillary stuffed toys and action figures starring characters based on the amino acid chains that operate like tiny robots inside living cells.  “They’re trying to create the Pokemon of molecular biology,” explains Jed Macosko, an assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest who taught their first-year seminar, “Harnessing Life’s Molecular Machines: From AIDS Tests to Hydrogen Cars,” a course that encourages students to look at the molecular level of cells for new product and process ideas that can be developed into entrepreneurial ventures.  None of the six students knew each other prior to attending the class, but after Macosko encouraged them to consider turning the business idea they conceived as a classroom assignment into reality, they stayed in touch over the summer, developing the characters and storyline that will drive the action.  “We want to take the complexities inside a cell, and make them fun for kids to learn,” says Mike Metzmaker, a sophomore from Massachusetts and spokesman for the group. 

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


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