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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

October 17, 2007

FAMILY DAY EXPLORES A FESTIVE WAY OF CELEBRATING THE DEAD – Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology will highlight the “Días de los Muertos” (Days of the Dead) celebration at its fall Family Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20.  The event will feature several booths highlighting different aspects of the celebration and will include Mexican crafts, games, music, storytelling and food.  Days of the Dead is an ancient Mexican religious celebration that is considered a festive time when family members remember and honor their dead and the continuity of life.  The holiday is officially celebrated Nov. 1-3.  Family Day is presented in conjunction with the museum’s annual Days of the Dead exhibit that will run through Dec. 14.  The exhibit features a traditional Mexican “ofrenda” (a home altar with sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts of skeletons, food and beverage offerings, marigolds and photos of deceased relatives), photographs of public ofrendas as well as toys and objects used in children’s ofrendas.

Contact:  Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237

BIOFUEL MAKES DEBUT AT WAKE FOREST — Lawn mowers, a backhoe, a wood chipper and about 20 other pieces of off-road maintenance equipment used by Wake Forest’s Facilities Management department are now powered by a biodiesel blend.  The biofuel was made by two biology professors (Dave Anderson and Miles Silman), two staff members (Marcus Wright and Robert Vidrine) and a handful of students from waste oil collected at the Dixie Classic Fair and other local places.  The group is focused on making and promoting biologically-based fuels.  The Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) has also been involved in the project.  “This is a wonderful experience when we can partner with an academic department,” said Jim Alty, assistant vice president for Facilities Management.  “Not only does this partnership assist in student learning, but it provides the university with an alternative fuel source based on a renewable resource and reduces the impact of global warming.  Overall, this is a great example of a win-win for the entire university community.” Facilities Management employees began using a 90 percent diesel/10 percent biodiesel mixture in selected equipment Oct. 3.  In the future, the department may increase the percentage of biodiesel in the mix.

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, (336) 759-6073.

A  DAY IN DEACON LAND FOR LOCAL CHILDREN — A Day in Deacon Land is the theme for this year’s Project Pumpkin, Oct. 25 from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Hearn Plaza (the Quad).  It is designed to provide safe Halloween fun for some 2,000 children from 50 invited agencies, and is not open to the general public.  Costumed volunteers will lead children through residence halls for trick-or-treating, and Hearn Plaza will be decorated like the classic children’s board game Candy Land.  Carnival games, face painting, haunted houses and clowns are among the entertainment in store for the children.  Student musical groups will perform, and Wake Forest athletes will also make an appearance.  Volunteers, organizers and entertainment groups will be available for morning show interviews.

Contact:  Audrey Fannin, or 336-758-4393

HIV PREVENTION IN AFRICA –Dr. Rajiv Rimal, an expert on communication and public health issues, will discuss “Promoting Behavior Change for HIV Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa” at 3 p.m. Oct. 23 at Wake Forest University.  The lecture will be held in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum and is free and open to the public.  Rimal’s research involves HIV prevention programs in three African countries:  Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia.  His talk will focus on strategies that are currently being used in that effort.   His talk is sponsored by the communication department.

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, 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,, (336) 758-6073

“FACE THE NATION’S” BOB SCHIEFFER TO DISCUSS CAREER –Bob Schieffer, broadcast journalism’s longest-serving Washington reporter and moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” will speak at Wake Forest at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in Wait Chapel.  The event is part of the university’s 2007-2008 Voices of Our Time speaker series and is free and open to the public.  Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  Schieffer will speak about his experiences and the changes in the field of journalism in a lecture titled “50 Years in the News.” A public question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.  Media seating will be in the front row on the right side of the chapel.  Recording will be permitted.  A limited number of direct feeds will be available.  Flash photography will not be permitted. 

Contact:  Pam Barrett,, (336) 758-5237

GALLERY OFFERS TRICKS, TREATS FOR THE EYES AT EXHIBIT – On Oct. 25, Wake Forest’s Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery will open “Optical Allusions,” an exhibit featuring artwork with optical illusions and allusions—using objects like 4,000 hand-painted bottle cap eyeballs, live sea monkeys and a 13-foot suspended sculpture of glass and beads.  The exhibit highlights the work of artists Caroline Cox, Richard Klein, Eung Ho Park and Ted Victoria.  In conjunction with the exhibit, a gallery talk with Cox and Victoria will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in the gallery followed by an opening reception from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  The exhibit will run through Dec. 9.  “Honk,” an exhibit of the photography of Aaron Fallon, will also be featured in the Mezzanine Gallery.      

Contact: Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-5237.

MIDDLE EASTERN EXPERT TO DISCUSS FIGHTING BETWEEN SHIA FACTIONS IN IRAQ – Vali Nasr, an Iranian-American expert in contemporary Middle Eastern affairs and Islamic politics, will discuss the subject of his latest book "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future” at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 in Wait Chapel.  Nasr is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan think-tank on foreign policy.  In 2006, Nasr was called to advise the U.S. president and vice-president, secretaries of state and defense, the National Security Council and deputy secretary of state.  He has also testified before Congress.  Nasr says the fighting between Shia factions in Iraq is purely political. “There is no deep ideological divide here,” Nasr said.  “There are no disputes over a form of government or Shia theology.”  What they are fighting for, he says, is “the control of various Shia cities, the trade routes, control of government services and resources.”

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

LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS TO SPEAK FOR CONVOCATION – James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, will speak on “The Future of Freedom” at Fall Convocation Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. in Wait Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.  Billington has led the Library of Congress as it has launched major Internet-related initiatives, including the library’s “American Memory” National Digital Library (NDL), which makes freely available on-line nearly 11 millionAmerican historical items from the collections of the library and other research institutions.  During convocation, the university will present awards to faculty and alumni.

Contact:  Kevin Cox,, (336) 758-5237

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