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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

March 19, 2008

POP CULTURE AND RELIGION — Mark Pinsky, religion writer for the Orlando Sentinel and author of “The Gospel According to the Simpsons” will discuss “Religion and Popular Culture:  Shotgun Wedding, Marriage of Convenience or Match Made in Heaven?” at 7 p.m. March 25 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.  Lynn Neal, assistant professor of religion, teaches a first-year seminar on pop culture and religion.  She says that because more people are relying on television as a source for religious literacy, these popular culture forms need to be taken seriously.  “We need to understand how these shows both reflect and shape our culture’s views on religion,” she says.  “Mark Pinsky will help us further our understanding of this complicated – and fun – relationship.”

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

WAKE FOREST CONFERENCE ASKS ‘WHY WORK?’ – Along with age-old temptations that test ethical judgment, modern professionals face hyper-competitive work environments that often put career goals in conflict with personal values.  How can individuals rekindle the commitment to the common good that has been a traditional hallmark of professional identity?  Wake Forest will explore this and other challenges of modern professional life in a two-day conference, “Why Work? Business, Professions and the Common Good, March 27-28.  New York Times columnist David Brooks and former congressman Lee Hamilton are among a group of distinguished authorities from the fields of business, education, government, law, medicine and theology who will speak at the conference, part of the university’s 2007-2008 Voices of Our Time speaker series. For the complete conference schedule, visit

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

FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE ECONOMIST AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS FIANANCIAL MARKETS Robert Bliss, F.M. Kirby Chair in Business Excellence at Wake Forest’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and former economic researcher at the Federal Reserve banks in Chicago and Atlanta, is available to discuss recent Federal Reserve actions to shore up confidence in the U.S. financial markets.

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

ARTS ENTREPRENEURS ‘COOK IT UP!’ AT WAKE FOREST The Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts presents a two-part speaker’s forum, “Cook It UP! Arts Entrepreneurship Summit,” March 26 and April 2.  Both forums, at which arts entrepreneurs will speak about their passion, their ventures and their art careers, are free and open to the public.  On March 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center’s Ring Theater, Maggie Orth, artist, founder and chief executive officer of International Fashion Machines in Seattle, Wash., will talk about her innovative use of electronic fibers to create novel products such as touch-sensitive fabric lighting controls.  Lou Mallozzi, artist, founder and director of Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, will also be presenting a sound installation and brief performance excerpts in the Scales lobby from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Appearing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 2 at Luter Residence Hall will be Amy Garland, founder and director of 5IVE and 40RTY, an art gallery and meeting space in Winston-Salem’s downtown arts district; Angus MacLachlan, a playwright, screenwriter and co-founder of a theater company in Winston-Salem; and Scott Betz, a media artist and designer from Winston-Salem.

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

WAKE FOREST'S NINTH ANNUAL ELEVATOR COMPETITION OPENS NEW BANK OF ELEVATORS TO SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP Thirty percent of the applications for last year’s annual Elevator Competition at Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management could have fallen under the heading of social entrepreneurship. As a result, a second set of elevators will be added specifically for socially minded entrepreneurs at this year’s ninth annual event, scheduled for March 28-29 at the Wachovia building in downtown Winston-Salem.  In another first, undergraduate as well as graduate teams from top universities across the country will compete, pitching ideas that solve a pressing social need based on the triple bottom line: economic, environmental and social.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker at or (336) 758-3615

WAKE FOREST TO HOST CONFERENCE ON MEN AND MASCULINITIES The 16th annual American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA) conference will be held at Wake Forest University April 4-6.  The conference, titled “Masculinities and Institutions:  Mapping the Connections,” will feature over 50 presentations by academics and professionals concerning the connections between men and institutions as well as topics contributing to a greater understanding of men’s lives.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Wake Forest departments of religion and women’s and gender studies. 

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

COLLEGE OF THE OVERWHELMED: FACING FACTS, FINDING SOLUTIONS — More college students are experiencing psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. To better understand college students’ mental health issues and explore what can be done to help students handle the pressures of college life, Wake Forest will host the conference “College of the Overwhelmed: Facing Facts, Finding Solutions” April 7. The conference, part of the university’s Voices of Our Time series, will feature Richard Kadison, author of the book “College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do about It,” as the keynote speaker. A panel discussion, featuring Kadison and the directors of the counseling centers at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, will focus on six key topics: putting the problem in perspective, modifying the culture of pressure, identifying emotional challenges in college, reconciling privacy and group safety, recognizing warning signs and knowing how to help.  “The reality is that many young adults enter college with problems and concerns that only increase with the pressure and competitive nature of the college environment,” said Samuel T. Gladding, professor and chair of Wake Forest’s counseling department and one of the organizers of the event.  “We planned the conference to help college faculty and staff, parents, students and counselors learn more solution-focused ways that can help students who may be discontent or struggling with their college experience.”  The conference will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall at the Scales Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

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

WFU PROFESSOR WRITES CHANTS FOR POPE’S U.S. VISIT Samuel Weber, associate professor of early Christianity and spiritual formation at the Wake Forest University Divinity School, was invited to compose original chant settings that will be performed during the Pope’s visit to Washington, D.C., April 15 – 20.  The chants will be sung during Evening Prayer at 5:30 p.m. April 16 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with Pope Benedict XVI presiding, and during a private mass with the Holy Father at the Apostolic Nunciature (Papal Embassy) the following morning.  The Evening Prayer service is expected to be televised worldwide.

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

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