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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

April 2, 2008

DIVINITY SCHOOL PROFESSOR WRITES CHANTS FOR POPE’S U.S. VISIT — Samuel Weber, a Roman Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who teaches in Wake Forest’s 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.  Weber is associate professor of early Christianity and spiritual formation at Wake Forest.

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

TWO WAKE FOREST JUNIORS WIN NATIONAL DEBATE TITLE –Wake Forest University juniors Seth Gannon and Alex Lamballe won the National Debate Tournament April 1 at California State University in Fullerton, Calif.  Gannon, a junior from Atlanta, and Lamballe, a junior from Nashville, Tenn., defeated a team from Dartmouth College in the final round of the competition to win the national title. The National Debate Tournament win is Wake Forest’s second in the history of the 62-year-old tournament.  In 1997, the Wake Forest team of Brian Prestes and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross won the championship.

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

COLLEGE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES:  FACING FACTS, FINDING SOLUTIONS —  As the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings approaches, considerable attention has been focused on college mental health issues.   Wake Forest will host the forum “College of the Overwhelmed: Facing Facts, Finding Solutions” April 7 to explore some of those issues.  “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, 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, 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 event 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.

UNIVERSITY HOSTS NANOMEDICINE CONFERENCE – Wake Forest’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials will host a gathering of scientists, engineers and medical researchers at a workshop that will explore both the science and the emerging business of nanomaterials used in medicine.  Nanomaterials and Hyperthermia: Nanotechnology Approaches to Medicine” will be held April 6 - 9 at the Historic Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem.  “Hyperthermia” in this context refers to the use of heat to trigger the release of drugs being transported inside nanomaterials.  “Unlike typical scientific forums, we will seek to understand the interplay between the needs of startup drug companies in the field of nanotechnology and the solutions that traditional drug developers have found for their own products,” David Carroll, associate professor of physics and director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, said.  The workshop will examine not only the latest technical innovations but will also explore regulatory approaches that will work for those innovations, Carroll said.  The proceedings are open to the public, but advance registration is required.  Registration information is available at

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

WAKE FOREST TO HOST CONFERENCE ON MEN AND MASCULINITY The 16th annual American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA) conference will be held at Wake Forest April 4-6. The conference, titled “Masculinities and Institutions: Mapping the Connections,” will feature more than 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. “This is a great opportunity to continue to expand our program to include critical, academic perspectives on men and masculinities in our undergraduate and graduate/professional programs,” says Steve Boyd, professor and chair of the religion department at Wake Forest and founder of AMSA. “Given the impact of masculine norms and behaviors on issues surfacing daily in the media — male sexuality, violence, war and peace, family/parenting, cross-cultural understanding — we welcome the resources brought by our colleagues from across the nation and world.” The full conference schedule and registration information is available online at 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

POPE WILL BE WELL RECEIVED IN U.S., PREDICTS SOCIOLOGIST – “With the exception of a small minority of people, Pope Benedict will be warmly received by American Catholics during his upcoming visit,” said David Yamane, assistant professor of sociology and the author of several books on the Catholic Church in America.   “One reason many American Catholics are able to look up to him even as they disagree with him is that they do not orient their Catholic identity to the magisterium in Rome. They are Catholics on their own terms.”   He says that even though Pope John Paul II had a better reputation as a public figure, “a good showing in the U.S. will help to bolster his image as a shepherd rather than a guard dog.”

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

GREAT DECISIONS CITIZENS’ FORUM TO ADDRESS U.S. DEFENSE POLICY – Peter Siavelis, associate professor of political science, will discuss “Latin America: the Next U.S. President's Agenda” at 7 p.m. April 10 in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room A102.  The talk is part of the Great Decisions 2008, a six-week citizens’ forum on current foreign policy issues. The Great Decisions Series is a national foreign policy education program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association. Founded in 1918, the FPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental educational organization that strives to educate Americans about the significant international issues that influence their lives. For more information about the Great Decisions Series visit

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

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