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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

October 8, 2008

2008 ELECTION SOURCES AVAILABLE — Wake Forest faculty members are available to comment on the 2008 election. Experts are available from a wide range of areas, including political science, debate, religion, law and business, covering topics such as campaign ads, presidential debates, health care, banking, political scandal and young voters. Visit for a searchable list of experts and issues.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-5237.


FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: CHANGE COMING? — After two debates in which both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama stuck to familiar talking points and avoided serious mistakes, will either break with that safe strategy for the final debate Oct. 15?  Wake Forest experts are available to analyze the risks and potential rewards facing each candidate.

  • Allan Louden, associate professor of communication, regularly analyzes political ads and provides commentary on political debates for national media outlets. He posts debate analysis on, a Web site devoted to encouraging lively analysis of political debates.  This fall, he is teaching courses on political communication and digital politics. He also studies negativity in campaigns and recently taught a course on that topic.
  • Ross Smith, director of debate and a debate coach at Wake Forest since 1984, guided Wake Forest’s team to the national championship at the National Debate Tournament this April.  Smith has qualified more teams to the elimination rounds than any other coach in the nation during the past decade.  He recently appeared on the nationally broadcast morning show “Fox and Friends” to comment on the vice presidential debate.

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, or (336) 758-5237.


NYANYA PROJECT RAISES FUNDS FOR AFRICA AIDS RELIEF — The Nyanya Project, a nonprofit agency founded by Wake Forest faculty member Mary Martin Niepold to help African grandmothers raise their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS, will host a fund-raising event from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts in the Main Theatre of the ACE Cinema Complex.  The event is open to the public, and donations will be accepted for admission.  The event will feature a film documentary produced by UNCSA School of Filmmaking students, who accompanied Niepold to Tanzania this summer.  Students will also give personal accounts of the trip, and items made by the grandmothers will be available for purchase.

Contact: Eric Frazier, or (336) 758-5237.

SEARCHING FOR AN ANGEL INVESTOR? — Troy Knauss, a fund executive with the Piedmont Angel Network, will kick off the Frameworks! fall seminar series with “Angel Investing for Life-Science Start-ups,” at 8 a.m. Oct. 13, in the Chestnut Conference Room at the Piedmont Triad Community Research Center, 115 S. Chestnut St., Winston-Salem. The seminar is free and open to anyone interested in entrepreneurship and commercialization of new ventures.  The Piedmont Angel Network, based in Greensboro, is an angel fund with $10 million of committed capital under management.  Frameworks! is an educational and networking series organized by Wake Forest’s Babcock Demon Incubator and supported by the Piedmont Triad Research Park.  Seminars are held on the second Monday of each month.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker, or (336) 441-0027.

FEDERAL RESERVE OFFICIAL TO SPEAK ON MORTGAGE CRISIS — John Duca, vice president and senior policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, will present a free public lecture, “Making Sense of the Housing and Mortgage Crisis,” at 4 p.m. Oct. 15 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum, Room 111. The talk will address current developments in the housing and mortgage markets, including factors behind the boom and bust in the housing market and the role of non-prime mortgage products.  He researches macroeconomics, finance, money, credit, labor markets, housing and banking. At the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Duca currently co-leads the macroeconomics group, leads the financial side of the macroeconomic research group and co-edits its Working Paper series. His major policy work includes numerous briefings and presentations on the U.S. economy and financial markets.  The lecture is sponsored by the Wake Forest economics department and the Social Science Research Seminar.

Contact: Pam Barrett, or (336) 758-4144.


Examining the culture of pornography — The Porn Wars Symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum, Room 111. Participants will examine how the proliferation of pornographic imagery reaches into the daily lives of Americans. Matt Ezzell, board member of the Stop Porn Culture organization, will speak on masculinity and pop culture;Ann Scales, visiting professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, will discuss new legal remedies to address the harm caused by pornography; and Jane Caputi, professor of women’s studies at Florida Atlantic University, will show her film, “The Pornography of Everyday Life.”

  • The series will continue at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in Brendle Recital Hall with a multimedia presentation by Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College, on pornography’s effects on society, relationships and individuals.
  • A symposium on free speech will follow at the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1309, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 31. Students in the course “Teaching Feminist Activism and Creating Feminist Activists,” taught by Activist-in-Residence Patricia Willis, are taking the lead in organizing the event.

All events are free and open to the public. The Porn Wars Symposium and the multimedia presentation are limited to individuals 18 and older. Willis, her students and the presenters are all available for advance interviews.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-5237.


20 YEARS OF PROJECT PUMPKIN MAGIC — Nearly 2,500 children from 40 community agencies have been invited to participate in Wake Forest University’s “Project Pumpkin,” a Halloween celebration from 3 – 6 p.m. Oct. 28 on Hearn Plaza between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall. The theme for this year’s event is “20 Years of Magic,” an anniversary celebration with a fantasy theme. Wake Forest students have been visiting participating agencies to interact with the children before they arrive on campus, and to help the children create decorations for Hearn Plaza. Interviews and morning show segments with Project Pumpkin organizers and participating agency representatives can be arranged. At the event, media representatives must check in at the media table in front of Wait chapel to receive a press kit and find out which children cannot be photographed.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, or (336) 758-5237.

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE LABORATORY! — Researchers at Wake Forest University are using nanotechnology to search for new cancer-fighting drugs through a process that could be up to 10,000 times faster than current methods.  The “Lab-on-Bead” process will screen millions of chemicals simultaneously using tiny plastic beads so small that 1,000 of them would fit across a human hair.  Each bead carries a separate chemical, which can be identified later if it displays the properties needed to treat cancer cells.  One batch of nanoscopic beads can replace the work of thousands of conventional, repetitive laboratory tests.  “This process allows the beads to do the work for you,” explains Jed Macosko, project director and assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest.  “By working at this scale, we will be able to screen more than a billion possible drug candidates per day as opposed to the current limit of hundreds of thousands per day.” Other members of the research team at Wake Forest include co-principal investigator Martin Guthold, an associate professor of physics, and Keith Bonin, department chair and professor of physics.  The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has provided funding for the research.  Contact the News Service to arrange an interview with the researchers.

Contact: Eric Frazier, or (336) 758-5237.

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