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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

November 6, 2008

Wake Forest faculty members are available to comment on the results of 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.

DID DIGITAL MEDIA ROCK THE VOTE? – Allan Louden, associate professor of communication, can explain how new advertising methods, mobilization, debates and the Internet contributed to the Barack Obama victory and changed forever the nature of campaigning for the presidency.  “Television as we know it today will follow the trends of newspaper print editions and become increasingly less central to the process,” said Louden, who teaches a class on Digital Politics.  The class meets each Monday to discuss hot topics such as parody/comedy on the Web, the influence of YouTube, the importance of music videos, and the effectiveness of campaign-generated e-mail and banner advertising.  The students can offer insights into how digital media has shaped the election, particularly for younger voters.  Louden commented on digital media this week for The New York Times: “No one knows the impact of quasi-permanency on the Web, yet, but it surely has changed the political world.  The role of gatekeepers and archivists has been dispersed to everyone with Internet access.”

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

AUTHOR OF ‘A LIBERAL TOOL KIT’ SAYS HARD PART IS NEXT – David Coates, professor of political science at Wake Forest University, outlined how progressives could rebuild electoral majorities in his 2007 book, “A Liberal Tool Kit:  Progressive Responses to Conservative Arguments.”  Now that Barack Obama is president-elect, Coates warns that opponents of progressive policies will mount even stiffer resistance, which must be overcome through reasoned persuasion.  “This is just part one of a long conversation and ideological battle,” Coates says.  “The defense of this space for progressive policies is going to be even more important after the election than it was before.”

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


HISTORIAN REFLECTS ON OBAMA VICTORY – Anthony Parent, professor of history at Wake Forest, believes President-elect Barack Obama’s victory has the potential to transform American society by bringing about a fulfillment of the promises of equal rights made in the Constitution and the civil rights movement.  “Obama promises a transformative presidency,” Parent wrote in an essay the day after the election.  “At the very least, one that would begin to break down the great racial divide.…At the most, Obama will engage our country in full-fledged participatory democracy, perhaps ushering in the Age of Obama.”  Parent, an expert on African American history, is available to discuss the historical significance of the Obama presidency.

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


STUDENTS HOST ‘VIVA LA CULTURA’ TO BENEFIT CUBA PROJECT – Wake Forest students have organized a fundraising event, “Viva La Cultura,” to fund their ground-breaking entrepreneurship venture, The Cuba Project, from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.  Nov. 7 at The Millennium Center Art Gallery.  The event, featuring Latino food, dance, music and art, will be held in conjunction with the First Friday Gallery Hop in downtown Winston-Salem.  The 24 students are creating a bilingual art exhibition and educational program that features handmade books by Cuban artists.  At the fundraiser, guests will also be able to view some of the elaborately designed books that will be included in the exhibition “Cuban Artists’ Books and Prints, 1985-2008.”  The students’ work will culminate at the exhibition debut in May 2009 at The Grolier Club of New York.  The opening will also include collaborative events with the Museum of Modern Art.  The exhibit will begin traveling and will make its first stop at Wake Forest in August 2009.  Students are available to talk to media about the project.  Suggested donation for the event is $5/person. 

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


EQUIFAX CEO TALKS ABOUT CREDIT MARKETS – Rick Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Equifax Inc., will speak on “Credit Markets and the Role of Equifax” in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum (Room 111) at 6:15 p.m. Nov. 10.  The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Babcock Leadership Series and the Calloway School’s BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism.  Equifax, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a global leader in information solutions, employment and income verification and outsourcing services.  The company employs about 7,000 people in 14 countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe.

Contact: Sylvia Green,, or (336) 758-3559.

WAKE FOREST HOSTS WARSAW PHILHARMONIC, SOLOIST LISITSA – The renowned Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, known as the National Orchestra of Poland, will perform with solo pianist Valentina Lisitsa at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel.  Presented by the university’s Secrest Artists Series, the concert will be conducted by Maestro Antoni Wit.  A free Secrest Signature pre-performance talk by David Levy, professor of music at Wake Forest, will be held in conjunction with the concert at 6:40 p.m. in the Balcony Room of Wait Chapel.  Tickets are $20 general admission; $17 for senior citizens and students; and $5 for children under 12.  Tickets are available at (336) 758-5295.   

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

CONSERVATIONIST TO SHARE DISCOVERY OF A 'LOST WORLD' – Noted conservationist Bruce Beehler, who has been featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” will speak at Wake Forest Nov. 13 about his explorations of a “lost world” in a remote corner of the tropical island of New Guinea.  “Lost Worlds:  Discoveries from the Edge of Civilization” will begin at 7 p.m. in Wait Chapel.  The event, part of Wake Forest’s Voices of Our Time speaker series, is free and open to the public.  In recent expeditions to the mist-shrouded forests of New Guinea’s Foja Mountains, Beehler and his team of scientists found a biodiversity treasure trove.  They discovered dozens of new species of birds, insects and plants.  His most recent book, “Lost Worlds,” chronicles his adventures in New Guinea and other tropical jungles around the world.  “Even in this Internet age of satellite images and instant communication, our planet still holds magnificent secrets,” said Beehler.  “This area of New Guinea may represent the most pristine natural ecosystem in the entire Asia-Pacific region.  This discovery gives people hope that there are these untouched places.”  His presentation will include sound recordings, color images and video highlighting some of his most remarkable discoveries, including a bird-of-paradise that had been lost to science for more than a century.

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


MEDIA INVITED TO COVER ‘GREEN’ AWARENESS EVENTS – Wake Forest students will participate in several “green” awareness activities as part of the O.A.R. concert and Reverb’s third annual Campus Consciousness Tour (CCT) to be held at Wake Forest Nov. 12

  • A Biodiesel Fuel Demo will be held at 11 a.m. in Lot B in front of Benson University Center.  The Reverb Tour Bus and other vehicles will be refueled, and representatives will be available to answer questions and discuss biodiesel manufacturing. 
  • At noon, a public Town Hall Forum will take place in Pugh Auditorium in Benson University Center.  Representatives from CCT and Wake Forest’s Student Environmental Action Coalition (S.E.A.C.) will discuss a range of environmental issues. 
  • At 1 p.m., S.E.A.C. representatives will tour Reverb’s biodiesel-powered tour bus, which features numerous eco-friendly alternatives.  The bus will be parked in Lot B in front of Benson University Center. 
  • At 3:30 p.m., students, members of Reverb and band members will participate in a service project to make and deliver meals for Wake Forest’s Campus Kitchen, a food recycling program and project of Wake Forest’s Volunteer Service Corps.  Campus Kitchen uses cooked but never-served food from the campus dining hall to make healthy, nutritious meals for the needy in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area.  It is located in the Information Services Building cafeteria. 
  • At 6:30 p.m., a Consciousness Pavilion will be set up on Hearn Plaza in front of Wait Chapel.  Environmental groups associated with Reverb and Wake Forest will be available to discuss environmental products, issues and opportunities.  Participants can also purchase carbon emission credits as part of Reverb’s carbon offset program.  Wake Forest undergraduate biology students performed the research in the Amazon Andes last summer that led to the creation of the carbon emission credits Reverb uses to offset their tours. 
  • The day’s events will culminate with a concert by O.A.R. and opening band Virginia Coalition at 7:30 p.m. in Wait Chapel.  Concert tickets are $29.50 and are available from 

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


THE PICKENS PLAN:  POWERFUL OPTION OR BREEZY IDEA? – President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to pursue a multi-faceted energy policy that includes renewable sources, but which alternatives make the most sense?  Well-known oilman T. Boone Pickens has spent large sums running television ads touting his plan to use wind energy to generate electricity and divert natural gas from power plants to fuel automobiles until fuel-cell technology is viable.  Frederick Harris, John B. McKinnon Professor of Management, Economics and Finance at Wake Forest’s Babcock Graduate School of Management, has analyzed renewable energy alternatives and is available to provide a critique of the Pickens Plan.  “The Pickens Plan requires amassive public-private partnership that should be explored by the new administration; however, much smaller scale wind-to-power co-op installations can recover their cost quickly in ideal locations,” Harris says.

Contact: Sylvia Green, or (336) 758-3559

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY – Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Scott Larrabee will be the guest speaker at the Wake Forest Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at Perritt Plaza beside Reynolda Hall. Larrabee is a senior military logistics analyst who currently works for Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in support of the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency at Ft. Belvoir, Va. Among his military awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Wake Forest Chaplain Tim Auman will deliver the invocation and benediction at the event, presented by the Army Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) department. Veterans who attend will be recognized for their military service. A wreath will be laid at the base of the flagpole in honor of veterans who have died in support of freedom, and “Taps” will be played.

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


STUDENTS LOOK TO LINCOLN’S RHETORIC IN DIVISIVE TIMES – When President-elect Barack Obama quoted Abraham Lincoln in his acceptance speech, Wake Forest communication students in the “Great Teachers” course noted parallels between the polarized audiences Lincoln faced then and those Obama faces today.  To better understand effective rhetoric within the constraints of a polarized nation, the students will host a lecture titled “Lincoln: A House Divided” with David Zarefsky, renowned professor of communication studies at Northwestern University.  The event will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 13 in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum (Room 111).  It is free and open to the public.  Zarefsky will address how Lincoln, a masterful politician, sought in his speeches to respond to and transcend the deep divisions he faced.  “Studying Lincoln’s ‘A House Divided’ speech will not only deepen our appreciation of him, but also yield insight that may help us better deal with our current predicament,” said Zarefsky.

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

NATIVE AMERICANS TELL HOW THEY BROKE CULTURAL BARRIERS – At Wake Forest’s celebration of National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, five nationally-renowned American Indian leaders will discuss how they have broken through cultural barriers to achieve their success.  The speakers will be featured at the symposium, “Native American Voices,” which will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 14 in Greene Hall, Room 145.  It is free and open to the public.  Speakers will include Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord, the first Navajo female surgeon in the U.S., and Michell Hicks, the principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  The event was initiated by Wake Forest junior Lucretia Hicks, a Cherokee and founder and president of Wake Forest’s new Native American Student Association (NASA).  She founded NASA to help recruit American Indian students to Wake Forest, encourage and support them on campus, and educate others about American Indian culture and issues.  “It was such a culture shock for me when I came to Wake Forest because I had always been part of really small communities where I had other Native people around me,” said Hicks.  “Other people here are shocked when they find out that I am Native American.  They forget that Native Americans still exist.  Then, they often ask me questions that reveal how they generalize and stereotype Native Americans.  Not everybody has totem poles or lives in teepees.  We all have our own cultures.”  Wake Forest has 16 American Indian students enrolled this year.  

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


FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR VIEWS FINANCIAL CRISIS FROM VIENNA– Jonathan Duchac, Merrill Lynch Professor of Accountancy and director of the Enterprise Risk Management program at Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, is spending the fall semester as Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Vienna University of Business and Economics in Austria.  In Vienna since late September, Duchac offers the valuable perspective of an expert who has both academic and Wall Street experience.  He has been able to observe both the origin of the financial crisis in the United States and its recent expansion across the globe.  He recently spoke about the crisis in a speech titled “The Perfect Storm:  The Global Financial Crisis of 2008” at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.  Duchac is available to discuss with reporters his observations about how the financial crisis is affecting the European Union. 

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


HELPING THOSE IN NEED DURING ECONOMIC CRISES – Community organizations that provide assistance to those in need are finding their own resources overburdened in the current economic crisis. In response, students at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity will hold a forum to bring together churches and non-profit organizations to share ideas for responding to community needs during the economic crisis. Leonard says the idea for the forum grew out of the “God and the New York Times” class he teaches. “Reading the New York Times together, we realized the depth and complexity of the economic situation and the class decided to respond tangibly,” says Leonard. “It is an effort to bring together people on the ‘front lines’ of the crisis in our community.” The “Harvesting Hope” forum will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 18 in Wait Chapel. The forum is free and open to the public.

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

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