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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

February 5, 2009

CNN senior political analyst and former presidential advisor David Gergen will speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in Wait Chapel. His talk, titled “Fulfilling the Promise: David Gergen on the New American President,” is presented through the university’s Voices of Our Time speaker series and the “Challenges Facing the New President” series organized by the political science department. Gergen served as director of communications for President Reagan and as advisor to presidents Nixon and Ford. He crossed party lines to serve in the Clinton administration, first as counselor to the president on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then as special international advisor to the president and the secretary of state. Gergen is currently a professor of public service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report. Gergen described his experiences in his book, “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton,” published in 2000. The event is free and open to the public.

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


NOOYI, BARTIROMO TO SPEAK AT MBA MARKETING SUMMIT Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the third-largest food consumer products company in the world, will join in a dialogue with CNBC news anchor Maria Bartiromo at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in Wake Forest’s Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. Fortune magazine named Nooyi the “Most Powerful Woman in American Business" in 2006, 2007 and 2008. She served as president and chief financial officer of the company prior to succeeding Steve Reinemund, who became dean of business for Wake Forest’s business schools after retiring from the top spot at PepsiCo. Nooyi’s visit is part of the Babcock Graduate School of Management’s 19th MBA Marketing Summit, which brings teams of students from the world’s top business schools to compete in an intense 36-hour case competition to solve a strategic marketing challenge faced by the summit’s corporate sponsor. As this year’s sponsor, PepsiCo is offering a record $50,000 cash prize to the winning team.

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


GRADUATING STUDENTS GET ADVICE FROM ALUMNI IN TOUGH JOB MARKET Wake Forest students graduating this spring into one of the toughest job markets in decades will have an opportunity to get seasoned advice from alumni during a Career Networking Forum from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6. “In light of the economic environment, the Alumni office, in conjunction with the career offices on campus, decided this year to combine what had been regional, undergraduate-focused networking events into a single on-campus gathering that will offer our graduating students in all schools access to a broader range of alumni advice, both in terms of the industries represented and the geographic locations represented,” said Kristin Burch, assistant vice president for university advancement and director of alumni activities. While the challenges for graduates are obvious, the right strategy can still yield results, as Wake Forest graduate Glenn Simpson, president of Asia supply and trading for ConocoPhilips, offered in a preview of what he will tell students. “The key for upcoming grads is flexibility, whether that be measured by entry level position or geography,” Simpson said. “Aggressively identify a job to gain experience and build a track record of accomplishment. Navigating through a job search and operating in challenging times can quickly hone skills that could otherwise take years to develop. For those prepared, like Wake Forest grads, this will create long-term career options in which they can make a difference.”

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


WFU LAW SCHOOL HOSTS REGENERATIVE MEDICINE SYMPOSIUM Dr. Anthony Atala, head of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, is the keynote speaker for the Wake Forest University School of Law Intellectual Property Law Journal’s symposium on regenerative medicine. The Feb. 6 symposium, “Regenerative Medicine – The Crossroads: Examining the Research from Every Angle,” ( be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312.  It is free and open to the public.  Dr. Atala will speak from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. The symposium will also feature experts covering a variety of areas relating to regenerative medicine, including the ethical debate, patentability issues and their implications and the commercialization of the research.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker, or (336)758-5719.


HOW DOES CONTEMPORARY ART FIT IN A TOUGH ECONOMY? Wake Forest graduate and gallerist Mary Leigh Cherry is grappling with the economic downturn and its affect on emerging artists and the business of art. She is also witnessing the phenomenon that artists become more creative in tough times. At noon Feb. 11 in the Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 9 in the art department, Cherry will present a free, public lecture in which she will address these issues and discuss her exhibition “LA Woman: A Gallerist’s Eye,” which is on exhibit in the Charlotte & Philip Hanes Art Gallery through March 6. “Most people don’t know what a gallerist does. It’s a bigger job than just hanging some work and opening the door,” said Cherry. “We’re agents, managers, dealers and more. And, now in the new economic environment, I’m learning how to keep doing that part of my job while promoting my artists.” Cherry will also speak to Wake Forest students in the Management in Visual Arts course (not open to the public) at noon on Feb. 12. There she will discuss how she became a gallerist and how the students can prepare for the business of art in a tough economy. Media are welcome to attend either lecture.

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


STUDENTS DISCUSS THEIR IMPACT ON THE POLITICAL PROCESS – Student leaders from the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties, as well as independents, will discuss the impact of young voters in the recent election at 5 p.m. Feb. 17 in Benson University Center, Room 401. The panel discussion, “Looking to the Future: Will Young People Stay Involved in Politics?”will also look at the young activists’ likelihood of continued engagement with the incoming administration. The panel discussion is the final event in the month-long speaker series, “Challenges Facing the New President,” organized by the political science department. The event is free and open to the public. Student panelists are available for interviews.

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

LEGAL SCHOLAR AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS GITMO CLOSING President-elect Barack Obama has expressed his desire to close the remote U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but his transition team is having trouble finding countries to take the prisoners once they are released. Wake Forest Law Professor Bobby Chesney suggests that the new Obama administration should capitalize on its reservoir of international good will. “There’s some talk that, with a new administration on the way, other states, perhaps some European states, may be willing to take in some detainees,” Chesney recently told National Public Radio’s Jackie Northam. “But a lot of the smoke signals in that area suggest that the United States has to be willing to do some of the same.” Chesney is available to comment on national security, Guantanamo Bay and other legal issues.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker, or (336)758-5719.

WAR POET BRIAN TURNER TO READ AT REYNOLDA HOUSE – Iraq war veteran Brian Turner, a poet who spent seven years in the U.S. Army, will read from his award-winning debut collection “Here, Bullet” at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at Reynolda House Museum of American Art.  The event, presented by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading series at Wake Forest University, is free and open to the public.  A book-signing and reception will follow the reading.  “Here, Bullet” has won numerous accolades, including the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award and the 2007 Poets Prize, as well as being selected a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.”  Turner earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon and lived in South Korea for a year before serving in the Army.  He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq, beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.  Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division.  His poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review and other journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name.  He received a 2006 Lannan Literature Fellowship and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry.

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


EXPERT SAYS ‘SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE’ BORROWS FROM BOLLYWOOD Ananda Mitra, professor and chair of communication at Wake Forest, can comment on the Academy Award-nominated film “Slumdog Millionaire” and how it has visualized India.  Mitrais, the author of the book “India Through the Western Lens,” which explores how Indians have been represented in more than 60 films during the past several decades. In the book, he also examines how Indian immigrants are viewed in the West today and looks at the role films play in shaping public attitudes. “In keeping with the tradition of telling tales about India, from the days of ‘Gunga Din’ to the ‘City of Joy,’ Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandon have again successfully mythologized the brown-skinned child as the source of inspiration for people sitting in plush multiplexes of America and lamenting the condition of the downtrodden on the other side of the world,” said Mitra. “The directors have updated the surface content of the movie to include the changes that have happened in India since the making of the very similar ‘City of Joy,’ but it falls into the same genre of movies that have exemplified Hollywood’s look at India.” Originally from India, Mitra has written extensively about Indian culture and is the author of several articleson Bollywood. “The booming Bollywood film industry has directly influenced the aesthetics of ‘Slumdog’. The famous Bollywood movies of the 1970s almost always included the ‘running children trying to get away from evil by jumping on a train, getting separated, and then living their life trying to find the lost one’ theme. Films like ‘Yadon Ki Barat’ (1973) directed by Nassir Hussain) exemplified this theme that ‘Slumdog’ packages for the 2009 audience.”

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

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