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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

March 25, 2009

WFU, HIGH SCHOOL TO CREATE BIOTECH ANIMATION SERIES – Beginning in the fall, seniors at Atkins Academic and Technology High School in Winston-Salem will learn about biotechnology and produce animated educational videos about the science through a joint project with local educators, scientists and animators from Wake Forest University’s department of physics, the Center for Biomolecular Imaging of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, the Center for Design Innovation, and faculty and students from 3-D animation programs at Winston-Salem State University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Forsyth Tech.  The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is funding the project.  Jed Macosko, assistant professor of physics at Wake Forest, is leading the project with help from student-run BioBotz, a company formed to make cartoons, video games, books and toys to teach biotechnology to youngsters.  Animations produced at Atkins High School will be made available to high school students across North Carolina to teach them how biotechnology harnesses cellular machinery to cure diseases, detect biohazards and manufacture new materials.  “Other students who view these animations will be able to learn about biotechnology through a medium they are accustomed to watching for entertainment, Macosko said.  “We hope this leads many of them to consider training for careers in biotechnology, a field with a need for more trained workers.”  Macosko is available to discuss the project in more detail.

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


FESTIVAL TO OFFER INSIDE LOOK AT FILMMAKING – For the second annual Reynolda Film Festival April 1-5, Wake Forest student organizers have lined up an event filled with entertainment, education and competition for aspiring filmmakers and film lovers alike.  Attendees will have the opportunity to see three feature films, hear from animation experts, chat live with independent film director John Sayles and Oscar-nominated co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath, and see winning films from the student competition.  Highlights of the festival include:

Feature Film Screenings & Q&As

All feature film screenings and Q&As are free and open to the public.  Reservations are required for some events.

April 3

  • Film Screening of “Honeydripper,” 7 p.m., Carwell Hall’s Annenberg Forum. 
  • Live Video Conference Q&A with John Sayles, 9:30 p.m., Annenberg Forum.

April 4

  • Film Screening of “The Betrayal,” 6 p.m., Pugh Auditorium, Benson University Center.
  • Live Q&A with Thavisouk Phrasavath, 7:30 p.m., Pugh Auditorium.
  • Film Screening of “Wendy and Lucy,” 9 p.m., Annenberg Forum.

Feature Events

Feature events are free and open to the public.  Seating is first-come, first-served.

  • “Creating Reality: A Visual Effects and Animation Panel,” 7 p.m. April 1, Annenberg Forum.  Guest panelists include:
  • Russell Darling, computer graphics supervisor at Tippett Studios;
  • Anjelica Casillas, digital production manager at Rhythm & Hues Studios;
  • Adam Burke, animator for Pixar Animation Studies;
  • Bill Frake, storyboard artist for Blue Sky Studios; and
  • John Cernak, owner and director of Out of Our Minds Animation Studios. 
  • “The Pixar Experience, featuring Adam Burke,” 7 p.m. April 2, Annenberg Forum.

Complete festival information and a schedule for student film screenings are available at

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

WFU PARTICIPATES IN BLACK MALE SUMMIT – Shaun Harper, assistant professor of higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, will present a keynote address titled “Critical Issues for Black Males in Higher Education” at the Black Male Summit at 6 p.m. April 1 in Benson University Center, Room 401.  The four-day summit is sponsored by Wake Forest University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Winston-Salem Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative, Forsyth Technical Community College and Winston-Salem State University.  Events at the three schools will focus on empowering young black men for academic, personal and professional success.  Wake Forest’s Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs Jonathan Cox will be one of four featured panelists in the discussion “Continuing the Conversation:  Closing the Achievement Gap for Black Males” at 1 p.m. April 3 at Winston Salem State’s Hall-Patterson Building, Room 228.  For more information, call event organizer Chris Martin at (336) 734-7296. 

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


WFU’S ‘KING LEAR’ TO FEATURE GUEST ACTORS KRASNICK, HUIE – The Wake Forest University Theatre will conclude its “Season of Scandal” with William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” featuring guest actors Dennis Krasnick and Michael Huie, beginning April 3.  Krausnick, a renowned actor with Shakespeare & Company, will play the part of Lear, and Huie, a local writer, playwright, actor and Wake Forest graduate, will perform as Gloucester.  Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. April 3-4 and April 8-11, and at 2 p.m. April 5.  All performances will be held in the MainStage Theatre in Scales Fine Arts Center.  Tickets are $5-$12 and are available through the Wake Forest Theatre Box Office by calling (336) 758-5295 or emailing

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


WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE ECONOMY? – Wake Forest’s BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism presents “What Went Wrong? Causes of the 2008 Financial Meltdown” at 7 p.m. April 2 in Pugh Auditorium at the Benson University Center. The presentation is free and open to the public and a question-and-answer session will follow.  David Coates, professor of political science and member of the capitalism center’s planning group, will explain why the meltdown occurred, why its global impact was so immediate and so massive, and what needs to be done both to repair it and to prevent its reoccurrence. Coates says, “It will involve explaining, among other things, the housing finance system in the U.S., in other industrial countries and the links between the two.” Coates will explore the opposing views that too much versus too little regulation of the markets led to the crisis, and the role politics has played in the meltdown. The BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at Wake Forest was established in 2008 to engage faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the public, in a serious and sustained examination of the philosophical foundations of capitalism through undergraduate courses, faculty and student seminars, research support and a series of public speakers.

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


WOMEN IN THE MILITARY FACE ADDITIONAL DANGERS – The Women and Militarism speaker series explores the dangers of military service that are specific to women. Stan Goff, a retired U.S. Army master sergeant, will discuss the connections between militarism, patriarchy and pornography in American culture at 7 p.m. April 2 in Tribble Hall’s DeTamble Auditorium. Goff, the author of the book “Sex and War,” makes the claim that covert militaristic ethics, not the stated ethics of honor and freedom, influence American military personnel as much as stated policy. The series is sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and concludes April 22 with a discussion led by retired U.S. Army colonel Ann Wright on research into the rapes of U.S. military women by U.S. military men in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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


DANCE MARATHON SUPPORTS CANCER RESEARCH – Wake Forest students will stay on their feet from noon to midnight April 4 to raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Students can dance, play basketball and other games, but must stay on their feet for the entire 12-hour event held in Reynolds Gym. This is the fourth annual Wake ’n Shake, which benefits the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund. The marathon event was started by students in the spring of 2006, with 300 dancers raising more than $48,000, and has grown into a Wake Forest tradition. The Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund was founded in 1980 in honor of Wake Forest alumnus and Chicago Bears football star Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer. After 28 years of annual fundraisers, more than $863,000 has been raised to support cancer research at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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

THE MUSIC GENOME PROJECT AND THE FUTURE OF STREAMING MUSIC – Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer for Pandora Media, will visit Wake Forest on April 6 to talk about digital music issues. In 2000, the Music Genome Project began analyzing individual songs in popular music of every genre, ultimately identifying 400 distinct musical attributes. Through these attributes, Westergren’s company developed, a free service that allows music lovers to create their own personalized Internet radio stations based on similar attributes of a favorite musical group. During his visit to Wake Forest, Westergren will hold several scheduled talks about the Music Genome Project, digital music issues and copyright, the future of streaming music and entrepreneurial opportunities in the music industry.

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

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