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Stories this week at Wake Forest University


May 27, 2009

CONFIRMATION ODDS ARE IN SOTOMAYOR’S FAVOR – President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter is historic, says Wake Forest political science professor Katy Harriger. If confirmed, Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be the third woman and the first Hispanic to serve on the high court. “Unless something no one knows about right now comes out in the process, the odds of confirmation are in Judge Sotomayor’s favor,” Harriger says, “given the political context—a sizable Democratic majority in the Senate, several Republican Senators that have supported her in past nominations to lower courts and a Republican party concerned about further alienating Hispanic voters.” Even so, Harriger notes that the federal judicial nomination process has become a highly politicized one during the last several decades, and there is every reason to expect that this nomination will face challenges from the opposing party and interest groups aligned with it. Harriger is an expert on the Supreme Court and is available to discuss its history, trends and the nomination process.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

BRIAN PICCOLO CANCER FUND TOPS $1 MILLION – Wake ‘N Shake, the Wake Forest University dance marathon, helped students this spring exceed the $1 million mark for total donations to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund. Established in 1980 by student leaders, the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive is the longest-running student philanthropy project at Wake Forest. Brian Piccolo was a Wake Forest football player and graduate, as well as a Chicago Bears star, who died of cancer at the age of 26. In its inaugural year, the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive raised $3,500 for cancer research, and each successive year has seen increases in both community involvement and monies raised. Students raised more than $80,000 during the 2008-09 academic year through fundraising events, including Hit the Bricks for Brian, the Chi Omega Auction, the Birdies for Brian golf tournament, Pump Up for Piccolo and the Wake ‘N Shake dance marathon. These dollars, combined with the funds raised in previous years, raised the total donations to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund above the $1 million mark. After tallying up the year’s donations to the fund, organizers determined that Wake ‘N Shake was the event that crossed the $1 million threshold. All the money raised by the students goes directly to the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The following individuals are available for interviews: Haley David and Caleigh Jooste, student co-chairs of Wake ‘N Shake; Johnny Dawkins, founder of the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive; Dr. Frank Torti, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Mike Ford, director of student development.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

SUMMER CLASS TWITTERS ACROSS THE DEEP SOUTH – Using civil rights history as a roadmap, Wake Forest students will explore social inequalities in the Deep South this summer as part of a sociology class.  Web 2.0 technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter, will make it easy for people to follow them on their journey by bus to places like Birmingham, Ala., and the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.  Seven Wake Forest students and 13 Colgate University students are taking part in the field experience, which is the fourth trip led by Wake Forest sociology professors Earl Smith and Angela Hattery.  The class, Social Stratification in the American South, was designed to help students better understand social, economic and political issues in the South.  The professors plan to use important places from the past as a springboard for an examination of current imbalances between rich and poor, black and white.  The journey will allow the students to reflect upon not only the milestones of the civil rights movement but also contemporary social class structure in areas such as housing, employment opportunities, education and criminal justice.  Students departed May 24 and will return to Winston-Salem June 9.

Contact:  Cheryl Walker, walkercv@wfu.edu, (336) 758-5237.

 

 

SHAMANISM FOR CITY DWELLERS – “Sacred Space, Urban Grace,” a weekend program on eco-spiritual revitalization hosted by the Wake Forest Religion and Public Engagement Initiative and the Program for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, will be held June 19 – 21 on the Reynolda Campus with excursions into downtown Winston-Salem. Peruvian healer Oscar Miro-Quesada will offer guidance on compassionate social action in an urban setting. Miro-Quesada is an international teacher who uses ceremonial practices based on cross-cultural spiritual traditions to help restore the health and spiritual balance of urban habitats and ecosystems.

Contact: Audrey Fannin, fannin@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5237.

 

WFU LEGAL SCHOLAR AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS SUPREME COURT NOMINATION – Ron Wright, executive associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at Wake Forest School of Law, is available to comment on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination for the Supreme Court.

Contact: Lisa Snedeker, snedekll@wfu.edu or (336) 758-5719.


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