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March 23, 2010

THE BLACK AND WHITE OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME—While high-profile white collar crimes like Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme grab headlines, thousands of smaller crimes are being committed each day in offices across America. In an effort to raise awareness of the consequences of white collar crime at all levels and the importance of ethical business behavior, Wake Forest’s Schools of Business is hosting a panel discussion on Friday, March 26,  entitled “Finding the Way Back: Impacts of White Collar Crime.” The panel will feature Neil Weinberg, executive editor of Forbes Magazine, who has reported extensively on business ethics and is the co-author of a book on the MCI WorldCom accounting scandal. Also appearing on the panel are two former executives who were convicted of white collar crimes and served time in prison for their offenses. “When people see our panelists who were convicted of white collar crimes and hear their stories, they will be able to identify with them,” said the panel moderator Kelly Pope, visiting professor of accountancy at Wake Forest.   “They’re not CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. They’re friends of your parents, they’re your co-workers, they’re your neighbors, they’re ordinary people who made mistakes.” The panel discussion is aimed at raising students’ awareness of business ethics. “We see a lot of ethical lapses in the market place, and discussing some of the issues that other people have faced in their corporate life can shape students’ future decisions when they are in the business world,” Pope said.

Contact Ellen Sterner-Sedeno at (336) 758-5237 or Sylvia Green (336) 758-3559 for more information or to arrange interviews with the panelists.


CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES TO HEALTH CARE REFORM UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED — Opponents of the health care reform bill are already mounting challenges to the new legislation based on what they claim is an unconstitutional mandate forcing Americans to have health insurance.  Attorneys general in 10 states have announced they will file suits against the federal government after President Barack Obama signs the bill.  Meanwhile two other states, Virginia and Idaho, have passed legislation designed to prevent the bill’s insurance requirement from taking effect in their states.  But Mark Hall, a professor of law and public health at Wake Forest University, doubts that the constitutional challenges will succeed.  “There is a strong presumption that what Congress does is constitutionally valid, and no existing court precedent suggests anything to the contrary for this legislation,” Hall said.  “Some people read the Constitution as granting the federal government much more limited powers than are recognized by the Supreme Court, but these restrictive views have not had the force of law for 80 years or more.”  Hall added that any legal challenges that do arise are likely to be resolved before the major provisions of the legislation take effect in 2014. “The challenges are not likely to delay implementation of the law substantially.”

To arrange an interview with Mark Hall, contact Lisa Snedeker at (336) 758-5719.


LION DANCE LESSONS — An integral part of Chinese culture, the lion dance dates back more than a thousand years. Few know that to perform this “dance” requires strength and martial arts grace, which is why training is usually offered by martial arts schools. Instructors from Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy in Mooresville, N.C., are teaching three workshops on Sunday,  March 28, in Brendle Recital Hall. Groups will learn how to make the lion come alive with postures and stances for holding the heavy lion’s head and keeping the tail following the head in every movement. Instructors will also give students hands-on instruction on the basics of drumming to accompany the lion dance.

GREENING YOUR RESUME — Green-collar jobs grew by more than 9 percent, twice the growth rate for traditional jobs from 1998-2007.   Even during a recession, a greener resume can be the answer to getting hired, says Wake Forest Director of Sustainability Dedee DeLongpre Johnston.  “Sustainability is a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” she says.    “College graduates entering the job market this year will have an edge if they have developed sustainability-related skill sets.  Eventually sustainability will be women seamlessly into the fabric of society.”    Getting a green job doesn’t mean looking for jobs with “sustainability” or “environment” in the title anymore.  From marketing to publishing to accounting to finance, viewing the world through the lens of sustainability and having practical experience in that area can give students an edge when applying for jobs.   As banks look at making loans for green buildings, law firms develop new kinds of contracts for carbon credits and companies target consumers who value greener products, students who understand what sustainability could look like in various industries or organizations and have experience solving real-world problems will fare well.  And, if students understand sustainability principles, any job can become a green job.

WILL DEMOCRATS PAY THE PRICE FOR HEALTHCARE VOTE? — How important will votes on the Healthcare bill be in November elections this year?  Joshua Putnam, visiting lecturer in political science, says Democrats are going to have to sacrifice some members to pass the healthcare bill.    Since it passed, Democrats who did not vote for the bill could be in the best position to hold onto their seats, says Putnam, an expert on elections.  Passing the bill sooner rather than later will allow Democrats to shift their focus almost exclusively to the economy and jobs.

TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS — Lights at Wake Forest will be turned off for an hour on Saturday, March 27, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., in celebration of Earth Hour 2010. Students will turn off a large light switch on Hearn Plaza to extinguish the spotlights on Wait Chapel for that hour.  Students are being encouraged to turn off all non-essential lighting in their dorm rooms and throughout campus during that hour.  While students are in the dark, there will be food, music, a band and games for them to enjoy on Hearn Plaza. The event is sponsored by the Student Environmental Action Coalition, as part of the worldwide Earth Hour movement to raise awareness about global climate change.  The city of Winston-Salem is also expected to participate by turning off all non-essential lighting in city buildings.

Press Contacts:

Kerry King
(336) 758-6084

Ellen Sterner Sedeno
(214) 546-8893

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