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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
April 14, 2005

DESK PAINTING EVENT RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 14 AT WFU — Wake Forest University students will paint desks from 4 to 7 p.m. April 14 on the Magnolia Courtyard to give to at-risk students at Old Town Elementary School. The event was originally scheduled for April 13. Each of the approximately 40 elementary school students will get a colorful, custom-decorated desk. The project, D.E.S.K or Discovering Education through Student Knowledge, was started last spring by two Wake Forest students who, while tutoring at local schools, discovered that many students did not have a good place to do homework. In addition to desks, the Wake Forest students will provide chairs, school supplies and tutoring help to the Old Town students. In its second year, D.E.S.K. is co-chaired by Wake Forest juniors Parissa Jahromi and Innes Gamble. Each elementary school student will be matched up with a team, and the team will decorate the desk based on the child's interests. The teams represent more than 30 student organizations ranging from fraternities and sororities to the field hockey team and the marching band. The outdoor event will include live music, games, a moonwalk, raffle prizes and food. The Old Town students getting the desks will attend the event.

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

'SUDAN AND THE WAR IN DARFUR' — Yomi Durotoye, senior lecturer in Wake Forest's political science department and in the Center for International Studies, will discuss the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan at 7 p.m. April 14 in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room M306. His lecture, "Sudan and the War in Darfur," will focus on the humanitarian crisis created by the conflict and the roles of the international community as well as the U.S. in resolving the conflict. The talk is free and open to the public. This is the fifth lecture in Winston Salem's Great Decisions 2005, a six-week citizens forum on current foreign policy issues. The series is sponsored by Wake Forest's Center for International Studies.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENT CONNECTS VOLUNTEERS WITH HISPANIC COMMUNITY — To connect Wake Forest students who speak Spanish with organizations in Winston-Salem that need them, Wake Forest senior Jessie Lee Smith started Aprender y Enseñar. In English, it means "to learn and to teach." The student-led service organization places Wake Forest students with local agencies that work with the Hispanic community. Using a Web site (, the students are matched with agencies based on their interests, Spanish-speaking ability and schedule. In addition to providing much-needed volunteers, the program also helps Wake Forest students practice Spanish and better understand Hispanic culture and issues. "Our agency strives to serve as the 'one-stop' volunteer agency where students of all majors, Spanish levels, and backgrounds can come and find a community organization that needs their help," Smith said. The network now includes 15-20 partner volunteer organizations in Winston-Salem that are working with Aprender y Enseñar. Among them are the AIDs Care Service, the Second Harvest Food Bank and Forest Park Elementary.

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

CONCERT SERIES CONCLUDES WITH TUSCAN SUN FESTIVAL TOUR — Wake Forest University will conclude its Secrest Artists Series with a concert by the Tuscan Sun Festival Tour at 7:30 p.m. April 16. The concert will feature the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Sitkovetsky, music director for the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Russian cellist Nina Kotova and a special appearance by Frances Mayes, best-selling author of "Under the Tuscan Sun." The program will feature Kotova's "The Tuscan Sun" with narration by Mayes as well as a video presentation and the photography of Stephen Rothfield. Mayes will hold a book signing following the concert. Concert tickets are still available and cost $22 general admission; $16 for senior citizens and non-Wake Forest students; and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased through the Theatre Box Office by calling 336-758-5295.

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

EARLY LOOK AT FILM ABOUT WFU GRADUATE LIVING IN IRON LUNG — Two Wake Forest professors will hold a preview screening of a documentary film about a Wake Forest graduate who has spent most of her life in an iron lung. The film, titled "Martha in Lattimore," will be shown at 7 p.m. April 19 in Benson University Center's Pugh Auditorium. Mary Dalton, assistant professor of communication, and Michelle Gillespie, Kahle Associate Professor of History, worked together on the film. It tells the story of Wake Forest graduate, Martha Mason, who has lived with the assistance of an iron lung for 57 years — longer than anyone else in the world. "We have tried to show, at least to some degree, what a remarkable person Martha is by telling her story in the context of her daily life," Dalton said. Following the screening, Dalton and Gillespie will answer questions and invite observations and suggestions from the audience. Dalton and Gillespie hope to use the audience input to further develop the film into its final version, which they will submit to various film festivals. The event is free and open to the public.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, or 336-758-5237.

DIGGS ELEMENTARY TOWER NEARING COMPLETION — Diggs Elementary School will soon have a colorful new landmark created by its students and teachers and Wake Forest faculty and students. Wake Forest students started erecting the tower earlier this month and will continue their work through the month of April. The completed tower will be unveiled at a May 6 dedication ceremony. The 25-foot steel structure will be covered with 500 ceramic tiles created by students from Diggs, a magnet school for the visual and performing arts. The art painted on the colorful tiles reflects lessons that students have learned in the classroom about social studies, reading, dance, music, ecology and geometry. Wake Forest students have spent recent weeks arranging tiles in the order in which they will wrap around a whimsical steel structure, which was created in the university's sculpture studio. David Finn, associate professor of art at Wake Forest, initiated the project in 2004 and worked with Wake Forest students to design the tower to place near the entryway of the school. Finn received funding support from Wake Forest's Ethics and Leadership Fund. Finn and the Wake Forest students plan to work on site with assistance from Diggs students and teachers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through April 22. For those interested in covering the tower-building project in progress, a more detailed schedule is available.

Contact: Cheryl Walker, or 336-758-5237; or Kristen Eckart, or 336-721-1021.

CARDINAL ARINZE GAVE 1999 COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS AT WFU — Cardinal Francis Arinze, often mentioned in news reports as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II, delivered the May 17, 1999, commencement address at Wake Forest. Arinze spoke at Wake Forest when his nephew, Niki Arinze, was a Wake Forest student and member of the men's basketball team. Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. extended the invitation to speak at Wake Forest during a personal audience with Arinze in Rome.

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

WRONGFULLY CONVICTED GET HELP FROM WFU CLASS — The Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice, a local non-profit organization assisting those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, is getting help from a group of Wake Forest students. The students, enrolled in a first-year seminar called "Gender, Power and Violence," are processing letters from inmates to help Hunt's organization identify prisoners who are good candidates for assistance. The class is taught by Angela Hattery, associate professor of sociology, and Earl Smith, Rubin Professor of American Ethnic Studies and chair of the sociology department. "This gives the students a good education about the criminal justice system," Hattery said. "They get this real experience. They are the first to read these letters." Hunt was released from prison in 2004 after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

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

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