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Stories this week at WFU

By Jacob McConnico
336-758-5237
August 3, 2005

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY FRESHMEN MOVE IN — About 1,120 new students will move into their Wake Forest residence halls Thursday, Aug. 18. Students will begin arriving for move-in day around 8 a.m. Most residence halls for freshmen are located in the southern area of the Reynolda Campus. With activities ranging from computer distribution to New Student Convocation, freshman orientation will continue until classes start Aug. 24. Graduate and professional school students on the campus also begin classes in August.

Contact: Wake Forest News Service at 336-758-5237.

FALL SEMESTER STARTS AUG. 24 — Classes for Wake Forest's fall semester begin Aug. 24.

WS/FC MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS GET BIOTECHNOLOGY TRAINING — Sixteen teachers are spending the week at Wake Forest participating in the workshop "The Science Behind Biotechnology," which runs each day this week from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The workshop ends Friday, Aug. 5. The program, organized by Rebecca Alexander, assistant professor of chemistry at Wake Forest, gives the teachers a chance to learn about biotechnology; conduct laboratory investigations suitable for classroom adoption; explore computer and Internet resources related to biotechnology; take trips to working biotechnology laboratories; and meet researchers. "The main goals of this workshop are to give teachers more information about this growing area and to provide classroom resources to get their students excited," Alexander said. "Biotechnology is important to the region, and we are trying to make sure that students are exposed from an early age."

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

TERRORISM: WHAT'S THE MESSAGE? — Randall Rogan, associate professor of communication and chair of the communication department at Wake Forest University, is available to discuss communication and terrorism in regards to the bombings in London. An expert on the communication and analysis of hostage and crisis negotiation, Rogan has worked with the FBI and was a member of the team of analysts that helped identify the "Unabomber." During the spring semester of 2005, Rogan taught the popular course "Communication, Terrorism and Hostage Negotiation" at Wake Forest. The course explored the ways communication helps define terrorism, how communication via mass media helps facilitate the objectives of terrorism and how communication frames the responses to terrorism.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

TWO WFU EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR SUPREME COURT STORIES — John Dinan, the Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest, and Michael Curtis, professor of law, are both available for interviews about the Supreme Court and President Bush's nominee, John G. Roberts. Dinan, an expert on American government and political development, can discuss the approval process and issues related to the number of votes it will take to confirm Roberts. Curtis, an attorney and a constitutional law and history expert, can provide analysis of the likely impact Roberts will have on major issues coming before the Supreme Court.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

MODERATE WEIGHT LOSS TAKES MAJOR PRESSURE OFF THE KNEE — Weight loss could be four times as beneficial for overweight or obese adults suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, according to new research from Wake Forest published in the July issue of "Arthritis & Rheumatism." Stephen Messier, professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest, was the principal investigator for the study. He discovered that when study participants lost weight, every pound lost netted a 4-pound reduction in pressure exerted on knees. With every step taken, the amount of pressure not placed on the knees begins to add up. "For people losing 10 pounds, each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less in comprehensive load per mile walked," Messier writes in the study article. Osteoarthritis, a disease that destroys cartilage tissue that acts like shock absorbers in the joints, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Obesity is the most important, modifiable risk factor associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

YOUNG PEOPLE NEED CHALLENGE OF SCIENCE, MATH — The start of the school year brings big decisions about what classes to take, and a Wake Forest University chemistry professor says parents and children should not take the easy way out when it comes to science and math classes. "High school kids don't have to know their exact career path," says Angela King, a senior lecturer in the chemistry department at Wake Forest. "Enrolling in challenging science and math classes arms them with skills - critical thinking, data analysis - that serve them well no matter what path they choose. Courses with lab or internship components help students experience what career practitioners in that field do each day." King, the mother of children in preschool and early elementary school, says parents should look for activities outside of school that engage young people in science and math exploration. Teachers and school administrators can provide information about good programs in the local community. Web sites run by science groups like Discovery, National Geographic and the Smithsonian can offer ideas for fun experiments that can be done at home, she says.

Contact: Jacob McConnico, mcconnjn@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

CHILDREN NEED AN HOUR OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY EVERY DAY — School-age children (kindergarten through grade 12) should participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, says a panel of 13 health experts whose recommendations are featured in the June issue of "The Journal of Pediatrics." Patricia Nixon, Wake Forest University associate professor of health and exercise science was one of the panelists. Nixon says the panel arrived at the recommendation of 60 minutes because kids are rarely physically active for a continuous period of time. "They have brief bursts of activity throughout the day," Nixon says. "The panel felt that 60 minutes was appropriate to ensure that the total amount of activity was sufficient." Nixon and her colleagues say that the recommended 60 minutes can be achieved in a cumulative manner in daily physical education classes, as well as recess, intramural sports and before- and after-school programs.

Contact: Maggie Barrett, barretmb@wfu.edu or 336-758-5237.


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