Stories this week at WFU

GENOMICS PIONEER TO SPEAK AT WAKE FOREST — J. Craig Venter, a genomics pioneer and leader in the race to decode the human genome, will speak at Wake Forest’s Opening Convocation Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. Venter will meet briefly with media immediately following the ceremony in the Divinity School foyer in Wingate Hall. The university will present several awards during convocation: The Donald O. Schoonmaker Faculty Award for Community Service will be given to a faculty member for contributions to the community; former students nominate the recipient of the Jon Reinhardt Award for Excellence in Teaching; and the $20,000 Marcellus E. Waddill Excellence in Teaching Award will be given to one primary school and one secondary school teacher who are Wake Forest alumni. Media may park in Lots P or A, on either side of the chapel. Cameras may set up inside the chapel along the stairwells. For more information contact the News Service at 336-758-5237 or Mark Wright at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center at 716-4587.

CANADIAN TENOR BEN HEPPNER TO TEACH MASTER CLASS — Ben Heppner, recognized as one of the world’s finest dramatic tenors, will conduct a master class with Wake Forest voice students at 1 p.m. Oct. 6 in Brendle Recital Hall. The public and the media are invited to sit in the audience. Heppner will be in Winston-Salem for a concert presented in partnership with ArtsIgnite Festival 2002 and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in Wait Chapel. The concert is a part of the Secrest Artists Series. To arrange coverage, contact Contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

STUDENTS WORK WITH LOCAL CHILDREN’S AGENCIES — Wake Forest students are gearing up for the university’s 14th annual Project Pumpkin, a Halloween event for children referred by several local agencies. As preparation, student groups are visiting participating children’s agencies beginning Oct. 10. Called “agency plunges,” the visits allow students to interact more with the children before they arrive on campus for Project Pumpkin on Oct. 31. During this year’s agency plunges, volunteers will make a brown paper bag puppet with the children to be displayed on campus during Project Pumpkin. The puppet of Max from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” will feature a photograph of the child’s face digitally imposed on its face. Members of the media are invited, but the event is not open to the public. Contact Rachel Cook to cover Project Pumpkin or the agency plunges at 336-758-5237 or

ARE THOSE PILLS REALLY HELPING EASE YOUR KNEE PAIN? — They have become widely popular among people seeking relief from knee pain. But Wake Forest Professor of Health and Exercise Science Steve Messier says no one knows for sure if glucosamine/chondroitin supplements like Flex-A-Min and others really work. He hopes to find an answer with GATES, a new study that will analyze the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin paired with exercise in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. “From a public health perspective, we want to find ways to make life better for people with this condition,” says Messier. “This study will give us a clear idea of whether we’re going down the right path with this treatment combination.” Messier, an expert on biomechanics and osteoarthritis, is available for interviews about treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and his new research. Participants are still being accepted for the study. To arrange an interview, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

HANES GALLERY EXHIBITS HAVE N.C. TIES — Watercolors by one of North Carolina’s finest poets, and black-and-white images of one the state’s smallest towns give special meaning to the October exhibits at Wake Forest’s Hanes Gallery. “Pattern and Possibility,” a display of 54 watercolors painted by nationally acclaimed poet A.R. Ammons, and “Corapeake,” a multi-media exhibit of photographs, collages and music from the town, will open to the public Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. Ammons’ widow will be present at the watercolors opening, and several Corapeake residents featured in that exhibit will also be present. Photographer Kendall Messick, designer of the “Corapeake” exhibit, will be on campus Oct. 7-11 setting up and preparing for the show’s opening. Both artists are Wake Forest alumni. To read the full story on the gallery exhibits, visit the News Service Web site. To arrange an advance interview with Messick, or coverage of the exhibits’ opening, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

WFU GRADUATE KNOWS WHERE TO FIND THE BBQ — Wake Forest alumnus and Winston-Salem resident Jim Early spent six months traveling from Manteo to Murphy asking North Carolina residents of small towns, big cities and parts in between their recommendation of the best barbecue around. “The Best Tarheel Barbecue, Manteo to Murphy” is the product of his work. Early, a gourmet cook, will be signing copies of his new book on University Plaza from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 12, during Wake Forest’s homecoming weekend. To arrange coverage, contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-5237.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Community, Events, Speakers, Student