Stories this week at WFU

MORE MONEY EQUALS ADVERTISING OVERLOAD – The amount of money raised and spent on North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race outstrips funds generated in any of the other 34 U.S. Senate campaigns in the country this year. John Dinan, assistant professor of political science at Wake Forest who has followed the state’s U.S. Senate race, says residents can expect the additional money to be used for the proliferation of television and radio advertisements. “As a result of the fund-raising sums, as well as the relatively compressed two-month time period for the general election campaign, television and radio airwaves will be filled with advertisements in the days leading up to the Nov. 5 election.” To date, more than $17 million has been raised in the U.S. Senate race and almost $13 million has been spent, Dinan says. To arrange an interview with Dinan, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-6073.

RECESSION OR WAR: WHAT’S ON VOTERS’ MINDS? – Jac C. Heckelman, associate professor of economics at Wake Forest who has researched the connection between elections and the economy, says this year’s contest will be determined by whether voters are thinking more about the recession or the possibility of military action in Iraq. “What tends to happen in a recession is voter turnout tends to be lower, and the current party tends to be punished,” Heckelman says. Democrats should fare better in this year’s election, but the staggering economy is giving Republicans an incentive to push the war effort, Heckelman says. “When we are at war, that tends to be the most important thing.” To arrange an interview with Heckelman, contact Jacob McConnico at 336-758-5238.

WHAT THE NEW FDA DEFINITION OF ‘ORGANIC’ MEANS FOR CONSUMERS – The Federal Drug Administration’s new rules for labeling organic foods that go into effect Oct. 21 will help consumers better know what they’re buying, says Wake Forest nutrition expert Gary Miller. Companies who have claimed their fruits and vegetables are organic in the past will now have to meet certain standards before using the label. “The public’s perception of organic will now be defined,” says Miller, an associate professor of health and exercise science. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, retail sales of organic foods have grown at least 20 percent annually since 1990. Miller says even though organic foods are free from pesticides and herbicides, there can still be a trace of impurity because organically grown foods must produce their own toxin to ward off pests. “Overall, the main benefit is to the environment,” he says. “It doesn’t necessarily mean a better product.” To arrange an interview with Miller, contact Sarah Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

AUTHOR OF ‘GROWING UP WHITE’ TO SPEAK AT WFU — North Carolina historian Melton A. McLaurin will present a lecture, “Fighting Segregation: World War Two and America’s First Black Marines,” Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. in Tribble Hall’s DeTamble Auditorium. McLaurin is an expert on the American South, race relations and labor history. He is also the recipient of a Lillian Smith Award for Nonfiction presented by the Southern Regional Council for his autobiography, “Separate Pasts: Growing up White in the Segregated South.” McLaurin will be available for interviews prior to his speech. To arrange an interview, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

SPEAKER TO DISCUSS ISLAM’S ROLE IN THE WORLD – Graham Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, will present “Islam and the World Order” at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in room 1312 of the university’s Worrell Professional Center. Fuller, who is also a former senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, is the first speaker in a six-part lecture series organized by the university’s department of political science. Called “Remembering Sept. 11: Making the Move from Grief and Anger to Understanding and Action,” the series is designed to give the community some insight into the forces that triggered the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. To arrange coverage, contact Jacob McConnico at or 336-758-5237.

LATIN AMERICAN HISTORIAN TO SPEAK — An expert on Cuban history will present a lecture titled “The United States and the Democratization of Latin America” Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. in Room 145 of Greene Hall on campus. The speaker, Louis A. Pérez Jr., is the author of many books on Cuba’s history, nationality and identity. There will be a discussion and reception after the presentation. To arrange coverage, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

WFU GIVES LOCAL CHILDREN TRICKS AND TREATS — Project Pumpkin, an annual event sponsored by the Wake Forest Volunteer Service Corps, will bring about 1,500 children from more than 35 community agencies to campus for an afternoon of Halloween fun Oct. 31 from 3 – 6 p.m. Food Lion has donated $2,500 worth of candy and costumed student volunteers will escort children through decorated residence halls for safe trick-or-treating. Student organizations and faculty departments will sponsor carnival booths, face painting, haunted houses and other entertainment. Most events will take place on University Plaza (Quad) between Wait Chapel and Reynolda Hall. More than 1,500 Wake Forest students will help with Project Pumpkin, now in its 14th year. The media is invited, but the event is not open to the general public. To arrange coverage, contact Rachel Cook at or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Community, Events, Research, Speakers