Stories this week at WFU

STUDENTS VOLUNTEER ON NAVAJO RESERVATION — Ten Wake Forest students will spend two weeks volunteering on a Ganado, Ariz., Navajo reservation beginning May 14. Junior Catherine Alley began organizing the trip in early March. By the end of the month, she had recruited nine other students and a faculty advisor – Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Dana Greene. While in Ganado, the group will work with the elderly living in both independent living situations and in an assisted living home. Some of the projects the students will undertake include lawn care, minor home repairs, painting and roof work. They will also work in the Hubble National Park Trading Post while not on the reservation. To arrange an interview with Alley or Greene, or to arrange coverage of the May 14 departure or May 28 return of the group, contact the News Service.

SENIOR ENTREPRENEUR WILL TAKE BRIGHT BUSINESS TO SUNNY CA — He’s launched two Web sites, won a highly competitive entrepreneurship award and starred in a college-circuit TV show – but Wake Forest senior Ricky Van Veen isn’t stopping there. He plans to move to San Diego after his May 19 graduation and work on the company he co-founded with a longtime friend, Connected Ventures. An information systems major in the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, Van Veen co-created the profitable Web site in 2000. The site now receives an estimated 1.6 million visitors a month. To arrange an interview with Van Veen, contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or

FOR WHOM THE BELLS RING — The sound of Wait Chapel’s bells echoing across the Quad is as much a part of Wake Forest as the chapel itself. No one knows that more than senior Matt Webb, University Carillonneur for the past two years. Webb has played the chapel bells since his sophomore year, earning the title of University Carillonneur for his junior and senior years. Webb is also director of the Wake Forest men’s a cappella group, Chi Rho. The music and philosophy double major will go on to the North Carolina School of the Arts after graduation to earn a master’s degree in music. He spent part of this year in the chapel’s carillon training the new University Carillonneur. To arrange an interview with Webb, contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or

STUDENT OVERCOMES ACCIDENT TO GRADUATE WITH HONORS — Two days before Christy Wade’s high school graduation, she was in a car accident on a rain-slicked road that left her in a coma for 16 days. When she woke up, the Wise, Va. native had to learn to walk again, how to write again – how to do most things all over again. The teenage girl with high aspirations suddenly found herself wondering if she would ever be able to go to college at all. But on May 19, Wade will walk across the stage at Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in political science, having earned a spot on the dean’s list the entire way. “I’m a much better person than I was before my accident,” says Wade. “Knowing that your life can be taken away at any time has made me a better person.” Wade will apply for the U.S. Foreign Service after graduation and if that doesn’t work out, she plans to go to law school. To arrange an interview with Wade, contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or

CAMPUS TECH WORK HELPS SENIOR LAND IBM JOB — Lumberton native Derrick Thompson won’t be searching for a job on May 20. Thompson will move to New York, where he will be on the Global Small and Medium Business Teleweb Strategy Team at IBM. He credits his many Wake Forest experiences for connecting him to IBM. In 2000, Thompson helped start Knowledge2Work, a student-run information technology solutions organization that offers services like Web page design, corporate intranets and IT consulting to local businesses. It was through this position that Thompson was connected with IBM and interned with the company for the past two summers. “The Wake Forest community has taught me how to overcome obstacles, be open to change and utilize these new experiences to my advantage for future situations,” Thompson says. “Because of my involvement on campus I really feel that I have grown as a student, but more importantly as a person.” To arrange an interview with Thompson, contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or

MEDIA INVITED TO SURGEON GENERAL’S MED SCHOOL ADDRESS —U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona will deliver the address for the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s centennial hooding ceremony at 4:15 p.m. May 18. The medical school has celebrated its centennial throughout the 2002-2003 academic year. To arrange coverage, contact the News Service.

MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS FOR COMMENCEMENT — Parking passes and media credentials necessary for coverage of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s May 19 address will be mailed to members of the media this week. Media will have reserved parking and seating near the stage for the 9 a.m. outdoor ceremony. Contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or with requests for passes.

BLOOMBERG SOUNDBITES AVAILABLE ONLINE — The News Service will make available on its Web site downloadable audio files from Mayor Bloomberg’s commencement address immediately following the ceremony. More information will be distributed at a later date. Contact Sarah Mansell at 336-758-4393 or with questions.

Categories: Commencement, Events, Media Advisory, Research, Student, University Announcement