Stories this week at WFU

DEMOCRATIC DEBATES CRUCIAL FOR EDWARDS’ POLITICAL FUTURE – As the 2004 presidential race gears up with the first of six Democratic debates at 10 p.m. Sept. 4 in Albuquerque, N.M., John Edwards finds himself in the middle of a large pack of Dems vying for the party’s nomination. In order to separate himself from the other eight hopefuls, Edwards needs to shine during the upcoming series of debates, says Adam Newmark, a visiting assistant professor in the political science department at Wake Forest. “I don’t know if the first debate is as critical, but he has to do something to separate himself before the caucuses,” Newmark says. “I hate to say it, but he needs a one-liner. A sound bite could really help him get that much needed exposure in the media.” To talk with Newmark about Edwards’ debate performance and the challenges ahead, contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

WHY BLOG, AND WHY READ OTHERS’ BLOGS? – Passé are the days of a hard-back diary with a lock. Online journals, commonly called blogs, are the newest way to log your life – and if you are not keeping one, you probably read one. Associate Professor of Communication Ananda Mitra says blogging gives a voice to those in society who were previously silent. “People see, read and follow blogs because often the person blogging expresses the voice of others, as well,” Mitra says. The Internet has become a means by which to build a community of people with shared interests who otherwise may never have met, he says. Mitra is the author of numerous journal articles about communication and technology, including “Theorizing Cyberspace: The Idea of Voice Applied to the Internet Discourse” in the journal New Media and Society. He is available for comment on the Internet, blogs and cultural differences in use of communication technology. To arrange an interview, contact Sarah Mansell at manselss@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

EFFECT OF 9/11 ON COLLEGE CLASSES – Cynthia Villagomez, assistant professor of history, teaches “The Middle East Before 1500” and has seen class sizes double since 2001. “I believe that my classes have swelled because our students have felt the need to develop an informed understanding of the Middle East and its dominant religion.” Ed Hendricks, professor of history, has taught the first-year seminar, “Fallout Shelters and the Cold War” for several years, but has changed the course content to include the Homeland Security Web site and discussions of connections between current events and Cold War history. “The course seems far more relevant to students now then when I first taught it,” Hendricks said. In Professor of Mathematics James Kuzmanovich’s freshman seminar class, “Codes and Codebreaking,” students will assess the future of codes and code-breaking techniques in relation to the War on Terrorism and other U.S. wars. For more information on these classes or to arrange an interview, contact the News Service.

SUGGESTION PROGRAM RESULTS IN UNIVERSITY SAVINGS – In a time when budgets are tight, one of the best ways to make improvements or reduce costs is to ensure employees have the opportunity to give suggestions about improvements. Wake Forest recently implemented such a program. One suggestion, from Assistant Director of Facilities Management James Blackburn, could potentially save the university thousands of dollars – install water meters to monitor water used for irrigation systems. “The city bills the campus for all water that comes through two meters,” wrote Blackburn in his proposal. “These charges come in two forms: the water cost, and the sewer cost. Sewer cost is determined by how many cubic feet of water go through the meters (the city assumes that all water goes back to the city via sewer for treatment). If the city were to know how much water goes to water the grass, they would not charge us sewer cost for that water. It should save $40,000-plus a year.” Rewards are given based on the estimated amount of savings for the university. For more information on Wake Forest’s suggestion program or to arrange an interview with Blackburn, contact Sarah Mansell at manselss@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

WFU STUDENTS TURN UNWANTED ITEMS INTO CHARITABLE GIFTS – Items collected during Wake Forest’s annual Stop, Drop & Go, a program that collects discarded dorm room items from students in the spring and sells them to the public in the fall, will be on sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13. The sale will be held near the intersection of Polo Road and Long Drive, across from First Assembly of God. The Stop, Drop & Go program was started two years ago by four enterprising Wake Forest students, and last year the group raised more than $1,000 for Samaritan Inn. All money from the sale goes to charity and this year the proceeds will go to Crisis Control Ministries. Items available at the sale include clothes, room accessories and decorations, textbooks, school supplies and space-saving devices. To arrange interviews with the organizers of Stop, Drop & Go, contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

POLITICAL ANALYST, GAME THEORIST TO SPEAK AT WFU – Steven Brams, author of “The Win-Win Solution” and professor of politics at New York University, will give the lecture “Is There a Better Way to Elect a President?” at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 in Wake Forest’s Brendle Recital Hall. Brams has done extensive research in the areas of dispute resolution and alternative voting methods. He says elections can be viewed as games by many participants and suggests an alternative method of voting called approval voting. This method allows voters to vote for as many candidates as they find acceptable. The free, public lecture is the first in a series of events planned for the 2003-2004 academic year as part of the celebration of the theme “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community.” For more information or to arrange coverage of the lectures, contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

EVENT MARKETING FOCUS OF WFU CAREER SERVICES PROGRAM – The Wake Forest University Career Services office is providing a creative program from 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 9 for students interested in learning about careers in event marketing. “The Real World of Event Marketing” will feature a talk by Larry Borden, director of client services for SPEVCO, in room 410 of the Benson University Center. The students will listen to a brief 20-minute presentation from Borden and then head over to the Manchester Athletic Center to see the Krispy Kreme truck, which was created by SPEVCO. There will be free donuts, and Borden will give a presentation to the students. To arrange coverage of the event, contact Jacob McConnico at mcconnjn@nullwfu.edu or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Community, Events, Speakers, Student