Stories this week at WFU

PREVENTING PHYSICAL DISABILITY IN OLDER ADULTS – The health issues that come with increased life expectancy of Americans create serious problems because of the cost of treatment, says Jack Rejeski, Wake Forest Professor of Health and Exercise Science. Rejeski edited a collection of research on disability in older adults for the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “It is important to emphasize to health professionals and to the public that simply living a sedentary life into older age can lead to disability,” Rejeski writes in the journal’s introduction. “The old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ is key to maintaining physical independence as a person grows older.” Rejeski, who has researched in this field for 25 years, is available for interviews on the importance of maintaining physical independence in our aging population. To arrange an interview, contact Sarah S. Mansell at or 336-758-5237.

NEW WFU CHAPLAIN TO SPEAK AT FALL CONVOCATION – The Rev. Timothy L. Auman, who was appointed chaplain at Wake Forest in July, will be the featured speaker at the university’s Fall Convocation at 11 a.m. Oct. 9 in Wait Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. Auman’s address is titled “The Conversion of Language,” and it is intended to complement the university’s ongoing celebration of the 2003-2004 theme “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community.” In addition to Auman’s keynote address, the Wake Forest Gospel Choir will perform at the Fall Convocation, and Maeve Goff, president of Student Government at Wake Forest, will speak briefly about the theme and efforts to foster dialogue at the university. To arrange coverage of the event, contact Jacob McConnico at or 336-758-5237.

“FUNNY HAS NO COLOR; FUNNY IS JUST FUNNY” – So says comedienne Cocoa Brown, who will be performing at Wake Forest along with Jeremiah (JJ) Williamson, at the ColorBlind Comedy Tour Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at Wait Chapel. Both popular stars who have performed on television and with comedy giants, Brown and JJ are part of a vast network of comedians that ColorBlind Comedy Tours creator, Michael (Red Bone) Alcott, operates. Red Bone, a white comedian who performs black comedy, established the tour to provide opportunities for black comedians like those that afforded him acceptance across cultural lines. The Wake Forest Student Union and the Unified Rhythms Hip-Hop Dance Squad are sponsoring the event. Tickets are available at the Benson University Ticket Office for $10, general admission, and $5 for students; call 336-758-4265 to order. To arrange coverage of the event or an interview with the comedians or organizers, contact Pam Barrett at or 336-758-5237.

AUTUMN LEAVES COLOR FORECAST – If this year’s plentiful rain combines with frosty nights in the next few weeks, the North Carolina autumn color display may be tremendous, says William K. Smith, Babcock Professor of Botany. But, he cautions that no studies have proven that these factors definitely create more spectacular fall leaves. In a good growth year like this, trees are healthier and produce more leaves, he says. That will potentially make this year’s display better than last year’s. He can explain how cold nights and clear days of fall can also affect the leaf pigments that create the beautiful purples, oranges, yellows and reds this time of year. Smith studies leaf structure and has done extensive research on how plants respond to harsh environments. To arrange an interview, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST SONIA SANCHEZ TO SPEAK—Sonia Sanchez, award-winning writer, poet, activist, and humanitarian, will be the keynote speaker at Wake Forest’s first “Sisters Inspirational Summit: More than a Woman of Color: A Woman’s Worth in 2003.” The 8 p.m. speech Oct. 4 in Brendle Recital Hall is free and open to the public. Sanchez will sign copies of her latest book, “Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems,” following the talk. The speech concludes a daylong series of workshops and lectures for more than 200 students from colleges and universities across the state. The event was organized by Wake Forest seniors Hattie Mukombe and Monica Somerville. To arrange coverage of Sanchez’s talk or the day’s activities, contact Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.

EMILIE TOWNES TO DELIVER STEELMAN LECTURE AT WFU – Emilie Townes will present “Legends are Memories Greater than Memories” for the 2003 Margaret A. Steelman Lecture Series at Wake Forest University Divinity School Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. in Wingate Hall’s Lower Auditorium. A native of Durham, Townes is a theologian with an in-depth understanding of the history of health care in African-American communities. An ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A., one of the oldest Baptist denominations in the United States, her teaching and research interests focus on Christian ethics, womanist ethics, critical social theory, cultural theory and studies as well as postmodernism and social postmodernism. The lecture is free and open to the public. No registration is required, but seating is limited. The Steelman Lecture Series was founded by Stanford L. Steelman in honor of his wife, Margaret. The series brings prominent lecturers to the Divinity School on subjects relating to Jewish and Christian theology. To arrange coverage of the event, contact Jacob McConnico at or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Research, Speakers