Stories this week at WFU

BUSH OR KERRY: WHO HAS ADVANTAGE ON FOREIGN POLICY? — President Bush has the advantage in tonight’s presidential debate, says campaign rhetoric and political communication expert Allan Louden. “Kerry’s got to prove why we need to change horses midstream,” Louden said. “What he needs to do to get the upper hand is present a detailed alternative to Bush’s policies.” Louden, an associate professor of communication and director of Wake Forest’s debate team, was Elizabeth Dole’s debate coach in the 2002 North Carolina Senate race. He is currently working with a candidate running for governor of Montana. He has been called on for expert comment on candidates’ communication strategies and political advertising. Wake Forest hosted presidential debates in 2000 and 1988. Louden is available for phone interviews only.

Contact: Maggie Barrett at or 336-758-5237.


PAGELS TO SPEAK ON ANCIENT GOSPEL OF THOMAS — The Gospel of Thomas is an often controversial text that many scholars believe may be older than the four canonical gospels. Internationally-known scholar and author Elaine Pagels will discuss this text, contemporary spirituality, her own religious quest and her work with the Nag Hammadi scrolls in a lecture titled “Beyond Belief” at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in Wait Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Contact: Pam Barrett at or 336-758-5237.


WAKE FOREST FACULTY, STUDENTS ORGANIZE MOCK ELECTION — Wake Forest faculty members and students are organizing a mock presidential election for residents of Salemtowne, a continuing care retirement community affiliated with the Moravian Church in Winston-Salem. The mock election will be held from 1:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Oct. 1 at the SAAL Building in Salemtowne. The retirement community is located off of Bethabara Park Boulevard at 1000 Salemtowne Drive. For more information, contact John Dinan, Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest, at or 336-758-3495, or Kaye Brookshire, activities director for Salemtowne, at or 336-714-2154 or 336-767-8130.

Contact: Jacob McConnico at or 336-758-5237.


SISTER’S SUMMIT CELEBRATES “THE SPIRIT OF A WOMAN” WITH POET NIKKI GIOVANNI — On Oct. 2, Wake Forest University’s second annual Sister’s Inspirational Summit will celebrate “The Spirit of a Woman” with award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni and several local female speakers. The free event, which runs from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., includes workshops and seminars focusing on various aspects of women’s health and life issues, a banquet dinner, the keynote address with Giovanni and a book signing. Topics include: women’s empowerment, community service, healthy lifestyles and cultural autonomy. Organizers are expecting more than 200 participants, including groups of female students from UNC-Pembroke, Appalachian State University and Davidson College. The event is open to women only, with the exception of Giovanni’s speech at 8 p.m. Media are encouraged to attend. Interviews with student organizers and speakers can be arranged. Giovanni is available for interviews from 7:30-8:15 p.m.

Contact: Pam Barrett at or 336-758-5237 or on Saturday contact Lamaya Covington, assistant director of multicultural affairs, at 336-413-2812 or Jennifer Chu, a student organizer, at 919-360-9888.


SUKKOT: JEWISH CELEBRATION OF THE HARVEST — Wake Forest’s Jewish student organization will build a “sukkah” for the traditional Jewish harvest celebration called “Sukkot.” A sukkah is a small, temporary hut decorated with fruits, flowers and leafy branches. The students will build the structure beginning at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 in a grassy area beside Wait Chapel. A celebratory service will begin at 2 p.m. The original purpose of the Jewish Sukkot festival was to show appreciation for the harvest. Meals were eaten in the sukkah. Some say the shelters were built to commemorate the temporary shelters lived in by the Israelites when they fled from Egypt. Other scholars say that the huts provided temporary housing while people brought in the harvest in ancient days. A spiritual shelter, it makes people think about what is temporary and what is permanent. The holiday comes exactly two weeks after the first day of Rosh Hashanah and four days after Yom Kippur.

Contact: Cheryl Walker at or 336-758-5237.


HOW WILL BUSH AND KERRY USE ECONOMY TO WIN VOTERS? — “Unemployment numbers have been falling recently, so the Bush campaign is likely to tout that as a sign of economic success,” says Jac Heckelman, associate professor of economics at Wake Forest. “In response, the Kerry campaign will likely play up what has been going on during the past four years.” Heckelman, an expert in the connection between elections and the economy, is available for comment on how both parties will use the economy to win voters.

Contact: Maggie Barrett at or 336-758-5237.

Categories: Community, Events, Speakers, Student