WFU in the news: Feb. 13-19, 2023

Selected news clips courtesy of the Wake Forest News & Communications team

Stan Meiburg Portrait


Former EPA official weighs in on Ohio derailment response and concerns
By Alejandra Márquez Janse | NPR
“The EPA appears to have used every monitoring technology available to it – high-tech airplanes, mobile monitors, stationary monitors – to get data. It’s very understandable, though, how that’s not necessarily reassuring to the public. It reports information in terms of chemicals and concentrations, which is important for risk management, but it doesn’t necessarily address anxiety,” said Stan Meiburg, executive director of the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University. – 2/16/2023


Now that pandemic aid has vanished, bankruptcies are on the rise
By Khristopher J. Brooks | CBS News
There’s one silver lining to increased bankruptcies – they could bring rise to the next big, successful company, said Steve Nickles, law professor and expert in bankruptcy. “Businesses go out, there’s a hole in the market, so there’s an opportunity. That sounds crass, I know, but it’s the truth. Bankruptcies leave gaps for entrepreneurial.” – 2/17/2023

Why US fears over China’s military ambitions in Africa should focus on Atlantic, Indian Ocean ports
By Jevans Nyabiage | South China Morning Post
Murphy said the US government should focus on preventing China from building a military base on the west coast of Africa that could provide Beijing naval access to the Atlantic. China-Africa specialist at Wake Forest and a visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies at Harvard University Lina Benabdallah, said the view in Washington was “very much a zero-sum game.” “Where China gains a military advantage, it is viewed as threatening to the US.” – 2/13/2023

Against all odds, this Black NJ lawyer helped ignite the civil rights movement
By Charles Stile | North Jersey Media Group
Virtually overnight, the Garden State went from a backwater to a progressive exemplar of social justice. Since then, only two other states — Connecticut and Hawaii — have taken similar steps to include anti-segregation clauses in their constitutions, according to John Dinan, a professor of politics and expert on state constitutions. – 2/17/2023

University classes on pseudoscience, conspiracies
By VOA Learning English | Voice of America (VOA)
Communication professor Jarrod Atchison said the internet has affected the spread of false claims, and many colleges now offer classes centering on misinformation. Rather than relying on a few experts, conspiracy movements can now get thousands of people to join in the building of the beliefs. “It’s so much more participatory because anybody can get credibility in that community if they have a creative interpretation of what’s being put out into the world.” – 2/18/2023

GOP prepares to tackle Labor Department rule in anti-ESG crusade
By Nick Sobczyk | Axios
The GOP is looking to move a resolution that would toss out a Labor Department rule allowing retirement fund fiduciaries to consider climate and environmental factors in their investments. Why it matters: The goal here isn’t to discard the rule directly, since President Biden would likely veto it. “I don’t see how a resolution by this Congress speaks to, in any persuasive way, the intent of Congress when they passed this in the first place,” said administrative law expert Sidney Shapiro. – 2/13/2023

Chloe Cherry was accused of shoplifting. What are the ethics of stealing just a little bit?
By David Oliver | USA Today
Experts say that context matters and that situations are not always so black-and-white, even if the law paints them that way. This isn’t to say go ahead and break the law, of course, but to intellectually consider in certain situations whether the law best adheres to societal morality. It’s “not obviously” morally wrong either, said philosophy professor Christian Miller. “It is breaking a rule against stealing, but it is also following a rule in favor of saving innocent lives,” he said. – 2/13/2023

Unraveling Amazon tree community assembly using Maximum Information Entropy
In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. José Luis Marcelo Pena, biology professor and member of Wake Forest’s Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, co-authored this article. – 2/17/2023

7 Best Cities to Retire in North Carolina
Lifelong learning is possible in Winston-Salem, with numerous colleges and universities, such as Wake Forest University, and libraries providing opportunities for intellectual growth. Retirees can enjoy a low cost of living, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and cultural engagement in Winston-Salem, making it a highly desirable city to retire in. – 2/13/2023


Chemistry professor Elham Ghadiri awarded $650,000 NSF grant for work with lasers in clean energy
By Lillian Johnson | Triad Business Journal
A Wake Forest University professor has received a 2023 National Science Foundation Early Career Award for a $650,000 grant to fund laser research with potential applications in clean energy technologies. Elham Ghadiri, an assistant professor of chemistry at Wake Forest, will use the five-year grant to research new laser techniques to discover and improve solar energy conversion devices that could help mitigate climate change. – 2/16/2023


WFU Face to Face will Host Social Justice Activist Bryan Stevenson
Yes! Weekly
Lawyer, bestselling author and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson will join the Face to Face Speaker Forum for an evening of conversation with Wake Forest University Vice President of Campus Life Shea Kidd Brown on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Wait Chapel. – 2/15/2023

Business Milestones
Winston-Salem Journal
The National Science Foundation awarded the 2023 NSF Early CAREER Award to Elham Ghadiri who teaches inorganic chemistry at Wake Forest University and recently began a new course that focuses on nanochemistry in energy and medicine. – 2/19/2023

Great Decisions: “China and the U.S.”
Winston-Salem Journal
On March 16, Wake Forest University Department of Politics and International Affairs will host a lecture and discussion with professor Wei-chin Lee on “China and the U.S.” The talk will look at how the U.S. will engage with a China that is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence. – 2/20/2023


Wake Forest celebrates 189th birthday, honors two University leaders
By Keri Brown | Wake Forest News
The Wake Forest University community gathered in Wait Chapel on Feb. 16 to observe Founders Day – a time when the University pauses to celebrate its history and founding, which goes back to 1834. President Susan R. Wente spoke about the many traditions that make Wake Forest such a special place to learn and call home. She also reflected on the University’s motto of Pro Humanitate, and how it serves as a common thread that will continue to guide the University. – 2/20/2023

Categories: Top Stories, Wake Forest in the News