2009 June

Finding restaurant deals

Clark Harris (’03) and his fiancée, Genna Suggs, never thought they’d pursue careers as webmasters. They teamed up with Matthew Simpson (’97) to create FindMeSpecials, an Internet search engine for those looking to find deals at local restaurants. The three view themselves as self-employed entrepreneurs.

“We felt like it is need by not only the people out there looking for good deals but also by the independent business owners who are using creative ways to inspire patrons at their establishments, says Harris, a North Carolina native who graduated with a degree in studio art. “So it benefits both ends of the spectrum.”

Briggs (MA ’98) researches women, addiction

Cynthia Briggs (MA ’98) and co-author Jennifer Pepperell are putting their passion into print and setting their sights on changing the perception that addictions, such as drugs and alcohol, are mostly connected to males. Briggs and Pepperell wrote “Women, Girls, and Addiction:  Celebrating the Feminine in Counseling Treatment and Recovery,” about what Briggs calls the “full spectrum of women and girls struggling with addictive behaviors.”

“This concept is relatively new,” said Briggs, a counseling professor at Winona State University-Rochester (MN).  “Until about 25 years ago, the vast majority of research focused on the male experience of addiction and recovery.  Counseling interventions were developed for men, by men, and adapted to the needs of women.  In addition, there is very little research about girls and addiction.”

Briggs grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, earned a bachelor of science in psychology from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and a masters of education in community counseling from Wake Forest. She graduated with her Ph.D. in Counseling from OSU and has been a professor at Winona State University-Rochester (Minnesota) ever since.  Her counseling experience includes addictions counseling, mental health counseling and higher education student services.

French honor cardiovascular researcher Olson (’81)

Eric Olson (’81), chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been awarded the Institut de France’s Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize for his work on gene regulation in the cardiovascular system. The prize has an international reputation as the most prestigious award in cardiovascular research and was presented June 10 in France by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

“I consider this award one of the highest honors of my career,” said Dr. Olson, who is director of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Basic Research in Cancer and the Nearburg Family Center for Basic Research in Pediatric Oncology. “It’s a wonderful recognition of the many scientists in my lab from throughout the United States and around the world who have contributed to this effort.  They really deserve the credit.”

Dr. Olson studies how the heart and blood vessels form, how they rebuild themselves after injury, and how genetic mutations and stress can cause heart disease.

Eric Olson ('81)

Eric Olson ('81)

Signature Theatre wins Tony Award

Michael Baron (’92), is associate director at the Signature Theatre, which was just honored with the 2009 Regional Theater Tony Award.® The Signature is located in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. According to the Tony committee the award-winning theatre “has established a national reputation for giving some of the nation’s most talented artists a place to do their best work before appreciative, knowledgeable audiences.” The Tony was presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7th and included a $25,000 prize. If you live in the area or plan to visit Washington, DC, in July, their summer events offerings are online.

Army honors Witmer (’06)

Nathan T. Witmer (’06), a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, has been awarded a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious conduct during several battles with Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Rising Star award

James DuBose (’90), CEO of DuBose Entertainment, will receive the Rising Star Award at the 35th Annual Awards Dinner in recognition of Black Music Month. The event is sponsored by the Black Business Association and takes place June 4 in Los Angeles.

DuBose, a native of Greensboro, NC, has spent over 18 years in television production and believes his creativity, determination and ability to understand his audience have served him well. He has been executive producer for several shows including his third season of “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.” He has several shows in development with artists, celebrities and sports figures.

DuBose earned a degree in broadcast communication under the mentorship of Mary Dalton, associate professor of communication. “As far as my Wake Forest experience, it’s really simple,” he says. “I had the very best professor, mentor and friend who taught me not just about television and radio production, but to build relationships within business, match that with a great work ethic and unwavering faith in God, and you will have success.”

James DuBose ('90) and his wife, Charlene Boudreaux DuBose at the NAACP Image Awards.

James DuBose ('90) and his wife, Charlene Boudreaux DuBose, at the NAACP Image Awards.