October 30, 1996 Newsmakers

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A crew from CNN's Future Watch was on campus recently to interview the following researchers about their work: Maribeth Cousin , professor of food science, on a test for mold-safe food; Victor Ransom , professor and head of the School of Nuclear Engineering, on the school's test facility for a new design of nuclear reactor; Eva Sevick-Muraca , associate professor of chemical engineering, on fluorescence lifetime imaging; Peter Muriana , assistant professor of food science, and Rakesh Singh , professor of food science, on pasteurizing eggs in the shell; and Gary Krutz and Kamyar Haghighi, both professors of agricultural engineering, on the design of basketball floors. The stories have aired this past month on Future Watch and have then be edited for use on other CNN news programs. In some cases CNN affiliates, such as superstation WGN in Chicago, have rebroadcast the stories during local news segments.

The tragic shootings at Wiley Hall on Oct. 16 put Purdue in the media spotlight. WGN, WBBM and WFLD from Chicago were on the scene along with all Indianapolis television stations. The Center for Instructional Services helped with satellite uplinks of video for ABC, NBC and CNN. The Associated Press sent a story nationwide that found its way into publications that included The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education . Several suburban Chicago papers ran their own versions, mixing the AP story with comments by Purdue students from their area. The Chicago Tribune followed with a story reviewing the role of residence hall counselors at Big 10 campuses. At last report, a New York Times reporter was working on a more comprehensive article as well.

Presidential candidate Ross Perot was a guest of the Reform Party of Purdue. Perot delivered a campaign speech to a capacity audience of more than 1,500 people assembled in the Purdue University Armory. Following the event, Perot met with another 500 supporters who had listened to the speech outside the armory. C-SPAN aired the speech live. All of the Indianapolis television stations had reporters and crews covering the event. WFLD-TV of Chicago also provided coverage. CNN Headline News gave national broadcast coverage to speech highlights.

A Purdue-developed computer process to address date problems associated with the turn of the century is getting national attention thanks to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education . The article notes that the process includes a search tool that looks at software and tells programmers where repairs need to be made. The process was developed by programmers in management information, under the supervision of Jerry D. Smith , director of administrative computing operations . (jmw 10/29/96)

Engineering students still have the most lucrative job market in the downsizing era, said Richard A. Stewart , director the Purdue University Placement Service, in an Associated Press Special Edition package on careers. "In fact, last year we ran out of students to offer employers in high-demand areas such as computer engineering, software engineering and computer engineers with management backgrounds," Stewart said. Companies are coming to campus to hire, not just look. They also are using a variety of recruiting efforts including World Wide Web postings and job fairs.

An Associated Press story reported that subliminal messages in advertising do influence the mind, but only for a moment. Purdue's Eliot Smith, professor of psychology, was asked to comment on research that showed that subliminal messages are real but have little effect. Smith said the research puts subliminal effects on a firm footing for the first time. "While many of us in this research field have believed that these effects exist they were still surrounded by some controversy, people who doubted their existence," he said. The story was carried in papers including the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Daily News and Chicago Tribune .

Golf World magazine ran an article on the new golf course complex, which includes a turf research center. The article noted that Pete Dye , famed golf course designer and a former Purdue student, is contributing his design and consulting fees to the project, which kicked off with an Oct. 18 groundbreaking.

High-school sports may be a good way for teen girls to accelerate bone building, said Dorothy Teegarden , assistant professor of foods and nutrition. "High-school girls who are at least moderately active can increase the density of certain bones at a rate unrivaled at any other time in their life," she said. Her research was featured in newspapers including the Atlanta Constitution, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Tampa Tribune.

With personal debt and bankruptcies stacking up like rush hour traffic, many Americans fear that the economy is headed for a major fender-bender. Robert Johnson , director emeritus of Purdue's Credit Research Center, told Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine that such worry probably is not warranted. "We go through this 'we're going to hell in a handbasket' routine every so often," Johnson said. He said that while some families are struggling to pay their credit card bills, the U.S. household debt load isn't going to snuff out a still-strong economic expansion. Johnson's views on personal finance also have been featured recently in the New York Times , the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek .

A Philadelphia Inquirer story about helping children make friends with those who have disabilities cited a research study by Karen Diamond , associate professor of child development and family studies. Her research shows that pupils in classes with disabled classmates are more accepting of those children.

Those little signs in stores and restaurants that show the different credit cards they accept may prompt customers to open their wallets just a little wider. Richard Feinberg , director of Purdue's Retail Institute, told the Washington Post that people give higher estimates of what they are willing to spend when a credit card logo is visible somewhere in the room. Feinberg said that people with credit problems react just the opposite, and will often spend less and skimp on tips.

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