sealPurdue Newsmakers

March 28, 1997

Purdue faculty, staff and students make headlines around the world. This column offers highlights of those stories that appeared or were carried by national news media outside Indiana. In an Op-Ed column in The New York Times , political science professor Louis Rene Beres defended the country of his birth from attacks that the Swiss have exploited the wealth of Jewish refugees from World War II. "It is unfair to suggest that it was in some way uniquely delinquent." He says few other countries did more to help the Jews. Beres' parents, Austrian Jewish refugees, escaped to Zurich in 1938.

The local Rube Goldberg Machine Contest again received national attention on CNN and CNN Headline News. Several Indiana television stations carried the highlights uplinked from the Center for Instructional Services. An Associated Press story and photo from the contest ran state-wide. A team of students from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers won the contest and will compete against other universities at the national contest, which also will be held at Purdue.

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A story skeptical of the benefits of marijuana quoted Richard Mattes , associate professor of foods and nutrition and food science. On its affect on the AIDS-related wasting syndrome, he says: "Smoking marijuana increases appetite and food intake. But it may not be an effect that persists." The story appeared in Knight-Ridder Newspapers including the San Diego Union-Tribune, Times-Picayune (New Orleans) and the Arizona Republic (Phoenix).

Derek Royal , a doctoral student in the Department of English, recently received a national award for his web site, which pokes fun at product advertisements. Royal received a Webby Award in the "weird" category in a contest sponsored by several computer related media. Royal was interviewed by a public television station and by a reporter from French television. He and his web site have been mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe . His site also was featured on the Discovery Channel's Cyberlife.

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Nicholas Peppas , Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has developed a hydrogel that when placed on the skin like a bandage, can deliver drugs to a wound and speed the healing process. "One of the advantages to delivering drugs with a bioadhesive patch is that the patient gets a constant dose over a longer period of time," Peppas said in a Popular Mechanics article. Peppas' work also was featured in The Oregonian and The Tampa Tribune .

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The March issue of Parenting magazine quoted James Lehman , associate professor of educational computing, in an article on the use of the Internet as an educational tool. "With the Internet, kids can see live pictures from NASA or track a storm at the same time as a weatherman," Lehman said. "They have instant access to up-to-the-minute information."

Youli Mantzicopoulos , a professor of educational psychology, was a source for a Columbus Dispatch story on the Head Start program. A national evaluator in the Head Start research program, Mantzicopoulos said students must sometimes make difficult transitions when they leave Head Start. "Children move to a public school environment that presents discontinuous experience," she said. "Many public schools do not provide developmentally appropriate programs. And schools do not have the family supports that Head Start provides."

Talking about finances before you get married is good advice, says Flora Williams , professor of consumer sciences and retailing. "If views on spending...are not discussed, disagreements and disappointments accumulate and some little event in the future." Her advice appeared in the Orlando Sentinel and the Press Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.).

Comments from Robert Johnson , senior research associate at the Credit Research Center, were used in an article on consumers and credit cards in the Washington, D.C. weekly journal, Insight . Johnson offered advice on selecting a credit card from among the hundreds that offer perks. "You have to balance the cost of the program vs. the rewards you expect to use," Johnson said. He also suggested choosing perks based on lifestyle and that cash rebates were also a good deal.

You can help ensure that your school and faculty are recognized in "Newsmakers" by sending clips of national news stories or reports of national broadcasts to Jeanne Norberg, director, Purdue News Service, ENAD.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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