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Tip Sheet for the week of Sept. 17, 2007

RELEASED: Sept. 17, 2007

Story Idea
A UW-Eau Claire faculty member who is a leading expert on cyberbullying is among those who will judge a national public service announcement contest designed to raise awareness of cyberbullying. Dr. Justin Patchin, assistant professor of criminal justice, will be a judge in the PSA contest, which was initiated by Sony Creative Software, the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council. Patchin has been involved in first-of-its-kind research that has looked at the extent of cyberbullying, how the bullying is carried out and the damage done to victims of online attacks. Research has shown that at least one-third of youth have been bullied online. Bullies send harassing e-mails or instant messages; post obscene and insulting messages to online bulletin boards; develop Web sites with defamatory content; and send harassing text messages via cellular phones. Patchin said he hopes the national contest will bring much-needed attention to harm caused by online bullies. The prevention campaign will target 12- and 13-year-olds, urging them to put an end to the cyberbullying chain. Many tweens and teens participate in cyberbullying without realizing the real consequences of their actions. The winning PSA contest entries will air on national television in spring 2008 as part of a prize package, which will also include software and hardware valued at up to $25,000. Contest judges include Patchin; acclaimed filmmakers Steve Oedekerk, producer/writer (Bruce Almighty, Barnyard) and Barry Sonnenfeld, producer/writer (Men in Black, Addams Family), as well as members of the Ad Council's Creative Review Committee. For details about the contest or his cyberbullying research, contact Dr. Patchin at 715-836-4058 or patchinj@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
Chemistry professor Dr. David Lewis is working with a researcher at Marshfield Clinic to develop new derivatives of the drug Warfarin, an anticoagulant medication used to decrease blood clots in people with disorders such as diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Michael Caldwell, a vascular surgeon and director of the Wound Healing Program at Marshfield Clinic, has found that patients' response to Warfarin varies greatly. Caldwell and other researchers want to find new compounds that provide alternatives to Warfarin. In July, Lewis and senior chemistry student Gina Macek began developing new compounds that might function as alternative anticoagulants. The faculty-student research team will build modified molecules, which they will send to Caldwell to be used in model testing systems. For details about the university-health community collaborative project, contact Dr. Lewis at 715-836-4744 or lewisd@uwec.edu.

Visiting Expert
A social worker from South Africa will be a guest lecturer at UW-Eau Claire Sept. 19-28. Premilla Pillay will talk with UW-Eau Claire social work and economics students about topics such as orphans of AIDS and the thousands of street children in South Africa.
Pillay, who supervises social work interns from UW-Eau Claire in South Africa, also will meet with students who are interested in internships in South Africa. In addition, she will present a program titled "Orphans of AIDS in South Africa" from noon-1 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Arrowhead Room of Davies Center. The media is welcome to attend the presentation, which is open to the public. Pillay also is available to meet with the media during her visit. To arrange for an interview, contact Dr. Nick Smiar, professor of social work, at 715-836-5404 or smiarnp@uwec.edu.

Photo Idea
The Hispanic Heritage Month reception is slated for 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in the Presidents Room of Davies Center.
The event will feature Latin American food, music and educational displays. For details, contact Stephanie Zighelboim at zighelsd@uwec.edu or 715-836-3033.

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