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Tip Sheet for the week of Nov. 3, 2008

RELEASED: Nov. 3, 2008

Election Note
The Nov. 4 polling location for city of Eau Claire wards 20 and 24 will be in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center. Students living in the upper campus residence halls reside in Ward 20. Students living in the lower campus residence halls reside in Ward 24.

Story/Photo Idea
An Eau Claire elementary school participating in the federally funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program will host a family night this week to help educate students and their families about healthy eating habits. The Lakeshore Elementary School healthy eating family fun night will run from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the school's gym. The event will feature fresh fruit and vegetable tasting and demonstrations, information and resources that promote healthy eating among children and their families, and fruit and vegetable bingo. A second family event will be held Nov. 13 at Longfellow. The events were planned by Dr. Eric Jamelske, an associate professor of economics, and Dr. Lori Bica, associate professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department, who are part of a research team evaluating the success of the FFVP for the Wisconsin departments of Public Instruction and Health and Family Services. A number of community partners and UW-Eau Claire students will participate in the family night events. In 2002, the USDA created the FFVP to improve nutrition and help reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. The FFVP provides funding for students from selected schools to receive a free fresh fruit or vegetable snack daily for an academic year. Researchers have found the program has increased student willingness to try new fruits and vegetables served in school, but they did not find it had a positive effect on students' willingness to try new fruits and vegetables at home or to choose fruits and vegetables as a snack. Researchers believe that if the program is to be successful, the effects must reach into the home. Lakeshore and Longfellow were selected to participate in the program because both are high-need schools, with at least 50 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced-priced school meals. For details about the school events or research relating to the success of the FFVP, contact Jamelske at 715-836-3254 or jamelsem@uwec.edu, or Bica at 715-836-5524 or bicala@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
North Americans decide about candidates based on what the media say, not what the candidates themselves say, according to a study conducted at UW-Eau Claire and McGill University in Canada. Debates are obsolete in this age of multimedia punditry, spin and advertising, says Dr. Michael Dorsher, an assistant professor of communication and journalism and U.S.-Canadian Fulbright Scholar who led the research team. Researchers found respondents' view of who won each debate and whom they would support was not statistically significantly different whether they watched the debate live or learned about it from the media later, whether they watched it or listened to it without video, or whether they were U.S. or Canadian citizens. After the debates, less than 2 percent of the 324 respondents said it changed their mind about who to support. Some respondents participated in an experiment whereby one-quarter watched the telecast of the presidential debate in a lecture hall and recorded responses before hearing commentary; one-quarter did the same after listening to a presidential debate telecast without video; one-quarter watched the vice presidential debate in a lecture hall; and one-quarter listened to the vice presidential debate without video. As in 2004, there were no significant differences in how the audio-alone group judged the presidential debates. But there was a significant difference between the groups' responses to the vice presidential debate, with 24.3 percent of the telecast watchers saying Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won but none of the audio-alone group saying she won. Dorsher coordinated the study as the 2008-09 Fulbright Visiting Chair in Health, Indigenous Populations, Media and Education at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. He will return to UW-Eau Claire in fall 2009. Researchers included UW-Eau Claire faculty Jack Kapfer, communication and journalism; Jan Larson, communication and journalism; Geoff Peterson, political science; and two McGill University faculty members. For details about the research, contact Michael Dorsher at mdorsher@uwec.edu.

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