sealPurdue Story Ideas

March 1, 2002

JOURNALISTS: Here are story ideas and a list of selected Purdue events during the next two weeks.

Ethics expert looks at embryo screening

A Chicago woman recently gave birth to a child after having her eggs screened and selected by a laboratory in efforts to reduce the baby's risk of inheriting a genetic trait for early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Medical experts say the event may raise troubling ethical issues about choosing the genetic qualities of babies.

James G. Anderson, professor of medical sociology in Purdue's School of Liberal Arts who teaches a class on "The human side of medicine," says that, in general, genetic screening provides parents with a powerful tool to avoid genetic defects. "But as technology marches forward, our society will be confronted with more and more complex social and ethical conflicts," he says. In his class – made up primarily of students headed toward careers in health-oriented fields – Anderson tries to show students how to approach issues from multiple points of view.

CONTACT: James G. Anderson, (765) 494-4703,

Disabled student leads effort to raise campus awareness

March is Disabilities Awareness Month, and Purdue student Scott Kempf is driving home the point to help raise awareness of the challenges faced by students with disabilities.

Kempf, a senior in technology, started his student career at Purdue in the fall of 1995 as an engineering student. In his sophomore year, he developed brain stem cancer, and after two operations, lost full function of his lower body. Kempf now gets around on campus using an electric cart. Though the campus is designed to be accessible, everyday events – such as a parked car at the loading dock – can become obstacles for Kempf and others with disabilities.

Kempf has paired up with Purdue Professor James McGlothlin to use state-of-the-science technology to systematically video-record his transportation challenges across campus. The video recorder is a one of a kind instrument that is activated when Kempf's scooter is moving. The information will be used to catalogue how to make Purdue an even more accessible campus, McGlothlin says. The project is funded by a Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Health Promotion grant.

CONTACT: James McGlothlin, associate professor of health sciences, (765) 496-6359,


* Wednesday, March 6. 10-11 a.m. Purdue Memorial Union, East Faculty Lounge. Disability Awareness Month activities begin with a reception and Focus Awards presentation ceremony honoring those who have aided the university's efforts in disability accessibility and diversity. Purdue Provost Sally Frost Mason will discuss "Disability Diversity: Reaching New Heights." Reservations are requested. Contact: Gina Kerr Affirmative Action Office, (765) 494-7253 or (765) 496-1343 (TTY).

* Wednesday, March 6. 1- 2:30 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 314. "The Ethics of Enron: Paradigm or Aberration?" Author and NPR "Marketplace" commentator Jack Beatty will speak on business ethics in the context of the Enron scandal. Beatty is a senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and has been a commentator for National Public Radio since 1987. Event is free and open to the public. CONTACT: Mike Lillich, Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2077,

* Wednesday, March 6. 4 p.m. Stewart Center, Fowler Hall. "Cultivation Diversity in Philanthropy," presented by William Bartolini, director of constituent development programs at Kent State University and chair of the Association of Fundraising Professional Diversity Committee. The Association of Fundraising Professionals is sponsoring the audio conference to illustrate and address aspects of diversity which include racial, ethnic, lifestyle and gender implications, as they relate to the field of fundraising philanthropy. CONTACT: Linda Fry, University Development Office, (765) 494-7035,

* Saturday, March 9. 1:30 p.m., Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The Countdown Round of the state finals for MATHCOUNTS, a national math competition program for middle school and junior high school students. The Countdown Round features groups of six students shouting out answers to math questions flashed on a screen. It is a fast-paced competition which will provide good opportunities for audio, photos and video footage. The Countdown Round will be immediately followed by an awards presentation. Both events are free and open to the public. CONTACT: Vincent P. Drnevich, (765) 494-5029,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page