WPI Students Take Roles as Presidential Candidates in Mock Debate Oct. 12

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - "When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Those prescient words are the tagline on any e-mail messages you receive from Worcester Polytechnic Institute senior Alex Knapp, who's about to spin a fantasy regarding this year's presidential election.

Knapp has found four students who, along with himself, will take on the roles of presidential candidates in a mock debate. Unlike the real presidential debates, the WPI mock debate will include all five major candidates. The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. in WPI's Kinnicutt Lecture Hall in Salisbury Laboratories.

Senior Ernie DiMicco, an electrical engineering major and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest DiMicco of Coventry, R.I., will represent Al Gore while freshman Daniel Lorente, a computer science major and the son of Alfredo Lorente of Cumberland, R.I., will take the part of George W. Bush. Junior Matt LeClair, a systems dynamics major and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne LeClair of Francestown, N.H., will play Ralph Nader; Knapp, a biochemistry major and the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Knapp of Olathe, Kan., will take the role of Harry Browne; and junior Catherine Raposa, a systems dynamics major and the daughter of Frances Raposa of Warwick, R.I., will represent Pat Buchanan.

"The debate will be divided into two formats," Knapp said. "The first part will be a round-table discussion, using questions from the student body. The second part will consist of the candidates directly asking questions of each other."

Knapp is vice president of WPI's Legal and Social Issues Group, which is sponsoring the mock debate. The event will be co-moderated by senior Benjamin Carl, president of the Legal and Social Issues Group, and junior Julie Cerqueira, president of the Global Awareness of Environmental Activity (GAEA) Club and secretary of the Legal and Social Issues Group. Carl is a computer science major and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger A. Carl of Fitchburg, Mass. Cerqueira is a biology major and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Cerqueira of Milford, Mass.

For more information, contact Knapp at jaknapp@wpi.edu, Carl at bcarl@wpi.edu or by phone at 508-751-6713, or the WPI Communications Group at 508-831-6085.