Jason Harvey Schoonover at a paleolithic cave in Thailand's Krabi province.

Jason Harvey Schoonover BA’70

Jason Harvey Schoonover (BA’70) is awarded the prestigious Explorers’ Club Stefansson Medal for his contribution to exploring. In recent years he organized the shoot for “The Devil Dancers of Sri Lanka” episode of the series Beyond Survival, co-led an archaeological dig along Thailand’s River Kwai, and led an expedition to Saskatchewan’s Reindeer Lake in search of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading post Bedford House. James Delgado (PhD’06) is also a Stefansson Medal winner.

Chairs Changing

Irwin Cohen (PhD’01) is the new RCMP senior research chair in crime reduction at the University of the Fraser Valley. He replaces Darryl Plecas (BA’78, MA’81) who is now MLA for Abbotsford South and parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice. Amy Prevost (BA’02, MA’04, PhD’11) replaces Cohen as the director of the School of Criminology.


Four former SFU students establish the Bhagat Puran Singh Sikh Community Bursary for students with disabilities. Amritpal Singh Arora (BSc’01), Satnam Singh Sangra (BSc’02, PDP’03, BEd’04), Jaiinder Singh Bhullar (BSc’02), and Manny Singh Sihota are honouring the philanthropist who dedicated his life to serving the disabled.

Arts Maven

Ellen van Eijnsbergen (BFA’01, CLA’02) is the new director-curator of the Burnaby Art Gallery. She has organized and curated more than 40 local, regional, and international exhibitions and was visual arts manager at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam.

Another Honour

Maryam Sadeghi (PhD’12) is SFU’s 2013 entrepreneur of the year. Sadeghi was among 10 young inventors who pitched their businesses in a Dragons’ Den–style competition. Through her company, she has already received international recognition for research that has led to significant breakthroughs in the computer-aided diagnosis of skin cancer. Sadeghi also leads SFU’s new digital health hub at SFU Surrey.

Journalism Award

Jessica Barrett (BFA’05) receives the 2013 Michelle Lang Fellowship in Journalism. The national program was created in honour of Michelle Lang (BA’98), the only Canadian journalist to die in Afghanistan. Barrett will spend six months at Postmedia News in Ottawa and then six months at the Calgary Herald writing about Canada’s changing workforce, job market, and economy.

“I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night”

Rumours have long abounded that legendary union organizer Joe Hill spent time in Rossland during the early 1900s. Ron Verzuh (BA’73) explores the story in his mini-documentary Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hangout. The film is partly funded by the Vancouver and District Labour Council, and Verzuh expects it will be used to initiate discussions about labour history at workshops and meetings. < > (See also Verzuh’s book in Book Takes).

Marina Elliott is the first archaeologist in the excavation chamber where ancient hominoids are found.

Marina  Elliott MA’08

Doctoral student Marina Elliott (MA’08) is part of a group that has unearthed a cache of more than 1,200 bones in a South African cave. Elliott, the only Canadian on the Rising Star Expedition team led by National Geographic explorer-in-residence Lee Berger, is using whole-body, three-dimensional CT data to evaluate how paleoanthropologists and biological anthropologists estimate body mass from human remains.

Webster Winner

Kelvin Redvers (BFA’10) wins a Jack Webster Award for best feature story for television for his CTV BC story “First Story: A Home for Edgar.” Redvers is a previous Webster winner in the science, environment, technology, and health category and also has two RTDNA Trina McQueen Awards under his belt.

Alzheimer’s Research

Post-doc researcher Razieh Eskandari (PhD’12) receives a prestigious Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Award. Eskandari, who has already made a name for herself in diabetes research, is turning her focus to identifying compounds that protect the brain from neurodegeneration.

Wedding Wizards

A group of alumni wins an award for best wedding cinematography in B.C. <> and their slow-motion video goes viral <>. Ruby Chang (BA’09), Peter Huang (BA’07), Tony Tsai (BGS’08), Philip Wong (BGS’08), and student Cedric Yu started their small business in 2010.  <>

Church Hierarchy

Bishop Richard Gagnon (BA’76) of the Diocese of Victoria is now archbishop-elect of Winnipeg. In Victoria he was administrator for the diocese and its 95,000 members in nearly 40 parishes on Vancouver Island.

Comedy Central

Ace Dixon’s (BFA’10) feature comedy Mop King launches at the Austin Film Festival, in Austin, Texas. Felix Oltean (BFA’13) is the cinematographer for the show that advertises itself as an “irreverent comedy full of outrageous characters.” <>

A Passion for Fashion

Jonathan Walford (BA’85, CPH’82) and Kenn Norman open their Fashion History Museum in the Southworks Outlet Mall in Cambridge, Ontario. For more than a decade the two have taken their collection across Canada and around the world – now it has a permanent home. <>

Top 100

Kim Thompson (BA’87) and Aimee Chan (MBA’03) are named to the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women list. Thompson is senior vice-president of advisory services at Credential Financial Inc., while Chan is president and CEO of Norsat International Inc. Former long-time SFU arts administrator Nini Baird, chair of  Telus Vancouver Community Board, is also named to the list.

Outstanding Alumni Awards

This year’s winners (l to r) are Tim Martin (MA’84), Canadian ambassador to the Republic of Colombia (Public Service); Krista Guloien (BA’04), Olympic medallist, women’s rowing (Athletic  Achievement); Howard Sapers (BA’80), correctional investigator, federal Office of the Correctional Investigator (Public Service); and Lance Uggla (BBA’85), visionary in the global credit derivatives market and founder of Markit (Professional Achievement). <>

Fundraiser Extraordinaire

Richard Loat’s (BA’12) cross-Canada food fundraising tour, Five Hole for Food, was a spectacular success. Now he and his crew launch Footy for Food and Sport for Food in the United Kingdom. In the process, Loat is accepted into the U.K. Trade and Investment Sirrius accelerator program and is recognized by the Guardian newspaper as one of 50 Voices for Social Enterprise.

My Favourite Martian

Christy Foley (BA’05) is hoping to move to Mars in 2024. She is one of 1,058 people out of 200,000 applicants who made it through the first round of testing in the Mars One program, which hopes to colonize Mars. There’s still a long way to go. <>

High Flyers

Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty Under 40 list includes several SFU alumni. Terry Beech (BBA’06), founder of; Jamie Cheng (BBA’05), CEO, Klei Entertainment; Gregory Malpass (BBA’99), CEO of Traction Sales and Marketing; Shawn Smith (BBA’05), adjunct professor and founding director of Radius, SFU; and Carlos Yam (BBA’97), CFO, WesternOne Inc. are recognized.

Forensic Investigator

RCMP Sgt. Diane Cockle (PhD’13) participated in the investigation into the al Qaeda–linked attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in September of last year. Cockle was embedded with the London Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism Special Operations SO15 branch and was there to assist with recovery and identification of the dead.

Death of a Hero

Tim Jones (BA’80), the face of North Shore Rescue, died suddenly in January. Jones, who put his life on the line for countless others, was honoured with a massive public parade and memorial, and a helicopter sendoff. At the time of his death Jones was attempting to raise $6 million to fund North Shore Rescue so members could concentrate on saving those in distress rather than on fundraising.

A Rapper’s Rapper and a Writer’s Writer

That’s the description given by music critics to Shad Kabango (MLS’11). His new recording  – his fourth – Flying Colours, embraces topics including immigration and racism.

Photography, from top to bottom: Su Hattori,  John Hawks,  Greg Elhers/SFU Creative services