Diane Cockle’s work on the “missing women” forensic investigation sparked her interest in doing a PhD.

Sergeant Diane Cockle (PhD’13)

Sergeant Diane Cockle (PhD’13) is the third female RCMP officer to earn a PhD. Her thesis is also the first in the world to comprehensively study the progressions of human decomposition at a crime scene. In her work she attends the scene of most murders and found bodies in B.C.

A Passion for Film and Flight

John Frederick Driftmier (BA’08) dies while filming an episode of the TV series Dangerous Flights in Kenya. At SFU he produced a documentary called Story of a Lifetime, based on footage his grandfather had shot in the Sudan in 1941. Driftmier was married to Carolyn Allen whom he met at SFU.


Mijune Pak’s (BA’08) Follow Me Foodie blog is gaining raves ( She was named the food industry’s “Must Follow 2013” at Vancouver’s Social Media Awards, is in the top five on the Vancouver Blog Leaderboard, and in the top three on the Worldwide Blog Leaderboard on Pak started her foodie career during a six-month stint in Brussels as part of her communications degree.

Hospital Help

Sam Tse (BA’08) is assistant to the director of the South America Mission Redeemed Lies, Beautiful Churches, Transformed Communities. He is raising funds to help raise a hospital in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Hall of Famer

Rower Brenda Taylor (MA’95) is inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Taylor was part of the Canadian Women’s coxless-4 team that won gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. She is club manager at the Victoria City Rowing Club.

Taking on the Pine Beetle

Twenty scientists, more than half either SFU grads or faculty, sequence the mountain pine beetle genome in a paper appearing in the journal Genome Biology. Lead author Christopher Keeling (MSc’96, PhD’02), a research associate at Jose Bohlmann’s Lab at the UBC Michael Smith Laboratories, says sequencing the genome will help figure out how the beetle does its damage and eventually stop it.

Woman of Distinction

Mae Burrows (BA Hons’72, MA’96), Outstanding Alumni Award winner, receives a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her environmental work. Burrows founded Toxic Free Canada, a group that works to ban harmful chemicals in the workplace.

@ the Movies

Heather Doerksen (BFA’03) stars in Pacific Rim. The American sci-fi thriller features colossal monsters threatening Earth from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Lighting Wizard

Farhez Rayani’s work includes some of the best animated films in recent years. Rayani, who attended SFU, has worked in digital lighting for Up, Happy Feet, Toy Story 3, Brave, and most recently Monster University. Rayani attended SFU before his animation career.

Maryam Sadeghi (above) will run a new SFU digital health hub to accelerate health innovations. <>

Maryam Sadeghi (PhD’12)

Maryam Sadeghi (PhD’12) develops smart phone software and hardware apps for diagnosing potential skin cancer. The package photographs a mole and then sends it to an online network of consulting physicians who analyze it for the visual markers of melanoma and determine whether it needs further attention.

Order of British Columbia

Peter Anderson (BGS ’73, MA’77), associate professor and director of SFU’s Telematics Research Lab, receives the 2013 Order of British Columbia. Honorary degree recipients George Hungerford and First Nations economic and community leader Wendy Grant-John are also granted the honour. Anderson is an expert in emergency communications.

A Step Forward

Yohana Susana Yembise (MA’94) is the first Papuan female professor in the University of Cenderawasih in Jayapura Papua, Indonesia.

Nursing Research

Aggie Black (MPH’09) is recognized with an Excellence in Nursing Practice Award from the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. Black has mobilized dozens of nursing and allied health research project  leaders in the province.

New Position

Shyam Kamath (MA’81, PhD’87) is the founding dean of business at California State University Monterey Bay. He brings years of international experience to the job.

Real Estate Guru

Brendon Ogmundson (MA’06) knows if your house price is going up or down. He is an economist with the B.C. Real Estate Association, handling macroeconomic forecasting. He recently received the Association of Professional Economists of B.C.’s Crystal Ball Award for forecasting the Canadian economy.

Inspiring African

Youth  Jacob Lennheden’s (BA Hons’12) Global Minimum/Innovate Salone Sierra Leone wins the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Century Innovators Award. The program is a national challenge for youth to create, innovate, and build solutions to problems in their community. The program is now rolling out in Kenya and the Western Cape, South Africa.

Nominate a Spring 2014 Convocation Senator

SFU is seeking nominations of alumni, honorary degree recipients, and SFU founders for four convocation senators for a term of office from June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017. Senate is responsible for academic governance and is therefore concerned with all important matters that bear on teaching and research at the university.

For more details, please visit or call 778•782•3168.

Kamloops’s own Christopher Seguin is recognized for his achievements.

Christopher Seguin (BA’00, CESL’01)

Christopher Seguin (BA’00, CESL’01) is vice-president advancement for Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops. He is also one of those named to the Kamloops inaugural Under 40 Awards. At TRU he has raised more than $20 million through public and private sources; worked to secure funding for TRU’s law school, the first new Canadian law school in 30 years; and is an active community volunteer.  Seguin, who was appointed in July 2007, previously worked in advancement for SFU.

Giving Back

Francesco Aquilini (BBA’85) receives the Lions Club medal of merit for outstanding contributions to the community. The Canucks owner and managing director of the Aquilini Investment Group mentors students at Templeton Secondary School, his old high school, as part of his community outreach.


Optometrist Mary Lou Riederer (MA’83) is honoured by the B.C. Association of Optometrists for her outstanding contribution to optometry in B.C. She is an expert in the area of visual perception and learning disabilities.


Cam Broten (MA’04) is the new leader of the NDP in Saskatchewan. He represents Saskatoon Massey Place in the legislature and is the second member of his family to serve. His grandfather was an MLA in the 1960s.

The Big Time

Sophie Jarvis (BFA’12) has her film The Worst Day Ever screened at the Cannes International Film Festival. The film has also been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival. The film runs 11:41 and features a young boy named Bernard who can’t do anything right, no matter how hard he tries. The clever comedy received raves at its showings.


Doug Eveneshen (MBA’95) is the new board vice-chair of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. He is also president and CEO of the Community Savings Credit Union.


Vancouver Island University honours Kevin Roberts (MA’69) with an Outstanding Service Award. Roberts played a key role in establishing the university’s English Department and also collaborated with Cowichan chiefs to start a series of lectures with the goal of having First Nations teach their own culture and history. (See Book Takes for Roberts’s latest book.)

United Nations Bound

Rhoda M. Jackson (BA’83) is the new permanent representative of the Bahamas to the United Nations Office at Geneva. She was previously counsul-general for the Bahamas in Miami.

New Position

Robin Dhir (BBA’95, CLA’95) is now strategic advisor at the Vancouver law offices of Fasken Martineau. He is also president and COO of Twin Brook Developments and a member of the SFU India Advisory Council.

Art/photography credits, from top to bottom: Greg Ehlers/SFU Creative Services. Hamed Shahir, Hugo Yuen