SFU pipe band piper Kevin McLean (above) plays his pipes on the former battlefields of France. McLean is the sole piper invited to play during a week-long tour dubbed Vimy: Leadership Under Fire. He also visits the grave of his great-uncle William McLean, who died in 1918 during the 100-day offensive.

Central Park Extravaganza

R. Murray Schafer’s “Music for Wilderness Lake” and “Credo” are performed by 144 singers in 20 boats in New York’s Central Park. The performance, conducted by New York City Opera artistic director George Steel, is part of the seventh Make Music New York Festival. “Music for Wilderness Lake” is also performed at the Stratford Summer Music Festival and the Huntsville Festival of the Arts as part of their celebrations for Schafer’s 80th birthday. Schafer established the World Soundscape Project at SFU during the late 1960s and early 1970s. <>

You Are What You Eat

Justin Yeakal, now a post-doctoral researcher on northwest salmonoid systems, is one of the authors of a paper showing that dietary flexibility may have given wolves and bears an edge over sabre-toothed cats and cave lions in the late Pleistocene era. As a result, wolves and bears exist in a much greater area than the cats. Yeakal was co-author with others at the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of San Paolo, Brazil; and the University of  Tübingen, Germany.


Student Jessica Kruger (above) is the new face of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet perfume. The quadriplegic wheelchair athlete wants to show women and girls that they can succeed, with or without a disability.

Lis Welch and Ryan Beedie at the start of the new anniversary campaign.


SFU launches its 50th anniversary campaign this fall. The goal is to raise $250 million that will engage more than 30,000 students and 6,500 researchers across three campuses. “Campaign cabinet” co-chairs are Lis Welch, Ryan Beedie (BBA’91), and Herb Dhaliwal, and co-chairs of the “council of 50” are Gordon Diamond and Leslie Diamond. Campaign patrons are Frances and Samuel Belzberg, Brandt Louie, Nancy McKinstry, Saida Rasul, Rosalie and Joseph Segal, Carole Taylor, and Fei Wong.

Surrey Students Soar

Seven students and one alumna are named in the Surrey Board of Trade’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards. The students are Saurabh Bangar, president and CEO of the SOAR Philanthropic Society; Manpreet Dhillon, director of human resources Enactus SFU; Michael Dyatchenko, program manager at Axis Consulting; Madhav Goyal, project leader for this year’s TEDxSFU; Anam Hamreed, who helped establish Better Alternatives for Girls’ Survival; Rohith Manhas, who promotes sustainability and youth engagement; and Spencer Toth, director of community engagement for Enactus SFU. Alumna Alice Park (BBA’12) is co-creator of the Go2Gether car-pooling venture.

MedicalTourism Guidelines

As more and more Canadians get medical procedures in other countries, it’s time to look at the risks. SFU ethicist Jeremy Snyder creates a one-page information sheet outlining key points to consider, including unforeseen costs, procedure risks, disease potential, and patient rights. <>


Alexandra Lowe (above) wins the International Association of Business Communicators Student Communicator of the Year Award. Lowe digitally rebranded the e-newsletter for the university’s Volunteer Services Department.

Career Success

Janelle Dobson-Kocsis (above left) credits SFU’s eight-month Aboriginal pre-health program with putting her on track for a new career. Dobson-Kocsis, a member of the Teslin Tlingit Nation and Kwanlin Dun Band, says the gifted teaching and academic flexibility in the Surrey campus program helped her so much she now knows she can help change the world.


A new centre in Surrey will enable the university to facilitate a wide range of community programs. The SFU Surrey –TD Community Engagement Centre, to be located in Surrey Central Library, will offer new programs, including a digital communications course for immigrants, as well as existing courses and workshops. TD Bank Group donated $750,000.


Peter Hall, associate professor in the Urban Studies Program, is devoting three years of his life to studying the New Westminster waterfront. The mixed-use, compact area is of special interest because it has long been used for both industrial and recreational purposes. It is one of the oldest working waterfronts in B.C., dating back to 1859. <>

Photo Credits from top to bottom: Mariane St-Maurice, True Patriot Love foundation, Erin Wild Photography, Make Music New York, Inc, Greg Ehlers SFU/Creative Services, Brent Loken, Marianne Meadahl SFU/PAMR, Surrey Memorial Hospital, SFU News/PAMR, SFU News/PAMR, Dixon Tam SFU/PAMR, Jane Edwards Griffin


Lionel Funt (1924–2013), SFU’s first dean of science, has passed away. Funt was a chemistry professor at SFU from 1968 to his retirement in 1989. Funt is remembered as outgoing and always intellectually curious. He was a brilliant research scientist, inventor, and an “absent-minded professor.”

Well Done, Clan!

SFU Athletics finishes 36th out of 254 NCAA Division II schools in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. That places the teams in the top 15 percent in their first year of eligibility.

Changing Landscape

Orangutans in Borneo are spending an unusual amount of time on the ground, according to researcher Brent Loken. It may be that an absence of predators makes it safer to walk on the floor, or it may be that the rapid and unprecedented loss of Borneo’s orangutan habitat is forcing them to change their behaviour.


Beedie School of Business professor Mark Selman receives the award for Aboriginal Business Champion of the Year from the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business. The award is given to a non-Aboriginal individual who exemplifies leadership and best practices in Aboriginal engagement and business relationship development. Selman is director of the Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership – the first program of its kind in North America. <>


Student filmmakers Kashif Pasta (l) and Shyam Valera (r) launch Creative Surrey, a project that aims to help Surrey grow its arts industry. The two already have a company, Dunya Media, and credits to their name. They also have a YouTube series called SFU 2065, are starting production on a five-part web series called Welcome to Surrey, and are nearing completion of a short film called Zoya

Another MBA Program

The Beedie School of Business is launching a part-time MBA program at the Surrey campus in response to the needs of Surrey’s growing business community. The 24-month program provides theory and application to help participants meet current challenges while they continue in the workforce.

Help for Epilepsy Surgery

Neuroscientist Ryan D’Arcy (above), professor in the School of Computing Science, finds a new way to help surgeons more accurately plan for surgical treatment in epilepsy. The brain-mapping technique is showcased on the cover of the August issue of Human Brain Mapping. <>

Health Concerns

Health scientist Michel Joffres (above) finds that almost half of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 79 have high lipid levels, and more than 80 percent of those are not being treated to recommended levels. High lipids are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Cause and Effect

Children exposed to chemical flame retardants while still in their mother’s womb face an elevated risk of development problems including hyperactivity. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are still found in products ranging from furniture to electronic equipment. SFU’s Glenys Webster (MRM’03), one of the study’s authors on the topic, says PBDEs persist in the environment and in people for years.

Teeny Ted Now Bigger

Robert Chaplin’s Teeny Ted from Turnip Town made it into the Guinness World Records for the world’s smallest book. Now it’s available in a large-print edition. <>

Health Research Award

Professor David Vocadlo of the Department of Chemistry wins the Horace S. Isbell Award from the American Chemical Society. It goes to scientists under the age of 44 who do pioneering work in health sciences. Vocadlo’s research is aimed at furthering our understanding of the role of carbohydrate structures.

Mark your calendars for BRAVE:

The Mary Steinhauser Legacy fundraiser—An Evening of Story, Song & Dance, Sat., March 29, 2014 at 7:30pm, Terry Fox Theatre, Port Coquitlam, BC, which celebrates the inspired life, work, and legacy of SFU alumna Mary Steinhauser (BA’71), nurse, social worker, and prisoner rights advocate. Mary died tragically in a blaze of gunfire in a 41-hour hostage-taking at the BC Penitentiary, New Westminster in June 1975. Her heroism and compassion in offering herself as principal hostage at this time is the stuff of legend. Proceeds to the Mary Steinhauser Memorial Bursary for SFU Aboriginal Students in Arts & Social Sciences. Tickets at Info