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SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

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A look at how SFU and its people made news: May 23-30, 2008             

More worldwide media coverage this week on the Human Security Report from Andrew Mack, director of the Human Security Report Project at SFU’s School for International Studies.
The big hit was in Newsweek (which has an audience of 24 million around the world) and on partner WashingtonPost.com
Other media hits included BBC News, CBS News, the China Post (Taiwan), the Daily Star (Lebanon), the Daily Times (Pakistan), Frankfurter Rundshau (Germany), Gazeta (Russia), The Inquirer (Philippines), Jerusalem Post, Weyak (United Arab Emirates); a string of CanWest newspapers and Maclean’s in Canada and, in the U.S., National Public Radio and FOX News.
More on this story below.

SFU OPEN HOUSE

  • GlobalTV’s senior meteorologist, Mark Madryga, threw in some special plugs this week for the SFU Open House on the Burnaby campus  Saturday May 31.
  • CBC Radio interviewed Tim Takaro, physician-scientist in SFU Health Sciences, on the health costs of climate change.  (He was set to do a presentation at Open House, 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Saturday May 31, in room 10051 of the Arts and Social Science Complex.)
  • CBC also interviewed Elizabeth Elle, a plant evolutionary ecologist and associate chair of biology and biological scientist Arne Mooers on their “bioblitz”. Students, faculty and other volunteers were combing Burnaby Mountain for unidentified species, and would wrap up their inventory at 7 p.m. on Open House day.
  • CBC Radio also featured SFU's role in the ATLAS experiment that will search for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy—and promoted the Open House 3-D tour of  "the biggest machine in the world". Physicist Dugan O’Neil did a live eight-minute interview.
  • The Vancouver Sun and The Province handed out free copies of the two newspapers at the Metrotown and Lougheed SkyTrain stations—with a sticker on the front pages inviting people to Open House. Coquitlam Now ran an Open House story, and the Burnaby News Leader ran a story on its website.
  • And Burnaby Now wrote:
    “Where can you make a mini-film, take a virtual tour of the biggest machine in the world and make a milkshake with your own pedal power at a bicycle blender station? Check out all those activities and more at Simon Fraser University's open house on Saturday, May 31. The event will be held at the Burnaby Mountain campus from noon to 4:30 p.m.”
    And our Open House ads continued to run in local media.
    See: http://www.sfu.ca/openhouse

BC NEWS

  • The Vancouver Sun reported that The Boeing Company has given a $1.35-million grant for visual analytics research to SFU and UBC.  John Dill, a prof at SFU's School of Interactive Arts and Technology, was quoted.
  • Burnaby Now and the Surrey-North Delta Leader did stories on how SFU has won the innovative workplace of the year award from YWCA Vancouver. It honours the university’s supportive work culture and opportunities for education, training and development.
  • Anthony Gurr was interviewed on the Sean Leslie show on CKNW. Gurr is a masters of education student and a veteran game developer, and is working on a proposed TV documentary series on gaming.
  • The North Shore News reported the award to Deyar Asmaro of SFU’s 2008 Terry Fox Gold Medal for overcoming adversity. Now a third-year psychology student with a GPA of 4.11, he was once driven by private-school bullying to spend two years living in the wilds and on the street, and to attempt suicide three times.
  • The Powell River Peak reported on plans by the Tla'Amin (Sliammon) First Nation and SFU to conduct an archaeological dig at an ancient lookout and refuge site. The paper quoted Dana Lepofsky of SFU Archaeology: "The project creates an exceptional opportunity for bringing together oral traditions with information from archaeological and archival investigations."
  • Canadian climatologist Gordon McBean did a 15-minute interview on Radio CFUN,  and had an interview with CBC Radio's On the Coast show set for this afternoon. He also talked to TheTyee.ca.  It's all about an event at SFU Vancouver on Monday June 2: Adapting to Climate Change, a dialogue on how municipalities can adapt to climate change. It's one of a series of dialogues set up by SFU's Adaptation to Climate Change Team. 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Maclean’s magazine carried a business column: “Soaring energy costs are about to change everything.” Among those quoted was SFU’s Anthony Perl, director of urban studies: “I think people will look back on the 1940s to early 2000s as an exceptional period and it will seem very strange that people would fly off to Las Vegas or Florida for the weekend, or drive their kids 20 km to play hockey and take piano lessons. Some people are going to have to adjust every aspect of their lives."
  • Criminologist Neil Boyd was in a Canadian Press story on the BC Supreme Court judgment supporting Insite, the supervised drug injection site in Vancouver. Said Boyd: “"It does seem to make the point that over the last two decades has been made again and again: That the problems of drug use are best understood as public health problems . . . and not as problems for the criminal law." 
    The story appeared on radio and TV stations across Canada, and in the Metro newspaper chain. 
    The Globe and Mail noted that research by Boyd showed the centre had no adverse effects on crime or public disorder.  And his research was cited in community papers in the Parry Sound-Muskoka riding, which quoted local MP Tony Clement as saying there is not a lot of sympathy in the riding for Insite. Oddly, the story did not note Clement is Canada’s minister of health and in charge of Ottawa’s Insite file. (He will appeal the BC court ruling.) Boyd’s research was cited as well in the gay-market newspaper Xtra.
  • Boyd was also on  the Calgary Today talk-show on Radio CHQR, discussing the discovery May 28 of  the bodies of three adults and two children aged 4 and 6 in a house in northwest Calgary.
  • Metro papers also carried a story on cuts in government funding for aboriginal centres. Quoted was Ginger Gosnell-Myers, a board member with the Centre for Native Policy and Research and a masters student at SFU.
  • As the media maintained interest in the four human feet that have washed ashore in BC, National Post quoted Mark Skinner, biological anthropologist at SFU’s Centre for Forensic Research. Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail quoted forensic entomologist Gail Anderson on the story.
  • National Post carried a Special Report on continuing education. Across the full width of the top of the page ran a quote from Yvonne Tabin, program director of SFU NOW: Nights or Weekends.
  • The Canadian Press distributed a feature on careers in the video-gaming industry. Among other things, it noted that “gaming giant Electronic Arts has invested heavily in the master's digital media program of Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver”. That’s a collaboration, CP noted, of SFU, UBC, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and BCIT.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • Newsweek’s coverage of the Human Security Report from Andrew Mack consisted of a glowing column by Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International. Newsweek also carried on its cover a “key” to the column, in which Zakaria wrote:
    “Finally we have a well-researched, independent analysis of the data relating to terrorism, released last week by Canada's Simon Fraser University. . . . The Simon Fraser study notes that the decline in terrorism appears to be caused by many factors. . . But the most significant, in the study's view, is the ‘extraordinary drop in support for Islamist terror organizations in the Muslim world over the past five years’.”
    And Zakaria concluded: “Why have you not heard about studies like  . . . the one from Simon Fraser, which was done by highly regarded scholars, released at the United Nations and widely discussed in many countries around the world—from Canada to Australia? Because it does not fit into the narrative of fear that we have all accepted far too easily.”
    As Maclean’s summed up the report: “Conflicts and combat deaths continue to decline worldwide. . . . Notably, fatalities from terrorism have dropped 40 per cent and Muslim support for al-Qaeda faces ‘a dramatic collapse.’ Blogs around the world featured and debated the report this week. And the Vancouver-based Asian Pacific Post newspaper also did a story.
    See the report at:  http://www.humansecuritybrief.org/files/
  • Science Daily reported that as Indiana Jones' fourth adventure is in movie theatres,  an international team is pondering ethical and legal issues around the "ownership" of cultural heritage and relics. "Led by archaeologist George Nicholas at Simon Fraser University, the team just received an award of $2.5 million from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The seven-year project is supplemented with $4 million from participating universities."
    Dalhousie's Dalnews Online also did a story. SFU News did a story in  March:
    http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/Stories/sfunews030608018.shtml
  • Science reported that monogamy may be the foundation of cooperative societies, at least for insects such as bees, wasps, and ants. This according to a new University of Leeds paper.  SFU biologist Bernard Crespi said in Science:  "It's an important paper because it provides the first real test for the role of relatedness in the origin of eusociality and its actual evolution.”

THE ENVIRONMENT

  • The Vancouver Sun carried on its front-page a story that began:It's been years since Candace Bonfield even sat on a bicycle, but she plans to embark on a gruelling hour-long climb up Burnaby Mountain every morning this week.”
    Bonfield, SFU’s sustainability coordinator, was one of 3,600 riders registered to participate in Bike to Work Week. She was also among the 1,043 registrants biking to work for the first time. “I've been trying to educate people about alternative transportation. It's part of my job. And I decided I better try it too."
    The Sun ran a photo of her on a bike. Bonfield also did an interview with CBC Radio.
  • PAMR and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation announced to media the award of $150,000 prizes to each of 15 new Trudeau Scholars. One is Nic Rivers (from SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management) for research on the effectiveness of alternative strategies to counter climate change. Rivers was a co-author with SFU prof Mark Jaccard and Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson of the 2007 book Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge.
  • The New Westminster NewsLeader carried a full feature on Jaccard, whom it dubbed “B.C.'s guru of green.”
    Said the NewsLeader: “The Burnaby South grad and New Westminster resident is a Simon Fraser University energy economist who has advised provincial and federal governments from one end of the political spectrum to the other for the past 20 years. These days he's advising Premier Gordon Campbell's Climate Action Team charged with cutting B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2020.” But he almost became a commercial fisherman instead. . . .
    Meeanwhile:
    • Canadian Business reported Republican presidential candidate John McCain is treating global warming with some sense of urgency. And it quoted Mark Jaccard: “The U.S. will have a policy in place within a couple of years, no matter who wins the election.”
    • Several Alberta community newspapers reported that Alberta needs to charge industry about five times more than it now does for greenhouse gas emissions if it wants its climate change plan to work. This according to a study by Mark Jaccard & Associates.
    • And federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May mentioned Jaccard in a CTV interview. “The environmental movement . . . and the Green Party both understand the importance of a carbon tax. So does every independent ecological economist, natural resource economist, from an expert like Mark Jaccard at Simon Fraser . . . to the Economist magazine right through to the environmental movement.”
  • Maclean’s carried an item, and Asian Pacific Post a story, on a study that concludes more than half of the world's ocean-going sharks are at risk of extinction. Quoted was the lead author, SFU’s Nicholas Dulvy, Canada Research Chair in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.

The POLICE BEAT

  • The Victoria Times Colonist wrote about a wrong-address drug raid there that left a family traumatized and police empty-handed.  It’s an unfortunate but inevitable part of police work, SFU criminologist David MacAlister told the newspaper. "Police have to conduct investigations, and they can't be 100 per cent certain every time. . . . As long as it's a rare occurrence, we have to expect there's going to be the odd mistake along the way. It's the price we pay."
  • Burnaby Now picked up last week’s Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times feature on SFU’s  Rolf Mathewes, whose forensic botany work has been a part of a number of murder investigations in Canada and the U.S.   He was also  featured two weeks ago in a GlobalTV series on forensic botany.

 

ATHLETICS

  • SFU Athletics told media how SFU’s Ruky Abdulai closed the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships  with her third straight title in the high jump, her third championship at the meet, and now holds the over-all record for most individual titles at the Championships with 10. Abdulai was named the Female Most Valuable Performer of the Meet, and helped her Clan women’s team to second place at the competition. Rookie teammate Jessica Smith won the 800m.

    Athletics posted a final-day video at http://youtube.com/watch?v=pUO3lmDoW1k
  • SFU also told media about three members of the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club (at the Burnaby campus) who won gold at the 2008 Sassari International Tournament in Italy: Haislan Garcia, Matt Gentry and Travis Cross.
  • The Edmonton Journal featured Jason Marshall, who is trying out as a fullback at the Edmonton Eskimos rookie camp. And the Canadian Football League website (cfl.ca) reported the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed wide receiver Aaron Hargeaves, a 2007 Canada West all-star with the Clan.
  • The Waterloo Region Record reported hometown football player Luca Congi, another ex-Clan member, was named Kitchener-Waterloo’s athlete of the year. Now with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, he spent the off-season finishing his marketing and finance degree at SFU.

EDUCATION

  • The Chilliwack Progress reported that Teaching to Diversity, a two-year diploma program offered by SFU in partnership with School District 33, has 39 graduates this month—most of them teachers in the Chilliwack school district. It covers educational specialties in areas such as autism, attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.
  • The Sackville (NB) Tribune-Post reported that Mount Allison University’s Edmund Dawe has received a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada postgraduate scholarship in physics and a special graduate entrance scholarship at SFU.
  • The Creston Valley Advance reported Laura Cooper is the new dean of instruction at College of the Rockies as dean of instruction. The paper noted she got her BA, MA and PhD in anthropology from SFU, and instructed here.

 

ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT

  • The Peterborough (ON) Examiner noted composer R. Murray Schafer is 75 this year and across Canada there have been celebration marking the occasion. One was there this week. Schafer invented the World Soundscape Project while at SFU in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

SFU RELEASES

In other news releases this week:

  • SFU announced its Board of Governors has approved the new Faculty of the Environment, and other faculty restructuring plans.
  • And sent media details of spring convocation June 3-6, and its honorary degree recipients (including B.C.’s Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, and Coast Salish artist Susan Point).  The Richmond News then carried an item on Hansen, a Richmond resident.
  • SFU and the Canada Council for the Arts told media that a prominent German scholar is coming to SFU for a year to further his research on political representation and political identity. Hans-Dieter Klingemann, political science prof at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin, has been awarded this year’s John G. Diefenbaker Award by the council.

SFU’s news releases can be found online at: http://www.sfu.ca/pamr/media_releases/.
Its newsletter, SFU News, is also online, at http://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/

ALSO in the NEWS

  • The Peak, the independent student newspaper at SFU,  carried a “Letter of the week” lauding SFU for using photos of bona fide SFU students in advertising for the May 31 Open House, and in other publications.  “It makes me feel great that SFU has no qualms about proudly displaying its varied and beautiful students out there to the rest of the world. Kudos to that.” The author: Earl Von Tapia, also a member of the SFU Student Society executive.
  • The Epoch Times covered the arrival in Vancouver of the Olympic “counter-torch” in a campaign calling for an end to human rights violations in China. Local host Clement Abas Apaak, founder of Canadian Students for Darfur and a member of the SFU board of governors, said: "The Chinese regime has made it a point to suppress and indeed persecute its own citizens and we just feel that this is simply not acceptable.”
  • National Post featured Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia, during an official visit to Toronto. Ilves served as director and administrator of the Vancouver Arts Centre from 1981 to 1983 and briefly taught Estonian literature and linguistics at SFU.
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