SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - July 25, 2008

July 25, 2008

A look at how SFU and its people made news: July 18-25, 2008                


  • Agence France Presse (AFP) reported July 25 on a study showing anti-HIV drugs have slashed death rates among people with the AIDS virus by nearly 40 percent since combination therapy was introduced in 1996—boosting their life expectancy by some 13 years. The study in The Lancet, Britain’s prestigious weekly medical journal, was by a team headed by Robert Hogg, a prof in SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and director of epidemiology and health with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
    Said AFP: “It is the biggest-ever assessment into the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy—the triple cocktail of drugs that suppress, but do not eradicate, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”
    The Vancouver Sun and GlobalTV quicklypicked up the story from AFP. So did four news outlets in South Africa, and others in France, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.
  • A Scripps Howard News Service featured two new reports that "reiterate the overwhelmingly positive impact of globalization upon our planet, making it more peaceful and more just." One report was the "Human Security Brief 2007," from Andrew Mack of SFU's Human Security Report project. The feature concluded: "We do not live in a more dangerous world . . . so be unafraid—be very unafraid!"
    We first saw the feature in the Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT) and then in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The Council on Foreign Relations also mentioned the SFU report on its website.
  • India-based picked up an item from, defending software patents, often criticized by advocates of free and open-source software. Computer science prof Fred Popowich of SFU was one of those quoted. carried a video-interview with him and Larry Rosen, former legal counsel for the Open Source Initiative.
  • China’s English-language Shanghai Daily featured the 2004 book Cultural Intelligence: People Skills for Global Business, co-authored by David C. Thomas, professor of international management at SFU Business. The headline: “The Good Boss Needs Eastern, Western Style”.
  • The Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin carried a feature on how some parents of Boomer generation kids may have given them a little too much coddling and support. “Many of their offspring—post-college degree and in their mid- to late 20s—still haven't a clue about what to do with their lives.” The newspaper noted that SFU sociologist Barbara Mitchell did in-depth interviews with 490 Boomer parents and found such parental frustration was common.
  • Chemical & Engineering News carried a story on German research into a light-responsive molecular shield that could lead to new applications in chemical surface patterning. It added: “The research complements recent work directed by Neil R. Branda of Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, British Columbia, which used light to tune acidity. . . .”


  • The major Chinese-market media in BC were quick to pick up on a news release on how SFU’s dual-degree program with China’s Zhejiang University is being formally reviewed by both universities. Ten 10 faculty members from ZU were at the Burnaby campus this week. That drew newspapers Sing Tao and Ming Pao, Channel M-TV, Fairchild TV and Fairchild Radio, and Radio CHMB 1320. As well, CBC interviewed computing science prof Stella Atkins, the first SFU faculty member to teach in the program in China.
  • The Vancouver Sun did a story on a Statistics Canada report that showed the number of young offenders sent to jail in BC has dropped by 50 per cent over the past six years. Among those quoted was SFU criminologist Ray Corrado, who said that, for most young people, jail is counter-productive. "Other than for a handful, the prison experience is not the best place to try to intervene in their lives.” GlobalTV also ran the story.
  • Vancouver’s WestEnder newspaper carried a story on the importance to Vancouver mayoral hopefuls of “the Chinese vote”. SFU political scientist Kennedy Stewart was quoted: “Candidates need to make a real effort to understand what issues are important to these communities and offer policies to address perceived problems."
  • Meanwhile, the Vancouver Courier's coverage of preparations for Vancouver's civic election mentioned that SFU geographer John Irwin hopes to win election to the parks board as a candidate for COPE, the Coalition of Progressive Electors.
  • The North Shore News reported that groups of residents in North Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are calling for a cull of crows, citing the birds' noise and attacks on songbirds. But SFU ornithologist Rob Butler dismissed the complaint that crows are to blame for declining songbird populations. "It's mostly the Steller's jay that take the young ones," and no one has called for a cull of jays.
  • Criminology director Rob Gordon was in a Georgia Straight story in which BC solicitor general John van Dongen said he’s not opposed to regional policing but wants to see a stronger municipal consensus on the issue. Gordon, a supporter of a regional police force, said: “Until there is a coordinated and organized and properly resourced war on organized crime . . . we can expect a continuation of gun violence.”
  • Also in Georgia Straight, Rosie Dhaliwal, registered dietitian with SFU’s health and counselling services. The story was about the health claims of advocates of eating raw veggies. Said Dhaliwal: “There isn’t any scientific evidence to support the superior nutritional quality of a raw-food diet.”
  • Radio Canada TV heard of plans to remove cooling gases this week from magnets in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines in the Shrum Science Centre. (They became corroded after a July 1 escape of water and steam from a pipe in the Chemistry area.) Radio Canada interviewed, on camera, Andrew Lewis, supervisor of NMR services.
  • CBC-TV spoke to Anthony Perl, director of the SFU Urban Studies program, for a story on an independent audit of TransLink. (Which, among other things, said TransLink lost $6.4 million due to fare evasion in 2006.)
  • Lara Nettelfield, assistant professor of international studies, co-authored an article in The Vancouver Sun on the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war criminal. “ . . . there were no protests or strong reactions. . . .  Justice, however belatedly served, is finally becoming business as usual.”
    As well, the Institute of War and Peace Reporting carried an article from Nettelfield on a seminar organised by the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Centre. It looked at using databases to process and analyse documents that record massacres, war crimes and often unspeakable acts.
  • The Invermere Echo and the Golden Star ran stories story on how two SFU students are spending the summer travelling across the province, urging residents to recycle used oil. Linnaea Wiseman and Amy Cheung are in summer co-op jobs with the B.C. Used Oil Management Association.
  • Burnaby Now carried a brief from a past SFU news release on how criminology research fellow Margaret Kalacska seeks to help stop the flow of drugs, people, weapons and cash through holes in the Canada-U.S. border. She's researching the use of airborne and satellite images to identify clandestine Canada-U.S border crossings.
  • The Burnaby Newsleader featured, the most-visited lyrics site on the Internet (22 million unique users each month and over 500,000 licensed lyrics). It was co-founded by Milun Tesovic of Burnaby, who is finishing a commerce degree at SFU. The other founder: Alan Juristovski, a chemical engineer with a masters in business from SFU.
  • The Burns Lake District News featured a community youth dialogue program led by Joanna Ashworth, director of SFU Dialogue Programs. It was one of a province-wide series of forums for young people to explore their visions for their communities’ futures.
  • The Surrey-North Delta Leader promoted the summer series of free healthy living workshops being offered at the Surrey campus. The 2008 Summer Health Institute began in early July and continues until the end of August. The Peace Arch News picked up the story, too.


  • The Ottawa Citizen visited the Esperanto Congress of the Americas in Montreal, where 200 participants discussed (and spoke) the "international second language" that has never become one. Among Esperanto speakers in the story: SFU education prof Mark Fettes, who learned the language as an adolescent, and whose wife and three primary school-age children all speak Esperanto.
    Said Fettes: "All kinds of people are attracted to Esperanto. People interested in languages; people who like designing things—we get a lot of people with computer or gaming backgrounds; and people who come into it for idealistic reasons."
  • The Globe and Mail looked at the so-called "Green Revolution" that since 1945 has transformed farming and fed millions in developing countries—but with a reliance on pesticides and one-crop culture that is "proving to be stunningly destructive."
    Among those quoted was SFU's bee expert, Mark Winston, academic director at SFU's Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue and a scientist whose research has looked at the impact of agricultural practices on plants and pollination. He noted that the use of fallow periods improves farm output. "The data is very strong: Plant less and make more money. It's a whole different mindset."
    Closer to home, Winston was also in astory in The Province on the “significant” reduction of the bee population in the Fraser Valley. Said Winston: "There needs to be a vast increase in regulations in the bee industry. We need to develop a very different way of keeping bees."
  • The Hill TImes in Ottawa reported that Parliament's Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics Committee has a long list of witnesses and experts it wants to hear from as it continues its controversial investigation into the Conservatives' alleged $1.3-million "in-and-out" election campaign spending scheme.  Among those on the list: Andrew Heard, associate professor of political science at SFU.
  • Gerontologist Gloria Gutman was on the Canada AM show on CTV talking about court rulings on mandatory retirement. She earlier did four other media interviews on a variety of aging issues.
  • CanWest News Service distributed across the country a story on the discovery of a breeding ground for porbeagle sharks, on the Georges Bank, 500 km off the Nova Scotia shore. The story quoted Nick Dulvy, research chair in marine biodiversity and conservation at SFU. We first spotted it in the Edmonton Journal.


  • The Surrey-North Delta Leader reported three SFU researchers are the latest to receive funding from the federal Canada Research Chairs program: Diane Gromala, associate professor in SFU Surrey’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology; sociology prof Cindy Patton and education prof Phil Winne are among 129 faculty members from 35 universities to receive new or renewed funding.
  • The Canadian Press distributed across the country a feature on 30 top math students from around the world who are at SFU Burnaby for a special summer camp The story focused on analysis of magnetic fields to detect buried landmines and unexploded ordnance. Arvind Gupta, scientific director of MITACS, was quoted: "This kind of high-level industrial mathematics research is relatively new."
    The camp is jointly funded by the provincial government and MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems), a national network of mathematicians based at SFU Burnaby.
    Megan Airton, MITACS communications director, reported a couple of dozen media hits from across Canada this week, including CBC, CTV, and Maclean’s magazine. The Globe and Mail did a piece on the camp last week.
  • Kanwal Neel, president of the B.C. Association of Mathematics Teachers and program coordinator for the Faculty of Education's Professional Qualification Program, based out of the Surrey campus, did two long-distance interviews with CBC Radio while attending the World Education Forum in Adelaide. The interviews were for On the Coast and All Points West. Neel was in Australia to present his research on new ways of teaching math to aboriginal students.
  • The Vancouver Sun featured the Digital Media Boot Camp program at the Great Northern Way campus. Among those quoted was instructor Magi Seif el-Nasr, an instructor at SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Great Northern way is a collaboration of SFU, UBC, BCIT and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.
  • The Kitimat Northern Sentinel reported on how six French Immersion students from Kitimat “got a taste of university life and loved it.” This in the Rencontre camp held at SFU Burnaby for Grade 7 and 8 French Immersion students across BC.
  • The Surrey-North Delta Leader ran SFU’s news release on eased entrance requirements. (Beginning in September 2009, prospective SFU students will need to have a high school graduation certificate and a pass in only one provincial Grade 12 exam—English 12 or equivalent—rather than four Grade 12 passes.


  • examined the “moving goalposts” of the BC government’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by way of the new carbon tax, and cap-and-trade emissions regulations. The website noted: “All of these policies were run through a computer model by M.K. Jaccard and Associates, a company headed by Simon Fraser University environmental economist Mark Jaccard. These modelling results were incorporated into the government's Climate Action Plan and released a few weeks ago.”
  • Meanwhile, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale wrote a letter in his Saskatchewan constituency newspapers, the Yorkton News Review and the Tisdale Record, criticizing the federal Conservative party’s plans to deal with greenhouse gases. He wrote: “As pointed out by distinguished, independent, western experts like Jack Mintz at the University of Calgary and Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University, the Harper government has not been honest or straightforward in its propaganda around these issues.”
  • Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells looked at Liberal leader Stéphane Dion’s version of a carbon tax, and quoted Dion: “Mark Jaccard says something quite true: Do you remember the day you decided to take the lead out of your gas? No. Lead went out of your gas because somebody found the technique to get it out, it was put on the market. And that's what a carbon tax will do. It will make solutions affordable." How? By making the lack of solutions more expensive.
  • The Caledonia Courier in Fort St. James picked up a Black Press story in which SFU profs Jaccard, Nancy Olewiler and John Richards defended the new BC carbon tax. And letters to the editor in the Kamloops Daily News and the Regina Leader-Post also quoted Jaccard.
  • The Guelph Mercury explored the question: “What can the government do about the price of gas?” It quoted John Nyboer, executive director of the Energy Materials Research Group at SFU: “They have the impact of being able to reduce or alter their tax structure, and they have obviously the ability to subsidize it if they wish to.”
  • Closer to home, the North Shore News picked up a guest column by Jaccard that ran earlier in other newspapers. After researching the Danish model of carbon tax that the BC NDP cites, Jaccard concluded: “A shift to the NDP-Danish ‘carbon tax at source’ will lead to higher taxes and less money in their pockets for typical middle- and low-income families in B.C. . . . One wonders if the NDP should change its motto from ‘axe the tax’ to ‘tax to the max.’


  • The Vancouver Sun's book pages covered the latest Symposium on the Book, a day-long conversation among authors and their readers. It was held as part of SFU's Summer Publishing Workshops. Half a dozen crime writers were among the participants at the Harbour Centre campus.
  • The Peace Arch News reported on the hopes of SFU student Sun Bains of White Rock, a contestant in the Miss BC World pageant. "Bains . . . has already reigned as Miss White Rock (2003-04) and Miss BC (2004-05); she competed in Miss Universe Canada last year." In the end, Bains missed out on the BC World crown.
  • The Whistler Question reported that a painting depicting the pepper-spraying of protesters at UBC in 1997 has been purchased by the SFU Gallery. The artist is Heather Passmore of Roberts Creek, who was there when the demonstrators were targeting the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) conference. Bill Jeffries, SFU gallery curator, was quoted.
  • The Rutland (VT) Herald reported that piper Jack Lee and drummer Reid Maxwell from the SFU Pipe Band were teaching this week at a workshop at Castleton State College there.


  • SFU Athletics told media how the Clan men’s soccer team will open their 2008 training camp Aug. 1. Their season starts Aug. 20 at Trinity Western University. New head coach Alan Koch has attracted six top-level recruits.
    Athletics also told media how the Clan women’s soccer head coach, Shelley Howieson, has signed eight new players. “I’m very pleased with the overall depth and breadth of this recruiting class,” said Howieson. “They will complement our team well for 2008 and beyond.”
    And Athletics spread word to sports reporters that Clan football coach Dave Johnson expects approximately 120 student-athletes to report to training camp on Friday, Aug. 8. SFU opens its regular season Aug. 23, against the UBC Thunderbirds at Swangard Stadium.
  • Daniel Igali, Olympic gold medallist and SFU grad student, has been invited to do an interview with CNN International in Beijing. Igali will be coaching and mentoring two Nigerian athletes for the summer Olympics there. The interview would be broadcast to more than 220 million television households and hotel rooms in more than 200 countries and territories.
  • The Kitimat Northern Sentinel reported members of the Clan basketball team will lead an advanced basketball camp at Kitimaat Village Aug. 3-5.
  • The Ucluelet News featured local wrestler Sidney Morrison, who is heading to Austria next month on a training trip with the SFU wrestling team. She will attend SFU in fall.

ALSO in the NEWS

  • The Vancouver Courier reported that Michael Geller has been inducted into the Canadian Institute of Planners' College of Fellows. He is the former CEO of the SFU Community Trust and oversaw the first phase of UniverCity, “a sustainable community built next to the SFU campus on Burnaby Mountain”. He’s running for Vancouver city council as an NPA (Non-Partisan Association) candidate.
  • The Saanich News reported the appointment to the Camosun College board of governors of Victoria lawyer Scott Marshall. The newspaper noted he was a charter student at SFU.
  • The Kitchener-Waterloo Record featured research into 3-D imaging that could  improve the accuracy of results in breast-cancer screening. The research team is led by Karim Karim, who got his doctorate at the University of Waterloo and then went to SFU. Now back at Waterloo, he has nine graduate students working on "smart pixels" for different imaging applications.
  • Coquitlam Now reported that the city of Coquitlam has hired Karen Basi as its new manager of emergency programs. The paper noted she’s an SFU grad who was an instructor and curriculum developer at the Justice Institute of BC, and was an emergency program co-ordinator for the city of Burnaby.
  • The Vancouver Courier carried a feature on a new committee of sex workers, support services and city police that seeks to make life safer for sex workers. Chair of the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group is Tamara O'Doherty, a graduate of SFU's criminology program who led a three-year academic study on prostitution and violence.


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