SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - August 15, 2008

August 15, 2008

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A look at how SFU and its people made news: August 9-15, 2008            

Several SFU students got media attention during the week. Among them:
  • Patrick Belliveau, who is working as a geology research assistant.
  • Greg Campbell, who sparked a new SFU carpooling program.
  • Brianne Young, who is featured at Penticton’s Centennial Tartan Night.

Meanwhile, GlobalTV ran a hefty feature on David Murphy, SFU’s new senior director of Athletics.

More on these stories below.


  • The Vancouver Sun featured heritage research being done by the Tla'Amin (Sliammon) First Nation on BC’s Sunshine Coast. A big part of the feature was a report on a an important dig led by SFU archaeologist Dana Lepofsky, with anthropologist and social archaeologist John Welch. Lepofsky spent two months doing an archaeological survey of Scuttle Bay and a preliminary excavation of a lookout fortification.
    In a sidebar story, the Sun reported: “Lepofsky spent considerable energy talking with people who had Tla'Amin artifacts, about their meaning, and trying to convince them to donate the items to the museum. . . . Artifacts from this summer's dig are being cleaned, photographed and tentatively dated at a lab on SFU's Burnaby Mountain campus, while Lepofsky, Welch and their SFU colleague Ross Jamieson take educated guesses about uses for the more mysterious items.”
  • Historian Andre Gerolymatos wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun saying the crisis in Georgia and South Ossetia presented a unique opportunity for Russian premier Vladimir Putin. “Reclaiming regions, such as Georgia, back to Russia's sphere of influence and at the same time gaining control of the Caucasus will practically guarantee a Russian monopoly over access to petroleum resources in Central Asia. . . . Russian petroleum and gas have become the mainstay of the EU's energy supplies.”
  • Vancouver Sun writer Doug Todd (a former Shadbolt Fellow at SFU) wrote about the extra-marital affair admitted by U.S. politician John Edwards. Todd quoted SFU ethicist Mark Wexler as saying the media are assuming people who do bad can't do good. Added Todd: “It's the stance often adopted by religious people, political commentators, opposition members and, increasingly, everyday people who believe a tarnished public figure can't be up to anything beneficial.”
  • The Province’s career pages featured SFU student Patrick Belliveau (fourth-year physics) who is working as a geology research assistant under prof Gwenn Flowers in SFU Earth Sciences. He’s in the southwest Yukon, collecting data from the Kluane Lake Nature Reserve Glacier.
  • The Tri-City News reported on the SFU carpooling program that has grown from a project by Greg Campbell, a fourth-year communication student, and his Business 361 team. Working with SFU Parking Services and the Jack Bell Foundation, the students developed a way of connecting students, staff and faculty in need of a ride to the university with drivers who have an extra seat to share. About 100 people have already registered for the program at (It’s limited to SFU people.)
  • Burnaby Now featured the Vancouver Brain Training Clinic, a new Burnaby business to help kids improve cognitive skills so they can do better in school. Urs Ribary, SFU Leadership Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, told the paper that parents should “be a little careful" when looking for such programs. "But, overall, it's well-known that the brain can shape, and cognitive therapies can be quite powerful.”
  • Burnaby Now also promoted the summer menu from the Interfaith Summer Institute for Justice Peace and Social Movements. The SFU-based non-profit has been hosting non-credit courses and public forums.
  • The Bowen Island Undercurrent picked up an SFU release on the SFU Pipe Band, which competes Saturday in the World Pipe Band championships in Glasgow. The band is seeking its fifth world title.
  • Chris Rogerson, assistant director of SFU Residence Life, did an interview on the morning show on CFUN Radio (AM1410), talking about the transition to university from high school.


  • Criminologist Lynne Bell was on CBC talking about her research that suggests King Henry the Eighth's favourite warship sank in 1545 because the mostly Spanish crew didn't understand the captain's orders.  Bell examined teeth from a sample of human remains and  found most of the crew weren't Britons, as always believed, but from a more southern part of Europe. The finding was confirmed by recently found letters written by the king in which he said he'd hired 600 Spanish mariners. The story has run in some 50 media outlets in Britain—but with all the credit going to British co-researchers.
  • CanWest News Service carried a feature on the lightning-fast spread via the internet of news—and rumours—following the grisly murder of a passenger on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba. Communication prof Richard Smith told CanWest that research suggests that when authorities are too slow to respond with answers on a case such as this, it "exacerbates situations because that's when people start turning to rumours." We saw the story in papers in Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon and Montreal.
  • The Ottawa Citizen picked up from the Calgary Herald a column that looked at business prof Boyd Cohen’s contest to find “The Greenest Person on the Planet”. The column asked: “Since when did being ‘green’ get elevated to the status of a moral virtue?”
  • Maclean’s magazine told readers how 89 competitors from 33 schools will head to UBC on Aug. 21 to present their research in a competition. Maclean’s said SFU, UBC and UVic  “came together to offer Rising Stars of Research, a four-day event that will allow students to compete in a poster competition with a top prize of $500.”


  • The Globe and Mail and 24Hours reported on an SFU angle in the grilling that Premier Gordon Campbell got from a Chinese reporter in Beijing. He faced questions—from the reporter for China Daily—about how people would get between Vancouver and Whistler if another rockslide hits the Sea-to-Sky Highway; what would happen if Games opponents try to block the road; and cancellation of the Vancouver leg of China's Paralympics Torch Relay. The Globe story began: “The reporter from the state-owned China Daily who made headlines in Canada by grilling B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell on local 2010 Olympic controversies turns out to be a smart, 25-year-old with a degree in communications from Simon Fraser University.” He is Andy Yinan Hu.
  • The Winston-Salem (SC) Journal ran a Washington Post story from June on the fast-shrinking population of sharks in the Mediterranean. The story also mentioned research by Nick Dulvy, research chair in marine biodiversity and conservation at SFU, finding that in the open ocean sharks that used to be an inadvertent bycatch for vessels seeking tuna and swordfish are increasingly being targeted for their meat and fins.)
  • The U.S. Conference of Mayors distributed a news release about a meeting in New York Tuesday that discussed infrastructure and transportation needs in cities. Among the speakers was Anthony Perl, director of the SFU Urban Studies program. His address stemmed from his co-authored book, Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil.
  • The Daily Star in Dhaka, Bangladesh, covered a seminar there on higher education. Speakers included public policy prof John Richards.
  • The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch service reported on a paper by Margaret Kalacska, former SFU criminology researcher and now an assistant prof in McGill’s geography department. Her paper (for the Canadian International Council) says remote sensing technology and computer programs are the way to further protect Canada and the U.S. from criminal incursions at largely unmonitored stretches of the border.


  • GlobalTV ran a hefty feature (running almost three minutes on the major 6 p.m. news) on David Murphy, SFU’s new senior director of Athletics.
    It began with this angle: “Ironically, it’s a former surgeon the university has brought in to make repairs and bring structure and unity to a once-fractured department.” Reporter Dan Elliott billed Murphy as “a new face with fresh ideas who believes in his coaches.”
    Murphy urged patience on his coaches: “Take your lumps at first, but eventually, if you take the right kids with the right attitude, and good coaching, you’ll be OK.” He also said playing in the NCAA would “probably be the best fit for SFU” in the long run.
    The feature concluded with Murphy saying: “The thing that we’re here for, and my biggest thrill, is when a student-athlete walks across that stage and gets their degree. That’s what we’re all about.”
  • SFU Athletics told media about the new seasons shaping up for the Clan men’s and women’s soccer teams. The men last season had a 13-1-1 record, and got to the final four in the NAIA National Championship. The women were 8-3-5.
  • The Penticton Western News carried a photo of Clan basketball coach Bruce Langford helping a Penticton high-school student with her shooting skills at an instruction camp. And the Kitimat Northern Sentinel featured a youth basketball camp at Kitamaat Village, where one of the coaches was Clan player Kevin Shaw.
  • Vancouver-based Asian Pacific Post and South Asian Post featured Clan wrestler Arjan Singh Bhullar. He is also on the national freestyle wrestling team, is a two-time senior national champion, and won bronze medals in the PanAmerican Games and World University Championships.
  • The Vancouver Sun featured Luca Bellisomo, former Clan soccer player who now is with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He got his first senior goal against Atlanta on Tuesday. The Province noted that, thanks to injuries and suspensions for other players, Bellisomo now has started six straight games for the senior team.
  • The Delta Optimist reported that former Clan basketball standout Jay Triano was at the South Delta Secondary gym, doing a photo-shoot for a basketball book he's writing. Then he headed to China as an analyst for the CBC’s TV coverage of Olympic basketball.


  • A Globe and Mail story on Olympic women wrestlers included Carol Huynh of Hazelton BC, a former Clan star who was in the Sports Illustrated list of Olympians who could well win a medal in Beijing.
  • National Post and The Vancouver Sun were among papers that carried a CanWest News Service feature on Olympic wrestler Travis Cross, who trained at SFU until 2006. Port Alberni, a community of 18,000, has given Cross $60,000 in direct support the last three years, and close to $200,000 in in-kind and other sponsorship.
  • The Province compared the skills of indoor volleyball and beach volleyball players. SFU (indoor) head coach Lisa Sulatycki noted: “There are no subs in beach volleyball . . . (and) there's a lot more space to cover. You have to have a sense of where you are going."
  • The Province also talked to SFU women's soccer coach Shelley Howieson about the psychology she’d use if she were Canada’s coach in the Canada-US women's soccer game today.  (Sadly, Canada lost 2-1 in overtime.)


  • Surrey Now reported on plans for a high-tech art "garden" at Bear Creek Park in Surrey.  The anchor piece, the Now said, was “designed by a team of artists and sculptors led by Michael Filimowicz, a lecturer at SFU Surrey's School of Interactive Arts and Technology.”
  • (SFU sent out a news release July 21 on this being one of two SIAT commissions from the City of Surrey public arts commission. His release noted: “Graduate students Lorna Boschman and Vicki Moulder received a commission for “The Talking Pole” at the Serpentine Greenway, while artists Michael Filimowicz, Melanie Cassidy, Philippe Pasquier and Brady Marks will create “Lingua Aqua” at Bear Creek Park.”)
  • The Penticton Western News featured SFU student Brianne Young, a bagpiper and Gaelic speaker who’ll be featured at Penticton’s Centennial Tartan Night tomorrow, Aug. 16. She has her eyes on a doctorate in Scottish studies.

ALSO in the NEWS

  • So what makes a bad singer bad? Scientific American reported on research involving cognitive neuroscientist Steven Brown, formerly of SFU, that suggests four possible causes of tuneless warbling: bad hearing, poor control of the vocal system, inability to imitate a sound, and bad memory: Between the time someone hears a song and when they sing it back, they forget the notes. Scientific American identified Brown as an SFU prof; in fact he left SFU in June to go to McMaster. He and a U.S. colleague tested 79 college students on their ability to discriminate between musical notes and their ability to sing accurately.
  • The North Shore News featured Wesla Wong, GlobalTV's newest weather and traffic reporter. The paper noted she majored in communications at SFU (with a minor in criminology) and volunteered at CJSF, the campus radio station.
  • News media in Ghana reported party infighting over the selection of economist Mahamudu Bawumia, a deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, as running mate for New Patriotic Party leader Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Reporters noted Bawumia holds a PhD in economics from SFU.

  • Ontario’s Trent University announced to media the appointment of Gyles Iannone as associate vice president, research, effective Sept. 1. Iannone is an associate prof in Trent’s anthropology department. He got his initial BA at SFU.


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