SFU IN THE NEWS - (Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2007)

September 7, 2007

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SFU experts were quoted often and long as BC and national media carried back-to-school and off-to-university features before and after Labour Day.
SFU’s office of Public Affairs and Media Relations (PAMR) also sent out news releases on how SFU beat its enrolment targets for fall term, and how a record number of new students swamped orientation sessions. You can see those and other PAMR releases here:
Among the back-to-school stories this week:
  • GlobalTV and Fairchild-TV both visited the Burnaby campus for newsfeatures and, among other things, talked to registrar Kate Ross.  
  • A feature on school transitions that went across the country via CanWest News Service quoted SFU’s Natalee Popadiuk, an assistant professor and co-ordinator of the university's counselling psychology program, and Chris Rogerson, SFU's assistant director of residence life.  The story ran in, among others, the Edmonton Journal and the Regina Leader-Post. 
  • Popadiuk was interviewed earlier on Channel-M TV (the multicultural station, which put her segment on all three of its newscasts) and she spent 45 minutes on RED-fm (a radio station that serves the Indo-Canadian market). The subjects: bullying and stress. She was also quoted in L’Express du Pacifique, the Lower Mainland’s French-language journal.
  • Rogerson was also on CBC Radio and in the Nanaimo Daily News. And he was quoted as the Alaska Highway News, Dawson Creek Daily News and The Northerner covered the new move to SFU of Fort St. John student Emily Palibroda.
  • The North Shore Outlook wrote about the stress of exams and tests. Quoted was Robert Awai, a mental health intake counsellor at SFU.
  • CBC Radio ran a story on an SFU study finding students in smaller schools miss fewer days and are less likely to drop out. The researcher quoted: assistant professor Michele Schmidt of Education. She was also quoted in the Prince Rupert Daily News.
  • CBC Radio also interviewed a bevy of international students talking about why they are at SFU, and what they hope to get from the experience. (Only SFU students were featured in this item.)
  • Michelle Nilson, an assistant professor of education, spoke on the Bill Good show on CKNW on the long-term effects of the drop in enrolment in universities and colleges. And Education dean Paul Shaker appeared on the Christy Clark show on CKNW.
  • The Nanaimo News Bulletin carried a story on how schoolyard bullies are not always male. "In recent years we've become much more aware of girls' potential for bullying behaviour," said Marlene Moretti, an SFU psychologist.


  • The murder-suicide that left five people dead in Oak Bay this week led to SFU criminologist Ehor Boyanowsky being interviewed by The Vancouver Sun, and speaking at length on the Bill Good show on CKNW. On the same story, the Victoria Times Colonist interviewed criminologist Neil Boyd, and CBC Radio quoted forensic psychology professsor Stephen Hart.  All the stories went across the country.
  • The Globe and Mail carried a feature on the growing used of podcasts and online interactivity to deliver lectures in Canadian universities. Among those featured: SFU math prof Veselin Jungic, who uses his cartoon superhero, “Math Girl”, and two animated short films to help explain difficult concepts to his first-year calculus class.
  • Anthony Perl, director of SFU’s urban studies program, was on CBC–TV in a segment on how Vancouver planners have decided the way to a greener city is on roads, paths, and sidewalks. Perl said discouraging car use is great, but the region has dropped the ball on public transit.
  • Dr. Tim Takaro, physician and associate prof in SFU health sciences, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail for a story on indoor toxicants.
  • A story in the Winnipeg Free Press quoted criminologist John Lowman on how sex-trade workers often don't report crimes because they distrust police and don't want to admit that's what they were doing at the time.
  • The Globe and Mail carried a feature on “Vancouver—one of North America's least friendly cities.” Among those quoted: David Thomas, SFU social scientist, who says  a there's no hard evidence that Vancouver is more standoffish than other big cities.
  • Science Daily reported on research showing several genes with strong associations to schizophrenia have evolved rapidly due to selection during human evolution. The research team included SFU’s Bernard Crespi, professor of evolutionary biology. The research was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.


  • GlobalTV came to the Burnaby campus to interview Bozena Kaminska, engineering professor (and Canada Research Chair). Kaminska will be featured at the WIRED NextFest 2007 in Los Angeles September 13-16, showcasing two disposable, wearable, wireless miniature biosensors. Our news release also brought CTV News and CITYtv up to do the story. It is also in this week’s SFU News.
  • The Burnaby News Leader carried a feature on Stacey McCann, who is in the second year of a master's in forensic entomology at SFU. She and forensics professor Gail Anderson last month set fire to three cars, each of which had a pig carcass in the trunk. McCann is now studying insects harvested from the remains of the carcasses.
  • In a sidebar story, the News Leader said SFU's new Centre for Forensic Studies on the Burnaby campus could soon rival the technology of the popular TV show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
  • Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reported that two severed human right feet, found on two separate Gulf Islands, will be studied in that SFU lab.
  • The Journal of Commerce carried a story on the new mechatronics engineering program at the Surrey campus. “A new breed of engineer is in the works at Simon Fraser University, which is establishing Western Canada’s first mechatronics engineering degree program.”
  • Gordon Price of SFU’s City Program wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun on the rating of Vancouver as the world’s most livable city. “That livability rating we too often take for granted is earned only because a generation of leaders didn't, and shaped the city we treasure, and criticize, today.”
  • Price was also quoted as the Burnaby News Leader wondered whether the new name “Metro Vancouver”, is a step towards a merger of 21 municipalities into a single megacity like Toronto or Montreal. Said Price: "The promise of savings haven't materialized. Toronto wouldn't do it again. And Montreal has reversed it to some degree."  The story also appeared in the North Shore Outlook.
  • The Burnaby News Leader featured a study into excess belly fat by Scott Lear, assistant professor of kinesiology. It found people of Chinese or South Asian descent have a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than their counterparts of European or aboriginal background, when their bellies are the same size. The problem is apparently not the “spare tire” but a deeper layer of fat.
  • The Vancouver Sun reported that BC Hydro scored a passing grade in the first customer satisfaction study of Canadian electric utilities, conducted by California's J.D. Power & Associates. The paper quoted John Calvert, associate prof and a member of the board of BC Citizens for Public Power.
  • A Vancouver Sun column by Don Cayo, examining Canada’s record in foreign aid, quoted a 2003 article by SFU's John Richards: "Where governments are exceptionally corrupt and inefficient, more aid does not mean more and better schools, health centres and infrastructure. It means an enhanced ability for politicians to operate hierarchies of patronage and shackle their domestic economies."
  • Conservative MP Jay Hill, in a guest column in the Dawson Creek Daily News, quoted SFU’s Mark Jaccard as saying: “You would have to destroy one-third of the buildings and equipment in your economy in the next four years to meet the Kyoto target."  The MP’s column also appeared in the Alaska Highway News and The Northerner, based in Prince Rupert.
  • A Burnaby Now story on random acts of kindness quoted psychology prof Dennis Krebs. "There's some research that shows when people are in a good mood . . . they are more prone to help other people."


  • The Province carried a season-preview interview with SFU’s new head football coach, Dave Johnson: "The theme of our season is, 'What can I be doing right now to make our team better?' and 'What selfless act can I do to make us more competitive?'."
  • Varsity football writer Tim Switzer of CanWest News Service predicted the Clan will finish seventh and last in the Canada West. So did the Edmonton Sun and the Calgary Herald. The Winnipeg Sun predicted a sixth-place finish.
  • The Province quoted at length Lani Gibbons of the Clan women’s basketball team, who beat the New Mexico State Aggies in a Labour Day weekend exhibition game. The team went on to edge the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks.
  • The Kelowna Daily Courier carried a feature on sophomore Robyn Buna, a Kelowna Secondary School grad, who scored 25 points in the win against Arkansas.
  • Meanwhile, the SFU men’s team lost to the US Air Force Academy, but The Province called the SFU effort “impressive”. It quoted SFU forward Greg Wallis. The men also lost to the Oklahoma Sooners, but Wallis netted 14 points.
  • SFU Recreation and Athletics also invited the public to watch online video of the UBC-SFU football game, and the Clan women's and men’s basketball games on the Clan Athletics Network. You can find out how at
  • You can also find there the way to blogs by Kate Hole of the women’s basketball team and Scott McEachern from the men’s soccer team.


  • SFU’s Vancouver campus told media how three stars are joining SFU’s Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing as faculty in the master of publishing program. They are Roberto Dosil, designer and art director; Mary Schendlinger, senior editor of Geist magazine; and Don Sedgwick, former publisher of Doubleday Canada, Seal Books and Scholastic Canada.
  • The Vancouver Sun gave a hefty plug for a conference at the Vancouver campus next week that will survey the history and prospects of the province's book-publishing industry. It’s organized by Alan Twigg, publisher of BC BookWorld and currently a Shadbolt Fellow at SFU. Ann Cowan, executive director of SFU's Vancouver campus, was quoted.


  • Burnaby Now took a feature walk around UniverCity, the residential development on the Burnaby campus, with Gordon Harris: “He's making his mark on the mountain. As Gordon Harris closes in on the two-thirds point in his first year as president and CEO of the SFU Community Trust, he's bringing his vision to UniverCity.”
  • The Tri-City News and Coquitlam Now reported that highland dancer Fiona Lee, 17, was crowned 2007 world champion for her age category after securing four straight firsts at a competition in Dunoon, Scotland. Her dad, Terry Lee, is pipe major of the SFU pipe band.
  • The Aldergrove Star, in an editorial, praised the efforts of SFU grad student John Buker, who is campaigning for a light-rail commuter link between Vancouver and Chilliwack.
  • The Vancouver Sun reported on its front page that Peter Robinson is leaving as CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op to head up the David Suzuki Foundation. The Sun noted that Robinson studied geography at SFU.
  • Vancouver financial advisor Jim Rogers has been appointed president of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international association of financial professionals with more than 35,000 members from 78 countries. He is a guest lecturer at SFU and has an MBA from the university.
  • The Province reported that ex-Clan football star Lui Passaglia will leave the BC Lions at the end of the season. Passaglia, who has been the Lions’ community relations director since retiring from playing in 2000, is going to join the family construction firm.
  • The Mission City Record carried a feature on local figure-skater Alexa Adams, 17, who skates at the junior silver level. She’s a student at SFU, the Record noted.


  • Coming in the October 4 edition of Canadian Business, the first of a four-year series of articles from SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team.

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