SFU IN THE NEWS - (September 7-14, 2007)

September 14, 2007

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A look at how SFU and its people fared in the news media: Sept. 7-14, 2007              


  • In advance of the official opening on Sept. 19 of the new ASSC1 building (Arts and Social Sciences) on the Burnaby campus:
    • The Vancouver Sun ran today (Sept. 14) a front-page photo of forensic entomologist Gail Anderson, with the headline “New SFU lab will work to solve old crimes”.

That linked to a BC page story on the new forensic centre in ASSC1, with another photo of Anderson, and quotes from her, and from forensic anthropologist Mark Skinner, molecular archeologist Dongya Yang, lab manager Andrew Barton, and criminologist Lynne Bell.

    • GlobalTV visited ASSC1 with a camera, interviewed Anderson and criminologist Paul Brantingham, and filmed areas of the building.


  • Media across Canada, reporting on the latest census numbers on marriage, children and households, quoted SFU sociologist Barbara Mitchell. Mitchell was first quoted by CanWest News service. Mitchell was also on CITYtv. Then The Canadian Press picked up the story, and sent it (in English and French) to 100 papers and 500-plus radio and TV stations across Canada.
  • SFU historian Andre Gerolymatos was on CTV News saying that the 2010 Olympic Games here could be a valuable target for terrorism. "The largest number of athletes will be from the United States, and the largest number of visitors, tourists, will be from the United States—giving the terrorists a golden opportunity to strike at the U.S. off U.S. soil."
  • The Globe and Mail looked at gang gunplay on Vancouver’s streets. It quoted SFU criminologist Robert Gordon as saying there are about 100 known organized gangs in the province, but the BC government hasn’t allocated enough funding to the appropriate agencies to curb the problem.

In their stories on the same subject, The Province and The Canadian Press quoted criminologist Neil Boyd.

  • Boyd was also quoted in the Regina Leader-Post, in a story on the collapse of a case against a Hells Angel charged with illegally wearing his colours in a bar. (Saskatchewan has a law against gang colours.) Boyd doubted any prosecutor could make the charge stick because of the difficulty of proving the Hells Angels are a criminal gang.
  • Boyd was also quoted as the Calgary Herald reported how that city is looking at surveillance cameras at inner-city trouble spots. Said Boyd: "The open question that nobody has an answer for, is whether they reduce crime or just displace it.”
  • Los Angeles TV station KTLA (which has its own sidewalk star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) made a date to shoot an item on Bozena Kaminska, SFU engineering prof (and Canada Research Chair). She is at the WIRED NextFest 2007 in L.A. this week, showcasing two disposable, wearable, wireless miniature biosensors.

She was also on GlobalTV here, in an item shot before she went to L.A.

  • In continuing coverage of the murder-suicide that left five people dead in Oak Bay Sept. 4, the Globe and Mail looked at the ineffectiveness of restraining orders against violent spouses. It quoted SFU psychologist Stephen Hart: “That piece of paper does no good if someone comes at you with a knife or a gun.”
  • Also in the Globe and Mail, columnist Jeffrey Simpson said: “It takes some getting used to hearing Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the world stage claiming that Canada must be a ‘world leader’ in combatting climate change.” Simpson quoted studies by SFU energy guru Mark Jaccard finding Canada’s carbon emissions will inexorably rise through 2050, not fall.
  • The Financial Post section of National Post wondered if Canada's softwood lumber tangles with the U.S. could be ended if Canada granted more private ownership of the woods. Among those quoted: Herb Grubel, professor emeritus of economics. "I have heard . . . a representative of the American government saying, 'Yes, this is at the heart, at the core, of our problems'.”
  • The Canadian Press carried a story on a study proposing that Canada's aging population will have little impact on the cost of maintaining a viable national public health-care system over the next 40 years. Among those quoted was Steven Lewis, a health policy consultant and adjunct professor at SFU and the U of Calgary.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education reported how the US Patriot Act is having far-reaching effects on universities and academics. “Canadian colleges are preventing professors from entering the United States with students' private data on their laptops and limiting the locations of servers where academic data are stored.” Ian Forsyth, SFU’s information and privacy coordinator, was quoted.


  • The Vancouver Sun carried a special feature on university business schools, and how employers are recruiting there.Ed Bukszar, associate dean at SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business, was among those quoted. "There are quite a few markets for graduate education. Twenty years ago an MBA was an MBA. Now MBAs have a very different texture to them."

The Sun also identified as the “biggest development this fall”—in the digital entertainment scene—the opening of the Centre for Digital Media at the Great Northern Way Campus. There, SFU, UBC, BCIT and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design have pooled resources to offer a master's degree in digital media.

  • The Vancouver Sun reported that the B.C. Innovation Council has given its Young Innovator Award to Dugan O'Neil, assistant professor of physics, for his leadership at the university's high-energy particle physics group, finders of the elusive subatomic particle known as the single top quark.
  • Burnaby Now picked up an SFU news release on enrolment for the fall semester, reporting first-year enrolment is six per cent above target even though there are fewer Grade 12 graduates in B.C. Registrar Kate Ross and Joanne Curry, executive director of the Surrey Campus, were quoted.
  • Surrey Now and the Surrey Leader told readers that SFU's Surrey campus welcomed 665 new first-year students—a 37 per cent increase over last year. Again, Curry was quoted. (Headline in the Leader: “SFU: Here it grows again”)
  • Vancouver Sun writer Doug Todd (a former Shadbolt Fellow at SFU) spoke with four Muslim teens about what it's like to be young and Muslim in this pluralistic, multi-faith metropolis. Meeting with Todd at the new Interfaith Centre on the Burnaby campus, the four included Sana Siddiqui, a 19-year-old criminology student and president of SFU's 70-member Muslim Student Association.
  • GlobalTV was the first media outlet to report that daycare workers at the SFU Children's Centre on the Burnaby campus have announced plans to begin a full-scale strike there starting Monday 17 September. That would close the centre, affecting some 250 families and 263 children. (The daycare centre is operated by the independent, SFU Childcare Society.) CKNW, CKWX, CBC Radio and other media also carried the story.
  • The Vancouver Sun mentioned SFU’s presence in the new Woodward’s development in Vancouver. (The building will be the home of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts starting in 2009). The story reported that London Drugs will open a 33,878-square-foot, two-level store at the site in the fall of 2009.
  • Burnaby Now wrote a feature on aman who has made a business out of training other men in the art and science of meeting women. Marjorie Griffin Cohen, SFU political science and women's studies prof, sniped at the man’s theories, and called his practice of approaching unknown women in malls "dreadful." But Charles Crawford, SFU professor emeritus of psychology, said: "He's just teaching old-fashioned Victorian social skills.”
  • The Kamloops Daily News reported that the Kamloops-Thompson School District won a high grade from an evaluation conducted by Education prof Robin Brayne. " . . . What I found is a very, very progressive, stable, well-governed, well-managed school district."
  • The Surrey Board of Trade’s publication, Business in Surrey, ran several items from news releases from SFU. Among the items: "Simon Fraser University has opened the final two classroom floors in its 30,000-square-metre campus at Central City. . . . Researchers at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus are partnering with the Surrey Museum. . . . A partnership program between SFU Surrey and Kwantlen College will enter its second year this fall.” Business in Surrey also picked up an SFU release to say: “Congratulations to a host of donors for supporting SFU Surrey. . . .”


  • Rebecca Wigod’s books column in The Vancouver Sun advised: “Finally, you'll be hearing a lot about David Chariandy, who teaches at Simon Fraser University and will appear at October's writers' festival with his debut novel, Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press). In Caribbean lore, a soucouyant is an evil spirit.”
  • Also in the Sun’s book pages, a story that promoted three new exhibitions at the SFU Gallery: On the Burnaby campus, Douglas Coupland’s new sculptural work, Fifty Books I Have Read More Than Once. Also at Burnaby, silkscreen prints by R.B. Kitaj. And at the Vancouver campus, Sviatoslav Ciaputa's Historical Miscellany. For more info on these shows go to
  • Marketing prof Lindsay Meredith was quoted in a Vancouver Sun announcement of a free online music album offered by the paper in collaboration with Nettwerk Music Group. Meredith said "poor old [Johannes] Gutenberg would be spinning in his grave," but newspapers have to embrace the digital age if they are to survive. Also quoted was Sun Arts and Life editor Dominic Patten, who is an SFU alum. Meredith was quoted in the Sun again as it reported that more than 10,000 music lovers downloaded the album last weekend.



  • SFU football coach Dave Johnson gave a classic quote to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix as his Clan prepared to meet the U of Sask Huskies: "Our locker room is full of great guys, great character, good human beings, leaders of the future. We just can't tackle or block anybody very well yet."

The Province’s pre-game story focussed on Clan linebacker Jamie McCartney: "I'd never even seen a football helmet until I was 19. I didn't even know which pads to grab. I had to ask the coaches."

  • Clan Athletics also launched their new-look website:
  • The South Delta Leader featured Ladner’s Nathan Clare, who played for the Team B.C. Selects in the Canadian National Field Lacrosse Championships. The paper mentioned that he is a student at SFU’s Burnaby campus.


  • SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change team spread the word to media on how insurance company Zurich Canada will work with ACT to examine ways to cope with the challenges of extreme weather events caused by climate change. (You can see the release at: )


  • Vice-president Warren Gill, wearing his geographer/transportation expert’s hat, was interviewed by GlobalTV for a coming newsfeature on the building of the new BC ferries in Germany. No date is set yet for the broadcast.



  • Advanced education minister Murray Coell, in a letter to the editor in the Burnaby Newsleader, said tuition at B.C.'s public universities is fourth-lowest in Canada, and added that since 2001, SFU has received more than $223 million in capital funding from Victoria.
  • In a news release, the federal government announced the office building at 401 Burrard that houses Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be named after Douglas Jung (1924-2002). Jung was the first Chinese-Canadian MP, a Progressive Conservative, serving from 1957 to 1962. Ottawa thanked members of the naming committee, who included SFU historian Mary-Ellen Kelm.
  • The Maple Ridge News featured Anthony DiNicolo's dream of playing professional soccer in Europe. He’s in the Vancouver Whitecaps' new soccer residency program at SFU and, the paper pointed out, is also a student at SFU (engineering science).
  • Maclean’s magazine carried a feature on Sarah Hunter “the best Canadian tennis player you've never heard of. “ She is ranked first in Canada and fourth in the world in quadriplegic wheelchair tennis. Maclean’s mentioned that she was an SFU student when she was injured in an ice-hockey accident in 1997.
  • The Delta Optimist interviewed Steve Cardwell, new superintendent of the Delta school district. The Optimist noted that Cardwell is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at SFU and was recently awarded a graduate studies fellowship. Surrey Now also carried the story.
  • A Vancouver Sun story on police chief Jim Chu and his concerns over gang violence in Vancouver mentioned that Chu was a student at SFU when he joined the force in 1979.
  • A North Shore Outlook story on the new West Vancouver police chief, Kash Heed, noted he has an MA in criminology and a BGS from SFU.
  • The Westcoaster reported that Tofino has hired Erin Welk to help Tofino achieve resort-municipality status. The paper added that Welk has a graduate degree in geography from SFU.
  • Better late than never: The Surrey North Delta Leader ran our news release of August 12 on how the SFU Pipe Band, four-time world champions, placed a strong second in the 2007 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.
  • The Saskatoon StarPhoenix featured local basketball player Sarah Crooks, who has signed a professional contract with El Ferrol in Spain. The paper mentioned that Devon Campbell, a former SFU player and current national-squad teammate will also join El Ferrol early next month.
  • The St. Catharines (ON) Standard featured Jonathan Walford, noted collector of historical clothing (6,000 pieces, including 760 pairs of shoes). The Standard mentioned that he studied history at SFU.
  • The South Delta Leader carried a feature on Josette Jorge of Tsawassen, director of the play Bondage in the Vancouver Fringe Festival. The paper recorded that she took part in SFU's Black Box theatre program.
  • A sports feature in the Burnaby News Leader focussed on softball player Erin Gee, formerly of the SFU Clan, who hopes to play for Canada at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Gee left SFU in 2006 with a criminology degree.
  • San Francisco-based First Republic Bank named Tod Racine as managing director, business banking. He has a BBA and an MBA from SFU.
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