SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - September 19, 2008

September 19, 2008

A look at how SFU and its people made news: Sept. 13-19, 2008              

The university made a mark in two federal elections during week.
The Canadian one, obviously, with the work of resource economist Mark Jaccard on carbon taxes being referred to in election debate, and several profs being quoted in election stories.
But we also got some exposure in the U.S. election: The Barack Obama campaign circulated to supporters and media a Newsweek column that cited the Human Security Brief from the Human Security Report Project at SFU’s School for International Studies.


  • Edmonton’s See magazine and the St. Albert (AB) Gazette ran a story saying economists, scientists and environmentalists agree that an effective climate change plan must put a steep price on carbon emissions. Said the story: “Voluntary measures and subsidies alone don't work, according to studies by economists such as Mark Jaccard at Simon Fraser University, because they don't deter emissions.”
  • Closer to home, the Kamloops Daily News covered a speech by Jaccard at Thompson Rivers University, in which he stressed the message: "In a market economy, you have to make emissions have a cost. The atmosphere cannot be free. Emissions have to cost money. It's the only kind of policy."
  • The Richmond Review covered a visit there by Liberal leader Stéphane Dion. The story quoted public policy prof Doug McArthur as saying Conservative candidate Alice Wong could take the Richmond seat away from Liberal Raymond Chan. “I think she has a very good chance. If I were a betting person . . . I would actually bet on her."
  • A guest column in the Ottawa Citizen and the Montreal Gazette protested promises made by politicians to raise immigration levels and provide more money for immigrant organizations. “A study published this year by professor Herbert Grubel of Simon Fraser University revealed that the 2.5 million immigrants who came to Canada between 1990 and 2002 received $18.3 billion more in government services and benefits in 2002 than they paid in taxes.” (The prof emeritus of economics did the study for the Fraser Institute.)
  • The Globe and Mail examined the contest in Vancouver Centre. The story included this: “’I don't see anything on the horizon to threaten Hedy Fry's re-election,’ said Andrew Heard, a political science professor at Simon Fraser University, who has been tracking races across Canada through his elections-analysis Web page.”
  • Xtra!West looked at the race in Burnaby-Douglas (where SFU is located) and how the riding has been held by gay MPS for 25 years. The NDP’s Bill Siksay is running again. His Liberal opponent is Bill Cunningham—“a relatively high-profile Liberal loyalist who sits on the board of directors for the Simon Fraser Alumni Association”. The Conservative is former Chinese radio host Ronald Leung, who has a doctorate from SFU.
  • The Province looked at the race in North Vancouver, where Liberal Don Bell is running again. The paper noted the Green Party candidate, computer consultant Jim Stephenson, has taught at SFU.
  • The Guelph Mercury ran a Canadian Press story from last week on the Conservatives' law-and-order campaign. Among analysts quoted was criminologist Neil Boyd.


  • Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria once more cited the Human Security Brief 2007 from Human Security Report Project at SFU’s School for International Studies:
    “A study from Simon Fraser University finds that casualties from terrorism have been steadily declining since 9/11. It is increasingly clear—look at their voting from Indonesia to Iraq to Pakistan—that very few Muslims anywhere support Islamic fundamentalists. More countries than ever before now embrace capitalism and democracy.”
    The name of SFU got some extra circulation thanks to the Barack Obama campaign. Since the column compared the world views of Obama and John McCain, and found “Obama's sense of the world is more optimistic”, the Obama campaign distributed the column widely to supporters and media.
    It also ran or was referred to in several blogs, in the Washington Post, the Khaleej Times in the United Arab Emirates and on the Georgian Daily websites in New York and Tbilisi. The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville FL also quoted from the report.
    The Human Security Brief and previous issues of it were also cited in the latest report of The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. The Geneva Declaration report (The Global Burden of Armed Violence) is billed as “the first comprehensive assessment of the scope of human tragedy resulting from violence around the world.”
  • The Canadian Press looked back at the "Spanish flu" epidemic of 1918 that killed 50-100 million people around the world. Among those quoted was SFU's Mary-Ellen Kelm, historian and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples of North America.
    Said she: "It struck with the same kind of ferociousness or ferocity in aboriginal communities as it did in non-aboriginal communities. But the death rates (in aboriginal communities) were . . . I think about seven times the rates for non-aboriginal for British Columbia as a whole."
  • The Canadian Press also did a story on “wizard stick” parties—a drinking game that confers "wizard status" on anyone who consumes enough cans of beer to exceed their height. The game is decried by health and safety experts. Richard Smith of SFU Communication was quoted as saying it’s all about creating an identity. "There's a visual element that's not present in many drinking games. There's something you can have your picture taken with and post on the Internet."
  • The Globe and Mail reported 14 Mexican farm workers employed at an Abbotsford greenhouse were fired and sent back to Mexico days before a union-certification vote. The Globe and The Canadian Press noted: “A study of B.C. farm workers in June by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Simon Fraser University found a wide range of problems in the sector, including the routine exposure of workers to pesticides and other chemicals.”
  • Backbone magazine carried a feature on how businesses can make money from their Facebook pages. Among those quoted: Ean Jackson, marketing instructor in SFU Business.  He’s working on a guidebook on the business use of Facebook.
  • And for the second week, stories about Terry Fox runs last weekend put Fox’s SFU connection into media across the country.


  • Fairchild TV, Channel M-TV and Epoch Times covered on Sept. 17 the opening ceremonies at Blusson Hall, home of the faculty of Health Sciences.
    And the three together interviewed Lee Gavel, university architect, on the “green” elements of the building. As well, the Ministry of Advanced Education sent out its own news release on its financial contribution to Blusson Hall.
  • The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times wrote a lengthy feature about local resident Dugan O'Neil, SFU physicist who is a player in the huge ATLAS experiment at the CERN facility near Geneva. “He, along with physicists Michel Vetterli and Bernd Stelzer, are among hundreds of scientists worldwide who will have key roles when the project's data collection begins in October.
  • Economist David Andolfatto appeared on the On the Coast show on CBC Radio, and on GlobalTV, as stock markets took a beating.
  • The BC government told media about its 2008 Budget Consultation Paper that has been mailed to every household, to invite British Columbians to submit ideas for the next provincial budget. The government news release noted: “(Finance Minister Colin) Hansen started the dialogue at the downtown Vancouver Simon Fraser University Campus, meeting with a group of public policy students. The students shared their thoughts on the 2009 budget with the minister during an informal discussion.”
  • A group called Get Moving B.C. was in The Vancouver Sun, campaigning for more bridges and lanes over the Fraser River to ease transportation problems. Gordon Price, director of SFU’s City Program said: “You have to address congestion and give people choices. But I'm not persuaded of the sincerity of their commitment to choice when their first and highest priority is to build more bridges.'' The Surrey-North Delta Leader also did a story quoting Price.
  • The Kamloops Daily News wrote about the Ministry of Environment's war on invasive yellow perch in Interior lakes. SFU fisheries biologist Randall Peterman is conducting a risk assessment study on what impact the invasive fish could have on native fish species such as salmon. "Sitting back and doing nothing is not a good option," he said.
  • The Vancouver Sun reported an "extreme shortage" of studio and one-bedroom apartments in Vancouver. SFU prof Kennedy Stewart, who is studying rental affordability in B.C. municipalities, said: "It comes with urbanization. A chronically low vacancy rate is the sign of a city that has to adjust its expectations of lifestyle."
    The story also ran in the Victoria Times Colonist.
    Stewart was also in the Richmond News, in a story about Richmond’s plans for affordable housing. He suggested that $943 a month for a one-bedroom apartment may be stretching the definition of affordability. "It's one of the least affordable municipalities in the entire province." Stewart noted.
  • “Simon Fraser chancellor Brandt Louie feted” was the headline on a Malcolm Parry column in The Vancouver Sun.  Wrote Parry:
    “BIG HAND FOR BRANDT: Simon Fraser University chancellor and London Drug and H.Y. Louie grocery firm chief Brandt Louie was honoured in Great Canadian Casino's Red Robinson Show Theatre recently. . . . The event benefited the CHILD Foundation, which former B.C. cabinet minister Grace McCarthy founded to aid children with intestinal and liver disorders. Magazine publisher Peter Legge told of Louie's personal, business and philanthropic past. He said the clan's paterfamilias, Hok Yat Louie, reached Vancouver in 1896, having paid the $50 head tax Ottawa exacted from immigrant Chinese.”
  • Vancouver Sun writer Doug Todd (a former Shadbolt Fellow at SFU) wrote a column that began: “Trust is gone. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and desperate rescue of AIG . . . raises serious questions about the way the business world has become accustomed to what basically amounts to lying by the heads of some of the world's most powerful corporations.” He quoted SFU business ethicist Mark Wexler as saying there is more lying today because our culture is increasingly impersonal, urban and fleeting.
  • The Vancouver Sun proudly reported: “Sun columnists recognized for humanitarian work”. In other words, Free The Children, an international child advocacy group, was named the recipient of the 2008 Thakore Visiting Scholar award. Free the Children was founded by Marc and Craig Kielburger, who write a weekly column in the Sun. SFU’s Institute of Humanities administers the Thakore award on behalf of the Thakore Charitable Foundation and the India Club of Vancouver.
  • The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times reported that trust fund has been set up to help the family of Maija-Liisa Corbett, the SFU student who was killed Aug. 28 when a truck driver plowed into the Halu Sushi restaurant in Maple Ridge. An account has been set up in the Corbett family name at the Maple Ridge branch of the HSBC.
  • A string of arson fires in Vancouver (one of which killed a woman) may have been set by young firebugs. SFU criminologist Ray Corrado was in The Vancouver Sun, saying that if the arsonists are still in school, police may quickly catch up with the rumour mill. "Guilt would likely set in with the death. Police typically count on somebody cracking."
  • The North Shore News carried a big feature on business prof Boyd Cohen and his green website, "We're trying to go a little bit more grassroots bottom up and say, 'Let's build a community of globally interested, primarily young, or young at heart people.'"
    The site is where Cohen is running his “Greenest Person in the World” contest. As the News noted: “The winner will be announced at SFU's Sustainability Festival Sept. 24 and will be awarded a pod of beluga whales adopted in their name.”
    The Province carried an item naming the finalists. The Georgia Straight featured one of them, Vancouver’s Emily Jubenvill. And the Toronto Sun news service offered papers a story in which Jubenvill proposed a dis-incentive tax on paper coffee cups, and Cohen mused about a complete ban on them.
  • The Burnaby Newsleader featured Glynnis Hawe, SFU history and political science student, and her experiences in Ghana working for Engineers Without Borders Canada.
  • New Communication student Layne Clark, in her weekly column in 24Hours, complained about having to pay $127 for one of her text books. “I only have three classes—what about the other students who are taking four or five classes? How do they afford to pay the price of their books?”


  • Surrey Now reported SFU is celebrating Diwali with a gala dinner on October 27 at the Bollywood Banquet Hall in Surrey. “Featuring special guest Wally Oppal, B.C.'s Attorney General and minister of multicultural affairs, the event will ‘highlight the best of Indian dance, music and cuisine, and showcase SFU's contributions in building community and partnerships between British Columbia and India’.”
  • Speaking of Surrey, CBC News and CBC’S On the Coast made much of an event held at SFU Surrey re: a new "village" plan for downtown Surrey. SFU's Surrey campus was mentioned many times for its role in revitalizing the area.
  • Profs Sean Markey, Catherine Murray and Gordon Price were among thinkers who pondered the future of Surrey in a series of white papers for the Surrey Regional Economic Summit that was held Sept. 18.  (The papers will be posted next week at:
  • The Toronto Star featured a project to build and prove the concept of a self-sufficient home run by solar power. Students and faculty at SFU’s Surrey campus School of Interactive Arts and Technology are co-designing it with the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University.  It will be displayed in Washington DC as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon.


  • As Clan Athletics told reporters: “It was a monumental Saturday afternoon for the Simon Fraser University Clan football team.” They knocked off the No. 2 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies 27-17, moving to a 2-1-0 season record. The win marked the Clan’s first victory over Saskatchewan in seven tries since 2002.
    “SFU for real,” said a Province headline, as media across the country reported the win. “There's no doubt—The Clan is back” said The Vancouver Sun.
  • Indeed, the Clan became No. 8 in the CIS rankings, leading the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post to say: “Simon Fraser University handed (head coach) Dave Johnson a bloody mess nearly two years ago and asked him to do what he could to tidy things up. . . . Those dark days seem far away this week on the heels of Simon Fraser's 27-17 upset victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who were ranked second in the nation heading into the weekend. SFU, which hadn't won a game since 2004, is suddenly 2-1 and ranked eighth in the country. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, tumbled from No. 2 to No. 6 in the national poll.
  • The Province featured Clan quarterback Bernd Dittrich. “’I started playing football when I had no idea what football was,’ says Dittrich, who had the fortune of being coached in Austria by Clan offensive coordinator Shawn Olson, the ex-UBC standout who was a quarterback and coach with the Vienna Vikings club team. ‘It was always my dream to play college football’.”
  • Earlier, the Clan men’s soccer team defeated Montana State Billings 1-0, and then University of Great Falls 2-1 in overtime. The roadtrip improved their record to 6-2-0 on the season. The Clan women’s soccer team lost 1-0 in overtime to California’s Concordia University Eagles and, back in BC, lost 1-0 to Trinity Western University. They thus fell to 6-2-0.
  • Nigeria’s Sunday Sun reported that more than 50 Nigerian-born athletes are competing for adopted countries in Europe, the Americas and across Africa. Among them it named Daniel Igali, who won 116 consecutive matches wrestling at SFU from 1997 to 1999, and gold medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2002 Commonwealth Games.


  • BCBookworld’s September issue has a big feature and interview with SFU prof John Calvert, author of Liquid Gold: EnergyPrivatization in British Columbia. “The government has mandated that new electricity generation will be private, not public,” says Calvert. “BC Hydro now has to acquire virtually all its new energy through long-term contracts with private power developers at extremely high prices.”
  • The Globe and Mail featured Max Reimer, the new artistic managing director at Vancouver's Playhouse Theatre Company. While at SFU (studying sociology and economics) he took up dance, to strengthen knees damaged playing lacrosse. He finished up pursuing dance as a career. His last post was as managing artistic director at Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton ON.
  • Novelist Steven Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo) talked with Sheryl MacKay on the CBC Radio program North By Northwest. As CBC noted, he has taught creative writing at SFU. (And MacKay happens to be an SFU alumna.) Galloway was named later as one of the 15 writers on the “long list” for the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for the best Canadian novel or short story collection.
  • Metro’s “workology” career pages featured film student Julia Hutchings of SFU Contemporary Arts, and interviewed film prof Colin Browne. He said of Contemporary Arts students: “They work hard and it’s joyful work, but it’s a vision and a vocation.”
  • The Link (an Indo-Canadian newspaper) interviewed R. Paul Dhillon, co-writer and director of the film Sweet Amerika, which released in theatres across Canada Sept. 19. The paper noted he graduated from SFU with a degree in communication and a minor in film. Surrey Now and the Surrey-North Delta Leader also did stories.


  • The Vancouver Sun looked at the plans and potential of BC’s five newly named “regional universities”. And it added: “The newly classified universities, which are primarily special-purpose ‘teaching’ universities, will continue to be differentiated from B.C.'s research universities like the University of B.C. and Simon Fraser University.”
  • The Vancouver Sun also examined the shorter 12-month MBA programs now being offered. Among those quoted: Diane Cross, executive director of SFU's MBA programs at the Segal Graduate School of Business. “Last year we started the 12-month program [and] the feedback we're getting back is excellent. Before that it was 16 months to two years.” Also quoted and pictured: Amanda Blair, an MBA student at SFU who said: “It's really great to only be out of the workforce for 12 months.”
  • University Affairs featured an international project led by SFU archaeology prof George Nicholas to resolve issues around who “owns” antiquities and intellectual property from the distant past. Also quoted was Julie Halliwell of Indiana’s DePauw University; she did post-doctoral work at SFU.
  • The Victoria Foundation told media that four students from China will each receive $10,000 from the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society, for studies at post-secondary institutions in BC. There are two SFU recipients, Tingfang (Flora) Ren and Longlong Zhu.


  • The Brantford (ON) Expositor ran a Canadian Press newsfeature on criminologist Lynne Bell’s research that suggests King Henry the Eighth's warship, the Mary Rose, sank in 1545 because the mostly Spanish crew didn't understand the captain's orders.  Bell examined teeth from crew remains and found most of the crew weren't Britons, as always believed, but were 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 Edmonton Journal and the Windsor Star ran a Vancouver Sun feature from two weeks ago on how "green" is the latest trend in niche dating. It noted that business prof Boyd Cohen included a green dating component on his website.
  • The Hope Standard picked up a story that ran last week in other Lower Mainland community papers, on how Metro Vancouver is considering making stores charge customers for using plastic bags. Quoted was SFU student Maximillian Goli, who has launched a Facebook group fighting plastic bag use.
    The Standard also picked up from sister papers a story on efforts to offer and encourage healthy foods in schools. It quoted Carrie Matteson, a PhD research associate in the chronic disease systems modelling lab at SFU.
  • The Nanaimo Harbour City Star ran a Vancouver Sun feature on award-winning poet Robin Blaser. "After being largely out of the limelight since he retired from Simon Fraser University, Blaser is again receiving accolades, in part because The University of California Press has published two thick, serious volumes of his work."  Blaser, 83, won this year's $50,000 Griffin Prize for Canadian poetry, based on his recent work The Holy Forest: Collected Poems of Robin Blaser.

  • The Windsor Star ran a Vancouver Sun newsfeature on a police warning to young people about the dangers of excessive drinking. The story noted SFU's Orientation week was officially alcohol-free, and that SFU offers peer-led student information sessions about responsible drinking.
  • The Prince George Citizen ran a Vancouver Sun story feature on the changing workplace, and the advantages of having a broad education and general skills, rather than being trained for a particular job. Among those quoted were Nancy Johnston, senior director of student learning and retention at SFU, and Barbara Mitchell, associate professor of sociology.
  • In Saskatchewan, the Prince Albert Daily Herald ran an editorial on a report from researchers at SFU that said that in broad areas of BC it usually makes more economic sense to conserve old-growth forests than it does to cut them down. Lead author Duncan Knowler, associate prof in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, was quoted. The editorial first ran last week in the Truro (NS) Daily News and the Pictou County (NS) News. The Vancouver Island edition of the Business Examiner also had a story.


  • Items also seen around the web this week included: A listing on for the SFU Sustainability Festival. . . . Intelligent Life magazine citing a study by SFU economist Krishna Pendakur and Arthur Lewbel of Boston College: “For middle-aged women, the cost of living in a married couple is 30% less than the cost of living alone . . . using Canadian prices. For men, it is about 20% less. Marriage, it seems, is a bargain.” . . . Another story about the electricity-generating “knee-brace” invented by Max Donelan, lead researcher and prof of kinesiology.  . . . Two environmental websites that quoted public policy prof Doug McArthur: “The pine beetle infestation is the first major climate change crisis in Canada.” . . . Dutch and German websites that quoted Ron Ydenberg, director of the Centre for Wildlife Ecology at SFU and “professor by special appointment” in wildlife management at Wageningen University, Netherlands. Science Daily also quoted him. . . . A study showing a relationship between political beliefs of corporate stakeholders and the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of their firms. Assistant prof Amir Rubin of SFU Business did the study.

ALSO in the NEWS

  • Burnaby Now did a huge “Day in the Life of” feature on Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan and his family. Among other things, the story noted that his daughter Kelsey, 22, is an SFU communications student, and also works in a law firm; and son Patrick, 24, is studying archaeology and physiology at SFU.
    Then the Burnaby Newsleader reported Burnaby businessman Andrew Chisholm will face off against Mayor Corrigan in the November civic election. The paper mentioned that Chisholm is an SFU grad.
  • The BC Innovation Council announced in The Vancouver Sun its 2008 award winners. They include SFU alumnus Marco Marra, director of the Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency.
  • Maclean’s reported the University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association is the latest student union to consider leaving the Canadian Federation of Students. “Last year, three students unions voted decided to leave the CFS: Cape Breton University, Simon Fraser University, and graduate students at the University of Victoria.”
  • The St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Falls Review introduced Beverley Boudreau as the new president of the St. Catharines branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women. Deaf since birth, she was turned down by a number of universities in the 1980s but “was accepted into British Columbia's Simon Fraser University.” (Which is where she met her husband, John Corlett, dean of Health Sciences at Brock University.)
  • The Vancouver Courier reported the civic Non-Partisan Association in Vancouver gave the nod to its final three candidates for the Nov. 15 municipal election for a seat on parks board. One is Melissa De Genova, daughter of long-time parks board commissioner Allan De Genova. The Courier noted she is “a 25-year-old realtor with a degree in political science from SFU.”
  • The Cranbrook Daily Townsman reported Chris Ayling will run for Cranbrook City Council. The paper mentioned that he earned a BA in behavioural sciences from SFU in 1993.
  • Vancouver Sun columnist Mac Parry listed some successful BC businessmen from bear markets past, including Eric Banister. He was chair of SFU Kinesiology in 1971, when he founded the Banister Centre, Canada's first facility to offer coronary profiles and remedial exercise programs. “His pioneering efforts led to thousands, perhaps millions living through travails that might otherwise have killed them.”
  • The Victoria Times-Colonist carried an obituary feature on Rajindi Singh Paldi Mayo, lumberman, philanthropist, and community adviser in the Cowichan Valley. He served on the first board of governors at SFU. He died Sept. 7.
  • The Georgia Straight featured Sarah Bjorknas of Vancouver—community and union activist and SFU grad.


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