SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - (September 21-28, 2007)

September 28, 2007

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A look at how SFU and its people fared in the news media: Sept. 21-28, 2007                        


  • The impact of the soaring loonie on BC’s exports of . . . marijuana??? Reuters news agency did a story on just that. And quoted SFU economist Stephen Easton, who said the impact of currency on drug exports should be the same as with legal exports. (The story also noted BC Bud is facing price competition from Mexican pot, because of the relatively weak peso.) The story ran in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Calgary Sun and Victoria Times Colonist.
  • The Edmonton Journal carried a big feature on SFU energy guru Mark Jaccard and his new book. That’s Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge, co-authored with Jeffrey Simpson, the Globe and Mail columnist. CanWest News Service distributed the story to media across the country.
    Jaccard was also quoted as The Canadian Press carried a feature on how the federal government can’t explain how it came up with a number (0.61 megatonnes) for reduction in greenhouse gases by Canadians switching to fluorescent light bulbs.
  • An SFU conference on Afghanistan, held at SFU’s Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver on Thursday, earned coverage from the CBC, an Iranian TV correspondent, CBC French radio, and The Province.
  • Media all over the country carried the results of a test of government secrecy. Reporters asked government officials across Canada for 85 public records ranging from court documents to local water quality reports to federal food safety warnings. The answer was no nearly half the time. Among those quoted was former Province reporter Ann Rees, who is doing a doctorate at SFU on access to public documents.
  • The Globe and Mail carried a story on how more and more Canadians with allergies are calling on professionals to “detox” their homes. Dr. Tim Takaro, physician and associate prof in SFU Health Sciences, was quoted.
    Takaro also was interviewed by CBC Radio’s BC Almanac show on “Health Impacts of Global Warming and Global Warring.” (The title of a conference this week in Vancouver at which Takaro was a speaker.)
  • The Canadian Press wrote a national feature on how Conservatives are pushing PM Stephen Harper to promote and support the “traditional” family unit. SFU economist Doug Allen was quoted—suggesting child support program be revised as it has been, for some, an incentive for divorce.
  • The Edmonton Sun reported four million Canadians aged 20 to 29 live with their parents. "Young people really are growing up in a very different social and economic climate than their parents did," said Barbara Mitchell, SFU sociologist.
  • A National Post story reported on a night-time scuba dive at Deep Cove. The reporter’s guide: Sherri Golbeck, a trainer with BC Dive & Kayak Adventures and a kinesiology researcher at SFU.
  • Maclean’s magazine looked at what it called a resurgence of student activism. Among those quoted was SFU’s Titus Gregory: “Between work and school, many students do not have time to volunteer in the community, let alone be activist leaders.”


  • An open letter to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Campbell, in the Prince Rupert News, says “ . . . the debate is over; sea lice breeding on farmed salmon are threatening B.C.'s wild Pacific salmon.” The letter calls for a ban on open-water salmon farms. Among the signatories are SFU profs Richard Routledge and Larry Dill.
  • Speaking of fish, Vancouver’s French-language L'Express du Pacifique carried a feature on the state and fate of BC’s wild salmon. Among those quoted was marine biologist John Reynolds.
  • The Vancouver Sun looked at the plans for tolls on the Port Mann Bridge, and at claims by the province’s Gateway Program that it will increase greenhouse gas emissions by less than one per cent. Gordon Price, director of SFU’s City Program, said tolls should be high enough to discourage use of cars, and the Gateway emissions projection "just doesn't pass the smell test."
  • Price was also quoted as The Vancouver Sun’s Miro Cernetig began a new municipal affairs column. Cernetig wrote: “City planning departments and the provincial government are pumping out loads of glossy pamphlets about a greener future. But I still can't figure out exactly where they're taking us.” Said Price: "There's nothing we do that is really extraordinary. But we will need to be."
  • Burnaby Now carried a story on the opening of the new Arts and Social Sciences Complex 1 (ASSC1) building and its forensic labs. Dean Lesley Cormack was quoted. And Burnaby RCMP said the mapping of crime by SFU’s Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies in ASSC1 will help make communities safer. Coquitlam Now also carried the story.
  • Burnaby Now alsodid a lengthy story on the continuing strike at the SFU childcare centre. It quoted centre director Pat Frouws as saying the society is considering meeting workers' wage demands temporarily, then closing down when its funds run out. (A “scare tactic,” replied the BC Government Service and Employees' Union.) Among those quoted in the story were Theresa Hughes (an SFU psychology major who has had to juggle her work schedule to care for her one-year-old daughter during the day) and Jinko Graham (an assistant prof in statistics, who said her research has been slowed down while she takes care of her toddler).
  • As well, Burnaby Now did a story on Burnaby council’s rejection of a request in May for $40,000 from Karen Atlin, fundraising coordinator for the childcare society. The city replied that child care is a provincial responsibility.
  • Burnaby Now also made a story out of an SFU news release on how SFU student Jessica Des Mazes was awarded last week the SFU Terry Fox Gold Medal, which recognizes courage in the face of adversity. Des Mazes was paralyzed from the waist down by a 1994 auto accident, but has won multiple medals in wheelchair athletic events. She hopes to qualify for the Paralympics in Beijing next year. She’s a communication student at SFU.
  • And Burnaby Now gave a plug to the Sustainability Festival planned by SFU green groups at the Burnaby campus Oct. 11. There will be a marketplace with sustainable items on sale and a 'freecycle' exchange. (Details at
  • The Province quoted criminologist Robert Gordon in a story about the war of words between federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Hugh Stansfield, BC’s provincial court chief judge, over whether career criminals get too easy a ride from judges. “There certainly seems to be that perception out there," said Gordon. "No matter if it's true or not, the perception itself can be enough. People act on perception."
    The story also cited a 2006 study by SFU criminologist Bryan Kinney, that found Vancouver judges give property criminals far lighter jail sentences than those handed out by judges in other parts of the province. (He found the typical jail sentence for a break-and-enter is 150 days in Vancouver, compared with 365 in Prince George and 730 in Salmon Arm.)
    The Vancouver Sun also did a story, and it, too, quoted Kinney.
  • A column in The Province on youth offenders cited a 2006 study that found prison was more apt to serve not as a disincentive but as a breeding ground for a fresh crop of would-be criminals. Named in the column as two of the co-authors were SFU criminologists Ray Corrado and David MacAlister.
  • Corrado was also quoted as the Chilliwack Progress covered a regional forum on crime and drugs. The story also ran in the Abbotsford News, the Richmond Review, the Surrey-North Delta Leader and the Peace Arch News.
  • The Province ran a feature on a survey of 430 students from SFU and the University College of the Fraser Valley, finding more than 73 per cent of them had participated in binge drinking—many without realizing it. (The UCFV study defined binge drinking as more than five drinks in a single sitting for men, and more than four drinks in a sitting for women.) No statistical break-out was given for SFU students.
  • The Province followed up with a story on what some B.C. universities and colleges are doing to combat binge drinking. For SFU, the paper noted, the SFU website includes a number of health resources, including an alcohol screening test. "Research across campus says alcohol use is an issue," said Pam Whiting, SFU’s director of health and counselling services. "It's certainly on our radar." BCIT’s student radio station also interviewed Whiting.
  • Adjunct prof John Calvert was quoted at length in the Georgia Straight on the issue of private power generation. “As you get more and more private power coming into the pool, you are going to see more and more price impact."
  • Also in the Straight: criminologist Robert Gordon again on the issue of who should investigate police conduct. And Kennedy Stewart of SFU’s public policy program on the state and fate of the BC NDP.
  • The Province and the Vancouver Courier picked upan SFU news release on Dr. James Chi Ming Pau, 2007 recipient of the Thakore Visiting Scholar award. The award is administered by SFU’s Institute of Humanities on behalf of the Thakore Family Charitable Foundation and the India Club of Vancouver.
  • Sadly, more BC media outlets carried stories this week on the disappearance ofRandy Sitter, a professor in SFU's department of statistics and actuarial science. He was reported missing, and was declared presumed drowned, while kayaking near Bellingham Sept. 19.
  • The Abbotsford News covered a forum on the future of the community. It was, as the paper noted, facilitated by SFU’s Joanna Ashworth under the auspices of Imagine BC, a five-year dialogue series.


  • Kamloops This Week and the Kamloops Daily News covered the Convocation ceremonies at SFU’s Kamloops program centre. Both featured Rose-Ellen Narcisse of Lillooet, the first graduate of the First Nations major program. Narcisse, a member of the Xaxli'p Band, was one of 25 graduates honoured, to the beat of a drum and chanting. Said Marianne Ignace, academic co-ordinator: "It's always great to have someone as the first."
  • The Vancouver Courier featured the Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), and its Centre for Digital Media. “But the real future of the 23 acres lies in its full development by private enterprise as a Digital Village.”And Electronic Arts Inc. named in a news release the three winners of $20,000 EA-sponsored scholarships to the new Masters of Digital Media program at GNWC. One is Tarek El-Eryan who graduated from the interactive design program at SFU’s Surrey campus in 2005. That appeared in Surrey Now.
  • The Vancouver Sun looked at the funding of independent schools in BC. Among experts quoted was SFU’s dean of education, Paul Shaker. He said public schools in the Western world are expected to promote shared societal values, but that's not necessarily the case with independent schools.
  • The Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association put out a news release about its campaign against BC’s Foundation Skills Assessments for Grade 4 and 7 students. The release lauded Shaker for “speaking out so knowledgeably and eloquently on this issue.”
  • A feature from The Province on the mechatronics degree program at SFU’s Surrey campus got a little more play this week. We spotted it in the Halifax Daily News and, in BC, in the Victoria Times Colonist, Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo Harbour City Star, and the Alaska Highway News.
  • Also getting more play: a Canadian Press story on how the US Patriot Act is having far-reaching effects on Canadian universities and academics, involving the privacy of computer data. Ian Forsyth, SFU’s information and privacy coordinator, was quoted. The story ran this week in the Prince George Citizen, North Bay Nugget and the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.


  • The books page in the Georgia Straight reviewed David Chariandy’s new novel, Soucouyant (a candidate for the Giller prize.) Chariandy, assistant prof of English, reads from Soucouyant at the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival, October 19, 1 p.m., Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island.
  • Marketing magazine looked at “custom publishing”—of glossy magazines put out by companies for their customers (e.g. Air Canada's enRoute and Shoppers Drug Mart’s Glow). Rowland Lorimer, director for the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at SFU was quoted.
  • The Vancouver Courier featured a new show at Vancouver’s H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (planetarium) that highlights First Nations peoples' relationship to the night sky. The program was developed by Margaret Grenier, an SFU masters student of Gitksan and Cree ancestry.


  • The Tri-City News was among community papers noting that, for the first time in its 30-year history, the Shrum Bowl is set to be played on SFU’s Burnaby Mountain campus. The game between the SFU Clan and the UBC Thunderbirds kicks off on Oct. 6 at 1 pm on SFU's Terry Fox Field. The Shrum series is tied 14-14-1.
  • The Burnaby News Leader featured locals who play for the Clan men's soccer team. Quoted were Milos Jeftic and Colin Streckmann. The paper noted that the Clan “boasts the brawn of six Burnaby-based players”—the others being Stefano Pannu, Liam Miller, Anthony Marrello and Giovanni Valente. Coach Dave Elligott was quoted.
  • The North Shore News featured North Vancouver's Jessica Smith, who “made an impressive debut” with the Clan cross-country team, helping them defend their title at the University of Washington's Sundodger Invitational Sept. 15.


  • Burnaby Now featured the experiences of teen “Corinne” with Big Sisters. The paper noted she now is studying communication at SFU—on a Big Sisters scholarship.
  • The federal government announced theappointment of Herbert Lee to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada. Lee is managing director of LTA Holidays (Canada) Ltd., and, Ottawa noted, a former SFU student.
  • Coquitlam Now reported the appointment of Linda Reimer to the board of the B.C. College of Teachers. She’s an SFU grad who studied business and criminology.
  • The Grand Forks Gazette featured Cara-Lee Malange, continuing education coordinator for Selkirk College. She’s active in community development, and has a masters from SFU.
  • The Vernon Morning Star reported that Christopher Hubert Sterzinger, whose family lives in Vernon, has earned his master’s in science at SFU.
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