October 4, 2007

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A look at how SFU and its people fared in the news media: Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2007         


  • Canadian Business launched Oct. 4 a four-year series of stories generated by SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team. Kicking off the series, the magazine quotes economist Richard Lipsey, who received an honorary degree from SFU Oct. 4, and president Michael Stevenson. The series will comprise eight articles spread over four years.

  • The federal government’s reprieve until next June of Vancouver’s safe injection site for drug users made the national news, by way of The Canadian Press. Among those quoted was SFU criminologist Neil Boyd, who has been given a Health Canada grant to examine the impact of the site on crime in the Downtown Eastside.

  • The Globe and Mail carried a hefty review of the new book by SFU prof Mark Jaccard: Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge. Reviewer Michael Byers (Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at UBC) said: “Its discussion of carbon taxes, emission caps and tradable certificates is well-nigh indispensable.” And, he added, “Particularly useful is the refutation of the arguments used to justify policy delay. . . .”

  • Jaccard himself was interviewed at length on CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks show last weekend. You can hear or download the interview (mp3) at: (Jaccard also took calls on the open line at CBC Radio’s BC Almanac show.)

  • There was more publication this week of last week’s big feature from the Edmonton Journal on Jaccard. By way of CanWest News Service, it ran in The Vancouver Sun last Saturday, and in the Halifax Daily News on Sunday.

  • And there was more play for last week’s Canadian Press feature on how the feds can’t explain how they came up with a number (0.61 megatonnes) for reduction in greenhouse gases by Canadians switching to fluorescent light bulbs. Jaccard was quoted in that, too.

  • Another SFU story that got more play was a mid-September feature from The Province on the mechatronics degree program at SFU’s Surrey campus. We spotted it in the Edmonton Journal this week.

  • A business column in the Edmonton Journal, marking Mental Illness Awareness Week, said there's an epidemic of mental illness in all sectors of society, Among those quoted: occupational health researcher Merv Gilbert and psychologist Joti Samra, both of SFU.

  • Also during Mental Illness Awareness Week, SFU sent out a news release about the levels of depression reported among North American students—and about SFU Health and Counselling services. 24 Hours did a brief news story. The Globe and Mail said it would likely do a story on it, and Burnaby Now, Fairchild TV and Channel M-TV planned to do stories.

  • The Daily Planet show on the Discovery Channel interviewed SFU physicist Mike Hayden on how he and a team at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris succeeded in controlling turbulent dynamics. The science could have great impact on aerodynamics, electronics and medicine. The Globe and Mail is also looking at a story. So is The Vancouver Sun.

  • CanWest News Service distributed a feature on the World Health Organization’s new guide to the creation of age-friendly cities. Habib Chaudhury, an assistant professor in gerontology, was quoted. We saw it in five papers from Nanaimo to Halifax.

  • The Western Standard, in an editorial, cited a study by SFU gun-registry critic Gary Mauser. “As Mauser notes, the registry has not hastened the multi-generational decline in domestic violence, the murder rate is up, the suicide rate is static (with hanging deaths replacing a slight decline in shootings), and as for police preparedness, the single word ‘Mayerthorpe’ says it all.”


  • The Burnaby Now reported on a proposal-in-progress by Burnaby Mountain Sports Medical Ltd. to build on SFU’s Burnaby campus a $250-million complex to house sports medicine and athletic facilities (which could be used by the university). The Now said Burnaby council has asked city staff to work with the developer. The university has not yet received a final proposal from BMSM.

  • The Burnaby News Leader reported that an innovative biosensor developed by engineering prof Bozena Kaminska will receive extensive testing at Burnaby Hospital. The sensor, the size of a quarter, can monitor heart rate and function from within half a metre of a patient, and can trigger warnings to emergency phone numbers.

  • CBC’s On the Coast radio show featured an interview with ace forensic entomologist Gail Anderson about her new lab in the ASSC1 building. Several other media outlets did that story last week. And a photographer from Maclean’s magazine went to shoot Anderson in the lab on Oct. 4.
  • On the Coast also did a piece on the Education faculty’s Professional Qualification Program (PQP) for foreeign-trained teachers seeking to be certified to teach in Canada. Surrey Now did a story on this last week.

  • The Vancouver Sun looked at where the Lower Mainland's emergency workers live. The findings included one that more than 60 per cent of the region's physicians live in just two cities—Vancouver and West Vancouver. It all led SFU criminologist Robert Gordon to tell the Sun: “You could find yourself in a situation where you are short of manpower at the very moment that you need it."

  • Fomer SFU Shadbolt Fellow Douglas Todd wrote a feature in The Vancouver Sun on philanthropist Jennifer Allen Simons, the “intellectual-activist” who has been generous to SFU and other community causes. She has, he noted, donated some $15 million to various peace and disarmament programs. SFU was mentioned several times in the feature. The feature was then sent across the country by CanWest News Service.

  • Gordon Price, director of the SFU City Program, wrote a guest piece in The Vancouver Sun promoting a course called Vancouver: A City in Five Parts, and a free public lecture series called The Paradise Makers. (Details are at: Price has also agreed to turn his lectures from Vancouver: A City in Five Parts into essays in the Sun’s Westcoast Homes section.

  • Burnaby Now gave advance publicity to an Oct. 3 rally to seek new funding for the Childcare Centre on the Burnaby campus. Jinko Graham, a parent and instructor at SFU, said parents want federal, provincial and civic cash to end the child-care workers’ strike.
    The rally drew 147 adults and 26 children, plus TV cameras from CITYtv and CTV. President Michael Stevenson went down to talk to the demonstrators outside Strand Hall: “ I thought I’d come down to see you rather than imply that I’m indifferent to your concerns. . . . Like you, we are desperately concerned that this dispute be resolved.”


  • SFU’s office of Public Affairs and Media Relations sent out a general news release on Convocation ceremonies Oct. 4-5, and releases on the honorary degree recipients, and also sent a string of localized convocation stories to graduands’ hometown newspapers.

  • A report by SFU historian Joseph Taylor was part of a US district judge’s ruling last week that that aboriginal treaty rights require the State of Washington to repair roadway culverts that impede salmon migration. We sent a news release to Canadian media, as the ruling could have ramifications for Canada.

(These and other SFU releases are online at

  • SFU also told media about the first annual sustainability festival to be held at the Burnaby campus on October 11 (10 a.m.–5 p.m.) Details are at

  • SFU spread the word, too, about an SFU project to develop a mobile, electronic museum guide that will bring museums to life—digitally. Ron Wakkary and Marek Hatala of SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Surrey will work with the Surrey Museum, researchers at Carleton University, and with Vancouver-based electronics firm Ubiquity Interactive. (Ubiquity has already created a hand-held guide for UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.)


  • SFU Athletics held a news conference Wednesday in advance of the Oct. 6 Shrum Bowl football game between the SFU Clan and the UBC Thunderbirds. The news conference brought to the Burnaby campus GlobalTV, CTV, CKNW, News 1130, CBC Radio, CITR (the UBC radio station), The Vancouver Sun, Burnaby Now and The Peak (the SFU student newspaper), ClanCoach Dave Johnson was the host.

  • The Province did a big photo-shoot with Clan player Chris Passaglia and dad Lui Passaglia, the former Clan superstar; and sports reporter Howard Tsumura interviewed Chris for a story on the meaning of the Shrum Bowl from a father-son perspective. Mark Nykolaichuk of the Recreation and Athletics department was also interviewed on great moments in Shrum Bowl history.


  • The Seattle Times ran a front-page feature on Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, and mentioned his stint at SFU (“favorite class: linguistics”) where he earned a BBA. Front page? It was actually the top story in the giant Sunday paper….

  • The Vancouver Sun featured the Verdant townhome development at UniverCity. Among other things, Verdant's heating system will emit 374 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gases per year than a similar building developed to code. Verdant uses geothermal heating. Other energy-saving measures are the equivalent of taking 72 cars off the road.

  • National Post featured the small business success stories of four people.One is Lindsay Smith, a former SFU student who heads, Massive Technology Show, a business employing a full-time staff of five. It is producing big business-to-business events in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
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