SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011

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Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations.
This daily edition lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Pacific Wednesday April 27 to 9 a.m. Pacific Thursday April 28.

TOP 40

  • SFU chemist David Vocadlo was named by the Report on Business in the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” for 2010.
    The Globe noted Vocadlo, 37, didn't start out wanting to be a chemist.
    "‘I wanted to be an architect and was very enthusiastic about the idea.’  It was an article in Scientific American that changed his focus; the story was about proteins that regulate genes being turned on and off. ‘Thinking of how these tiny proteins bind to DNA in a very specific way and so play critical roles in biology was amazing to me.’ . . .
    “His current research focuses on understanding processes that could enable new treatments for serious diseases such as Alzheimer's and bacterial infections. Specifically, his lab is developing new chemical tools that enable researchers to study the role of specialized sugars in health and disease.
    “In addition to research and teaching, Mr. Vocadlo is co-founder of Alectos Therapeutics Inc., a small-molecule drug development company that is a spinoff enterprise from his SFU research.”
    Vocadlo is on sabbatical in France.
    Full story:
    Top 40 under 40 background:
    Previous SFU winners of Top 40 under 40 honours: forensic scientist Gail Anderson (twice, in 1998 and 1999), microbiologist Fiona Brinkman (2003), dialogue leader Shauna Sylvester (2003); chemist Neil Branda (2007), and two people who are no longer at SFU: V-chip inventor Tim Collings (1998) and SFU grad David Granville (BSc ’95), a cardiovascular researcher who won in 2009.


  • The Tri-City News gave front-page treatment to an advance story on the first meeting (April 28) of Coquitlam's new sustainability and environmental advisory committee.
    “Among the experts on the panel are  . . .  SFU vice-president of finance and administration Pat Hibbitts.”
    The committee is looking at whether the city should ban cosmetic pesticides.
    Full story:

  • The Daily Construction News caught up to the news that the ultra-green North House, co-developed by faculty and graduate students from SFU, has won the 2011 “practice of architecture “ award from Architecture Canada/Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
    North House placed fourth among 20 North American and European entries in the 2009 Solar Decathlon to create the best house powered by the sun.
    Profs Rob Woodbury and Lyn Bartram of the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at SFU Surrey led SFU’s team.
    North House was designed for cold climates. Its features included floor-to-ceiling windows and side-mounted solar panels that capture low-angle sunlight. It also had subfloor salt-hydrate packets that take in heat and release it as the temperature drops. The designers said the house could produce double the energy its occupants consume.
    (North House was followed by West House, an eco-friendly “laneway house” which now is housing two tenants as research subjects in East Vancouver.)
    Full story:
    SFU News story on North House (Oct. 22, 2009):
    SFU News story on West House (March 10, 2011):


  • The BBC News website in the UK features a weekly gallery of “News in Pictures” photos submitted by viewers, on pre-set themes. The latest theme: concrete. And one of the 10 photos is . . . a shot of the AQ building, SFU Burnaby, submitted by student Corey Newton.
    The photo gallery:


  • Public policy prof Doug McArthur was in a CBC News story on whether Green Party leader Elizabeth May's push to get elected in her local riding—instead of hitting the campaign trail to shore up Green Party support at the federal level—will pay off.
    Said McArthur: "If you accept the polls as more or less accurate, the Greens are doing badly across the country. That may be a result of her not being out there. I think it was right to try to [elect] her to the House of Commons and that is what she has banked on. But as luck would have it, a surging NDP is taking votes from her that she needs in her own seat. . . .
    "So she may get the worst of both worlds, a lower national vote and thus less impact and money and the loss her own seat. It is not a good time for the Greens."
    Full story:


  • Media Matters mentioned how SFU Communications prof Peter Chow-White was in a Vancouver Sun story that reminded people that it’s illegal to post federal election results from outside BC on social media while the polls are still open in BC.  Our limited media monitor missed the fact that Chow-White also was on the Bill Good show on CKNW—and did a long live interview on GlobalTV.
    On Global, he told host Sophie Lui: “I think one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen this year is that this is a Twitter election. . . . Most politicians, though not all of them, are using Twitter, and it’s being reported on on a regular basis. So it has a large presence, at least. . . .
    “What we’re seeing is a massive social change in terms of our communication, and Twitter is an example of how we’ve moved online, for one thing, but also moved into social media where everyday people, and politicians, organizations, are seeing this as an alternative media outlet to regular mass-media outlets. . . .
    “Everyday people can have a say in the conversation. They’re part of the conversation. So instead of simply passively watching television, they can actually make news.”
    Would this have an impact on new young voters? “Politicians have to go where the eyeballs are, and young eyeballs are not on television as much any more.  . . . I think the opportunity to engage is there.”
    Global Video:

  • Media Matters also mentioned that psychologist Joti Samra did interviews with CTV and The Province on the positive energy of fan-psychology—about and for the Vancouver Canucks. Our monitor missed the fact that she actually did three interviews with CTV, and one with the BreakfastTV show on Citytv.


  • The Canadian Press issued a correction to a national story it carried on Monday: “A Canadian Press story Tuesday erroneously referred to Prof. Rob Gordon of Simon Fraser University as a former Mountie. In fact, he is a former police officer.”
    [In the story, Gordon, director of SFU Criminology, and criminologist Rick Parent spoke to the reputation of the RCMP, which has suffered in BC and the Yukon from police scandals. Said Gordon: “There's been a series of events which I don't think the RCMP responded well to, which they can't compensate for by simply arranging for more musical rides. It clearly is reflecting a shift of some kind."]

ALSO in the NEWS

  • The Province featured International Dance Day (it’s April 29), and the performance of a new dance from choreographer Sara Coffin. The Province noted she studied dance at SFU and is artist-in-residence at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby.
    Full story:

  • The Gulf Islands Driftwood told readers: “First-time novelist Gurjinder Basran of North Delta has been named the winner of the BC Book Prize for fiction for her locally published book, Everything Was Good-bye.” And it noted: “She attended a part-time creative writing program at Simon Fraser University, where she first started developing the novel, and later brought it to the Wired Writing Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. The manuscript was a semi-finalist for the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award before going on to win Mother Tongue Publishing’s contest.”
    Full story:


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