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SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - April 29, 2011

April 29, 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 weekly roundup edition lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Pacific Thursday April 21 to 8 a.m. Pacific Friday April 29.

NEW TODAY (29 April 2011)

ECONOMY

  • The Vancouver Sun and News1130 Radio were quick to turn an SFU news release into a story on how SFU generates more than $3.65 billion of economic activity in the Lower Mainland.
    The Vancouver Sun: “Simon Fraser University has an economic impact in the Lower Mainland of more than $3.65 billion a year, according to a new report.
    “The SFU report maintains that direct spending by students, faculty, staff, visitors and alumni amounts to an estimated $1.867 billion. That, the report added, in turn generates secondary rounds of spending worth another $933.8 million in indirect impact, and another $851.7 million from the economic impact of SFU research and its spillover effects.
    “‘Results indicate an impact of $3.65 billion by SFU on the local economy in fiscal year 2009/10,’ the report said.”
    News1130:  “Simon Fraser University has researched the school's own economic impact and the number it has come up with is huge. . . . This is the first time the school has examined its own impact on the Metro Vancouver economy.”
    The Vancouver Sun: http://at.sfu.ca/lnvoLl
    News 1130 Radio: http://at.sfu.ca/aqYffU
    SFU news release: http://at.sfu.ca/UKfrxk

ELECTION

  • Bloomberg business news agency quoted political scientist David Laycock in a story that explored NDP leader Jack Layton’s rise in the polls, and his campaign promise to balance the budget on the same schedule as the Conservatives.
    Layock said the NDP leader’s effort to show himself as a clear alternative to Prime Minister Stephen Harper is part of the reason he’s gained in the campaign, led by his performance in national television debates.
    “If you asked anyone who follows federal politics what the last week of the campaign would have been about, nobody would have said it would be two federal leaders attacking Jack Layton. The NDP has sufficient momentum that a vote for them is an effective vote against the Harper regime.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/FSjwjJ

  • Political scientist Marjorie Griffin Cohen was in the North Shore News, which looked at the OpenMedia.ca campaign that asks candidates to support “open, affordable and competitive” access to the internet in Canada.
    "I think they're going to have a hard time making it an election issue. We don't even have our international wars as election issues so it's hard to imagine."
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ZAsVZW

  • The Province looked at 10 BC constituencies that “may well determine the face of Canada's next government” in Monday’s federal election. One is Burnaby-Douglas, where SFU’s Kennedy Stewart is running for the NDP.
    “Simon Fraser University political science Prof. Kennedy Stewart replaces (Bill) Siksay as the NDP candidate, but he has little name recognition in the riding. Getting the youth vote out could be crucial if he wants to hold off (Conservative Ronald) Leung.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/vzBMYG

  • The Burnaby NewsLeader asked candidates in Burnaby-Douglas about climate change, support for immigrants, and homelessness.
    On climate change, Kennedy Stewart replied: “As part of my job as a SFU public policy professor, I was recently given a leave to serve as a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics. One of the main things that struck me during my work at the LSE was how people from other countries have come to view Canada. Where we used to be a world leader when it comes to the environment and peace-keeping, Stephen Harper's policy choices leave many of our international neighbours confused about where we now stand—especially about our reluctance to do our part to reduce carbon emissions.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/UmLsLt  (Includes links to the other issues discussed.)

EDUCATION

  • SFU Education prof Wanda Cassidy was in the Globe and Mail as it looked at the use by teachers of social media—and the issue of social-media relationships with their students.
    “Wanda Cassidy, director at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Education, Law & Society, says teacher candidates in their 20s and 30s often have trouble understanding that freedom of expression does not trump professionalism. Many ‘think that they’re entitled to say what they want and do what they want online and haven’t really thought about the implications.’”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/Iaulqd

  • The C.D. Howe Institute told media about a new study by public policy prof John Richards that says Quebec's Aboriginal poverty is severe, and a large gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal education levels is the most important factor in explaining it.
    “Richards . . . notes that the overall Quebec Aboriginal dropout rate in the age 20-to-24 cohort is 43 percent, 28 points higher than for non-Aboriginal Quebecers, and three points higher than the Aboriginal dropout rate in the rest of Canada. Among the six provinces with more than 100,000 Aboriginals, Quebec ranks third in terms of incomplete high school: lower than Manitoba and Saskatchewan but higher than Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Within Quebec, median Aboriginal 2005 earnings were two-thirds that for non-Aboriginals; median Inuit earnings were below three-fifths of non-Aboriginals.”
    The report (PDF): http://at.sfu.ca/iwQnFq

STUDENTS

  • The Vancouver edition of Metro covered a National Day of Mourning memorial event for people killed on the job.  The paper featured SFU student Jessica Kruger:
    “At 16, Kruger was working for a house painting company when she blacked out and plummeted off a 20-foot ladder. She's now paralyzed from the armpits down.
    "‘Basically, there is no going back to the person I once was,’ she said. ‘Still, I'm one of the lucky ones unlike the 143 British Columbians who died trying to earn a living last year.’"
    Kruger also told her story in a radio spot promoting workplace safety.
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/djxVSY

  • Student Janice Quan was a story in Coquitlam Now, one of a series of stories leading up to the Relay for Life event on June 4 that raises money to fight cancer.
    “Janice got involved with the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay For Life in 2010 when her mother, Kammie, was still battling ovarian cancer. Kammie Quan passed away on April 6, 2010 after a year-long bout with the illness.
    “Janice, a fourth-year joint business and economics major at Simon Fraser University, remembers how strong her mother was, even during her illness. ‘
    “‘She was my role model and there was no one else I looked up to more than her,’ says Janice. ‘Even while she was sick, she was living her life normally and taking care of the family as usual. She was the backbone of the family. Everyone admired her.’"
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/gaNLeG

POLICING

  • Rob Gordon, director of SFU Criminology, was in a Postmedia News story on by BC ‘s children's advocate that group homes in the province frequently call on police to "act as a disciplinarian of sorts," including assisting with "children not wanting to come into the house, go to their bedrooms or be put in a 'quiet room' in a group home."
    The RCMP said they will respond only to calls where an allegation of a criminal offence has been made. But Gordon said while group home staff should be expected to respond to a variety of scenarios, there may be times when the ‘system breaks down, and police need to be called.
    "‘Some kids (in group homes) are very troubled with significant control issues,’ he said, adding that it may be appropriate for police to respond in some cases to prevent a situation from escalating into something worse.”
    Full story (in the Montreal Gazette): http://at.sfu.ca/sQfjlg

ENERGY

  • Energy prof Mark Jaccard was quoted in a story in the Whistler Pique, which told readers how the BC government’s Clean Energy Act exempts major Hydro projects such as the Site C Dam from oversight by the BC Utilities Commission.
    “The exemptions essentially force the public to trust BC Hydro when it says it needs to spend their money on these projects. And there, Jaccard has a problem.
    “‘I think it is very difficult to trust that something is necessary,’ he says. ‘I think that all of these (projects) should be subject to commission regulatory approval, although I do believe that government should give strong direction to the commission with respect to its climate policies and how these fit in with that.’"
    Jaccard is a former chair of the utilities commission.
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/AmeDFm

SPORTS

  • The Abbotsford-Mission Times featured Tom Skerlak, former Clan basketball star (1975) and former national team member, as he was named to the BC Basketball Hall of Fame.
    “It is a great honour. Stan Stewardson, a long-time coach at SFU, said he was going to put together a nomination for me and if you have the backing of Stan Stewardson it's a pretty good bet. I'm really flattered that he considered me to play at a level at which he felt I should be in the Hall of Fame."
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/kwnTuJ

  • The Tri-City News reported that forward Michael Krgovich will join the SFU hockey club next fall. "‘SFU is a great school and, being a local kid, it just made sense,’ said Krgovich, who scored 44 points, including 21 goals, in 49 games with the (Coquitlam) Express last season. ‘The on-ice and off-ice excellence that is offered is top drawer. . . . SFU [was] an easy decision for me.’"
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ScQtzY

EARLIER IN THE WEEK (21 April – 28 April)

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: http://at.sfu.ca/CeFsaZ
    Top 40 under 40 background: http://at.sfu.ca/aoTLvM
    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.

ELECTION

  • Public policy prof Doug McArthur did a string of media interviews on the May 2 federal election.
    • He 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: http://at.sfu.ca/mijhhT
    • He was in a national Canadian Press story on campaigning over the Easter holiday period: “Common wisdom suggests voters tend to tune out during holidays like Passover and Easter, particularly students who are finishing their exams, said Doug McArthur, a public policy professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.”
      Full story not available.
    • The North Shore News quoted McArthur in a story about the immigrant vote in the election.
      “Particularly in urban areas of the Lower Mainland, including several seats considered potential swing ridings like North Vancouver, the electorate includes significant numbers of recent immigrants. ‘They are very important voters in these particular seats,’ said Doug McArthur, a professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University.”
      Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/WHGvnN
    • McArthur was also in a Burnaby NewsLeader story on the Conservative candidate in Burnaby-Douglas, Ronald Leung, who (the paper said) has “avoided media interviews . . . and, just as he did in 2008, he was the only candidate to not participate in Moscrop Secondary’s all-candidates meeting.”
      “Leung’s lack of accessibility is all part of an election strategy, said Doug McArthur, a professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University. ‘The basic idea here is this campaign is all about the identity of the party and the leader and the message . . . and the local candidate frankly, doesn’t make much, if any, difference in a campaign.”
      Also in the story: NDP candidate Kennedy Stewart, who is also a public policy prof at SFU, who said of Leung: “He hasn’t been showing up at any debates. I talked to other reporters, he’s not returning their phone calls, he’s scared to come out and debate.”
      Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/XkBjsb
  • SFU Communications prof Peter Chow-White was on GlobalTV. 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: http://at.sfu.ca/UCyHDG

  • Chow-White was also in The Vancouver Sun and on the Bill Good shown on CKNW, talking about the law that bans posting federal election results from outside BC while the polls are still open in BC.  You could be fined up to $25,000—but Chow-White said:
    "This is a good example of an act that may not have relevance in the digital age when it comes to politics. . . . If they (Elections Canada) want, they could make an example of someone, which they could do. I don't think that will stop people from tweeting. Once the Internet and now social media unlocks communication in a global way, it is very difficult to lock it back up again."
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/wbmHbe

  • Political scientist Patrick Smith was in a story in Coquitlam Now that looked at the NDP’s climb in public-opinion polls.
    “He attributes the NDP's rise to Layton's consistent messaging since late March and his performance in both the English and French leadership debates. ‘He's been true to message. He was the one who handled the coalition discussion the best, which was to say that he'll work with anybody,’ Smith said.”
    Smith also assessed Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff: “Canadians just don't seem to have taken to [Michael Ignatieff]. The latest polls would suggest that he's actually going to be a bit of a drag on the party.” As for the Conservatives, "For me, it totally plays into concerns around the attitudes about democracy for (Stephen) Harper.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/xXWiGZ

  • The Vancouver Sun looked at campaign ads aimed at Canada’s ethnic communities, and quoted Smith: “(Smith) said such ads could be effective because it's crucial for the Conservatives to overcome any lingering impressions the party opposes high immigration rates. No federal party can afford that reputation—especially given that this year's campaign ‘will be won or lost,’ Smith said, on the results in key highly ethnic swing ridings in Metro Toronto and Vancouver.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/kgzQYZ

  • Burnaby Now reported on Prime Minister Harper’s third campaign visit to Burnaby on the Easter weekend. “SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith was not surprised at all by Harper's focus on Burnaby.  ‘This is going to be what they call your traditional squeaker,’ Meredith said of the election. ‘This is going to put all pressure on the swing ridings.’"
    “Meredith said the Conservatives are focusing on ridings where they think they have a chance of winning, and Burnaby-Douglas will likely be very close—too close to call.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/KygErl

  • In a separate story, Burnaby Now looked at the race in Burnaby Douglas, where the NDP candidate is public policy prof Kennedy Stewart.
    “Stewart ran for the federal NDP in the 2004 election in Vancouver Centre, where he garnered 32 per cent of the vote, up from 12 per cent in 2000. Stewart has said he will go after the student vote (he has strong ties to SFU, which is in the riding), but students are notorious for not showing up at the polls, so that remains to be seen. He's mostly focused on the HST as part of his campaign and has been criticizing (Tory candidate Ronald) Leung for avoiding all-candidates debates.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ZDqjWb

  • Burnaby Now ran a gallery of photos from the “vote mob” event held by students at the Burnaby campus on April 21.
    Photos: http://at.sfu.ca/yPLVRn

  • Political scientist Alex Moens was quoted in a Summerland (BC) Review column about Sean Upshaw, independent candidate in Okanagan-Coquihalla for Monday’s federal election. He’d wanted to run as a Conservative, but an accelerated nomination process gave the nod to Dan Albas.
    Maclean’s Magazine recently featured Upshaw’s story as part of large expose on the Conservative nomination process in ridings across British Columbia.  The article, which paints a less than flattering picture of the Conservative Party, quotes Simon Fraser University political scientist Alex Moens who called the various nomination controversies a  ‘tremendously distasteful show of inside corruption,’ a harsh indictment by any measure, but even more so if it comes from a Conservative party member like Moens.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/jSSSwT

ENVIRONMENT

  • GlobalTV, CTV, Fairchild-TV, News1130 and other media came to the Burnaby campus for the announcement by Premier Christy Clark of a new neighbourhood energy utility on Burnaby Mountain that will supply enough heat for the entire SFU campus and future homes in the UniverCity residential development.
    SFU is partnering with SFU Community Trust, Corix Utilities, and BC Hydro on the community-based sustainable district energy system. The project involves a high-efficiency heating plant using biomass— recycled wood waste from construction sites—as the primary fuel source.
    The Province: “Premier Christy Clark announced Thursday, a day before Earth Day celebrations, that the government will provide $4.7 million in funding to a biomass energy project at Simon Fraser University that will reportedly eliminate 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere every year. . . .
    “Once completed, the biomass facility will provide nearly all the heating needs for the SFU campus as well as heat and hot water any new developments at UniverCity.”
    The Vancouver Sun: “The plant will process urban wood waste into a fuel that can be used to generate electricity and produce thermal energy that will be used to heat the entire campus, according to Corix chief operating officer Eric van Roon. . . .
    “When the university's aging natural gas boilers are retired, the new plant will use the existing infrastructure to deliver heat and hot water to campus buildings. The new plant will also heat all the new buildings to be constructed at the UniverCity residential community on Burnaby Mountain.”
    (Those old boilers are responsible for 80 per cent of the university's heating greenhouse gas emissions.)
    The Province: http://at.sfu.ca/ULbUKB
    The Vancouver Sun: http://at.sfu.ca/DTvnlW
    BC government news release (includes video): http://at.sfu.ca/seZeLI
    Burnaby NewsLeader: http://at.sfu.ca/fKfjLJ
    SFU backgrounder: http://at.sfu.ca/YEjvFS

  • The Tri-City News gave front-page treatment to an advance story on the first meeting 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: http://at.sfu.ca/qqjQHk

  • The Calgary Herald asked experts to look ahead to Earth Day 20 years from now. One of them was Anthony Perl, director of SFU Urban Studies:
    “If anyone wants to imagine the cost of any commercial air flight in 2031, Perl suggests they look online at the flight they want today and choose the full-fare, first-class ticket. He said the era of cheap oil is over, and predicts 20 years from now commercial air travel will be down by a third. That's how much he says is now discretionary, based on cheap flights being available.
    " ‘The free ride is over.’ Perl believes future generations will look back on the period from the 1960s to this decade, and ‘It will seem very strange the amount of travelling people did.’"
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/jpoaeU

  • 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: http://at.sfu.ca/KDZLbw
    SFU News story on North House (Oct. 22, 2009): http://at.sfu.ca/MzJgOF
    SFU News story on West House (March 10, 2011): http://at.sfu.ca/SIOJtv

STUDENTS

  • Burnaby Now featured SFU Contemporary Arts students Remy Siu and Alex Mah.
    The story opened with Siu,who is finishing his third year as a music composition major at SFU. “Together with classmate Alex Mah, he recently took part in Phoenix Chamber Choir's Young Composers Development Program—which gives emerging composers a chance to learn more about choral writing in a hands-on (or, more accurately, voices-on) setting.”
    And the story noted:” Both are  . . . quick to give a great deal of credit to the SFU music composition program, particularly teachers David MacIntyre and Janet Danielson.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/XtbbTx

  • Coquitlam Now featured SFU student Karen Robson and her MBA classmates at SFU’s Beedie School of Business who are using Facebook to raise money for clean water for a village in Sierra Leone.
    “For a class assignment, Robson and fellow business students created a Facebook campaign called ‘1 Dollar Per Like’. . . . Robson and crew already surpassed their $5,000 goal and they plan to continue with the cause. So far, they have raised more than $8,000 through the Facebook campaign and other fundraising efforts.
    The students’ Facebook page: http://at.sfu.ca/DubbbQ
    Coquitlam Now story: http://at.sfu.ca/ouPTEB
    SFU news release (April 1): http://at.sfu.ca/XFMsNP

  • The North Shore News told readers how the “Canucks Rule” song on YouTube was viewed more than 200,000 times in its first week online.  The director: David Wiggins, 22, a student in SFU.
    “‘Just ’cause of all our videos, people kind of know who we are now and it's pretty neat,’ said Wiggins, adding their YouTube and Facebook subscribers are now almost at 7,000. ‘We're gonna keep doing music videos, but we also want to do sketch comedies and stuff. . . . We just want to keep growing and people seem to be interested.’"
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ugjpGk
    The YouTube video: http://at.sfu.ca/QMOvsF

  • 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: http://at.sfu.ca/UMvOpG

HEALTH

  • HuffingtonPost.com quoted Bruce Lanphear of SFU Health Sciences as the news website followed up on three U.S. studies finding that children exposed to high pesticide levels in the womb have lower average IQs than other kids.
    The studies, conducted in California and New York, found the most heavily exposed children scored an average of seven points lower on IQ tests compared with children with the lowest pesticide exposures.
    “The joint findings are strengthened by the differences in the locations, study participants, and methods used to measure pesticide exposure, says Bruce Lanphear, M.D., a professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, British Columbia. ‘Because the results are so consistent, we're more confident that the results are not spurious,’ says Lanphear, who was not involved in the research.”
    Lanphear, professor of children’s environmental health, had earlier told other news outlets that a drop of seven points in IQ tests “can sharply increase the number of kids needing remedial education”, and lead to extra costs in lost earnings over an individual’s lifetime, and other costs to deal with behavioral and learning problems that may occur during childhood.
    Huffington Post: http://at.sfu.ca/FWksCF

  • Public policy student Geetanjali Chopra was featured in a Burnaby Now story about a photo contest launched by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), to help raise awareness of the importance of eye exams.
    “‘I was actually born with glaucoma,’ said Chopra. ‘I always had eye problems as a kid, but it wasn't until I was 12 that it was finally diagnosed.’ She is now considered legally blind, although she is able to see up to three feet in front of her with her right eye and keeps her condition manageable by taking eyedrops several times a day.
    "‘It's a lot of little things for me,’ she said. ‘I have to sit really close to the TV, and sometimes I have to take my notes in class from the person sitting next to me.’"
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ZaEFcE

ARTS

  • SFU prof Stephen Collis was in The Vancouver Sun as winner of BC’s Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for On the Material, described as a meditation on language, geography and socio-economics. The award came at the 27th annual BC Book Prizes awards night. Collis is an associate professor of English at SFU.
    Another winner: first time novelist Gurjinder Basran took the fiction award for Everything Was Good-bye. It’s about a first-generation Indo-Canadian teenager growing up caught between western and Punjabi culture. TheTyee.ca noted:
    “Basran . . . managed to develop those narrative seeds into a manuscript with the encouragement of writing mentor Wayde Compton at The Writers' Studio at Simon Fraser University, a part-time year-long certificate program in creative writing that Basran attended in 2006.”
    As well, George Bowering was presented with the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence by Steven Point, B.C.’s lieutenant-governor. Canada's first poet laureate, and a two-time winner of the Governor-General's Literary Award, he has taught literature at SFU and elsewhere.
    The Vancouver Sun: http://at.sfu.ca/WqHeKz
    TheTyee.ca: http://at.sfu.ca/ysPawE

SPORTS

  • SFU psychologist Joti Samra did three interviews with CTV and one each with The Province and the BreakfastTV show on Citytv. These were on the positive energy of fan-psychology—about and for the Vancouver Canucks.
    In The Province, she said: “Sports does that for us. People who aren't even fans get into it. Everybody's cheering for the same team, and we get this hope and want them to do well. . . . There's something positive about being in your home city where you've got fans and support. I think that creates an energy for the players."
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/EfvOsE

  • UBC’s decision to remain in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) "for the time being”, and not to follow SFU into the National Collegiate athletic Association (NCAA), meant many mentions in media across Canada of SFU’s move. The Vancouver Sun, for one, noted:
    “The proper role of sports at UBC has been an ongoing debate, however, and opinions vary widely, even in the athletic department and among alumni who have played for the Thunderbirds. In 2008, discussions moved to the front burner when NCAA Division II, a second-tier league, invited Canadian schools to apply.
    Simon Fraser University made their intentions known immediately and joined the NCAA Division II ranks. UBC instead struck up a committee to investigate the issue.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/OWeFkE

  • SFU Athletics told media how the Clan softball team split a doubleheader with the Northwest Nazarene University Crusaders, winning the first game in Nampa ID 5-4 and falling in the second game 4-3 in 10 innings.
    Clan news release: http://at.sfu.ca/DGPgTz
    Earlier, The Province and the Bellingham Herald reported how the SFU Clan softball team and Western Washington University split a Great Northwest Athletic Conference doubleheader at WWU.
    The Clan won the first game 4-3 in 11 innings, and lost the second 4-2. SFU thus moved to 9-18-1 overall (9-14-1 GNAC) while WWU is now 31-12 with a 19-9 mark in conference play.
    The Province: http://at.sfu.ca/iTyQTf
    Bellingham Herald: http://at.sfu.ca/JSeFAV
    Clan news release: http://at.sfu.ca/IJnbYG
    Before that, the Clan dropped both games of a doubleheader against the Central Washington University Wildcats, losing 15-6 and 8-6.
    Clan release: http://at.sfu.ca/GtOzrp

DATA

  • SFU Communication prof Richard Smith was in a Vancouver Sun story on how personal information of tens of millions of Sony PlayStation users may be in the hands of hackers.
    “Smith . . . said he believes that this case with Sony will serve as a wake-up call about the risks of collecting information and the need for companies to think more carefully about storing it in the first place.
    “Storing credit card numbers isn't required to do business online, noted Smith, but companies do it as a convenience to users.  ‘They could make users type it in each time, they could work with a payment processor, like PayPal, they could do other things.’"
    Full story not online.

TRAVEL

  • Gordon Price, director of the SFU City Program, had two blogs run on CityCaucus.com, both on issues around urban travel.
    • In one, he wondered if a blast at Vancouver’s bike lanes by developer and hotel owner Rob Macdonald means Macdonald will run for city council—with a “bikelash” campaign.
      “In this kind of tirade, quiet facts get drowned out by the noise of the charge. Recent data reveals that more people are coming to downtown than ever (up 10% since 1996) in fewer cars (down 25%). Despite the myth of an exodus to the suburbs, there are more downtown jobs than ever (up 26%) and, of course, a lot more people living there (up 75%). . . .
      “Could he win a civic seat over a bike route? Maybe—even if the lane is well used in the summer and the consequences are minor, which is thus far the case. The Hornby bike lane has led to a mere one-minute delay during the afternoon rush. Given the complexity of traffic—and how easily it can be disrupted—that’s astonishing. And no doubt frustrating to the critics, who would like a little doom with their gloom.”
      Full blog: http://at.sfu.ca/XvqNiG
    • Meanwhile, CityCaucus.com ran a piece by Price on the “massive transfer of students” onto transit services to UBC.
      “Turns out that U-Pass and the success of the B-Line (bus) services resulted in a massive transfer of students out of carpools. Over 14,000 shared trips shifted to transit. As one student explained: ‘The bus is a big carpool that leaves every few minutes, all day long.’
      “That combination of cheap fares and frequent service saw 7,500 fewer cars heading to UBC each day than in 1997—a greater reduction than the original target would have achieved—even though the drop was primarily in high-occupancy vehicles. Ironically, those who chose to drive (and were prepared to pay higher parking fees) had less congestion to deal with.
      “Here's another irony: the very success of the program is making TransLink nervous. Now everyone wants a U-Pass: faculty, staff, other colleges around the Lower Mainland—and of course they want more frequent service to go with it. And that means more money-losing operations, even with the increased ridership.”
      The article originally ran in Business in Vancouver.
      Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/ZOmztA

ALSO in the NEWS

  • Burnaby Now featured the installation of a new radar speed-reader board on Gaglardi Way, just south of the SFU Burnaby campus.
    “The location was selected because ICBC data shows that there have been approximately 88 crashes that resulted in injuries or fatalities during the past five years in that area.
    “That includes a March 8 accident where a 20-year-old Port Coquitlam woman died and three men were injured after their car went off an embankment. The accident occurred just before 7 p.m. when a small, dark-coloured Mazda car travelling from SFU went off the road and crashed at Gaglardi Way and University Drive.”  (All in the car were SFU students.)
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/UgwIXV

  • Burnaby Now ran a story about a new website from Burnaby resident Mark Weiler that “makes the process of requesting documents from the government easier.” The story added: “Weiler, who launched www.opengovernmentrecords.net last week, graduated from SFU recently with a doctoral degree in the faculty of education. He used freedom of information legislation to document how governments develop curricula for public servants for his dissertation.”
    Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/SYhKZy

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