SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - Nov. 1-5, 2010

November 5, 2010

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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. (PAMR). This weekly edition covers media coverage from Nov. 1-5.


SFU public policy professors Jon Kesselman and Doug McArthur were inundated with media requests following the resignation by B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell yesterday. McArthur said the bottom line is that British Columbians no longer trusted Campbell: “That is fatal in politics; you cannot recover when that happens.” The B.C. Liberals would not win the next provincial election had Campbell stayed, added McArthur, and there would be a good chance the party could get wiped out. He predicts the next Liberal leader will promise to axe the HST. Some of the media outlets that spoke with the SFU profs included: The Province, The Globe and Mail, CTV News, The Georgia Straight, CJME radio (Regina), Sing Tao newspaper (Vancouver), Fairchild Radio (Vancouver), Global TV, CBC News, Burnaby NOW, and Business in Vancouver.

The Georgia Straight
The Globe and Mail (story #1):
The Globe and Mail (story #2):

The Province and the Victoria Times Colonist also spoke with SFU business professor Lindsay Meredith, who commented that it was former premier Bill Vander Zalm and his anti-HST campaign that was responsible for Campbell’s move. “Zalm set the clock ticking,” Meredith told The Province. The Vancouver Sun also quoted Meredith from an SFU Issues & Experts media alert.

The Province (story #1)
The Province (story #2):
The Vancouver Sun:
Victoria Times Colonist:

SFU’s next chancellor, Carole Taylor, continues to have her name connected to a possible bid for the Liberal leadership despite her comments to the contrary.

Alberni Valley Times
CTV News:


Political pundits are out in force making predictions as to who will join the race to become the next leader of the B.C. Liberals after Premier Gordon Campbell resigned this week. SFU public policy professor Kennedy Stewart told the Surrey Leader the successful candidate will be “someone within the party capable of separating themselves from the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).”
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SFU public policy professor Jon Kesselman had an opinion piece published in the Toronto Star about Campbell’s resignation. He praised Campbell for his “sound budgetary and taxation policies that have served the B.C. economy and public well and insulated the province from the economic turbulence of the last couple of years better than most jurisdictions.”
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Despite all the political turmoil going on, the anti-HST campaign is moving forward, reports the Nanaimo Daily News. SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith said Campbell was pushed out the door because the Liberals feared the recall campaign. "Once the recall campaigns got moving the Liberal MLAs would have got picked off like flies," Meredith said.
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Being in the public spotlight – and often in the crosshairs of critics – took its toll on himself and his family, Campbell said at a news conference. The former premier became a lightning rod for all of B.C.’s problems, according to The Vancouver Sun. SFU business professor Mark Wexler said this is part of a larger change in politics. "My sense of politics as an area of decorum – this debating society version of it – is long gone," Wexler told the paper. "I think the analogy now is more like (WWE) wrestling. I make that analogy in the sense of crowd-pleasing, getting people emotionally involved in your positions.”
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Canada Border Services Agency officials have launched an investigation after a young Asian man was allowed to board a flight to Vancouver from Hong Kong while disguised as an elderly Caucasian man. He apparently removed the disguise during the flight and was taken into custody when the plane landed. The man has made a claim for refugee status. SFU international security expert Andre Gerolytmatos isn’t surprised. “The people at the gate and everyone at the airport simply ignored this man … it’s a tremendous collapse of security,” Gerolytmatos said on CKNW’s The Bill Good Show. “On a daily basis, I bet there are dozens and dozens of mistakes made that don’t make the news.”


In an effort to better market the public school system, Richmond school district is hiring a communications and marketing manager. The Richmond News said public schools are increasingly pressured to become more competitive against private schools. "B.C. has had one of the most admired records in public education. This has been threatened, not assisted, by recent funding practices and policy choices of the government,” said education professor emeritus Paul Shaker.
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You don’t often see a Hells Angel member leave their gangster lifestyle, which makes Joe Calendino’s story in The Province that much more amazing. He had a reputation for being a tough guy when he was in high school and took that with him when he started wearing the Hells Angels colors. But life hit rock bottom for him when he became a crack-cocaine addict and he was kicked out of the Hells Angels. With the help of the Vancouver Police Department’s Odd Squad, Calendino has turned his life around. Today, he works with at-risk high-school students and is making a difference. “It is not common, but it does happen,” said SFU criminologist Ray Corrado. “If you have left in good standing and haven’t ratted anyone out, it can happen.” It’s no surprise to Corrado that the Hells Angels would cut ties with one of its members when drug use is involved. “The trouble with taking drugs when you are a gang member is you are unreliable. There is a point where you are going to make mistakes if you are ripped. If you are taking hard drugs, you are risking the whole group and if it threatens the business, you’re going to cause trouble.”
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Despite the negativity towards consuming too much candy, Halloween is more popular than ever, according to SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith. He told The Vancouver Sun that spending for Halloween has been “astronomical” in the past 10 years. "We know chocolate is evil, we know candy is evil," said Meredith, who noted that Halloween is one way of rationalizing consuming a product that we know isn't good for us. "And we don't need a lot of encouragement; candy is easy to market as a comfort or a reward for being good."
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The Vancouver Sun wrote a feature about UniverCity and provided an update from SFU Community Trust president and CEO Gordon Harris. Built on the sustainable community model of environment, equity, economy, and education, UniverCity has come a long way in the past 10 years. “In its early days," Harris told the Sun, "UniverCity had green-building guidelines and sustainability guidelines." Over the past three years, however, the trust has felt it needed to raise the bar and push things further. While we described ourselves as a model sustainable community, the world had caught up to us and, in some instances, had arguably got ahead of us. So we set about from going from having guidelines to having requirements." The SFU Community Trust has been working closely with the development community and the City of Burnaby to set a new standard that is achievable and accessible for UniverCity’s future.
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SFU’s Carole Taylor and Gail Anderson were selected by The Vancouver Sun for its B.C.’s 100 Women of Influence list. “It wasn't an easy task to come up with just 100 women of influence in B.C., as so many women are accomplishing so many amazing things. But these women, from seven distinct fields, deserve to be recognized,” said the newspaper. Taylor was recently announced as SFU’s next chancellor, while Anderson is a criminology professor noted for her work in forensic entomology.
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Our apologies to SFU molecular biology professor Lynne Quarmby for not including her in Media Matters for being recognized as one of B.C.’s 100 most influential women by The Vancouver Sun. “It wasn't an easy task to come up with just 100 women of influence in B.C., as so many women are accomplishing so many amazing things,” said the newspaper. “But these women, from seven distinct fields, deserve to be recognized.”


Who knew charts would become such a hot issue? The Victoria Times Colonist included SFU public policy professor Jon Kesselman in its weekly Thumbs up/Thumbs down feature. The paper praised him for “bluntly trashing the tax charts” used by Premier Gordon Campbell in his televised address last week that exaggerated provincial income-tax rates.
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The Globe and Mail highlighted research by SFU business professor Dianne Cyr that shows “there are distinct website design preferences for different groups – whether in different country locations or for men and women.” Cyr has looked at cross-cultural and gender preferences in website design and what she calls “social presence” impact on website users. According to the paper, “For instance, women tended to prefer websites with less clutter and fewer graphics. They tended to seek content to ‘engage them, whereas men were more utilitarian.’”
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The debate in The National Post is whether the biggest technological revolution known to mankind proved to be accurate. According to the paper, there were tremendous expectations for information technology (IT) and some argue today that predictions of increased productivity never came to fruition. Of course, IT did change the way we work and how organizations communicate around the world, and now there are new expectations with the arrival of IT Revolution 2.0. This time around, the paper says researchers, educators, and high-performing companies are addressing areas to “bridge the gap between the potential of technology to dramatically improve both productivity and innovation and what really takes place on the ground.” SFU business professor Blaize Reich said the key for IT Revolution 2.0 to succeed is improving organizational competence to manage change. “Change is hard. People get used to doing things in certain ways and even if there’s better ways of doing it, it’s still difficult to adapt. Some organizations are good at change competence, but often they’re not,” she said.
Full story (in The Vancouver Sun):


On her Vancouver Sun blog, Barbara Yaffe talked about SFU international relations professor Alexander Moens’ suggestion that Canadians shoot root for Republicans in this week’s U.S. mid-term elections. He said Canada has more to gain “from a more right of centre approach in the U.S. Congress.”
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A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future is a book co-written by SFU criminologist Neil Boyd and was reviewed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Boyd and his co-authors – Vancouver Sun reporter Lori Culbert and former City of Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell – provide an informal history of the Downtown Eastisde and focuses on the community’s challenges. The biggest hurdles are drug addiction and homelessness. best available data. “A Thousand Dreams provides considerable insight into multiple urban health problems and the resilience of urban communities,” writes Dr. Don C. Des Jarlais. “For the scientific data, one may turn to the many research reports of the University of British Columbia Centre for Excellence in AIDS, and for the perspective of young drug users in the Downtown Eastside, I would suggest the recent paper by Fast and colleagues. But this book is useful reading for anyone wanting to understand the complexities of urban health.”
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The Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts in Vancouver should be removed, Anthony Perl, director of SFU’s urban studies program, told The Globe and Mail. He said they were originally built as the first steps toward a “metropolitan urban highway scheme,” but that plan is no longer valid so the viaducts should be taken down. Perl added the viaducts are impeding Vancouver’s growth. “It’s an impediment. We need to get rid of this no man’s land,” Perl said in the paper. “If we’re going to complete the development of downtown and add more space for affordable housing, it’s going to be in the eastern part and as long as we have this no man’s land created by these elevated roads, it’s going to be an obstacle or a limitation on how we can do that. Now is the time to be bold.” Perl also appeared on CBC Radio, CKWX 1130, and Global TV.
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The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that SFU’s student newspaper, The Peak, has to pay $30,000 for publishing three defamatory articles about a Douglas College student back in 2006. According to a Canadian Press story, The Peak inaccurately reported that Joey Hansen, who worked for Douglas College’s student union, misappropriated funds. “I am satisfied there was a proper evidentiary basis for the trial judge's finding that the appellants failed to demonstrate the required standard of diligence in their attempts to contact Mr. Hansen and report his side of the story," said the ruling.
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Canada will not receive any air cargo from Yemen after bombs were discovered last week in UPS packages destined for the U.S., according to Postmedia News. The International Air Transport Association said airports should be bear the brunt of responsibility for cargo security. SFU international security expert Andre Gerolytamos said while U.S. and Canadian airlines use similar security screening equipment, he believes Canadian airports only do spot checks on cargo shipments.
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The Vancouver Sun wrote a story about how many students are returning to school yet continue to work full time. Kris Magnusson, dean of SFU’s Faculty of Education, told the paper the majority of his grad students have full-time jobs. "One of the things that people often do is to forgo the parts of self that are really fulfilling to them, and they put those on hold, thinking that they'll tend to that later," Magnusson said. "In reality, you have to make the things that are really important to you a part of your daily experience. You have to intentionally build in what used to be ordinary times."
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A new theory has emerged crediting a volcanic eruption in Alaska in 2008 for this year’s massive Fraser River sockeye salmon run. According to the Nanaimo Daily Bulletin, the eruption of Kasatochi spewed out immense amounts of iron-rich ash that created large “algae and plankton blooms that provided Fraser sockeye with a tremendously rich food source.” Dr. David Welch testified before the Cohen commission that there were several key factors that helped the salmon, including the eruption occurring just as a major storm system hit the area to spread the ash around, plus “long hours of northern sunshine grew more plankton than otherwise.” SFU fish biologist John Reynolds also testified before the commission and warned B.C.’s wild sockeye are competing with hatchery-raised salmon from Russia and Japan that also feed in the north Pacific, said the paper.
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SFU business students have partnered with the non-profit Gather & Give organization to assist low-income families, reports the Burnaby NewsLeader. As part of an assignment for a project management class related to sustainability, the students will collect household items, such as pots and pans, kitchenware, toiletries, bedding, and other housewares. The newspaper said most people think about the environment when sustainability is discussed, but the students decided to focus on social sustainability instead. "Making sure kids get a good education, keeping the crime rate low, keeping people off the streets and living in homes, they kind of go hand in hand," third-year student Aren Hanson said of the two types of sustainability. "If you have a good community and the kids are being brought up right then they'll tend to be more environmentally conscious and also conscious of the people around them and other people in the community."
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EDUCATION reports the University of Northern B.C. received $17.7 million in total research income for 2008-09, placing it 35th in Canada. “Measured on a per-faculty basis, UNBC’s research income is virtually identical to Simon Fraser University and more similar to universities in the top 20,” the story said.
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An article by reports “beer may have helped lead to the rise of civilization.” The story is based on findings that Stone Age farmer went to great lengths to obtain grains and they were then turned into beer. “Beer is sacred stuff in most traditional societies," said SFU archaeology professor Brian Hayden.
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Predicting the weather is a “crapshoot,” according to SFU atmospheric science professor Owen Hertzman. The North Shore Outlook spoke with him on a story about the upcoming winter, which many say will be a bad one due to the weather phenomenon known as La Nina. “For your readers in the Lynn Valley area, I think it will be a great year for snow tire sellers and skiers,” Hertzman said in the paper. North Shore ski hill operators are preparing for a busy season in anticipation that La Nina usually brings colder temperatures and more precipitation.
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SFU associate history professor Elise Chenier hopes an oral history project dating back to the 1980s that focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual interviewees will become a resource for teachers. "As you can imagine in these tapes, people tell incredibly intimate stories about their life experiences. They're sometimes hilarious, they're sometimes very painful, but they're always very intimate," Chenier told Xtra! West newspaper. "They're powerful testimonies to the experience of living." Eric Swanick, head of SFU’s special collections, is also working on the project, which will involve digitizing the interviews and putting them online as the Archive of Lesbian Oral Testimony.
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Despite legal threats from the provincial government against Sears, SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith likes the plan by the company to offer an HST rebate if the tax is repealed next fall. "Five-hundred-thousand (petition) signatures are not to be ignored," Meredith told CBC News. "Sears are using a pretty good marketing strategy to capitalize on that."
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The police believe a serial killer is responsible for three unsolved murders in B.C., according to the Toronto Star. The Mounties are investigating three unsolved murders from 1995 but has ruled out Robert Pickton as the suspect. Although the cases have similarities, the RCMP believes someone else is responsible. Rob Gordon, director of SFU criminology, said the RCMP has a difficult case on its hands. “The chances of the police being able to identify the person responsible is frankly zero,” said Gordon. “The trail is obviously stone cold.”
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Police officers holding a suspect in a headlock in a line-up was wrong 30 years ago, said SFU criminologist Neil Boyd in The Toronto Star. The article details the police line-up Ivan Henry had to endure as a suspect in an assault and rape case. He was convicted of the crime and imprisoned for 27 years until he was acquitted last week by the B.C. Supreme Court and released. Boyd said despite advances in investigative tools, there are still failures in criminal investigations. “We now know eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable,” he said.
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Boyd also spoke with The Province about the Kimberly Proctor murder case. He said youths tend to start committing crimes when they’re 15 years old but their crime level drops when they reach 19 or 20, and unlikely to reoffend as adults. As a result, Boyd explained that is why the names of young offenders cannot be revealed publicly. Province columnist Jon Ferry argues the two teens convicted of Proctor’s gruesome murder do not deserve protection. "There is a principle," Boyd said, "that they are young offenders and pretty malleable and we don't want to stigmatize them any more than is necessary."
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University Affairs did a story on the new site for SFU Contemporary Arts. Theatre production student Diana Magallon said the difference the school’s previous home on Burnaby Mountain to the new home at the former Woodward’s department store is “astronomical.” She added: “We used to have portables tucked away in a corner of the campus and no one knew what we were except for people in theatre arts. It’s nice to have all the disciplines in one space – not to mention we’re downtown.”
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The Nanaimo Daily News spoke with SFU business professor Mark Wexler about a potential conflict-of-interest case involving a city councilor. Wexler told the paper a good test in these situations is whether financial gain is involved. "Follow the money," said Wexler. "If a person stands to gain as a consequence of the decision that is usually a smoking gun,” he said.
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An eight-minute short film created by an SFU student is being shown at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, reports the Banff Crag & Canyon newspaper. Interactive arts and technology student Adam Greenberg’s short, called Wild Places, was also submitted for the festival’s film competition. "I'm super stoked. When I found out, I was dancing around my room," Greenberg said.
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Switching to a voluntary long-form census will hurt non-status Indians and Metis people, SFU public policy professor John Richards told The Vancouver Sun. Richards, who has done extensive research on Aboriginal issues in Canada, said “programs for them -- or for other groups such as immigrants who need second-language instruction -- cannot be targeted fairly and proportionately if there's no data on where they are.”
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The Quesnel Observer referenced SFU criminologist Neil Boyd in an article about the new impaired driving laws that brought in stiffer penalties for those whose breathalyser readings are between .05 and .08. The paper notes Boyd agrees with the Vancouver Police union that police resources are being stretched too thin enforcing the new legislation.
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SFU arts student Kate Mitchell is one of eight people in Canada receiving the UCBeyond Crohn’s Disease scholarship. It is given to students “rising above and beyond the limitations of their disease in spectacular ways,” said the Burnaby NewsLeader.
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The Canadian Federation of University Women’s Bursary Foundation has given SFU political science student Danielle Ouimet Sanderson a bursary through its White Rock/Surrey chapter. Applicants must have graduated from a secondary school in School District 36 or resided in White Rock or Surrey for five years.

ALSO IN THE NEWS spoke with SFU criminology researcher Rebecca Haskell about her new book – written with SFU colleague Brian Burtch – on homophobia and bullying teens face in our schools.
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Exclusion and other subtle forms of homophobia, rather than physical bashings, are occurring in our schools, according to a book by two SFU professors. Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools, written by Rebecca Haskell and Brian Burtch, was featured by Xtra! West newspaper. Most of the teens they interviewed indicated others stepped up and challenged homophobia when it occurred. "Either they intervened when someone said something homophobic, or from the get-go said, 'That language isn't acceptable in my classroom; it's hurtful language, and it's not okay,' or they had counsellors who at least they could talk to, (to) kind of offload and get some support," Haskell said in the paper.
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SFU’s Nancy Olewiler was referenced in an opinion piece published in The Vancouver Sun. Faisal Moola, science director for the David Suzuki Foundation, wrote about Olewiler’s research that shows “protecting green space results in cost savings for cash-strapped governments, because replacing their services with engineered and manufactured substitutes, such as water-filtration plants and retention walls, can cost hundreds of millions of dollars often for a lesser level of service than nature is able to provide.”
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Reporter Darah Hansen clarified some facts in a recent story she did about prostitution. In her Vancouver Sun blog, she included an e-mail from SFU criminologist Jon Lowman correcting a previous article that estimated the number of sex workers in Vancouver at between 1,500 to 2,000, when in fact the actual numbers are likely higher.

Greenwashing, the act of misleading consumers about the environmental practices of a company, was a hot topic for the media. SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith responded to a number of interview requests after a new study showed almost all green products make one “false, misleading, or unproven” environmental claim. Meredith was also sought out to comment on Premier Gordon Campbell’s televised address. In total, Meredith did 12 interviews with media outlets within a span of 24 hours, including Global TV, CityTV’s Breakfast Television, CFAX radio (Victoria), CKNW’s The Bill Good Show, The Province, and CTV News.

SFU international relations professor Alexander Moens told CKWX 1130 radio that Canadians can “expect renewed fiscal conservatism” if Americans vote Republican today in the mid-term elections. "That will improve the business climate and the consumer climate in the United States.  And that will improve the lagging economy and that will mean more exports for Canada so this will have a direct effect, possibly very positive, on our economic relationship with the United States,” he said.

The Georgia Straight reports SFU students will hold a rally for public education in Convocation Mall on November 10, 3 p.m., at the Burnaby campus. Three groups – Simon Fraser Student Society, SFU Graduate Student Society, and the Teaching Support Staff Union – are behind the event calling for reducing interest on student loans to the prime rate.

Research by Fiona Brinkman and Shannan Ho Sui from SFU’s department of molecular biology and biochemistry involving mapping transcriptomes made a list of the highest-ranked articles in genetics on The Scientist magazine’s website.

Digital Journal republished a story from The Peak about how Halloween costumes are becoming too sexy. "I think girls do whatever they want. Whatever they chose is their right, and we can't judge them for that,” said third-year environmental sciences student Mazier Kazemi.
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Vancouver Sun education reporter Janet Steffenhagen wrote a blog post about SFU’s new recruitment videos. She quoted Rummana Khan, SFU’s director of academic advising, as saying “the campaign is intended to be more engaging, less formal and less corporate than in previous years.”
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SFU soccer players Aly Benes and Anthony DiNicolo have been named to the COSIDA Academic All-American team at the district level. Also, the pair, along with teammates Lauren Lachlan and Helge Neumann have been named to the men’s and women’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Academic Team, according to
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Perfect: The Province wrote a feature about SFU cross-country star Jessica Smith, who has won all four races she’s competed in this season. According to the paper, Smith has beaten a combined total of 444 runners in the four races. "I don't think this kind of stuff happens too often,” Smith said. "For me, it didn't even happen in high school."
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Former SFU women’s basketball coach Allison McNeill is receiving the In Her Footsteps Award for her “outstanding contribution to sport and athletic achievement, dedication, and leadership,” according to the Vancouver Courier. The award celebrates women in sport and the influence individuals have on inspiring girls, teens, and women.
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Shutout victory: SFU’s women’s soccer team beat Montana State Billings 1-0 to improve to 8-3-2 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action. Clan co-captain Lauren Lachlan scored the lone goal for SFU, while goalkeeper Amelia Ng notched the shutout on the road. “This is a very tough place to play, and I thought we came in and fought through some injuries and gutted out a win,” said SFU head coach Shelley Howieson on “It was a fairly even game and I saw some things today that bode well for our future.”

Perfect season continues: Roman Doutkevitch and Josh Bennett each scored once against Montana State Billings to keep the SFU men’s soccer team’s perfect season intact at 16-0. The Clan finish their regular season next week at home with two games. “It was a very tough game against a quality team, MSU-Billings are a physical and hard working team and playing them at their place is always a daunting task,” said SFU head coach Alan Koch on “But we battled through 90 minutes and while we didn’t find our continuity we had a good effort, particularly from Josh Bennett, who engineered both out goals.” SFU’s Hide Ozawa made three saves to get the shutout and win.

Humbled by Humboldt State: SFU’s football team dropped its record to 1-7 following a 35-14 loss to Humboldt State last Saturday in Burnaby. Clan running back Gabe Ephard scored on a TD run, while SFU defender Adam Berger ran back an interception for a TD to account for all of the team’s scoring. “(SFU coaches) just didn’t do our jobs today, we didn’t put our players, either on offence or defence, in a spot to win this game,” said SFU head coach Dave Johnson on “I thought our players played hard, which is good to see and Humboldt is a team that just doesn’t take any plays off.” This was SFU’s last home game of the season. Next week, they head to Ellensburg, Wash., to take on Central Washington.


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