November 19, 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. 15-19.


In the second of a two-part Vancouver Sun series, columnist Douglas Todd wrote about multi-ethnic demographics on Metro Vancouver university campuses. Todd did an eight-month fellowship at SFU in 2007. Afterwards, he wrote about “how the campus’s student body was at least 70 per cent ‘visible minority,’ mostly Asian and South Asian.” Todd also noted SFU assistant professor Paulo Lemos Horta’s role in establishing a world literature program at the Surrey campus.
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SFU public policy professor Doug McArthur was a guest on CKNW’s The Bill Good Show discussing the HST referendum question drafted by Elections B.C. He described the wording of the question as “convoluted” and questioned going to British Columbians on a tax issue. “I think they could’ve asked straight out: Yes or no,” McArthur said on the air. “Referenda are not a great way to make tax policy.”


Provincial Health Minister Kevin Falcon continues to tell the media he would support Carole Taylor if she decided to seek the B.C. Liberal leadership. Taylor, who is slated to be SFU’s next chancellor, is a former B.C. finance minster. "I certainly wouldn't have any hesitation in stepping aside and allowing her to have a crack at it," Falcon told
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In his latest column on, former CKNW talk-show host Rafe Mair said he hopes Carole Taylor doesn’t change her mind about becoming SFU’s next chancellor. “The SFU position is non-paying, and if only on the basis that it's human nature to change your mind, she can't be finally counted out,” he wrote. “I hope she doesn't change her mind, for if she loses and wins a seat, she has the worst job in politics: leader of the Opposition for four years.” Mair added he wants to see Taylor and new president Andrew Petter as a team. In The Province, columnist Michael Smythe writes that cabinet minister Barry Penner is another Liberal who supports a Taylor leadership bid.
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Full story (The Province):

Changes to how B.C. Liberal Party members will vote for their next leader may be one of the reasons why outsiders like Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is not interested, SFU public policy professor Kennedy Stewart told The Globe and Mail.
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SFU public policy professor Doug McArthur told that B.C. Liberal leadership candidates need to distance themselves from Premier Gordon Campbell and his policies if they want to be contenders. "Anybody who's going to be a successful candidate is going to have to make a break at some point on the HST issue," McArthur said.
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In an opinion piece, Kelowna Capital News reporter Kathy Michaels mentioned SFU students and their “debt wall” during a campaign last week to raise awareness about the cost of education.
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The best basketball player ever produced by Canada is taking some heat after Steve Nash announced he’s leaving his wife of nine years, reported CKWX News 1130. Some question the timing of the news about the Victoria, B.C., native because he made the announcement the day his wife gave birth to the couple’s third child. "If the perception is, 'This guy abandoned his wife and new child at the most needy time,' whether it's reality or perception it really doesn't matter because if the public perceives he did it, he's dead,” said SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith.
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An in-depth article by the Montreal Gazette examines the future that high school dropouts face in Quebec. And the picture isn’t rosy. SFU social policy professor Olena Hankivsky’s research, which details the “direct and indirect financial consequences of dropping out – for individuals and the state,” is cited in the story.
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The debate continues on whether an Alaskan volcano’s eruption in 2008 is partly responsible for this year’s Fraser River sockeye salmon run, noted as the biggest in decades. Vancouver Sun blogger Randy Shore spoke with three SFU professors – John Reynolds, Randall Peterman, and Glyn Williams-Jones – to get their take. "You really need to thread the needle to make this theory fly," said Reynolds.
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Research by SFU adjunct professor Elizabeth Saewyc and her UBC colleagues show the increase in the legal age of sexual consent isn’t protecting those that need it the most, according to CBC News. "The study shows that society needs to do a better job at preventing sexual abuse among children and teens, using strategies that go beyond the legal arena," said Saewyc. She also spoke to The Vancouver Sun.
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The Province interviewed Anthony Perl, director of SFU’s urban studies program, for its story about the City of Vancouver investigating which intersections in the city are the most dangerous for pedestrians. Perl said Vancouver is the only city in Canada where the number of pedestrians is increasing faster than numbers of cars.
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SFU health sciences associate professor Scott Lear is one of the researchers that will develop a strategy to prevent obesity. They will target 4,000 children between the ages of seven and eight, and 14-15 years old, according to The Surrey NOW.
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The Vancouver Sun published an article noting the difficulties some international students face when it comes to cultural differences. Some of the issues include recognizing someone’s personal space and how to appropriately greet people. Carolyn Hanna, SFU’s senior international student adviser, said the school tries to address differences in physical contact through focusing on intercultural communication.
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SFU marketing professor Leyland Pitt likes to challenge his students. When it comes to presentations, he tells them to present on anything they want. It won’t guarantee a good grade but what the students come up with can lead to a unique idea, according to The Financial Post.
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Kye Allums made history last week when he became the first transgender player in NCAA basketball in the U.S., according to Sports Illustrated. SFU sports sociologist Ann Travers commented on what this means for the future of amateur sports.
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SFU physics professor Michael Hayden and his PhD student Mohammad Dehghani Ashkezari are members of an international team of scientists that has managed to capture and hold atomic antimatter. This is the first time anyone has managed this feat, according to the Globe and Mail. Interesting to note the CBC News article has more than 120 comments.
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As part of its Social Media Week theme, News 1130 radio interviewed SFU communication professor Peter Chow-White about people spending too much time online. He said many people take the next step in social media and meet people offline. “Our online lives and offline lives can be so intertwined … online can augment offline,” Chow-White said. “We’re getting so used to being online … it’s seamless.”


The Vancouver Sun wrote a feature about Bashir Jamalzadah, an SFU education grad, and his experience as a language cultural adviser with the Canadian military in Afghanistan.
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SFU international security expert Andre Gerolytamos was a guest on CKNW’s The Bill Good Show where he talked about how the issue of airport security is heating up around the world. "Airline security has become top of mind once again in the wake of a disguised Asian refugee, a debate over whether turbans should be taken off for security checks, and a man who warned a guard: 'Don’t touch my junk or I’ll have you arrested,” said the CKNW intro for Gerolytamos.


It’ll be more than a vacation for Charlotte Sedens when she heads to Cuba next month. The SFU grad and a friend have started collecting medical supplies and will deliver them to an animal welfare organization in Havana, according to the Burnaby NOW.
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Improving public transit service in Surrey will go a long way in transforming the community, Gordon Price, director of SFU’s City Program, told the Surrey Leader.
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SFU was noted as one of a few Canadian universities that require incoming students to take a short literacy test. According to The Sarnia Observer, about 25 per cent of students fail. The article focuses on a survey of 24 Ontario community colleges that shows almost 40 per cent have no program in place to assess literacy.
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Jim Derbyshire is CEO of Veridae Systems Inc, a Vancouver-based startup company that specializes in semiconductors. He’s also a mentor-in-residence for SFU’s Venture Connection program and his company has developed a breakthrough technology for debugging computer chips, reported Business in Vancouver.
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SUPERCONDUCTIVITY published an SFU news release detailing research by SFU physicist Jeff Sonier that discovered a new property in warm superconductors.
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The trend of the new millennium is fusion, SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith in The Vancouver Sun, and that is why a new Asian supermarket in West Vancouver will thrive despite demographics that suggest otherwise. "If you look at the attendance at Chinese and Indo-Canadian restaurants — whitey is as prevalent as all-get-out," he said.
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It’s all for a good cause. SFU student Veronique Jones plays for the Ice-O-Topes women’s hockey team and is featured in its 2011 pin-up calendar for charity, reported the Burnaby NewsLeader. Proceeds will go to sponsor an after-school hockey program for under-privileged teens.
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SFU physicist Michael Hayden and his colleagues continue to get media coverage for their scientific breakthrough. Hayden, who is working on experiments in Geneva, Switzerland, has done interviews with Canadian Press, Burnaby NOW, and The Globe and Mail so far.
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One person was killed in a multi-vehicle accident yesterday afternoon on Gaglardi Way that shut down the road for more than five hours, according to The Vancouver Sun. TransLink re-routed its buses and motorists had to use Burnaby Mountain Parkway instead.
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Barry Truax is the centre of a performance at the Scotiabank Dance Centre to celebrate his work this Friday. The SFU communication professor said the evening, called Barry Truax: A Portrait, will be both “multimedia and spectacular.” He told The Vancouver Sun: "I promised myself right from the beginning -- perhaps in reaction to some of the terribly austere music of the time -- that I would always celebrate the pleasures of auditory communication. I don't want to pander to the audience, but I don't want to offend it either. I want to do sensuous works that please me first. I don't do music that is merely technically interesting; I want it to be beautiful as well."
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Today’s university students have no trouble expressing themselves via Facebook, blogs, or Twitter, but that doesn’t mean they’re good writers. “There’s this emphasis on expressing yourself, on this idea that if you get it on the page, it will be fine,” SFU English professor Paul Budra told Maclean’s magazine. “It’s not.”
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Fourth-year SFU economics student Jordan Gutierrez was recognized as the Student Entrepreneur of the Year this week. He received the award at SFU’s Celebrating Entrepreneurships event for creating Latin America’s largest online medical bookstore, According to The Vancouver Sun, the website went live two years ago and this year it expects to exceed $1 million in sales.
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Did it really happen or was it a social-media prank? The Globe and Mail interviewed SFU associate history professor Elise Chenier regarding a report that a Virgin America flight veered into Canadian airspace so that two gay men could marry.
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The Georgia Straight published an opinion piece by SFU communication student Geof Glass. He argues he can access research – like science journal articles – for free as a student but not as a member of the public. Glass said it’s because journal publishers hold the copyright and have created a monopoly. “If you are an academic or you can afford to pay, you have access,” he wrote. “The public is locked out.”
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The Abbotsford News featured SFU theatre student Ajaye Jardine and her mother, Cherelle. The pair released their first album, The Jardines, during the recent 2010 Winter Olympics.
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SFU’s very own Dr. Mosquito, better known as Carl Lowenberger, was on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition discussing the $100,000 grant he received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money will fund his research to see how insects can help create better antibiotics.

Global B.C.’s Morning News had SFU physicist Howard Trottier as a guest to talk about the discovery of what appears to be the birth of a black hole. According to CBC News, scientists have found a black hole that was formed during a supernova observed 30 years ago.

A team from SFU finished in third place in the regional round of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Pacific Northwest Programming Contest. California State University – Chico took top spot and now heads to Egypt to compete in the 2011 World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest.

SFU economics professor Nancy Olewiler has been reappointed to another three-year term to TransLink’s board of directors.

Burnaby Mountain will be one of the sites of the next Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR). The competition, which has primarily been a Vancouver Island event, combines mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and orienteering. It usually attracts up to 400 participants from across B.C. and the world.

SFU chancellor emeritus Joe Segal has made a record-setting $12-million donation to establish a new mental-health building for Vancouver General Hospital. According to The Vancouver Sun, “it is believed to be the largest personal donation ever made for a mental health project in B.C.”
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Research by SFU public policy professor Jonathan Kesselman was cited in a Maclean’s magazine story about the Canada Pension Plan.
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CBC-TV News in Calgary interviewed SFU international security expert Andre Gerolymatos about airport security measures.


Both the SFU women’s and men’s soccer teams are off to the NAIA championships. The squads were awarded berths after clinching the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championship last weekend, according to Roman Doutkevitch scored the only goal the Clan needed to beat St. Thomas in the men’s final, while Ari Adams and Lauren Lachlan each scored to help the women’s team get past Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
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Full story (men’s team):

Despite 170 rushing yards from Gabe Ephard, the SFU football team’s season came to an end on the road with a 66-20 loss to Humboldt State University. Ephard totaled more than 200 all-purpose yards and scored a touchdown as the Clan finished its first season in the NCAA’s Division 2, reported SFU wrapped up the season with a 1-9 record, 0-8 against Great Northwest Athletic Conference competition.
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SFU’s swimming and diving teams split a dual meet last weekend with Seattle University, according to The men’s side scored 105-97, while the women lost 110-94.
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SFU women’s basketball player Kia Van Laare was the subject of a feature by the Burnaby NewsLeader focusing on student-athletes and academics. The first-year player for the Clan believes hard work should apply in the classroom and on the basketball court.
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The Burnaby NOW wrote an article about SFU’s women’s and men’s soccer teams advancing to the NAIA national championships.
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Reporter Howard Tsumura looks into the origins of Noodle, the nickname SFU women’s soccer player Lauren Lachlan has had since childhood. "I used to get really upset but I was a really scrawny child,” she told The Province.
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Derrick Bassi is honored for the opportunity to represent Canada, but it’s even better that he’ll be the first Indo-Canadian to do it. Canada’s men’s national soccer team has extended an invite to Bassi to join them at its U20 training camp in Florida next month. "For me, it's letting our community, all of the youngsters, know that there is always a chance. It's very big. It's nice to be able to show that sports will get you something good,” he told The Vancouver Sun.
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The SFU women’s soccer team is ready to take on the NAIA’s No. 1 seed this weekend in the national championships in Oregon. The Clan is ranked No. 15 and is familiar with its opponent, Concordia University. "We have to put our performance of the season out there," Clan midfielder and Port Moody native Lauren Lachlan told the Coquitlam NOW. "We know what they're like and we know they're beatable. Although it may seem like we're the underdogs, considering we're seeded 15th and they're first, there's really not that big of a gap."
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Former Clan football player Spencer Watt is providing the CFL’s Toronto Argos with a deep threat at wide receiver this season, according to The National Post. The newspaper interviewed SFU strength and conditioning coach Derek Hansen to ask about Watt’s talent when he was at the Burnaby campus. "His raw athletic ability almost exceeds his football ability to a point where you're thinking, 'Wow, this guy could be really, really good if the right things fall into place and he gets the right opportunities,' " he said.
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