SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - Oct. 8-15, 2010

October 15, 2010

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A look at how Simon Fraser University and its people made news. Weekly roundup: Oct. 8-15, 2010


There was quick media interest in a new book by SFU Criminology researchers that cautions that efforts to combat homophobic bullying should not be limited to occasional awareness campaigns. In Get That Freak: Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools (Brunswick Books), Rebecca Haskell and Brian Burtch encouraged 16 queer youth to speak for themselves about the extent of—and solutions to—the problem of homo- and transphobic bullying in high school. The authors were promptly lined up for interviews on the Breakfast Television show on City-TV Vancouver, the Christy Clark show on CKNW, and, coming up Monday Oct. 18 at 12:30pm, the BC Almanac show on CBC Radio. GlobalTV has also pursued them.  
SFU news release:

In a story about a Langley mom mounting a campaign to "take back Facebook" from cyberbullies, The Province quoted SFU Communication prof Stuart Poyntz: “There's a real sense of panic among parents. It feels to many that this is beyond their purview. . . . [But] kids are not going to leave Facebook, and Facebook in and of itself is not the problem.” Education prof Wanda Cassidy said research shows online bullying is a growing problem.
Full story: Postmedia Network then sent the story to clients across the country.


Maclean’s magazine columnist Paul Wells: “What if the most valuable product from higher education isn’t the ideas but the people who generate them—the superbly educated graduates with advanced math and science degrees? That question fascinates Arvind Gupta, a professor of computing science at Simon Fraser University. He is also CEO of MITACS, a federally funded Centre of Excellence in information technology.”
Full story:

The Maple Ridge News reported the local school district's proposed environmental school is still on target to open next school year, despite not yet having a facility to call home. “The program was the recipient of a $1 million Community/University Research Grant in March, which will fund researchers from Simon Fraser University for five years to train teachers and develop the school's curriculum.”
Full story:

The Moncton Times and Transcript picked up a Vancouver Sun story on how SFU students now can take bhangra dancing for credit. “Introduction to Popular Dance is a new course offered at Simon Fraser University's new School for the Contemporary Arts at the Woodward's building in downtown Vancouver. It is the first bhangra course for credit in Canada, and probably North America, instructor Raakhi Sinha said.”
Full story:
SFU news release:

The Georgia Straight wrote about a new teaching guide Learning about Homelessness in British Columbia, co-authored by economics prof Krishna Pendakur. “The free 166-page teaching guide is intended primarily for students in Grades 11 and 12. It includes background information on homelessness, a series of activities for students, and a list of additional resources on the subject.”
Full story:          SFU news release:

The Vancouver Westender told readers that good grades alone rarely add up to a dream job—or even a decent one. "’Times have changed since parents of [today's students] first entered the workforce. And to respond to this marked difference, students, parents and employers need to shift their attitude,’ says Adam Brayford, communications director of Work Integrated Learning at Simon Fraser University.
Full story:

The Vancouver Sun announced: “Development work by diaspora communities in Metro Vancouver that have retained close ties to their countries of origin will be highlighted through a series of public events organized by Simon Fraser University.”
Full story:         SFU release:

Broadcaster-commentator Rafe Mair blogged about the installation of Andrew Petter as SFU’s ninth president Oct. 7. SFU gave Mair an honorary degree by SFU in 2007. “I’m very happy with my ‘new’ Alma Mater which grants honourary degrees to the likes of Alexandra Morton and me and has the good common sense to appoint as President someone whose politics don’t match those of the ‘establishment’ thus risking the ire of those who fund it. In short, I’m very comfortable being a lifetime alumnus of a university which fosters and carries on the traditions of what a good university should be.”
Full story:


Research by political science prof Mark Pickup led to a story in The Vancouver Sun:  “Minority governments in Ottawa can be just as effective as majority governments as long as they have the support of the public. . . . “ The story noted Pickup would present some of his findings at an event launching SFU's new Centre for Public Opinion and Political Representation.
Full story:          SFU news release:

Maclean’s magazine asked “When municipal politics matter more than ever, why do so many Canadian cities end up with lousy mayors?” The column quoted two SFU profs.  “When people walk into the ballot box they see nothing but a long list of names," says Kennedy Stewart, a professor at Simon Fraser University's school of public policy. “Lists and lists and lists."  Also quoted was public policy colleague Patrick Smith.
Full story:

Maclean’s also looked at “the last days of Gordon Campbell . . the most unpopular leader in Canada's history.”  Among those quoted was public policy prof Doug McArthur. “According to newly unearthed briefing notes, the C.D. Howe Institute warned government of five years of increased unemployment, lower wages and depressed productivity thanks to the tax. ‘They never revealed that,’ says McArthur.”
Full story:


Health Sciences prof Bruce Lanphear did interviews with CBC-TV, CBC Radio, and the Christy Clark Show on CKNW. This on the federal government’s formal declaration that Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make some hard plastic containers and toys, is a toxic substance. “Studies in animal models are ‘quite concerning,’ and raise questions about prostate disease, breast cancer, fertility issues and behaviour problems in children, Lanphear said.”
CBC story:

Sea lice are jumping from pink salmon to coho salmon and could be harming coho in the Broughton Archipelago, say two new research papers. The Victoria Times Colonist carried a story: “The papers . . .  were researched by Brendan Connors, a PhD student at Simon Fraser University.”
Full story:           Journal of Applied Ecology:

Lynn Osler, SFU Communication student and in the SFU Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue, wrote a blog for The Vancouver Sun: “In 2009, sixty-five tankers entered our harbour. Estimated shipments rise to a staggering ten tankers a week by 2016, each carrying 500,000-700,000 barrels of crude. . . . Vancouver poses as the world's greenest city, but we are planning to jeopardize our marine and coastal ecosystems with the potential of a massive oil tanker spill.”
Full story:


The Victoria Times Colonist quoted former BC solicitor general Kash Heed as saying he’s concerned the BC government is watering down his efforts to step up “accountability” for the RCMP in their next contract with BC. Rob Gordon, director of SFU Criminology, said: “If the province does go ahead and sign a contract without some of Heed's ideas embedded in it, we're going to be stuck with these guys for another 20 years and I think it would be utterly foolish. It's grossly irresponsible to do it."
Full story: . The story also ran in The Vancouver Sun.

Meanwhile, also in the Times Colonist, criminologist Dave MacAlister branded as “a disaster" a decision by Liberal and NDP MLAs to slash the request of police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe's for more staff. Said MacAlister: “I think we're just fooling ourselves if we think we're making significant change and we're not willing to fund it. We're really not getting any further forward."
Full story:


SFU criminologist John Lowman wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun, challenging Sun columnist Daphne Bramham’s assertion that the average age of entry into prostitution in Canada is 14 years. “Either Bramham does not understand basic statistics, or her political agenda determines which information she cherry-picks to substantiate her rhetoric. Obviously children should not be involved in prostitution. But we need accurate information on which to base policy and law reform, not propaganda.”
Full story:

Earlier, the Georgia Straight ran a story on challenges to the commonly quoted “research” showing the average age of entry into prostitution is 14. The thesis was challenged by an Ontario judge who ruled against three prostitution laws. The Straight quoted SFU criminologist John Lowman as saying the Crown’s documentation in the case cited only one Canadian study—and its methodology was open to question.
Full story:


The Vancouver Sun reported: “Shopping websites showing friendly faces and culturally appropriate colours have a distinct advantage over online marketers who focus exclusively on their merchandise, a researcher from Simon Fraser University has found. Dianne Cyr, a professor in the SFU business faculty, says that shoppers are inclined to perceive e-commerce sites as more appealing and trustworthy, and as evoking both warmth and social presence when those sites include friendly human images.”
Full story:
The story also ran on the MetroVancouver Blogsite: reported on “a major research project that promises to challenge conventional wisdom on IT project management.” And it added: ”The study is led by three internationally renowned professors, Chris Sauer from the University of Oxford, and Blaize Horner Reich and Andrew Gemino from the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.”
Full story:

The finance and economy blogsite of ran a guest column by SFU economist David Andolfatto: “The jobs crisis has brought an unwelcome discovery for many unemployed Americans: job openings in their old fields exist. Yet they no longer qualify for them.”
Full story:


The Globe and Mail listed SFU as one of Canada’s Top 100 employers—for the fourth straight year. Mediacorp Canada, the nation’s largest publisher of employment guides and periodicals, reviewed the recruitment histories of more than 75,000 national employers nationally based on eight key performance areas. That led SFU making it onto a list of 12,500 candidates  invited to enter the competition.
SFU news release:


The Province reported TransLink had seven replies in hand by the Oct. 12 deadline for companies willing to study the business case for an aerial gondola to replace bus service to SFU’s Burnaby campus. TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said a winner could be picked by Friday.
Full story:

Meanwhile, in the Burnaby NewsLeader, the Stoney Creek Environment Committee raised concerns that the Stoney Creek watershed on Burnaby Mountain could be at risk from the proposed gondola. The group said it wants the SFU Community Trust, TransLink and others involved in the proposal to conduct a new biophysical study.
Full story:


The Vancouver Courier took a look, with Heather Blakemore, “theatre manager and general facilities gatekeeper”, at SFU Contemporary Arts in its new home in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in the Woodward’s development:
“It's a much-needed boon to an arts community that has suffered drastic cutbacks in recent years, Blackmore (sic) says, acknowledging the criticism SFU received for accepting money from Goldcorp (the company has been accused of human-rights violations in developing countries). But Blakemore says she's found the reception in the neighbourhood—and throughout the city—to be overwhelmingly positive. "’Everybody's interested in this place, and when we had our open house, people really wished us well. I got the sense that people were full of goodwill towards us, that they wanted to see this experiment succeed.’"
Full story:

Speaking of SFU Contemporary Arts: Newsspapers as far apart as The Moncton (NB) Times and Transcript and the Nanaimo Daily News picked up a story from The Vancouver Sun on how SFU students now can take bhangra dancing for credit. “Introduction to Popular Dance is a new course offered at Simon Fraser University's new School for the Contemporary Arts at the Woodward's building in downtown Vancouver. It is the first bhangra course for credit in Canada, and probably North America, instructor Raakhi Sinha said.”
Full story:          SFU news release:

The Vancouver Sun
carried a feature on how Vancouver is the base for a market for Northwest Coast art that is “estimated to be in excess of $100 million annually.” Among those quoted was George MacDonald, director of the Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Art Studies at SFU: “It has not expanded internationally as I expected it might have, based on its quality. One of the reasons is that there is so much demand in the Northwest, and I'm including Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria."
Full story:           Bill Reid Centre website:


The Olympian newspaper of Olympia WA ran a feature on a site that is “the only public place in Washington where you can dig for fossils.”  The story noted: “If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find a fossil so important it will be kept and sent off to researchers, or one so rare that it will be named after you. The Chu family from Kirkland had such an experience.  . . . . What they found was a new genus and the first Cenozoic fossil record of moth lacewings. Scientist Bruce Archibald from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., confirmed the discovery and named it Allorapisma churom.”
Full story:


A welcome headline in the Victoria Times Colonist:  “Bedbugs eradicated at SFU”. That was on a short version of a Vancouver Sun story in which Chris Rogerson, associate director of Residence Life, said: “We attacked them hard.”
Vancouver Sun story:

Rogerson was more than busy with other reporters, too, as radio, TV and newspapers followed the primal urge to “match” a story that first was broken by a competing media outlet (GlobalTV on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend). He was interviewed by CBC Radio, CBC-TV (BC and national), the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Burnaby Now, FairchildTV, News 1130, the Burnaby NewsLeader, and the Vancouver edition of Metro (which featured Vegas, the bug-sniffing dog brought in by SFU). Rogerson was also pursued by Sing Tao Daily and the Epoch Times. Stories also ran on Radio Canada-TV and on


Michael Geller, planner/developer and adjunct prof in the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development, wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun: “There is nothing worse than opening your newspaper at the start of Thanksgiving weekend only to find a mean-spirited, politically charged ‘op-ed’ article criticizing you for saying something that you did not say. That is how I felt when I read Jim Green's error-filled and dishonest article claiming that I was prejudiced toward low-income people and socially mixed communities in Vancouver. Nothing could be further from the truth. “
Full story:


SFU wrestler Arjan Bhullar won the 120-kilogram gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in India. "I've been training for eight years and I've seen this over and over in my mind," Bhullar said. "I saw this match over and over in my head.”
Calgary Sun story:


Dave Johnson, the Clan’s head football coach, was on the national Canada AM news show on CTV, talking about the Xenith X-1 football helmet that his team is using to combat concussion.
“Concussion has been a real issue for us. . . . There are lingering effects that actually affect their university school work. . . . We even had three concussions last weekend but . . . none were wearing a Xenith helmet. . . . I have been 100% pleased with this helmet. And I don’t get paid for this; and we don’t get free helmets.”
Full story and video:

Earlier, the Globe and Mail ran a newsfeature oln the helmets, also quoting Johnson: "This year we've had seven concussions but zero with the guys who are wearing Xenith helmets. Now, when a kid is concussed he goes through the normal procedure but when he comes back he must wear a Xenith helmet. That's my deal. After this year it's going to be non-negotiable. You probably think they pay me—they don't. And we don't get free helmets."
Full story:


The Vancouver Sun featured the Clan men’s soccer team: “Alan Koch is a South African-born Canadian who has coached soccer in six different countries, so he understands the dynamics of a multicultural team in sport's most global of games. Now . . .  Koch has got Norwegians, Brits and Colombians competing for playing time with South Korean- and Italian-born sons of Canadian immigrants. Throw in an Irish-trained Torontonian by way of the University of Maine and some good hearty-stock Canadian kids from Regina and Coquitlam, Hamilton and Maple Ridge, and you've got a melting pot of footballers.” 
Full story:
The Province also featured the team:

Three Clan athletes won Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Week honours:
- Bo Palmer was named GNAC Offensive Player of the Week after the Clan football team took a 27-20 Shrum Bowl victory over the UBC Thunderbirds. It was the 33rd edition of the game, and the Clan moved to 17-15-1.
SFU news release (with video recap):

- Freshman Joseph Martin shared the crown as GNAC men’s soccer Player of the Week:

- Junior Jessica Smith was selected GNAC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week after leading the Clan women’s team to the overall title at the Western Washington University Preview at Bellingham. Bellingham Herald:  
SFU Athletics release:  GNAC release:

The GNAC and Fox Sports Network Northwest announced plans to televise nine college basketball games during the 2010-11 season, including one starring the Clan men’s team: January 19, at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa ID, 6:30 p.m.

The New Westminster Record featured SFU students Steven Kopf and Mark Bradshaw: “(They) can boast about playing world champions, Canadian champions and provincial champions. But you wouldn't know that from the unassuming way they combine education, work and a social life with competitive curling.”
Full story:

The New Westminster Record also told readers: “Burnaby's Michael Belle is having a strong season leading the Simon Fraser University Clan men's golf team. In late September, the Clan finished 11th at the St. Martin's Invitational in Olympia, Washington, with Belle garnering a 43rd overall finish.”
Full story:

Burnaby Now ran a story on the award to KPMG last month of SFU’s Nancy McKinstry award for leadership in diversity.  The Burnaby Now story also told how the Burnaby Board of Trade organized workplace tours for 21 skilled immigrants at SFU.
Burnaby Now story:       SFU news release:


National Post interviewed executive director Zijad Delic of the Canadian Islamic Congress, an SFU PhD grad: “We have made social contract with Canada when we became Canadian citizens. . . . Are we loyal to back home, or are we loyal to Canada? If we are loyal to back home, we have a problem."
Full story:

Later in the week, National Post told readers:Defence Minister Peter MacKay's banning of a leading imam from the military's Islamic History Month event has exposed an executive-level rift in the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) between forces of progress and orthodoxy. . . . CIC president Wahida Valiante openly disavows her reform-minded executive director, Zijad Delic, and rejects his criticisms about the Muslim group's many public controversies, especially the failed hate speech cases against Maclean's magazine.”
Full story:


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