SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

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A look at how Simon Fraser University and its people made news: Aug. 21-28, 2009

News media this week featured some formal honours announced for people prominent at SFU.
Profs Mark Jaccard and Arthur Robson became the latest fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. And awarded the Order of BC were prof emeritus Roy Miki, chancellor Brandt Louie, governor Peter Dhillon, and SFU’s longtime friend Samuel Belzberg.
Three health-related stories also won headlines for SFU: Bruce Lanphear of Health Sciences, kinesiologist Scott Lear and doctoral candidate Bev Holmes were in the news.
More on these stories below.


  • Public policy prof Doug McArthur was on the On the Coast show on CBC Radio, taking about the political optics of the provincial government’s Speech from the Throne on Tuesday.
    He wondered aloud if, after the government deliberately understated the looming deficit during the election campaign, it now is deliberately overstating economic gloom and doom, so it can look good if the picture turns out to be less bleak.
    More optics? McArthur suggested restrictions on the use of cell phones by drivers might be “doing something positive” so the throne speech and next week’s budget are not just “cutting and slashing”.
    He also branded as ‘bad news for consumers” the government’s insistence that it will give “specific direction” to the B.C. Utilities Commission, which has to date opposed the government’s support for private power generation initiatives such as run-of-river hydro power that producers sell to BC Hydro at high prices.
  • CityTV interviewed business prof Andrey Pavlov on the throne speech. In sum, he lauded the government for focusing on the economy, and said the HST is positive because it helps businesses.  But he knocked the throne speech for lack of privatization initiatives and significant measures to cut the size of the government.  “I believe the strongest economic growth engine comes from the private citizens.  In times of crisis, the government should get out of the way and let them create wealth.”
  • McArthur was also in an advance story by The Canadian Press. He was quoted as saying the uproar over the HST will calm over time. But “Really, to do something like this three months after the election is pretty dishonest. For that, they (the Liberals) deserve to be hammered hard.''
  • Another public policy prof, Kennedy Stewart, wrote a guest mini-column and blog for The Vancouver Sun on how “Bowen Island is the most democratic municipality in the province.” He said it has high voter turnout, makes the election process “as transparent as possible” and “Most importantly, Bowen Island Municipality is one of the few to make full campaign financing disclosure statements available via the Internet.”
  • The Vancouver Sun also carried a mini-column and blog from criminologist Neil Boyd. “There aren't many politicians on the federal stage today who are willing to challenge the myth that greater punishments will lead to improvements in community safety. . . . Our collective limitation is that those who lead the major political parties have sacrificed principles for the allure of an easier route to electoral success.”
  • Boyd was also in a Jon Ferry column in The Province, on Mexico’s move to decriminalize possession for personal use of small amounts (5 grams maximum) of marijuana. Said Boyd: “Decriminalization of use will do nothing with respect to the issue of demand, and will only benefit people who are already involved in the trade."
  • The Vancouver Sun and CTV reported on volunteers who are mapping the locations of surveillance cameras in Vancouver.  “Richard Smith, professor of communications at SFU, said some people might be afraid to attend Olympic protests for fear they could be tracked by the cameras.
    “‘It's a potentially corrosive element to our democracy,’ he said. ‘Vancouver is a wonderful place to live. We have a lot of freedoms. We want to preserve those freedoms. And cameras can be a part of that, but they can't be a part that reduces freedom; they should be enhancing it.’"
  • The Vancouver Sun carried a story about a Winnipeg mother who has put her bullied son into a martial-arts school so he can retaliate. “’If it builds his self-esteem, it can be a good thing," said Brenda Morrison, professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. ‘(But) it's better to walk away. Aggression usually breeds further violence. You can't get to a good place in a bad way.’"
  • Lillian Zimmerman, research associate of SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre, was on talk shows on CKNW and CFAX Radio in Victoria. This following her new book, Bag Lady or Powerhouse? A Roadmap for Midlife (Boomer) Women. (It focuses on issues of concern to Canadian women as they approach retirement. Royalties from sales will help establish a new SFU graduate scholarship in gerontology.)
  • CityTV came to the Burnaby campus to film an interview with researcher Andrew Park, on how he is using videogame technology to study how people react to crime and fear in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and other troubled neighbourhoods. He says virtual environments are useful for studying social issues, such as homelessness, fear of crime and senior citizen mobility.
  • The Tri-City News reported that a consortium of Canadian and U.S. universities is collaborating on an international survey to find out how parents of middle school-aged children are handling the work/life balance. "We know that there's been increasing strains on parenting and family time," said Amie McLean, a PhD candidate in sociology at SFU who is working on the survey for the Families in the New Millennium research project. "Hopefully [the results] will help with program development and enhancement of what's already there."


  • CTV’s Canada AM program interviewed kinesiologist Scott Lear and one of his patients re: his followup of research that found interactive internet-based cardiac rehabilitation can help save lives. Said Lear:
    “People in rural areas or small urban areas, if they experience heart disease, don't have access to the facilities of a cardiac rehab program. So, what we're trying to do is bring these services into the homes of the patients so that they can have access to the same professionals, the same guidance and the same education that people in large urban centres benefit from.”
    CFAX Radio in Victoria and the news-and-commentary website of also talked with Lear.
    He and colleagues elsewhere discovered in a 2007 pilot project that delivering virtual cardiac rehab programs to people in their homes is as effective as hospital-based rehab programs.
  • The Canadian Press reported on an article in Emerging Health Threats Journal that said parents and healthcare workers may refuse to get immunized or vaccinate their children against a pandemic virus if they believe the risks of a novel vaccine outweigh the benefits. The article was co-authored by Bev Holmes, doctoral candidate in SFU Communication. "Participants (in focus groups) were very concerned that in a pandemic, a vaccine would be brought to market without sufficient testing for safety."
    We saw the story in and on more than two dozen media outlets, including the Toronto Sun, National Post,, England’s major and the U.S.-based Then Reuters news agency gave it a spot in a worldwide story on reported reluctance of healthcare workers and others to get shots when supplies become available this fall.
  • The Australian national newspaper carried a guest column from Bruce Lanphear of SFU Health Sciences, a pediatric epidemiologist and expert on lead pollution and poisoning:
    “Earlier this month Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council failed to respond to new studies showing the dangers of exposing children to lead, even at very low levels. . . . Prevention is easy. Lead should not be employed or emitted in the environment where children, especially young children, are accustomed to play. . . . Ultimately, it will require a global ban on all non-essential uses of lead.”


  • Canwest News Service sent to its clients across Canada a feature on how Canada’s aging population “belies its greying hair, with a phenomenon social scientists dub ‘adultescence’ redefining the norms of acting our age.”
    "'The boundaries between childhood and adulthood have become increasingly blurred,’ said sociologist Barbara Mitchell, professor of gerontology at Simon Fraser University in B.C. ‘The fact that we're living longer gives adults more opportunity to explore different identities and engage in behaviours that their parents didn't. There's a different view of aging now.’”
    We saw the story in 15 Canwest newspapers including National Post.
  • The Ottawa Citizen looked at how “in less than three decades, the number of Muslims in Ottawa has leapt to about 65,000 from 4,320.”  The paper quoted imam Zijad Delic,  executive director of the Canadian Islamic Congress. He “devoted his academic career to finding a way for Muslims to go forward into western, modern life. He had even devoted his PhD thesis to the topic at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University.” Among other things he said: "People talk about how things were back home. I tell them, 'There is no 'back home.' This is home."
    In a sidebar, Delic himself wrote: “In 2005, I got my PhD from Simon Fraser University. During the time of my stay in Canada, I have been working as an imam in B.C., at the largest Sunni mosque, as well as an administrator at the B.C. Muslim School.”
  • Andrew Mack, director of the SFU-based Human Security Report Project, wrote an article on the news-and-commentary website “Interstate war has become increasingly rare because its costs have risen while its benefits have decreased. As the incentives to wage interstate war continue to decline, a lower level of (non-nuclear) deterrence will suffice. The case for the “ultimate deterrent” will become less compelling, and the case for a world free of nuclear weapons more so.”


  • CBS Evening News reported from the Bahamas how lionfish have “spread like a virus” in the Atlantic after a 1992 hurricane washed six lionfish out of a Florida aquarium and into the open water. CBS asked doctoral student Stephanie Green of SFU Biological Sciences what they eat. Answer: “Pretty much everything that will fit in their mouths.”
  • The international blogsite featured MBA student Milun Tesovic, whose music lyrics service gets more than 32 million unique monthly visitors and is the sixth-most-popular music site. “While coordinating all this activity, Tesovic is a full-time student at Canada’s Simon Fraser University, studying for his MBA, which he hopes to complete next year. He recently won a Canadian student entrepreneur of the year award from ACE, a Canadian charity that supports young business students.”
  • The National in Abu Dhabi reported “Abu Dhabi is to get its own bohemian-style artistic community thanks to the dreams of a young half-German half-Spanish artist who has made the city her home.” That’s SFU grad Tini Meyer. “Meyer’s boundless enthusiasm for her Art Hub vision is backed up by a business degree from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where she also discovered a natural ability for networking and communicating.”


  • A string of media outlets covered a BC government announcement this week of 13 new recipients of the Order of British Columbia. They include:
    • Roy Akira Miki, award-winning poet, SFU prof emeritus, and advocate for social justice. The government’s news release noted: “Dr. Miki’s willingness to write and speak out against injustice played a significant part in the success of the Japanese Canadian redress movement. His human rights activism has helped change the shape of Canadian society.”
    • SFU chancellor Brandt Louie of Burnaby, president and CEO of HY Louie Company Limited, and chairman of London Drugs. “Simon Fraser University has been a major beneficiary of Mr. Louie's generosity, where he has made significant donations to endowments in support of student scholarships and has funded many additional education and research initiatives. In 2005, Mr. Louie was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Simon Fraser University.”
    • Peter Dhillon of Richmond, head of the Richberry Group of Companies (cranberries), and a member of the SFU Board of Governors. “His philanthropic and charitable service has spanned a wide variety of important areas; including health care, child humanitarian support, education, and sport. . . . He is chair of the Vancouver Branch of the Right to Play, an international humanitarian organization for children in communities affected by war, poverty and disease.”
    • Samuel Belzberg, a leader in banking, real estate and investment who led SFU’s first fundraising campaign (which raised $68 million in three years). “Mr. Belzberg’s enlightened and generous contributions have been acknowledged through numerous awards and honours over the years, including an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University.”
  • The Burnaby NewsLeader and New Westminster NewsLeader reported that SFU profs Mark Jaccard and Arthur Robson are the newest fellows of the Royal Society of Canada—“the highest academic accolade for Canadian scientists and scholars.”
    The stories noted Jaccard is a leader in the development of energy-economy models used to determine the costs and effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas.
    Robson’s research, which bridges biology, anthropology and economics, has led to new insights that are transforming how scientists look at human economic behaviour.


  • Coquitlam Now carried a story on expansion of the Friends of Simon tutoring project, in which SFU students provide after-school literacy support to immigrant and refugee students in the Tri-Cities, Burnaby and Surrey. SFU education prof Paul Shaker said:
    “We believe that there is a lot of interpersonal value and role-modelling that goes on. The majority of our tutors are newcomers or first-generation Canadians. They exemplify the idea that newcomers can make it—that kids coming to Canada without one of the official languages can learn and progress and go to university and be successful."
  • A guest column in the Globe and Mail commented on SFU’s new grade of FD, denoting failure as a result of academic dishonesty. Mark Kingwell, a philosophy prof at U of Toronto, wrote: “Instead of spending our time devising new ways to enforce and punish cheating, what if we came up with exercises that made the decision to lie even harder? . . . If we don't treat (students) as individuals, students won't take responsibility for themselves—and we'll be the ones doing the cheating.”
    Closer to home, the FD grade was also mentioned as the Bill Good show on CKNW looked at the issue of cheating.
  • University Affairs featured Zahid Makhdoom, a moderator for SFU’s Philosopher’s Café program. “It reminded me of the very vibrant and powerful café culture in Pakistan, where writers and activists of all stripes engaged in important debate and discourses.”


  • SFU Athletics kept sports media fed with info as:
    • The Clan men’s soccer team carded a 3-1 victory over University of the Fraser Valley, moving to 2-0 on the season. SFU scorers were Colin Streckmann, Roman Doutkevitch and Martin Christiansson.
    • But then Southern California's Azusa Pacific University beat the Clan 2-1 Thursday night Aug. 27 in the four-school Cougar Classic tournament at La Mirada CA. Doutkevitch was SFU’s sole scorer. The Clan next plays Westmont College of Santa Barbara CA on Saturday Aug. 29.
    • The Clan women’s soccer team lost their home opener 4-0 to the Trinity Western University Spartans, defending CIS national champions. The Clan plays again on Sunday Aug. 30 when they host Chico State (10:30 am – Fox Field).
    • Three members of the Clan women’s softball team earned medals at the 2009 Canada Summer Games on Prince Edward Island. Kelsey Haberl and Kylie Ellis won gold as part of a 2-1 Team BC win over Ontario, while Trisha Bouchard won a bronze medal with Team Québec.
    • Eight members of the Clan track and field team also went to the Canada Summer Games, to compete in 16 different events. Five members were on Team BC: Jessica Smith, Helen Crofts, Heather Mancell, Traci Boss, and younger brother Andrew Boss. Ryan Brockerville (who won a silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase) ran for Newfoundland, Riley Merrell for PEI, and Holly Stockall for Alberta.
  • The Province featured Gabe Ephard of the Clan football team, as it prepared to open its season tomorrow, Saturday Aug. 29, at UBC. (2pm, Thunderbird Stadium, on radio at 101.9 FM.) The paper said it seems Ephard, “one of B.C.'s most dynamic prep tailbacks, has rediscovered the groove of his high school career at the university level.”
  • SFUalso sent to media a preview story and info on the Clan football team, and posted a video preview.
  • SFU Athletics also told media how the Clan women’s cross country team has been selected as the No. 1 team in the NAIA Women's Cross Country Top 25 Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Clan received 11 of 21 first-place votes. The Tri-City News promptly carried a story.
  • Meanwhile, the Tri-City News reported Port Moody's Lauren Lachlan has been named co-captain of the Clan women's soccer team. “Another Tri-City product, Coquitlam's Jessica Fleming, is expected to help anchor the Clan's backline.”  The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times noted that Maple Ridge's Ari Adams has also been named a co-captain, and that Sara Boulton of Maple Ridge, the Clan's leading scorer last year, is back for her senior season.
  • And the Burnaby NewsLeader told readers how “Burnaby Central grad Colin Streckmann scored a goal and assisted on two others as the Simon Fraser University men's soccer squad opened its 2009 NAIA season with a 6-1 victory over the Warner Pacific College Knights at SFU  . . .”
  • Tennis Canada reported on the first annual team event as part of the University and College National Championships.  “The final between the University of Montreal and Simon Fraser University (SFU) was a tight battle but the champions were crowned after Montreal defeated SFU 7-5, 6-4 in a mixed doubles match . . . ”


  • SFU Continuing Studies’ Project JAPAN told media how a man who is arguably the world’s oldest and longest-practicing physician, 98-year-old Shigeaki Hinohara, arrives Saturday Aug. 29 for a week-long educational and cultural visit hosted by Continuing Studies. Hinohara is the author of 150 books—all published since he turned 75.


  • More media outlets caught up to the news that the SFU Pipe Band won its sixth world title in Glasgow, its second in a row, and won the March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) title. As well, the band's drum corps won the world crown as best over-all drum corps, and also placed first in the MSR section of drumming competition.
  • The Vancouver Sun picked up from the Victoria Times Colonist a feature on restorative justice programs that focus on “making amends for a crime, rather than—or sometimes in addition to—doling out punishments.” Among others, the story quoted Liz Elliott of the Centre for Restorative Justice in SFU Criminology.
  • The Montreal Gazette ran a Canwest News Service feature onWhole Village, an ecologically based community in Caledon ON. The story also mentioned developing urban ecovillages such as Vancouver's Southeast False Creek. Mark Roseland, director of the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development was quoted.
  • The “citizen” website picked up a Georgia Straight article in which SFU Communication prof Donald Gutstein blasted a Fraser Institute study. It concluded that a publicly funded health-care system in Canada doesn’t lead to lower bankruptcy rates than in the U.S. Gutstein quoted a U.S. prof as saying: “By limiting the data to 2006 and 2007 . . . the report is able to support the anti–health-care-reform agenda that the Fraser Institute seems to further.”

ALSO in the NEWS

  • The Red Deer (AB) Advocate carried a story on the appointment of Vern May, former assistant director of SFU Campus Security, as Red Deer College’s new head of security and emergency response.  “He is ranked in the top 500 wrestlers in the world in the latest issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated.”
  • The Vancouver Sun featured Frenny Bawa, a Research In Motion vice-president who “works full-time out of her Vancouver home . . . to push her company's BlackBerrys in India as well as the Middle East and Africa.” The Sun mentioned that she “did her undergrad degree at Simon Fraser University.”
  • The Comox Valley Echo reported on the induction into the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement of the late Stan Hagen, who held 10 different cabinet positions in the BC government. The Echo noted he had been given an honorary doctor of laws degree by SFU.


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