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SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009

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A look at how Simon Fraser University and its people made news: Sept. 25-Oct. 9, 2009

SFU was in the national news—named as one of the world’s Top 200 universities, and as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
Meanwhile, SFU profs generated headlines from research on a risky chemical in plastics to a court case challenging prostitution laws; and from research into “the fainting astronaut syndrome” to a marketing move by a couple of key BC wineries.
More on these, and other stories, below.

TOP EMPLOYER

  • The news came out in Maclean’s and the Globe and Mail Oct. 9 that—for the third straight year—SFU has been ranked one of Canada’s Top 100 employers. This by publisher Mediacorp Canada, the country’s largest publisher of employment-related periodicals and online directories. SFU was also named one of the Top Employers in BC.
    SFU scored high marks in each of the eight judging categories, including physical workplace, work atmosphere, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement. Cited by Maclean’s were such things as camp programs for employees' children, free fitness facilities, and subsidized tuition.
  • The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, and Canwest News Service carried stories on the annual rankings of world universities done by The Times (of London). SFU remained in the Top 200 world schools for 2009, though we slipped to #196 from #164 in 2008 (and Dalhousie dropped right out of the Top 200).
    The top Canadian schools in the Times list: McGill at #18, Toronto #29, UBC #40. No. 1 in the world: Harvard, followed by Cambridge and Yale.

 NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • The Canadian Press, CBC Radio and CTV carried hefty stories on a study involving SFU Health Sciences prof Bruce Lanphear, which found that daughters of women exposed while pregnant to a common chemical found in plastics are more likely to have aggressive and hyperactive behaviours as two-year-olds.
    The study is the first to examine the link between prenatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) and behavioral problems in children.
    Lanphear was interviewed by three different shows on CBC Radio. We then saw the story in news media, websites and blogs as far afield as the Globe and Mail, Science Daily, Science News, U.S.-based ConsumerAffairs.com, Switzerland-based InSciences.org and India’s Hindustan Times. And in PlasticsNews.com.
    Closer to home, The Province ran a story headlined “Simon Fraser University study links certain plastics to aggressive behaviour in little girls.” That story ran in the Nanaimo Daily News, too.
  • Insciences.org also picked up an SFU news release on a study warns that marine reserves globally may require up to 15 years of protection before they significantly benefit their fish inhabitants, especially large locally fished species. The study is from biologist Isabelle Côté and SFU-connected scientists Phil Molloy and Ian McLean.
  • The Canadian Press and Canwest News Service reported on how SFU kinesiologist Andrew Blaber is part of a team investigating the so-called "fainting astronaut syndrome." Blaber says an astronaut's heart will relax in space because it doesn't have to work as hard, and the sudden return to Earth can reduce blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness or fainting.
  • Science Daily and United Press International came up with a story on an SFU-led study suggesting fat and muscle mass, as potentially determined by a person's ethnic background, may contribute to diabetes risk.
    "We know certain ethnic backgrounds show significant differences in amounts of body fat and lean mass," said kinesiologist Scott Lear. "What we didn't know, until now, is if these differences are related to insulin levels and insulin resistance, and therefore lead to an increased risk for diabetes. Our findings indicate they are."
    The Hindustan Times also did a story, suggesting that such genetic differences in lean muscle mass may be why Indians are more likely than other ethnic groups to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Lear and colleagues (who included SFU researcher Simi Kohli) analyzed volunteers of European, Chinese, Aboriginal and South Asian descent.
    (Their paper got this new round of coverage because of the announcement it will be published in December in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.)
    SFU obesity/diabetes expert Diane Finegood, scientific director of the Canadian Institute of Health Research's Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, was on TVO, the Ontario educational channel. The subject: “Taking control of the insatiable North American appetite”.
  • The Toronto Star ran an advance story on last weekend’s election in Greece. André Gerolymatos, chair of SFU Hellenic Studies, predicted Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis could lose because of the woeful state of the economy. (Socialist leader George Papandreou did trounce Karamanlis’s governing conservatives.)
  • Canadian Immigrant magazine told readers that women’s rights activist Elaben Bhatt was honoured at SFU with the 2009 Thakore Visiting Scholar award. The India Club of Vancouver and the Thakore Charitable Foundation sponsor the Thakore award jointly with the Institute for the Humanities at SFU. The award was presented to Bhatt during the Gandhi commemorative event at SFU’s Burnaby campus on Oct. 2 (the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi).
    Closer to home, Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham interviewed Bhatt. Radio station News1130 in Vancouver and Kelowna.com also did stories.
  • The new 2010 Olympic logo and clothing was featured in the Globe and Mail.  Among the opinions was this from Andrew Chow, a student recruiter at SFU: “I really like the simplicity. The clothing from Beijing was too busy. This is an older-looking style, but it's new and modern and hip. I love it."
  • TheMarkNews.com, a news-and-views website, carried an article by Barry Shell, Research Communications Manager in the office of SFU’s VP of Research. “Every Canadian should have a right to internet access, and this should be paid by tax dollars. . . . National communication networks such as the internet are public resources and they should be as free as our nation's highways.”
    TheMarkNews.com also named as a contributorCenk Sahinalp, Canada Research Chair in Computational Genomics in SFU Computing Science.

BC NEWS

  • A Province story on H1N1 flu quoted John O’Neil, dean of SFU Health sciences: “There is evidence H1N1 is starting to increase in B.C. earlier than was expected. It’s worrying.” The paper added: “But O’Neil also stressed that at this point, officials deem H1N1 only slightly more infectious or potentially fatal than seasonal flu.”
    By way of Canwest News Service, we also saw the story in half a dozen papers across Canada.
  • In a series on breast cancer, The Vancouver Sun listed researchers in BC. Among them: “Timothy Beischlag, Simon Fraser University. . . . Research will focus on the mechanisms behind the interaction between the aryl hydrocarbons and estrogen-receptors, to learn how these interactions affect the development of breast cancer so new drugs can be invented.”
  • The Vancouver Sun looked at how “even big companies are trying to find ways to be greener and more socially responsible”. It quoted Mark Wexler, professor of business ethics. “Now the idea of world-saving is no longer an anathema to the businessman. Almost any company these days that is attempting to get on our radar is going to use some form of green corporate social responsibility or philanthropic marketing."
  • BC Hydro became the first recipient of SFU’s Nancy McKinstry award for leadership in gender diversity, The Vancouver Sun reported. “When McKinstry recently retired from SFU’s board of directors, the university wanted to do something in her honour and created the award in her name, said Daniel Shapiro, dean of the faculty of business at SFU. ‘We thought it was appropriate to honour her in a way that was consistent with the things she believed in most,’ Shapiro said.”
    The Victoria Times-Colonist and Kelowna.com picked up the story.
  • The Tri-City News featured local entries in the six-day Sahara Race ultra-marathon, “which equates into running roughly a marathon a day in temperatures ranging between 30 and 50 Celsius.” One of the runners is Jay Solman, SFU’s ombudsperson. The paper noted:
    “The trio will start its involvement in a heat acclimation study offered by Simon Fraser University’s kinesiology department.” Fellow-runner Marc Bremner said: “They have a heat chamber where we will attend for one hour each day until we leave. [We believe] it will give us a 30 per cent performance advantage for the race.”
  • The Surrey-North Delta Leader featured SFU student Gurwinder Singh, a volunteer organizer of a public forum last weekend at the Surrey campus: Turban as Idol and Icon. He said of his turban: “I consider it as a celebration of freedom, justice and equality. It’s like wearing a [Remembrance Day] poppy 24/7.”
  • The Kamloops Daily News reported the collapse of plans to protect the McAbee fossil beds, with the BC government saying it has no money for oversight. “Bruce Archibald, a paleontology researcher at Simon Fraser University, said the collapse of the deal is the latest failure by government to protect the McAbee site. ‘My understanding is B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that doesn't have regulations that define protection of this heritage resource. Things are worse than they were a year ago. The rate of destruction of some of the fossil beds appears to be high.’”
    The Canadian Press picked up the story and sent it to media across the country.
  • Michael Geller wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun saying that “given new technologies and attitudes, now may be the time for greater use of prefabricated construction to create more sustainable and affordable housing.” (Geller is former president and CEO of SFU Community Trust and is an adjunct prof at SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development.)
  • The Salmon Arm Observer carried a story on how Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist who pioneered highly controversial research into the origins of HIV/AIDS, is the 2009 recipient of SFU’s Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in support of controversy. The Observer’s angle: “A former Salmon Arm student is gaining more attention for his work with viruses.”
  • Psychology prof emeritus Bruce Alexander was on CFAX Radio in Victoria, saying addictions are a growing problem—and he imagines that 30 years from now more kids will be addicted to video games and the internet than drugs. CFAX promoted a workshop at which he spoke.
    (Meanwhile, an article on Oprah Winfrey’s O, the Oprah Magazine online mentioned findings of Alexander’s famed “Rat Park” experiments at SFU in 1977-82. The story didn’t mention SFU, but did note how lab-rats in comfortable environments were less interested in addictive drugs than were rats in traditional lab cages.)

COURTS and CRIME

  • In a story on a court challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws, the Toronto Sun newspapers quoted from an affidavit from criminologist John Lowman. It said a 1985 law change forced sex-trade workers into dangerous isolated areas, and as many as 300 women have been murdered or have disappeared. "These (laws) help reinforce the assumption that public property and propriety are placed above human life.”
    Lowman was also in a Globe and Mail story. He said public opinion polls and research show a majority of Canadians believe that prostitution between consenting adults should be legal. “So do the Bloc, Liberals and NDP, according to the 2006 parliamentary report of the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws. Clearly, Canadians are ready to end what one judge has characterized as the 'Alice in Wonderland' state of Canadian prostitution law."
    And in a separate story in the Globe and Mail, Lowman said: “If prostitution is removed from the criminal law, municipalities could use a plethora of laws to control it."
  • A Vancouver Sun story stemmed from an SFU news release on how masters grad Kouri Keenan of SFU Criminology examined the “Mr. Big” ploy—the undercover police technique in which officers posing as criminals trick suspects into confessions. “After analyzing 63 Canadian criminal trials involving Mr. Big confessions, Keenan says he now has serious misgivings about the controversial but increasingly common subterfuge, which is admissible in Canada but not the U.S. or U.K.”
  • Canwest News Service gave details of “one of the biggest alleged Ponzi-type schemes in Canadian history”, a gold-investment scheme in which “one court document claims the amount could top $400 million.” Canwest quoted Rob Gordon, director of SFU Criminology:
    "By the time the police and the Crown get involved, they're often so far behind the eight ball it isn't funny. The money's long gone—and the characters usually have very shallow pockets because all their assets have been distributed to places where you can't get at them."
  • Criminologist Liz Elliott was on CBC Radio, talking about prison conditions and solitary confinement. This in light of media coverage of a court case in which accused killer Jamie Bacon claimed he was suffering "grave psychological harm" because of the conditions in which he is being held at the Surrey pretrial jail.
  • A guest column in the Calgary Herald said new research shows “males are also victims of stalking, and that their tormentors may be female.” The articled added: “Researchers, including Jennifer Storey of Simon Fraser University, have been probing the reasons why stalkers do what they do.”  (Storey is in the PhD program in experimental psychology. Her MA research focused on the strategies and tactics used to manage stalking in law enforcement contexts. Her doctoral research focuses on stalking of health care professionals.)
  • The Province, covering the latest underworld gunplay in “Gangcouver”, quoted criminologist Neil Boyd: "It seems to be a continuation of the violence connected to organized criminal activity. We have seen [the brazen nature of the hits] before, too. And over the last couple of years, we have seen a real spate of handgun homicides related to criminal activity."
  • The Province also reported the installation of closed-circuit TV cameras at the Scott Road SkyTrain station parking lot, one of Surrey's hot spots for crime.  The paper added: “It will be studied by SFU to find out if crime is reduced. Dr. Martin Andresen of the SFU school of criminology said studies in the U.K. show closed-circuit technology works well in parking lots.”
  • The Aldergrove Star told readers thata pilot program for addressing domestic violence issues in Langley has produced remarkable results and is the basis for an e-learning module to be applied across BC. Quoted was RCMP Insp. Richard Konarski. “His master's thesis at Simon Fraser University was on policing approaches to domestic violence, and he's currently working on a doctoral thesis on the topic.”

POLITICS

  • Political scientists Patrick Smith and Kennedy Stewart wrote a guest piece for The Vancouver Sun on BC’s announcement of a task force charged with writing a new Local Government Election Act. “In 1998, we were commissioned by the provincial government to examine electoral and non-electoral democracy at the municipal level in the province. Unfortunately our 50,000-word report to the minister of municipal affairs collected dust. One of our key recommendations was to enable Elections BC to oversee all municipal elections in this province. By acting upon this recommendation, (Premier Gordon) Campbell has done more to improve local democracy in this province than any of his predecessors and he provides much needed relief to overburdened municipal clerks who enforce local electoral laws.”
  • Earlier, Stewart wrote a guest column in The Vancouver Sun on municipal hopes of controlling campaign spending in civic elections in BC. “Many municipal leaders want to ensure big money does not drown out local voters' voices.”
    On the national scene, the Globe and Mail also looked at the issue. It quoted Stewart, who surveyed 38 mayors and found 31 in favour of campaign regulation: “Even in the little communities, you sometimes see substantial amounts of donations. Candidates accept it because they think ‘If I don't take this, then my opponent will.'”
  • And Smith wrote a guest column in the Burnaby NewsLeader noting that while Burnaby is “one of the most livable, tolerant and sustainable communities in Canada”, only 20% of voters turned out in the last civic election.  “We don’t need compulsory voting—like in Australia—but how about Burnaby stepping up to the plate in support of UBCM resolutions on a new BC Local Government Elections Act, promised by Premier Gordon Campbell at the UBCM’s recent 2009 convention? Leading a charge for a healthier local democracy would be worthy of the Best Run Municipality in Canada.”

MEREDITH in MEDIA

Marketing prof Lindsay Meredith had a run of calls from news media:

  • He was in a national Canadian Press story on the new 2010 Winter Olympics uniform and logo (a red maple leaf inside a black letter-C) that critics have compared to the federal Conservative Party logo and the RCAF logo.
    Said Meredith: "I've never seen such a litigious crowd (as 2010 organizers) as soon as anyone comes near their brand identity, and yet they're liberally helping themselves to somebody else's piece of pie."
  • He was in another Canadian Press story, on how the 2010 Olympics will be an international podium for Coca-Cola Co. to promote its Far Coast brand of coffee and tea. Meredith told CP: "It's an ideal venue for Coca-Cola to introduce their new products just simply because there is so much worldwide attention paid to it."
  • Two major BC wineries will change labels that call imported wine “Cellared in Canada”, so consumers will no longer assume it was made here, The Vancouver Sun reported. Meredith (who had criticized the practice) hailed the wineries’ quick response:
    “This is exactly what you teach in senior level marketing courses: Don’t dog it. Don’t stonewall it. Point out that you made a mistake; that you are out there to fix it and I do mean fast. They just got a lot of respect from me.”
    In wine country, the website of Oliver BC (http://oliverbc.ca/) picked up the story.
  • Meredith was also in a Jon Ferry column in The Province, on Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's plan for Vancouver to be “the greenest city on the planet by 2020”. Noted Ferry: “Every city with any aspirations to global stardom . . . has been bending over backwards of late to appear greener than green. As Simon Fraser University marketing professor Lindsay Meredith told me Thursday: ‘You don't have a marketing strategy if your competitors can easily emulate it.’"
  • And then Meredith was in yet another national story from The Canadian Press, on the reselling of 2010 Olympics tickets. He said he expected VANOC's official resale site will make a profit. "The Olympic guys never pass up a chance to make an extra buck and that's good. It's one less buck I have to put in as a taxpayer when it all hits the fan."

EDUCATION

  • National Post featured the focus of SFU’s MBA program on entrepreneurialism and innovation—and its attraction of people with non-business academic backgrounds. "’For the class starting in September I have an opera star, a former professional snowboarder, an MD in the room,’" says Ed Bukszar, associate dean, graduate programs, Segal Graduate School of Business at Simon Fraser University.”
    Also featured: grad Wahiba Chair, who is preparing to launch CarrotLines, a mobile application that will allow users to identify food products that meet their lifestyle and nutritional needs while they are in the grocery aisle. “She credits the MBA program at Simon Fraser University with helping her launch her company.”
  • Radio Canada radio and the On the Coast show on CBC Radio Vancouver did interviews this week with Louise Arbour, honorary degree recipient.
  • Adam Brayford, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) communications and marketing coordinator, was on CFAX Radio in Victoria, talking about an almost 13-per-cent increase in the number of co-op education student applications at SFU this fall compared to last fall.
  • Coquitlam Now carried an item on how SFU scientists Sophie Lavieri and Howard Trottier are offering a free astronomy program aimed at school children.
  • And the New Westminster Record reported: “A local resident has received one of the highest forms of recognition for academics. Simon Fraser University professor Mark Jaccard, an internationally known economist, is one of the Royal Society of Canada's latest fellows. A press release from SFU notes that election to fellowship in the society is considered Canadian scientists' and scholars' highest academic accolade.”
    (The Aug. 25 release told media that Jaccard and Arthur Robson, both internationally known economists, are the Royal Society of Canada’s latest fellows.)
  • A Frank Bucholtz column in the Peace Arch News declared that “Surrey is beginning to mature, and many people outside the city are starting to notice.”  Among its points: “Another sign of maturity is the fact that the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University is effectively full this fall. There is no room for more students.”
  • The Vancouver Sun’s education blog reported that an arbitrator had upheld the disciplining of Sooke teacher Kathryn Sihota, who created a stir in 2007 when she refused to administer a required test to her Grade 3 class because she deemed it too stressful for her students. The Sun noted Paul Shaker, former dean of education, had lauded her. “In a speech to graduating SFU students in October 2007, Paul Shaker said of Sihota: "You should remember that you entered the profession at the moment when this courageous teacher was taking her principled stand. Let her character, conviction and willingness to act be an inspiration to you."

ENVIRONMENT

  • The Toronto Star reported that “attempts to cut emissions from the massive fleet of (federal) government vehicles are stuck in neutral more than a decade after being mandated by law.” The story noted: “David Boyd, an adjunct professor of resource and environmental management at Simon Fraser University, petitioned Ottawa to broaden the Alternative Fuels Act in 2006, frustrated that the government was so far from achieving the greenhouse gas emission reductions the law aspired to. No action has been taken.”
  • A Mark Hume column in the Globe and Mail noted calls for a judicial inquiry into management of the Fraser River salmon run by the department of fisheries and oceans (DFO). “Larry Dill, a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University, and Ron McLeod, former director of DFO in the Pacific Region, are calling for an investigation into the way DFO operates. The agency, they believe, is dysfunctional to the point it has become a threat to the survival of salmon.”
  • Real estate columnist John Bentley Mays reported in the Globe and Mail from Washington DC on the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon, featuring 20 prototype houses designed by university and college teams. “I'm rooting for the team that's done North House. This $1.3-million project, the collaborative handiwork of the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University, has been the focus of a large array of talent.”
    CBC News also did a story. And North House was featured in the latest SFU feature on the VancouverObserver.com.
    The Vancouver Observer also published its first print edition this week. The 16-page tabloid includes a story on Interactive Arts and Technology profs Diane Gromala and Steve DiPaola, who are using videogame technology to tackle health problems.
    SFU also told media, via an SFU news release, about Gromala’s work at the Transforming Pain Research Group at SFU.  “She says chronic pain can be managed through virtual reality techniques, sometimes with better results than traditional means such as morphine.”
  • The Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, the Juneau (AK) Capital City Weekly and the Alaska-news website SitNews.us wrote about “thaw slumps” in land across the North due to the thawing of permafrost, forest fires, intense rainfall, meandering rivers, and/or warming air temperatures. “One of the more active periods for the Surprise Rapids Slide happened in the 1940s, when the central Yukon had record high early summer temperatures, according to Brent Ward of Simon Fraser University.”  (Ward is an associate prof in SFU Earth Sciences.)

GERONTOLOGY

  • Under the headline “Mining for old”, The Vancouver Sun looked at businesses serving boomers and their parents. It noted in part: “Twenty per cent of British Columbians will be over 65 by 2021 — growing to 25 per cent by 2031, according to the latest projections from Simon Fraser University’s Gerontology Research Centre.”

  • Meanwhile, the Delta Optimist covered a public forum that concluded Tsawwassen needs age-friendly planning. “Linda Cummings with Simon Fraser University's gerontology department  . . . went over some facts and figures she says highlight the need for age-friendly planning, including one-quarter of Delta's population projected to be 65 and over by 2027, which would be second only to West Vancouver." And Vancouver Sun writer Douglas Todd challenged the “conventional thinking” that people from Asia treat their elderly better than do people from the West. He quoted Charmaine Spencer, adjunct prof in SFU Gerontology: "You often hear from people that North Americans are not as kind to elders as people from other cultures. But it's actually a misperception. The idea that Asian cultures are uniformly extremely caring of the elderly is stretching things quite a bit."

ATHLETICS

SFU Athletics kept info flowing to media as:

  • The No. 7 ranked University of Saskatchewan football Huskies defeated the SFU Clan 24-18, with a 31-yard touchdown run in double overtime. The teams had been tied 18-18 in regulation time and the first O/T period. The loss dropped SFU to 2-3 for the season. “It’s heartbreaking,” said SFU head coach David Johnson. “I don’t know what else to say, we just made a couple of mistakes at costly times, and we lost a heartbreaker.”
    There’s a Clan Athletics Network video recap at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_eUNPVws9w
    The Clan dropped to 2-2 the previous weekend as the No. 4 ranked University of Calgary Dinos rolled over them to a 49-22 win in Calgary.
  • Playing in Portland OR, the Clan women’s soccer team lost 2-1 in overtime  to the Concordia University Cavaliers. The Clan thus fell to 6-4-2 on the season. Earlier, though, the Clan hammered the Capilano University Blues 4-0.
  • The Clan men’s soccer team moved to 10-2 for the season with a goal by Josh Bennett that gave the Clan a 1-0 win over Seattle University RedHawks. Earlier, two goals in the final five minutes propelled the Clan to a 2-0 win over the Trinity Western University Spartans.

  • After those two straight shutouts, Clan goalkeeper Hide Ozawa of SFU's men's soccer team was named the NAIA's National Defensive Player of the Week for Sept. 28-Oct. 4, and also SFU Athlete of the Week.
  • SFU’s Kevin Friesen was named the NAIA male athlete of the week ended Sept.  28. Friesen claimed his first individual championship as he led the Clan to a team victory at the Pete Steilberg Geoduck Cross Country Classic, hosted by Evergreen State College, Olympia WA.
    Friesen won the overall title, finishing the 8km course in a time of 25:42.54. On the women’s side, SFU finished in spots 1-7 with sophomore phenom Jessica Smith leading the way.
  • The Clan made its return to collegiate golf, at the St. Martin's University tournament in Lacey WA. The Clan finished 15th in the 19-team event.
  • The Clan swimming team held its annual team retreat at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge.
    The Clan Cup International (Nov. 7-8, at SFU) will be the first major test for the 2009-10 team. There is also expected to be a battle in the pool when NCAA Division I Seattle University comes to SFU on Nov. 21.

Also:

  • An advance story in The Province on Monday’s home-opener for the Canucks noted: “Fresh from its sixth world title, SFU's Pipe Band will perform prior to the puck drop tonight. Pipers and drummers at centre ice will be joined by bandmates in various locations around the rink.” The day after the game (the Canucks lost 3-0 to Columbus) host Tony Parsons said on GlobalTV: "I thought the best part of last night's game was the SFU Pipe Band."
    There’s a video of the band on the ice at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swFsfU1j5Ws
  • Shaw-TV came to the Burnaby campus to shoot video of student Jeremy Ten, a figure-skating hopeful for the 2010 Olympics. Shaw interviewed him, and filmed him in a lecture. SFU also sent out a news release on how Ten, a third-year kinesiology student and national junior men’s figure skating champion, is a serious contender for a spot on Skate Canada’s senior men’s team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

  • The Vancouver Sun looked at spirituality and religion (real and unreal) in popular music and culture. The story quoted Martin Laba, director of SFU Communication: “Why would we expect that pop stars and celebrities are authorities on spiritualism, religion and political activism? I don't."
    The Sun added: “Musical expression has a capacity for good, but not as practised by the pop stars of today, Laba said. ‘The message of rock music is more or less antithetical to spirituality.’”
  • The Canadian Press carried a national feature on writer Annabel Lyon and her debut fiction novel, The Golden Mean.  “The sensual story of Greek philosopher Aristotle and his tutelage of a young Alexander the Great has made the long list for the $50,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize and is a finalist for the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.” Lyon studied philosophy at SFU, the story noted.
  • The Coast Reporter (on BC’s Sunshine Coast) featured Gibsons-born filmmaker David Hauka, whose movie Certainty premiered at the Globians Film Festival in Berlin in August, and is in this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. Hauka “studied at the Simon Fraser University film workshop and quickly moved on to his producing and directing career.”

SFU RELEASES

In addition to releases mentioned above, SFU also told media:

  • SFU’s Canadian Olympic champion Daniel Igali is inviting young and old to the Igali Foundation 1st annual Walk/Run For the Kids at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Also expected to participate is SFU wrestling grad Carol Huynh, who won Olympic gold in 2008. She’ll join other members of the SFU wrestling team along with head coach Mike Jones. Canadian Immigrant magazine ran an advance story.
  • Given that October is women’s history month, Lara Campbell, assistant prof of women’s studies, expects a larger than usual turnout for an upcoming meeting of Herstory Café. Campbell co-created the monthly meeting two years ago because she wanted to make women’s history accessible to the public, not just to students and academics.

 ALSO in the NEWS

  • A column in the Victoria Times Colonist, on the appointment of Allan Seckel as deputy minister to the premier (and thus as BC’s top bureaucrat) noted: “He's a Simon Fraser University grad who got a law degree at the University of Victoria and topped his class, with the highest grade point average over three years. He went on to Cambridge as a Commonwealth Scholar and practised law in Vancouver, doing civil litigation and class action suits.”

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