SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - November 28, 2008

November 28, 2008

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A look at how SFU and its people made news: Nov. 20-28, 2008              

SFU hit national news media in spades during the week.
The Financial Post section of National Post carried several stories by, or quoting, SFU experts. So did CBC Radio, CTV, Global TV, the Globe and Mail and National Post. SFU stories were spread across the country by Canwest News Service, The Canadian Press news agency and the Toronto Star news service.
SFU also made headlines in Newsweek, and in the Los Angeles Times and some U.S. papers served by the LATimes syndicate.


  • The Vancouver Sun reported: “A B.C. university professor will head a new national network aimed at boosting treatments for the 58,000 people living with HIV in Canada. The network, to be headed by Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Robert Hogg, will study the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy across the country.”
  • Hari Sharma, prof emeritus of sociology, was on the Early Edition show on CBC Radio, talking about the terrorist slaughter in Mumbai. He saw anti-Americanism, “which is widespread in South Asia”, as playing a contributing part.
  • The BC government announced it has accepted the recommendations of its Climate Action Team for interim greenhouse gas reduction—six per cent below 2007 levels by 2012 and 18 per cent by 2016. Later goals are at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. The government release noted that the team’s special advisor is SFU resource prof Mark Jaccard.
    Meanwhile, Jaccard told the St. John’s (NF) Telegram that while Canada has made some improvements in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, governments still have a long way to go. "I'm an advocate of emissions pricing. It might be a carbon tax but it could be a regulated cap on emissions with tradable permits."
  • CKWX News1130 carried an advance story on the Lego Climate Connections Challenge, in which teams of nine- to 14-year-olds build Lego robots and program them to complete missions based on real-world challenges. It’sat SFU Surrey on Nov. 29 from 9:30am to 4pm.
  • The Georgia Straight looked at the flood of computer games developed for Apple’s iPhone. Communication prof Richard Smith noted: “You can reprogram it and add new things. It’s made for a much more malleable device, much like the internet.”
  • The Vancouver Sun examined campaign donations to Vancouver mayor-elect Gregor Robertson from American supporters. Political scientist Patrick Smith, director of SFU’s Institute of Governance Studies, said there is no evidence so far to suggest Robertson's U.S. supporters had any inappropriate influence over the mayor's race.
    But, he continued, the case illustrates a flaw in B.C.'s municipal election laws: no limit on donations. “Nothing in B.C. municipal law would prevent [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-il from giving $10 million to a candidate. It is quite possible to buy an election in B.C., although I'm not saying that happened here."
  • The Province carried a story that focused on UBC’s investments, and the loss of about $37.9 million in their value.  The paper reported UBC had invested some $130.6 million in "asset-backed commercial paper" (ABCP). Meanwhile, The Province quoted SFU’s vice-president of finance, Pat Hibbitts, as saying SFU had only about $133,000 in ABCP. "It is very, very little."  The Victoria Times Colonist picked up the story.
  • Monday Magazine in Victoria quoted criminology director Robert Gordon on the hiring of former Vancouver police chief Jamie Graham as the new top cop in Victoria. "The value of bringing in someone from the outside is they usually carry no baggage.”
  • Genome BC told media about three fisheries research projects, one of which involves SFU prof Willie Davidson, an expert on salmon genomics. With colleagues from UVic and VIU and the federal department of fisheries and oceans, he’ll be using genomics to understand the interaction between salmon and the sea lice that can infect them.
  • The Vancouver Courier wrote about “Buy Nothing Day”, a counter-movement to the Friday of U.S. Thanksgiving that kicks off the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. Economics prof David Andolfatto said: “What [Buy Nothing Day supporters] really mean is, don't buy marketable goods and services. Instead, use your time to purchase home production--that is, the output you produce at home."
  • The Vancouver Sun and the Georgia Straight covered a conference on the impact of climate change and its accelerating pace. The conference was organized by Simon Fraser University's Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT).
    John Streicker, former executive director, Northern Climate Exchange, showed photographs that track the drastic shrinking of the Arctic ice cap since the 1970s. "This is the single, most visible, obvious representation of climate change on the planet. Even last year, scientists were still calculating it would take 50-100 years for the cap to melt in summer. We are now saying we will probably lose the North Pole in summertime within five years." The Peak also had a story.


  • Canwest News Service reported how a red-headed 13-year-old in Nanaimo was kicked or hit some 80 times on “Kick a Ginger Day”—a so-called “joke” spread widely via the internet. Cyber-bullying expert Karen Brown of SFU was quoted: “I'm just absolutely appalled. It's really unprecedented. This is inciting hate.”
    Earlier stories by Canwest News Service on such bullying of redheads quoted SFU criminologist Brenda Morrison: "Anything that legitimizes (bullying), we should take care to control, as a community, as caring adults." She noted that her husband and son are redheads.
    We saw that story in half a dozen Canadian newspapers, and Morrison was also on GlobalTV: “We haven't developed strong enough norms to counter this form of behaviour, and we need to do more to counter these norms.”
  • Canwest News Service also distributed a Pete McMartin column from The Vancouver Sun saying “perhaps only a dozen of the 15,000 economists in the U.S. foresaw the depth and seriousness of the mortgage crisis.” He quoted SFU economist Rick Harris: “What is it we teach? What is taught is the textbook properties of what I would say is a normal functioning economy. And most of that stuff has nothing to do with what is going on now.''  Clearly, Harris said, the textbooks will have to be rewritten.
    We saw the story in the Ottawa Citizen and the Regina Leader-Post.
  • The Globe and Mail said SFU is among victims of the threatened collapse of the BCE Inc. takeover by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The Globe said SFU was among the organizations that were all set to receive donations of stock from BCE shareholders after the Dec. 11 buyout—but all now is in doubt.
  • The Globe and Mail reported that members of the class of 2009 may find more jobs available for grads than they might think in today’s economy. Wrote the Globe: “Across the country, campus career fairs boasted record attendance from employers this fall—a good indication that they're still in recruiting mode for young hires, says Tony Botelho, associate director of career services at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. The September career fair at SFU was its largest to date, with 125 employers in attendance, up from 100 in 2007 and 70 in 2006.”
  • In a series on mental illness among children, the Globe and Mail quoted SFU’s Charlotte Waddell, Canada Research Chair in Children's Health Policy and co-founder of the Child Mental Health Research Centre at SFU: “Right now, we're offering a lot of treatment that isn't very effective. At the same time, there are very effective treatments that aren't available.”
  • National Post columnist Ken Libin wondered what history will say of George W. Bush. Among those Libin quoted was political scientist Alex Moens. Moens said Bush’s "War on Terror" almost surely prevented more attacks such as 9/11. “There is evidence: Things were stopped, plots were disrupted and [dangerous] people were killed that indicate that other attacks were in the making.”
  • Canwest News Service reported SFU’s Diane Finegood is looking at social media techniques on the web to improve the health behaviours of obese and diabetic (type 2) patients. “If we can build on the notion that healthy behaviour is contagious, we can take advantage of new technology to engage people and effect change." Finegood is scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes at SFU.
    We saw the story in the Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and Victoria Times Colonist.
  • Marjorie Griffin Cohen, economist and prof in political science and women’s studies, was on CBC Radio in a long followup to finance minister Jim Flaherty’s statement on the federal government’s economic plans.
    Closer to home, she was also in a story in the Georgia Straight that wondered: “What will life be like after the crash? How will society, politics, and the economy change?” Said Griffin Cohen: “The capitalist system has almost self-imploded. If we continue with the same structures, we will have the same world. We can set a different path.” She said programs such as unemployment insurance and welfare should be redesigned, “considering the need there is going to be.”
  • Political scientist Alex Moens and a colleague from the Fraser Institute wrote a guest column in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. It concluded: “With President-elect Obama busily assembling his team, Canadians should be concerned about how his administration will impact Canada. While definitive answers are still months, and perhaps even years away, Canadians would be much better off if many of Obama’s election promises never see the light of day.”
  • The Toronto Star noted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing draft guidelines that outline how genetically engineered food-animals will be regulated. The story quoted Sarah Hartley, an adjunct prof of political science at SFU, who is co-editing a book on perceptions of animal biotechnology. She predicts the U.S.—and likely Canada—will not require companies to label foods made with genetically engineered animals.
    "It's almost impossible for the public to make  . . . value choices without labels. They want to know which meats, what milk and what cheese is developed from genetically engineered animals and what is through conventional. That will be the biggest issue and I think it's entirely justified."
    We also saw the story in the Hamilton Spectator.
  • The St. John's (NF) Telegram covered the “final public consultation session” there of Canada's World, an initiative based in SFU Dialogue that aims to produce a citizen-generated list of national priorities for action.


The Financial Post pages in National Post carried these stories with SFU connections:

  • Gervase Bushe, management prof at the Segal Graduate School of Business, wrote a guest column on teamwork at work: “As I survey the wreckage of well intentioned efforts, it seems obvious that many consultants and managers need a new way to think about what managers who want improved ‘teamwork’ are really asking for.”
  • A story on the new tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), quoted Jon Kesselman, public policy prof and tax expert. “Simon Fraser University's Jon Kesselman says if you knew in advance a junior stock was destined to rise 100-fold, the TFSA would be the best place to own it. In an RRSP, you'd eventually be on the hook for taxes once it was moved to an RRIF and withdrawn.”
  • Peter Tingling, assistant prof in SFU Business, wrote a guest column in the Financial Post Executive section. He said corporate layoffs are often poorly thought out. “Short-term costs are reduced, but like the medieval practice of bloodletting, the patient is frequently left in a further weakened state.”
  • In the same issue, FP Executive looked at how tomorrow's MBA grads need the risk-management tools to navigate the new economic world order. “At Simon Fraser University's Segal Graduate School of Business, which offers a Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) degree, changes have already been made to the curriculum, largely based on the findings from its research institute—the CIBC Centre for Corporate Governance and Risk Management.”
    Quoted were Robert Adamson, executive director of that CIBC Centre, and associate prof Andrey Pavlov of SFU Business. Said the latter: “Students are being taught to think about not only the assets, but how they were created and what were the incentives of the people who participated in them—because if people have the wrong incentives, you get the wrong outcome."


  • Newsweek magazine(circulation 3.16 million)looked at research into how various forms of movement—from the vibrations of shuddering boxcars to the stomp of London's rush-hour commuters—could all be tiny, renewable sources of power. Among items featured was the Bionic Energy Harvester invented by Max Donelan and team from SFU.
  • The Los Angeles Times (circulation 866,000 a day) reported the Bush administration quietly weakened a key provision in new lead-pollution regulations, “exempting dozens of polluters from scrutiny”.  Bruce Lanphear of SFU health Sciences, an expert who had urged more stringent rules, said: “If we can keep bringing down blood-lead levels in kids, there could be considerable benefits over the years to a wide swath of our population.”
    We saw the story in a dozen U.S. papers, by way of the L.A. Times Syndicate.


  • The SFU Clan women’s soccer team had big coverage in The Vancouver Sun and The Province. As in: two-thirds of a page in the Sun—with photos of forward Sarah Boulton and goalie Cassie Newbrook—plus three-quarters of a page in The Province—with a photo ofmidfielder Jacqueline Gant. (The other quarter of that Province page was devoted to a story on the SFU women’s cross-country team.)
    All this as the soccer team prepared for the opening round (at SFU Burnaby) of the NAIA championships.
    In that round, a goal from junior Catlin Carruthers—on her birthday—gave the Clan a 1-0 win over the Rocky Mountain College Lady Bears. This with only a minute to go in overtime. The Clan now move to the second round of the 16-team tournament, next week in Daytona Beach FL.
    Before the Rocky Mountain game, The Province featured Gant: "My mom used to play soccer with [Clan coach Shelley Howieson], so it's been amazing for me to come up here and play.” Gant was named to the conference all-star team, along with team captain Marissa Antoniazzi and Aly Benes.
    The Province featured Antoniazzi: “We'll be right in the middle of getting ready for exams during nationals, so we'll be doing all of our homework travelling and when we're off the field. I have four finals in three days when we come back. If it comes down to us having to study the entire flight back, then that's what it will take.”
    The North Shore News also featured Antoniazzi, a North Van native.
    Earlier, sophomore midfielder Lauren Lachlan was named 2008 soccer player of the year by the NAIA Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.). She finished the season with five points, helping the Clan women’s soccer team back to the NAIA national championships for the first time since 2005.

Also in the sports news:

  • Five players from the Clan men’s soccer team were named to the first or second 2008 A.I.I. all-conference teams. Heading the group was senior goalkeeper Thomas Lindley, who finished as the conference runner-up for player of the year.
  • The Clan women’s basketball team dropped the UBC Thunderbirds 74-70 and 80-76 to claim the 2008-09 Barbara Rae Cup and improve to 8-1 on the season. SFU hosts Thompson Rivers this weekend.
    In men’s basketball, UBC beat SFU 90-69 and 83-69 on successive nights.
  • Anthony DesLauriers of the Clan football team was named a second-team Canadian Interuniversity Sport All-Canadian. The third-year cornerback led the Clan with four interceptions in 2008, and was SFU’s lone Canada West All-Star.
  • Clan head coach Dave Johnson was a finalist for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) coach of the year honours. But the Frank Tindall Trophy went in the end to Pat Sheahan of the Queen’s University Golden Gaels. It capped Sheahan’s 20th season as a CIS head coach.
  • The Trinity Western University women’s volleyball team made it 19 straight matches and 42 straight sets over the Clan women with a 3-0 victory.
  • Clan cross-country teams finished out of the spotlight in the NAIA national championships in Wisconsin. The Clan women, after losing three top harriers, were unable to claim their sixth straight NAIA Championship, finishing in 10th place. The SFU men finished 24th.
  • Ashley McKilligan of the Clan women’s wrestling team claimed the 49kg title and was named the outstanding competitor at the annual Canadian-American meet in Jamestown ND.  The Clan finished third overall, despite being without three key members. The team competes this weekend at the North American University Dual Meet Championship in Kentucky.
  • The Clan men’s wrestlers lost 39-9 to Southern Oregon University and 39-11 to Menlo College in a contest in Ashland OR.  Earlier, though, the men defeated Pacific University 30-18 in a match in Forest Grove OR.
  • The Clan women’s volleyball team welcomes the University of Winnipeg Wesmen to SFU’s West Gym for games Saturday at 1 pm and Sunday at 1 pm.
  • The Alaska Highway News (Fort St. John) reported that local runner Emily Palibroda has been selected to the BC junior women’s cross-country team. She and the team are in the Canadian Championships in Guelph this weekend. Palibroda is in her second year at SFU where she competes in cross-country and track and field.
  • The Kelowna Daily Courier reported that the Clan’s head soccer coach, Alan Koch, will once again be head coach of the Okanagan Challenge soccer club. He previously coached the Challenge from 2003 to 2005, twice leading the team to the Pacific Coast Soccer League playoffs.


  • Chemist Hogan Yu did a string of media interviews following last week’s report on medical biosensor devices that can be run on everyday DVD players rather than requiring specialized and expensive “readers”. Questions about his groundbreaking research came to Yu from CTV, 24Hours, the Tri-City News, and from media aimed at the Chinese-Canadian market: Sing Tao, World Journal, and Omni-TV, which interviewed him in English and Mandarin.
  • Marketing prof Lindsay Meredith did another round of interviews on potential trouble for the 2010 Winter Olympics as some big Olympic sponsors face financial woes. It began with a Globe and Mail story last week, then moved to GlobalTV, Fan 590 radio in Toronto and AM1320 in Vancouver.
  • CTV interviewed evolutionary biologist Bernard Crespi on his theory—developed with the aid of Christopher Badcock, a sociologist at the London School of Economics—that suggests a genetic tug of war could be behind mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Media ranging from the New York Times to The Vancouver Sun had heavily covered the story earlier.
  • There was more coverage during the week (in India, Pakistan, and Austria) of last week’s story on a study of the psychological impact on Kashmiris of 20 years of violence between the Indian Army and Kashmiri militants. The study was conducted by an international team that included Nathan Ford, PhD student in SFU Health Sciences and head of medicine for Médecins sans Frontières in South Africa.
  • The Human Security Brief 2007 from SFU’s Human Security Report project was cited in a high-level report from the UK’s Commission on National Security in the 21st Century. The journal of the American Medical Association also cited the report and the associated miniAtlas of Human Security.
  • The North Shore News featured biologist Stephen Takács (a North Shore resident) and his discovery that the western conifer seed uses infrared radiation to find its food.
  • The Edmonton Journal picked up a Vancouver Sun feature on BC’s marijuana industry. It cited estimates in 2006 by SFU economist Stephen Easton of an underground provincial wholesale market of $2.2 billion—dwarfing any other BC agricultural product.
  • And half a dozen more media outlets carried last week’s story on the use of cyber-technology in courtrooms. It quoted California-based jury consultant Sonia Chopra, who, the story noted, interviewed jurors as part of research at SFU. “I think jurors are expecting more technology in the courtroom.”


  • SFU Alumni Relations told media who has won 2008 Outstanding Alumni Awards.
  • With World AIDS Day coming up Monday Dec. 1, health science grad students Oghenowede (Ede) Eyawo and Adam King told media about the events planned at the Burnaby campus for World AIDS Day.  Speakers include health scientist Robert Hogg.
  • More SFU news releases can be found online at:

ALSO in the NEWS

  • Anja Purchase, a student in SFU’s semester in dialogue, wrote a guest piece in The Vancouver Sun about caring for a five-year-old with special needs. “Sam faces many challenges in her life; she can not walk or talk and is fed through a tube, and has a shunt implanted in her head . . . But despite her seemingly negative medical prognosis, Sam was and is still beautiful, resilient and loved. Sam and her family are an inspiration to me because they never forget that they are fortunate to have Sam in their lives.”
  • The Canadian Association of Broadcasters announced to media that its $4,000 BBM Canada Scholarship was awarded to José Domingo Mora, a PhD candidate in SFU Business.
  • Bob Hackett, president of the SFU Faculty Association, had a letter to the editor in Coquitlam Now, saying the BC government “made a surprise cut of $42 million to the operating grants earlier promised to public universities and colleges” and that “Simon Fraser University has been hit especially hard.” He urged readers to “ask their MLAs to help restore the promised funding, annually increase per-student support to offset inflation and fully fund each new student space.”
  • The Vancouver Courier caught up to a couple of people with SFU connections who ran, unsuccessfully, in the Nov. 15 municipal elections in Vancouver.  Michael Geller, former CEO and president at UniverCity, said he’d hoped to bring his experience as an urban planner and architect to Vancouver council. For now, he will continue a quest to create affordable housing for the homeless through low-cost modules. Melissa De Genova, who recently graduated in political science, plans to help the seniors fighting for a seniors centre in southeast Vancouver.
  • The Abbotsford TImes ran a feature on mayor George W. Peary, a former secondary-school teacher and administrator who noted that he has an MBA from SFU.
  • The Tri-City News featured Monique Giard of the Tri-City Women's Resource Society, and her use of aboriginal healing circles. The story noted she was once a dancer and assistant professor at SFU Contemporary Arts.
  • The Globe and Mail carried a feature on Zabeen Hirji, the Royal Bank of Canada's senior vice-president of human resources. "I'm all for breaking down barriers, for giving people, regardless of their gender or ethnicity, the chance to fulfill their potential." The Globe noted she has an MBA from SFU.



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