June 20, 1996 * Vol . 6, No. 4

SPOTLIGHT

Historians honored...Richard Boyer, chair of history, has won the 1996 Wallace K. Ferguson prize of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) for his book, Lives of the Bigamists: Marriage Family and Community in Colonial Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995).

'"Winning the Ferguson prize is a pleasure and an honor," says Boyer. "I smile to think how dumbfounded my bigamists - ordinary and humble folk, rarely at a loss for words in transcripts of their testimony in Mexican Inquisition files - would have been, had they been told that several hundred years after their deaths, a book about their lives would attract attention."

As well, Joy Parr has won the Hilda Neatly prize given by the CHA for the best article on women in Canada (in English).

The Ferguson prize, with an award of $1,000, is given to a Canadian who has published an outstanding scholarly book in the field of history, other than Canadian history. The department has now won every award given by the association.

Another member of the department was also honored recently. Senior lecturer Hannah Gay has won an award from the John M. Templeton Foundation. She qualified for the $10,000 award for her proposal for a course: "Western Science and Religion: Past and Present Issues," in the university's MA liberal studies program.

Gay will receive $5,000 and the costs involved in attending a workshop at Harvard's Gordon College earlier this month. The university will receive $5,000 for support of the course designed by Gay.

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Dan Weeks, kinesiology, has earned the Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

Weeks is an associate professor who operates the human factors lab and is director of the institute for human factors and interface technology. His research interests focus on translating psychological research into a tool for predicting human performance, so as to make it useful in the design of simple and complex human-machine systems. He received NSERC funding to examine the brain as an information-processing system, based on his research in human perception and performance.

The award was presented at the society's annual convention in Ontario earlier this month. Weeks will make a 45-minute presentation summarizing his research activity at next year's annual meeting in Denver.

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Alive all over...The newest recording by SFU's world champion pipe band Alive In America will be available, June 29. The recording of a live concert - the first-ever by a pipe band in the U.S. - was made in Chicago, April 26.

The official international release coincides with Scottish pipe band championships in Aberdeen and the B.C. Highland games at Town Centre stadium in Coquitlam. Also being released is a high quality video of the concert, shot by Francis J. Campbell of the instructional media centre. It is the fifth recording by the band.

Cassette tapes of Alive In America are $15 plus postage, CD's are $22. The video costs $34. All will be available at the bookstore and from SFU Pipe Band Products, 968 Mansfield Crescent, Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, V3B 6H7. Call (604) 942-5726.

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The Canadian Society for Asian Arts has added two Simon Fraser faculty members to its board of directors for 1996-97. New to the board this year are Jan Walls, director of the David Lam centre for international communication, and Richard Shutler Jr., a professor emeritus in archaeology ... Physics prof. Mike Thewalt has been appointed chair of the reseearch sub-committee on condensed matter physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists. The sub-committee and three others will be reviewing NSERC funding of Canadian academic physics.

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Prof. Peter Anderson, communication, has been appointed director of SFU's centre for policy research on science and technology. His appointment continues through May 30, 1997 ... Profs. George Blazenko and Robert R. Grauer have been elected by members of the academic pension plan to serve as plan trustees for two year terms, commencing July 1, 1996 ... Incumbent chair of the English department Prof. Kathy Mezei has agreed to serve a further one-year term, effective Sept. 1, 1996 ... Newly appointed to a five-year term as chair of mathematics and statistics is Prof. J.L. Berggren. The term took effect May 1.

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Prof. Jeff Dahn has been awarded the 1996 Research Award of the battery division of the U.S.-based Electrochemical Society for his contributions to the research and development of new battery electrodes.


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