Jan 09, 2003

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Funds honour Garland
Two new annual funds designed to assist dance students as well as contemporary arts faculty, will honour the memory of the late Iris Garland, a former professor of contemporary arts. Jim Felter, Iris's partner, has donated $5,000 to each fund and will continue to do so on an annual basis. The Iris Garland dance program enhancement fund will provide funding for the dance program to invite a visiting international choreographer to SFU for two weeks to work with faculty and students. The Iris Garland travel fund for the school for the contemporary arts will cover travel expenses for faculty attending international conferences. Donations to the fund in memory of Garland are welcome and may be sent to the advancement office. Donors should indicate which of the two funds they would like to support. For more information call advancement officer Susan McAlevy at 604-291-6607.

Seven receive medals
At least seven members of the SFU community have received Golden Jubilee medals commemorating the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne. The award recognizes Canadians deemed to have made an “outstanding and exemplary contribution to the community or to Canada as a whole.” President Michael Stevenson, and former president and Morris J. Wosk centre fellow Jack Blaney were honoured for their efforts to advance higher education. Board of governors chair and businessman Brandt Louie was cited for his philanthropic contributions to community.

Research ethics director Hal Weinberg won for his community service, notably his involvement in aboriginal treaty issues. Professor emeritus Marvin Stark was recognized for his many endeavours on behalf of the legal, academic, Jewish and aboriginal communities while third-year political science student Mark Masongsong was cited for his extensive volunteer work. And Earl Drake was honoured for his activities as director of the China council for international cooperation on environment and development, headquartered in the David Lam centre for international communication at SFU's Harbour Centre campus.

Speaking your mind
Have a desire to speak your mind into a microphone or interview interesting people? Consider hosting your own program on CJSF-FM. The SFU campus radio station has obtained permission from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to broadcast to the whole Lower Mainland at 90.1 on the FM dial. The CRTC requires that 25 per cent of campus-community stations' commercial airtime be filled with spoken word. So CJSF is seeking new volunteers to broaden its spoken word programming. It could be pre-recorded interviews, discussions, coverage of live events, drama, comedy, poetry, advice - you name it the station is interested in receiving a proposal outlining it. Volunteers could be anyone on or off campus. To get station orientation and submit a program proposal, call 604-291-4423 or email

Sterling nominations sought
Nominations are now being accepted for the Nora and Ted Sterling prize in support of controversy. The annual $5,000 prize recognizes and encourages daring, creative, controversial, unconventional and non-traditional work at SFU that also meets high standards and is morally and ethically sound. The prize may occasionally be awarded to a person outside the SFU community if the candidate's contribution is of exceptional merit and the award reflects favourably on the university. Nominations should be submitted by Jan. 31 to Barry Beyerstein, chair, Sterling prize committee, c/o the office of the VP-academic. Nomination forms are available at

United Way goal surpassed
While overall Lower Mainland contributions to the United Way campaign fell significantly below target in 2002, the SFU community did itself proud, raising more than $111,000 - almost 10 per cent more than the campaign goal. United Way chairperson Alison Watt, director of SFU's university secretariat, attributes the increase to a great team effort on the part of all who were involved in driving the United Way campus campaign. She notes, as well, that this year there were a number of individual initiatives from various departments, including the health, counseling and career centre, which held its own bake sale. “It all contributed to the overall goal,” says Watt.

Campus events, such as the bake sale, book sale, and garage sale raised about $9,400, while the new SFU cookbook, The Best of SFU Cookbooks - Recipes for Life, raised $4,400. It was created entirely by staff and faculty and printed by SFU reprographics.

Payroll donations, initiated last year, saw a significant increase, with 151 staff and faculty pledging regular pay cheque donations totaling $66,000, an increase from 109 payroll donors last year. Other donations totalled $31,000.

Scientists on Knowledge network
The work of five SFU scientists will be featured in three episodes of a 13-part series called the Leading Edge on the Knowledge network. The series aims to give viewers an inside look at the science and theory behind research and innovation at B.C.'s post secondary institutions. A companion web site allows viewers to watch on-demand video of stories covered in the series, as well as an opportunity to explore subjects in further depth.

Episode two will feature the work of criminologists Ray Corrado and Irwin Cohen on what variables may lead to violent young offenders committing repeat crimes. In episode four biologist Dov Lank will talk about his study of the marbled murrelet's preferred habitat. Episode six will reveal how the gene research of molecular biologists Esther Verheyen, Nick Harden and Fiona Brinkman is helping scientists solve the puzzle of cancer and bacterial diseases in humans. The series will air on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. beginning Jan. 7.

Nicholls studies abused women
Tonia Nicholls wants to know what stops abused women from getting help or leaving their abusers. The 2002 graduate of SFU's doctoral program in forensic psychology is also investigating the efficacy of current violence risk assessment measures in predicting the potential for recidivism among male spousal abusers. Nicholls says what prevents women from leaving abusive partners is likely a combination of social, cultural, psychological, financial and emotional factors. She is testing a measure designed to identify abused women's most pressing needs. “Fear of escalating abuse is one of the most common reasons women report remaining in abusive relationships,” explains Nicholls.

The SFU graduate is seeking “as broad a population of women as possible (i.e., women ages 18-65, various cultures) who have experienced differing degrees of abuse (i.e., physical, verbal, sexual, financial, stalking)” for her study. The mental health, law and policy institute at SFU, the British Columbia institute against family violence and UBC's department of psychiatry are co-sponsoring her study. For more information about the study: phone: 604-244-8183; email:; website:

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