January 26, 2006

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Senate approves global health program
SFU's new faculty of health sciences will soon offer a graduate diploma in global health. The new program, which the senate approved on Jan. 9, will begin accepting students in September. Health sciences dean David MacLean says the diploma fulfills two functions. “First, it can be taken as a stand-alone credential, which should appeal to health professionals seeking to strengthen their background in global health issues. Second, it will provide a foundation for applicants wishing to enter our proposed masters program in global health.”

Students will be required to complete a seminar course and three core global-health courses totaling 16 credit hours plus elective courses totaling a minimum six credit hours, typically over two semesters, while maintaining a minimum 2.5 grade point average. MacLean says the core courses, which will address applied aspects of global health systems, methodology, epidemiology and health delivery, will be particularly suitable for students from developing countries as a bridge to studies in Canada.

Grisé honoured for service
The Ordre de la Compagnie des Cent-Associés francophones has named Yolande Grisé, director of SFU's new office of francophone and francophile affairs (OFFA), as one of its members. The honour recognizes Grisé, formerly an Ontario Arts Council chair and University of Ottawa French professor, for almost three decades of service promoting French language and culture in Ontario and now B.C.

Grisé's five-year term at SFU, which began last spring, includes joint professorships in the French department and the education faculty. By next year she hopes to triple the number of students in SFU's first francophone program in a discipline other than French - a bachelor of arts program in political science launched in 2004 with eight students.

Created in 1979, the Compagnie des Cent-Associés francophones is named after the Compagnie des Cent-Associés, which France's Cardinal Richelieu founded in 1627 to ensure development of Nouvelle-France.

International student area opened
A new space where international students can meet, network and relax was officially opened on campus Jan. 18. The area, formerly an unused space in the Mackenzie cafeteria, was renovated with funding through the President's office. The project came together through the work of SFU's international student advising staff, together with the international student group. The lounge features a wide, open space with high ceilings, couches and a bar area for hosting small receptions.

The space also has a separate meeting room. President Michael Stevenson and student society president Clement Apaak spoke of the need for the space after years of planning and took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The formalities were followed by a brief performance by master drummer Jonathan Kemet, together with Albert Smith, a faculty member in the school of contemporary arts, and an impromptu dance lesson by Patience Kwakwa. Kemet and Kwakwa, both from the University of Ghana, are spending the spring semester at SFU.

Legal studies offered
SFU may not have a law faculty, but the university will soon offer two legal studies program options unlike any other in B.C. Both the new minor in legal studies and the new legal studies post-baccalaureate diploma will draw on existing courses from several different disciplines. The idea is to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of law and legal institutions, approaching the subject from different social, economic and philosophical contexts. The programs are designed to offer an excellent foundation for students planning on attending law school and for those ultimately pursuing graduate work in law and social policy, public administration and other related programs. Senate recently approved the two faculty of arts and social science programs, which will be offered through the school of criminology in September.

Price heads City Program
Gordon Price, former Vancouver city councillor, bike (and public transportation) advocate, adjunct professor (UBC school of community and regional planning) and lecturer on transportation and land use in Portland, Oregon, is the new director of SFU continuing studies' City Program. Price has written extensively on Vancouver and transportation issues. In 2003 he was honoured by the Canadian Institute of Planners for his article of the year, Land Use and Transportation: The view from ‘56. A regular Business in Vancouver columnist on civic issues, he also publishes Price Tags, an electronic magazine on urban issues.

Senft honoured by transportation group
One of the founding fathers of the much-valued student U-Pass, Graham Senft, is a graduate student in urban studies at SFU's Vancouver campus. Senft was one of four students recently honored by the Canadian Urban Transportation Association for their outstanding contributions to public transit in Canada. Each received a $2,000 national scholarship established to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary. As vice-president of the UBC Alma Mater Society, Senft pushed for the U-Pass. And as a new political science grad he worked on its implementation. The universal transit pass for credit students is modelled on a highly successful program at the University of Washington. U-pass programs at UVic, SFU and UBC have put many more students on transit and reduced the number of cars on the roads and in the parking lots.

Sun writer wins Shadbolt fellowship
SFU has named Douglas Todd, the Vancouver Sun's award-winning religion and ethics writer, as the first recipient of the Jack and Doris Shadbolt fellowship in the humanities. Todd begins his two-semester appointment within the faculty of arts and social sciences in January, 2006 thanks to an endowment from the late Doris Shadbolt, a respected author and arts advocate, and wife of influential B.C. artist, the late Jack Shadbolt. The fellowship is intended “to recognize and support leaders in the humanities who are not necessarily part of the academy,” says dean of arts and social sciences John Pierce.

Sterling nominees sought
Do you know someone whose work challenges complacency and represents new, creative and daring ways of looking at the world? The Sterling prize committee is looking for nominees whose work is unconventional, untraditional and provokes controversy. Nominees may be students, staff, faculty or a member of the community who has a connection to SFU. The winner of the annual Nora and Ted Sterling prize in support of controversy will receive a cash award of $5,000 and must make a public presentation at the Morris J. Wosk centre for dialogue. For additional information and nomination forms visit The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

First Nations programs approved
Senate has approved two new First Nations studies programs in the faculty of arts and social sciences. The first is an undergraduate major in First Nations studies, to be operated as a unique collaboration between SFU Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University. Students from either university will be able to complete the program by drawing on the courses, faculty, staff and physical resources of both institutions. The program, which begins in September 2006, will provide in-depth academic training comprised of 56 or more credits in the study of traditional and contemporary aboriginal issues in Canada and abroad.

Aimed at both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students, the program will focus on subjects including aboriginal languages, traditional knowledge and practices, the history of First Nations/European relations from an aboriginal perspective, aboriginal self-governance, rights and title questions, and aboriginal resource management, to name a few. The second initiative, also starting in September 2006, is a First Nations studies post-baccalaureate diploma program designed particularly for aboriginal and non-aboriginal people with professional and academic degrees who work with First Nations communities or clients. SFU will offer the diploma program at its Kamloops and Burnaby campuses.

High-speed network completed
Three university presidents and the province's minister of advanced education will be among those in attendance at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus on Feb. 7 when BCNET celebrates the completion of its high-speed network connection linking the province's universities. SFU President Michael Stevenson will be joined by University of British Columbia president Martha Piper, Thompson Rivers University president Roger Barnsley and Murray Coell, the minister of advanced education at the event.

The new network will be up to 10,000 times faster than the commercial internet and will provide the backbone for innovation in research, education and science in British Columbia, according to BCNET, which is collectively funded by the province's universities, and the federal and provincial governments. Members of the SFU community interested in attending should contact Elise Everest at 604-268-7864 or

Francis named to board
Michael Francis, a chartered accountant and president of Seed Management Inc., has been appointed to the SFU board of governors for a three year term. Francis has chaired British Columbia Film since 1992, is chair of the Vancouver International Film Festival, and is a former chair of Science World, the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation and B.C. Ferries. He was also a director of WIC Western International Communications when it was Canada's largest private broadcaster.

Contest offers $20,000 prize
Entertainment software company Electronic Arts (EA) invites graduating Canadian art and 3D animation students to enter their best animated short video in EA's second annual computer animation competition. The grand prize is $20,000 and a matching grant to the prize winner's alma mater. All four-minute shorts will be reviewed by a panel of award-winning EA art directors. Submissions will be accepted through April 7, 2006. For more information, visit

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