April 29, 2004

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New name for arts faculty
According to the famous literary character Don Quixote, “a good name is better than riches.” For the SFU faculty of arts, a name change that better reflects the faculty's diversity should help to recruit high school students during competitive times. Effective Sept. 1, the faculty of arts will be known as the faculty of arts and social sciences.
“The new name will correct some misconceptions about what the faculty does and more accurately reflect the faculty's diversity, with its strengths in humanities, contemporary arts and social sciences,” says John Pierce, dean of arts.

Students win ASI prizes
SFU applied science students won seven prizes in the annual ASI exchange held in March. B.C.'s premier technology showcase of industry products and academic research, the event attracted 120 competing projects from B.C. universities. Michael Sjoerdsma, a graduate student in engineering science, won for a project that proposes improved bushing systems for cars based on a novel fluid that can turn solid when a magnetic field is applied. Applied science undergrads won both available undergrad prizes competing against teams from UBC and University of Victoria. Visit for a list of all the winners.

Strategic business centre launched
Most attempts to initiate strategic change in organizations fail. That's why CMA Canada, the national organization of certified management accountants, is providing $1 million to fund the CMA Canada centre for strategic change and performance measurement. The business research centre, one of six to be established at SFU's new Segal graduate school of business, will pursue research into strategic change and its execution; strategic performance measurement; and leadership and change management.

Gerontology celebrates anniversary
SFU's gerontology program in the faculty of arts is marking its 21st anniversary this year with its own graduation. The program has evolved into a department, offering 26 courses annually with an enrolment of about 585 students. Since its launch as a post-baccalaureate diploma in 1983 by internationally respected SFU gerontologist Gloria Gutman, the gerontology program has expanded to offer an undergraduate minor and a master of arts in gerontology. The masters program is the largest gerontology graduate program in Canada. SFU gerontologist Andrew Wister is the new department's director.

Thewalt receives award
SFU experimental physicist Mike Thewalt recently received the Canadian Association of Physicists' (CAP) most prestigious award - the 2004 CAP medal of achievement - for his innovative studies of the optical properties of semiconductors. This research has led to significant new understandings of semiconductor physics which could eventually have an impact on how quantum computers are built. CAP also awarded Thewalt with the 2004 Brockhouse medal for outstanding achievement in condensed matter and materials physics. In March, he received a 2004 Killam research fellowship. Thewalt joined SFU in 1980 and previously worked for IBM.

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