June 10, 2004

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Nominate outstanding alumni
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2004 outstanding alumni awards. SFU and the Alumni association recognize up to four alumni annually for outstanding contributions in academic achievement, arts and culture, athletics, professional achievement, public service, community service and service to the university. Awards will be presented at a dinner in February 2005. A complete nomination package including a list of past winners can be obtained online at or by contacting the alumni relations office. Nominators do not have to be affiliated with the university. Nominations should include the nominator's name, contact information, a brief biographical profile of the nominee and a description of the nominee's achievements. For more information, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 604-291-4145 or e-mail

Karim wins prize for doctoral research
Assistant professor of engineering science Karim Karim's novel approach to digital x-ray technology has earned him a the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) prize for top doctoral research in science or engineering. Karim is one of four winners. His technology could soon help diagnose digestive tract problems, improve mammography and guide catheters through veins, all with greater accuracy and lower doses of radiation than ever before. Karim receives a $10,000 cash prize and a silver medal from NSERC.

Love named to professional association
Ernie Love, dean of SFU's faculty of business administration, was recently appointed to the board of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans as a director at large. The federation is a professional association for deans and directors of faculties of business and management in Canada. Fifty universty-level business schools currently belong to the organization, representing approximately 2,400 faculty members and 120,000 students across Canada.

Tang wins engineering scholarship
Engineering science student Jessica Tang is one of five engineering students across Canada to receive a $5,000 undergraduate engineering scholarship from the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. The scholarships are given to students who are leaders in their community, involved in volunteer work and services and participate in extracurricular activities. Last year, Tang represented SFU at the 2003 National Women in Engineering Conference in Ontario. Her extracurricular activities include fundraising for Habitat for Humanity and contributing her time to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Social Justice series a success
Organizers of the Social Justice series at Simon Fraser University say the series has sparked a grassroots movement to improve social justice. SFU's community education program in continuing studies and the Institute of Humanities organized the series. Its most recent session, last fall, dealt with human rights. One hundred fifty people attended a weekend symposium to discuss the state of contentious issues, such as women's equality and aboriginal land title. The symposium led to SFU training 20 community advocates to draw disadvantaged communities into deeper discussions, called circle discussions, on how to strengthen social justice. During a six-month period, circle discussions drew 200 people from various Lower Mainland communities and Williams Lake to discuss human rights. Their discussions culminated in workshops and in the creation of new community networks, study guides and magazine articles on human rights issues.

Scholarship helps fund studies
A prestigious $4,000 U.S. scholarship from the International Society for Optical Engineering will help engineering science PhD student Richard Yuqiang Tu finance the remainder of his studies.

During his four years at SFU, Tu has acquired one patent and has another pending. His research focuses on a type of photomask, similar in concept to a film negative, that is part of the photolithography process involved in manufacturing microchips.

So far Tu, in collaboration with SFU engineering science professor Glenn Chapman, has developed a new material for creating the photomask in just one step instead of the expensive multi-step process currently used. Now, he and Chapman are working to refine the material and process in order to commercialize it. Ultimately, the invention will make photomasks much cheaper to create which, in turn, could bring down the costs of manufacturing items such as liquid crystal display screens for televisions and computers. The scholarship is awarded annually to the most promising student studying microchip printing photomask technology or microlithography science and manufacturing for the semiconductor industry.

Wosk granted honorary degree
Yosef Wosk, director of interdisciplinary studies in continuing studies, recently received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. The honour recognizes his many community contributions in the areas of education, heritage conservation, arts and religion, libraries and museums. Over the past three years Wosk has donated a $1 million collection of original prints for use by Emily Carr students and faculty. An ordained rabbi, with doctorates in religion, literature, and psychology, he is responsible for the development of two successful SFU continuing studies programs, the Philosophers' Café and the Academy of Independent Scholars.

Wrenn named French department chair
Associate French professor Phyllis Wrenn is the new chair of the French department for a term of three years. Wrenn joined SFU in 1974 as a visiting professor on a one-year leave from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, then stayed on at SFU. She takes over the chair at a time when the French department is involved in interesting new initiatives. Foremost is a new bachelor of arts program to be delivered primarily in the French language. It will offer a major and minor in political science and French, leading students into careers in public administration and community services.

Beamish award presented to Yu
SFU analytical/materials chemist Hua-Zhong (Hogan) Yu is the 2004 winner of the Canadian Society for Chemistry's national Fred Beamish award.

The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. Yu's research is devoted to biosensors and gene analysis. Most recently he has been working to fabricate a new generation of DNA chips.

A DNA chip is an orderly arrangement of DNA samples on a sensor. It provides a medium for matching known and unknown DNA samples using base-pairing rules and automates the process of identifying unknown DNA pieces. DNA chip technology is significant for genome studies, says Yu. “Many fields, including drug discovery and toxicological research, will benefit from DNA chip technology.”

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