Jun 12, 2003

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Nominations open
The Alumni Association is currently accepting nominations for the 2003 outstanding alumni awards. Nomination forms and categories can be downloaded from the website. Deadline for nominations is June 27. For further information, contact Janis Horne, executive director, at 604-291-3994 or

Three professors win awards
This spring, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) awarded New Opportunities grants to three researchers appointed to faculty positions at SFU in the last 18 months. John McDonald, an assistant professor of psychology, was awarded a $140,000 grant to help finance his creation of an electrophysiological lab. It will enable McDonald to analyse electricity arising from brain activity with the objective of figuring out how we selectively focus our attention and perceive objects in the environment. Assistant professors Nancy Hawkins and Chrisopher Beh in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry are sharing a $198,000 grant. It will enable them to equip their lab with a specialized microscope that detects faint, fluorescently tagged proteins within live cells.

Dilkina wins sweet honour
Fourth year computing science student Bistra Dilkina thought being named outstanding female research undergraduate by the North American Computing Research Association last fall was a sweet honour.

The Bulgarian native is now the recipient of the B.C. Sugar achievement award. The annual award, valued at $5,000, honours someone from SFU who, through a commitment to excellence, has brought distinction to the university and B.C. by achieving national or international prominence. Dilkina has been working with computing science professor Bill Havens in his intelligence systems lab on an artificial intelligence project involving the development of a programming system for solving difficult scheduling projects. The work has led to the development of new algorithms. Dilkina, who graduates this fall, is also cited for her extensive record of public service.

Student of the year
SFU international student Dorota Lecznarowicz was recently named student of the year by the Vancouver Board of Trade's Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program. The three-year-old program seeks to involve post-secondary students in today's policy issues to help develop the business and community leaders of tomorrow. It sponsors up to 200 student members each year, providing them with networking, communications and leadership skills as well as mentoring. Lecznarowicz, from Poland, graduates this semester with a degree in political science and criminology. She is also enrolled in the Spanish language proficiency program and the arts co-op program. In the fall, she will begin studies at SFU toward a master's degree in poitical science.

Greek historical collection acquired
It will cost $5,000 in shipping fees and take three years for the SFU library's special collections division to acquire an important collection of original documents related to modern Greek history. Donated by journalist Robert McDonald and his wife Donna, the collection was amassed during 1967-1974 while McDonald, a Vancouver native, was working in Greece as a correspondent for the BBC. The collection consists of historically sensitive items such as personal notes, manuscripts, newspapers, magazines and interview tapes documenting political events in Greece at the time. Highlights include the resistance organization's secret circulars, and political prisoners' signed documents. SFU's department of Hellenic studies has enlisted the Canadian Hellenic Congress to help raise the $5,000 required to pay for shipping the materials from England, where McDonald and his wife now reside.

Bear alert
A mother bear and two cubs have been sighted on the Burnaby campus in the vicinity of the residences. Conservation officers indicate that three to seven bears live on Burnaby Mountain and they will respond if the bears are threatening or causing damage. People should exercise caution when walking on trails, roadways and sidewalks around campus. As well, garbage should be disposed of in covered garbage containers. Everyone is advised to report sightings to campus security at 604-291-4500, and to keep clear of the bears.

RED gets facelift
SFU's RED has undergone a facelift that has made it more accessible and valuable than it has already proven to be to journalists, researchers, companies, students and anyone else interested in SFU's research. The research expertise database (RED), which is publicly accessible on-line at, now features data pertaining to all new faculty members and, for the first time, data regarding adjunct and emeriti professors.

The database also includes links to contact and background information about members of SFU's institute for health research and education (IHRE), links to home departments and schools and a more extensive list of searchable keywords. The easy-to-use database, created two years ago through the office of the VP-research, highlights the expertise of almost 700 SFU faculty members. Researchers can request updating or editing of their information on RED by contacting Alyse Kirlik, contracts administrator in the office of research services, at

Promoting child safety
It's a heart-stopping experience when parents don't have a clue where their children are. Simon Fraser University's campus security holds an annual event to promote community awareness of the importance of child safety. Members of SFU's campus and surrounding communities are invited to bring their children, relatives and friends to the sixth annual child safety day at Burnaby campus, June 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to there being dozens of free events (i.e., bike rodeo, safety presentations, facing painting, games, prizes) to entertain and educate the kids, parents will receive a child identification booklet to take home. It will contain important information in the event that their children are lost. For more information about pre-registering children for events and a free lunch, contact David Kelly, 604-291-5425, or Laura MacDonald, 604-291-5450,

Weeks honoured with service award
Daniel Weeks, chair of SFU's psychology department, is being recognized by the National Down Syndrome society and the Down Syndrome research foundation with a 2003 research service award for his contributions to both local and international research communities. The organizations note his role in helping to establish a new research, education and resource centre in Burnaby, which houses space for researchers, educators and clinicians, and for being instrumental in the foundation's acquisition of a magnetoencephalograph, allowing researchers to obtain crucial brain imaging data from individuals with developmental disabilities.

They also cite his advocacy efforts on behalf of families affected by Down syndrome, and his research into the cerebral specialization of people with Down syndrome. Weeks hopes to establish guidelines for instructional strategies that could circumvent or reduce the processing difficulties of those with Down syndrome.

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