July 7, 2005

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Alumni elect new executive
SFU's Alumni Association recently elected a new executive which includes Glenn Young, as president for a second term, Karl Dopf as vice-president (he previously served as treasurer) and Marisa Beraldin as treasurer.

Burnaby honours SFU
An SFU doctoral student and the SFU Community Trust both recently won recognition from the city of Burnaby for their environmental leadership.

Science student Brian Sieben is a volunteer with the Stoney Creek environmental committee, which cares for a 4-kilometre salmon-bearing creek that drains from Burnaby Mountain into the Brunette River near Burnaby Lake. Frustrated with Wal-Mart shopping carts damaging fish habitat in the creek, Sieben wrote and sent photos of the problem to Wal-Mart's Canadian head office. As a result, Wal-Mart is installing a new cart system that locks the cart wheels at the edge of the Lougheed Mall parking lot and Sieben won the community stewardship environmental star award.

The SFU Community Trust won the environment award for planning and development for the Cornerstone building, which sets a new standard for green buildings and is the first LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) registered building in Burnaby. The mixed-use building, built with recycled construction materials, uses geothermal and passive solar heating and has integrated water conservation methods. It's landscaped with drought resistant plants, surrounded by permeable paving and has a co-op car on-site. The trust has also offered all residents a one-year free community transit pass, pending Translink approval.

Bamfield opens new research centre
The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) on the western shore of Vancouver Island recently opened the Rix Centre for Ocean Discoveries, a state-of-the-art marine research laboratory, classroom complex and conference centre. SFU is a member of the consortium that operates BMSC, which supports diverse coastal and marine research and offers university-level courses. The new building was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Donald Rix, one of the owners, founders and chairman of the board of directors of MDS Metro Laboratory Services. Rix also leads the fundraising campaign for SFU's Segal graduate school of business.

Grad students win health awards
SFU graduate students received twice as many health research trainee awards this year as last from the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation. In all, 12 SFU graduate researchers received grants, up from six last year. As well, two SFU postdoctoral fellows received awards. “It's a significant increase and it's because of the increasing level of health research activity at the university,” says dean of graduate studies Jonathan Driver,who points to SFU's new health sciences faculty as one of the reasons.

The graduate trainee awards, valued at $22,500 per year, include a $20,000 salary stipend and a $2,500 research and travel allowance. They went to students in psychology, geography, molecular biology and biochemistry, biological sciences, kinesiology and chemistry. The postdoctoral awards are worth $35,000 per year and also include a further $4,000 allowance for research and travel. They went to Meena Sran, in the school of kinesiology and to Candice Odgers, in the department of psychology.

Learning centre staff win awards
Staff in the learning and instructional development centre (LIDC) recently brought home two awards. Photographer Greg Ehlers and interactive designer Nancy Bourassa's newspaper display ad promoting SFU Clan basketball was among three finalists to win an award from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators in the U.S. The LIDC media production group's Virtual Museum of Canada project, Journey to a New Land, was chosen as a third-place winner in the education category of the Vidfest 2005 interactive design competition. Vidfest is the largest digital content event of its kind in Canada and a major event internationally. Winners in other categories included the CBC, and top ad agencies. The group was led by designer Ivana Filipovic.

Vancouver turns to dialogue program
When Vancouver was looking for community input to help shape its drug-abuse prevention strategy report, it turned to Simon Fraser University continuing studies' dialogue programs. The result was a series of 50 community dialogue sessions. “These community dialogues, facilitated by community members themselves, created an opportunity for meaningful participation in policy formation,” says Joanna Ashworth, dialogue programs director.

Most Vancouver citizens are aware of the mayor's four pillars coalition and its harm-reduction strategy for drug addiction. What's less well known is SFU's role in the development of the long-range plan. Continuing studies' city program co-hosted a session exploring how the coalition and community organizations could address issues of public awareness, education, urban safety and drug treatment and build community partnerships. A community symposium at the Morris J. Wosk centre for dialogue started the process of developing the new strategy. A new drug issue - crystal meth - is prompting new drug policy. The inaugural meeting of the Western Canadian Summit on Methamphetamine at the Wosk centre produced a 48-page report on the agreement reached by the summit. The report provides a framework for drug policy, says Ashworth.

Imagination conference set for July
Can a cartoon help students understand a complex math concept? How does imagination help those who struggle with computer literacy? Are the pressures of grade point averages and post-secondary education diminishing the creative potential of students? Scholars, students and educational practitioners from more than 22 countries are gathering at the Engaging the Imagination in Teaching and Learning conference to discuss these topics and more. The event is presented by the Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG) and sponsored by the SFU faculty of education.

The aim of the conference is to share information about the roles of imagination in education. IERG was created to help implement a wave of change in the practice of education. “We have the modest aim of transforming the experience of schooling for every child, making learning more imaginatively engaging and meaningful,” says Kieran Egan, IERG's founder. The conference takes place in Vancouver from July 13-16. For more information, go to

Preparing for emergencies
When Colin Yerbury, dean of continuing studies, read Time to prepare for emergencies, a Dec. 2, 2004 article in SFU News, he couldn't help but notice the line, “At the office, everyone should have a grab-and-go kit.”

With safety and well-being of staff always a high priority, he immediately took action, called the SFU bookstore and ordered 100 kits, one for each continuing studies staff member's desk. Additional kits for home or car can be purchased through the SFU bookstore for $34.17.

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