Jul 10, 2003

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New SFU homepage launched
After six months of work and consultation between the three SFU campuses, a new version of the SFU homepage is being launched the week of July 7. The redesigned site has addressed issues of download time and disability access, and has created a new structure to address the issue of increasing the amount of information available from the front page. Feedback was sought and incorporated in June, and the team is still seeking feedback now that the site is live so they can continue refining it during the summer. Check out a link to feedback under important news on the new site to provide input.

Library wins achievement award
For the second time in five years, SFU library is the recipient of the innovation achievement award from the Canadian Association of Colleges and University Libraries. The award recognizes a new, user-friendly software program, Citation Manager, which saves research time by allowing users to directly capture journal article citations from SFU databases and transfer them into a personal database they can access online. Developed by SFU library programmer Todd Holbrook, the open source software also permits the user to export citations into reference management software such as EndNote.

Lear receives Smith award
SFU kinesiology assistant professor Scott Lear is one of 29 recipients nationally of a 2003 career award from the Michael Smith foundation for health research, a provincially funded health research coalition. Lear received $80,000 annually over 33 months to study the differential distribution of body fat in men and women of Aboriginal, Chinese, European and South Asian descent. He has also been awarded a $75,000 establishment grant. Four SFU researchers picked up trainee awards ($22,500 renewable award) and another three were awarded postdoctoral fellowships ($35,000 renewable award plus $4,000 research/travel allowance).

The trainee award recipients are molecular biology and biochemistry grad students William Hsiao, Moe Mahjoub, Marinieve Montero and psychology grad Timothy Racine. The recipients of postdoctoral fellowships are Francisco Cayabyab in kinesiology, Karsten Hokamp in molecular biology and biochemistry and Colleen Reid in geography and the institute of health research and education. Michael Smith awards aim to keep health-related researchers in B.C. and attract new ones.

SIMON says goodbye
SFU staff who schedule classes and instructors on computer for the spring semester will officially say, “Goodbye SIMON. Hello PeopleSoft,” by the end of this month. Staff will go live with scheduling on PeopleSoft, the web-based information management system replacing SFU's increasingly obsolete SIMON, after they've received one day of training on inputting data. Ninety people will undergo intensive training beginning July 15, followed by special lab sessions at which trainers will supervise their official entry of spring schedules on PeopleSoft. At the end of July, about 200 staff are expected to attend workshops enabling them to preview PeopleSoft's self-serve capabilities for students via the internet (e.g., paying tuition, viewing grades).

In August and September, there'll be special training for student advisors who will need to access student transcripts and information on PeopleSoft to answer enrolment questions. There will be demos for students closer to the final switch over. All functions on SIMON are due to be switched to PeopleSoft by Oct. 15.

Exchange program accepting applications
SFU international is now accepting applications for its staff mobility initiative (SMI), a new program that supports staff exchanges and/or attachments to partner universities around the world. SMI aims to advance the on-going internationalization of the university by enhancing the quality of service to and programs for SFU's diverse student population - especially international students. SFU international director Randall Martin says SFU has in the past “benefited greatly from the visits of staff members from partner institutions such as the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Thammasat University in Bangkok, and Strathclyde University in Glasgow.”

Martin says the short-term SMI placements (funded to a maximum of $5,000 each) will be of particular interest to mid-level managers and those involved in programming and services to students, but permanent staff at all levels will be considered. For more information about the program, or to receive an application form, contact SFU international at 604-291-4232 or visit Application deadlines are Sept. 20 and Jan. 20, 2004.

Stegemann wins environment award
Undergraduate geography student Andrew Stegemann is the first winner of a new student environment award offered jointly by Statistics Canada and the environment and resources study group of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG). The award is presented for the best undergraduate student paper on human impacts on the Canadian environment. Stegemann won for a paper examining the environmental impacts fish farming on the Pacific Coast. Stegemann received a certificate, a letter of commendation and a $750 subsidy for travel and expenses to attend a CAG conference where he presented his winning paper.

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