Simon Fraser University

Art, autism, mental health

October 6, 2008
The art of Iran
SFU Contemporary Arts professor Laura Marks and MFA grad student Natalie Sorenson will share highlights from their recent research trip to Iran at a free public presentation Friday, Oct. 10 from 3-4:30 p.m. in AQ 3154 at SFU’s Burnaby campus. The two women traveled to Tehran, Isfahan, and Yazd to explore the roots of traditional, highly decorative Islamic art. Part academic lecture, part travelogue, the talk will include a slide show and will touch on “art, the kindness of people, food, shopping, wearing hijab, and lived religion,” says Marks.

Laura Marks, 778.782.3238;

Casting a net on autism research
How will advances in the field of autism research affect children and adults with autism and their families in B.C.? Professor Katherine Loveland, director of the Centre for Human Development Research at the University of Texas, will share her vision for a collaborative network in B.C., during a public address on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. at SFU’s Vancouver campus at Harbour Centre. Meanwhile SFU psychology professor Grace Iarocci, whose studies autism, can provide some insight into research developments. Earlier this year SFU announced the creation of a new chair in autism intervention research, which is expected to play a major role in a national research strategy.

(To arrange interviews) Jeni Koumoutsakis, 778.782.3250;

World mental health day
Friday, Oct. 10 is world mental health day, a day to raise awareness that mental health remains one of the biggest health issues in Canada and globally. SFU experts who can look at issues related to mental health include:
  • Elliot Goldner, 778.782.5027;, chair of the advisory committee on science to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and a professor at the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addictions (CARMHA) at SFU. Goldner is a health scientist and psychiatrist with more than 20 years of experience in mental health and addiction services and policy.
  • David Cox, 778.782.6667;, Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology; research areas include cognitive-behaviour therapy, health psychology and sports psychology (is away after Oct. 9).
  • Kevin Douglas, 778.782.3123;, associate professor of psychology who specializes in risk factors for violence, and the relationship between mental disorder and violence, suicide-related behavior, and victimization.
  • Joti Samra, 778.782.5263, 778.772.7560 (cell);, adjunct professor and scientist with CARMHA, she can provide comment on seasonal depression and stress.

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