Simon Fraser University

Backgrounder: Lynda Brown-Ganzert interview

Lynda Brown-Ganzert,
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035,

January 21, 2009
Question: Given your background and the current global interest in social networking, what do you hope to realize for SFU as a board of governors member?

Answer: I remain intensely interested in communities and the ways in which technology and digital media help to connect people in meaningful ways. I admire the way in which SFU has created a community, physically, within its geographic location and I think about how that feeling of connectedness extends beyond 'place'. As a member of the board, I hope to combine my business and governance skills with this passion for community to help expand SFU's reach and resonance with its many stakeholders.

Question: How important do you think social networking is to the promotion of university research achievements and recruitment/retention of students these days? Why?

Answer: Social networking, while a popular term these days, simply expands on long-established human communication patterns. The use of new tools is certainly helpful in supporting those patterns and is critical for any organization involved in creating community. I'm excited to lend what knowledge I have to help leverage these new tools to support students, research initiatives and community building.

Question: How do you feel about revisiting your Alma Mater as a provincial government board of governors’ appointee? Did you ever dream this would happen when you were an undergrad or graduate student at SFU?

Answer: In my undergraduate days, I was known as Two Beer Brown. As an elected student representative, I was passionate about raising funds for a new student building as I could see the value it would have for generations to come. My argument was that for the same cost as two beers that we, the student population at the time, could build a gathering place that would serve an entire community well into the future. The building was built, many students pitched in their two beers and almost twenty years later here I am. So, yes, in a way, I guess I did foresee some future with SFU and the need for a place to drink cheap beer!

Question: What made you choose SFU for both your undergrad and graduate studies?

Answer: The quality of what was then the School of Communications remains outstanding and I feel very fortunate to have chosen that path for my undergraduate degree. The flexibility provided to me for my graduate degree and the support to pursue the area of research I wanted to study were outstanding.

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