issues and experts

Funding bereavement, shining students

March 29, 2012

Running for bereavement and Maple
The Simon Fraser University Hummingbirds will carry the memory of Maple Batalia in their hearts as they run to raise money for the B.C. Victims of Homicide Initiative (BVOH) in Vancouver on June 24. Maple, an SFU student, was tragically shot and killed in Surrey last fall.

Comprised of Brenda Morrison, an SFU assistant professor of criminology, her restorative justice students and people connected to SFU — the Hummingbirds are among several teams raising money for the BVOH in the June 24th Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge.

On Monday, April 2 at 12:30 p.m. in the Saywell Hall atrium at SFU Burnaby, the Hummingbirds will host an awareness-raising event to raise pledges for their summer run. The group hopes to double the $25,000 they raised and quadruple the number of team runners they attracted last year.

Morrison can explain how the Hummingbirds’ efforts last year helped launch the BCVOH. The two eight-week homicide-bereavement support workshops, monthly drop-in groups, conferences and a helpline have benefitted approximately 300 survivors of homicide victims in the last year.

Brenda Morrison, 778.668.1827 (cell), 778.782.7627,, (Bowen Island resident)

SFU science students shine
The prestigious journal Science will highlight, in an upcoming issue, the names of three SFU students who authored two winning posters at the world’s largest science fair in Vancouver.

While biology students Benjamin Sandkam and Corey Watson snagged the title of best poster in the environmental and ecology category, physics student Laleh Samii secured the honour in the physical science category.

Their entries were among 190 posters on display at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference, which drew thousands of international scientists to the Vancouver Convention Centre in February.

Felix Breden, biology department chair, and Claire Cupples, science faculty dean, can comment on the significance of SFU’s success at such a high profile science gathering. SFU’s two winning posters were among seven entries from the university and 190 submitted by all entrants. “Even given the home court advantage,” says Breden, “it must be incredibly rare that two of the best student posters would come from the same institution.”

Felix Breden, 778.782.5647,
Claire Cupples, 778.782.3771,
Benjamin Sandkam, 778.782.5641,, Burnaby resident. Corey’s and his poster highlighted why guppies have much better colour vision than humans.
Laleh Samii, 778.782.6595,, Burnaby resident. Laleh’s poster showcased her development of experimental and numerical models for designing and constructing nanoscale molecular machines.

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