Outstanding Alumni Awards

This year’s awards go to: (standing) Mark Jaccard (BA’78, MRM’84), SFU professor who is known as one of Canada’s top energy economists; (seated, left to right) cardiologist David Granville (BSc’95), associate professor and Canada Research Chair, St. Paul’s Hospital-UBC, who is on a mission to fight heart disease; Alison Lawton (MA’06), executive director of Mindset Media, who is raising $25 million to combat HIV/AIDS in the developing world; and Elaine Gallagher (PhD’88), professor and director of the Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria, a renowned leader in gerontology.

From Book to Movie

First Ryan Knighton (BA’95, MA’98) wrote Cockeyed, a memoir about going blind. Now he’s at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in Utah writing a draft script based on the book.

Top 40 Under 40

SFU alumni score big once again in the annual Business in Vancouver list: Shawn NeuMAnn (BA’96), owner and founder, DoMAin7 Solutions Inc.; Andreas Abele (BA’98, MALS’06), chief operating officer, Disc Go Technologies; Sherry Tryssenaar (BBA’92), chief financial officer, QuestAir Technologies Inc.; Sean O’Reilly (BSc’97), principal, Arcana Comics and Arcana Studios; Darren Latoski (MBA’97), president and chief executive officer, Sunstone Realty Advisors; and Davis Yung (BBA’92), president, Fresh Direct Produce Ltd.

Playhouse Player

Max Reimer (BA’80) takes over this summer as the new artistic MAnaging director of the Playhouse Theatre. It’s a challenging job as the Playhouse plans to move into new offices on First Avenue in Vancouver, across from the Olympic athletes’ village in 2010.

Parks Chief

Dave Ellenwood (BA’86, MA’92) is Burnaby’s new director of parks, recreation and cultural services. He has a strong sports background having played on the SFU soccer team and taken part in the senior men’s national team program.

Spanish-Singing Scientist

Researcher Genny Trigo (MSc’92) is gaining a name singing the songs of her native Chile and neighbouring countries. Her indie album, Serenata Criolla Serenade, celebrates a long tradition of South American singer-songwriters.

Robyn Matthew MPub’07

Word nerd Robyn Matthew (MPub ’07) contributes new Canadian words to the HarperCollins dictionary team. Now she shares the secrets of successfully learning any foreign language in her self-published Language Logic: Practical and Effective Techniques to Learn Any Foreign Language.


Joe Finamore (BBA'83) receives the title Cavaliere for the Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (knighted with the Star of Italian Solidarity) from the Italian government. Finamore is long-time president of the Italian Cultural Centre.

Surfer-Sprinter Switches to Snow

One-time surfer and SFU sprinter Justin Kripps lands a coveted spot as brakeman on an Olympics-bound bobsled team. Kripps was born in Hawaii and still takes out his board when he goes back to visit his parents, but hasn’t tried surfing in B.C. because, he says, “I can’t handle the cold water. I just can’t cut it.” But the snow is ok.

Halls of Fame

Olympic gold medalist Daniel Igali (BA'01) is inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Igali is a master’s student in criminology and continues to oversee the logistics of operating a new school built in his home village of Eniwari, Nigeria. He joins other hall-of-famers Terry Fox and swimmer Bruce Robertson (BGS’77).

Former basketball coach Stan Stewardson and former basketball player Alex Devlin (BBA'95) are inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame. They join Igali, former women’s basketball coach Alison McNeill, wresting coach Mike Jones, and assistant wrestling coach Justin Abdou (BBA'95).

Big Bucks for Big Banks

Lance Uggla (BBA'85) heads Markit, London’s fasted-growing financial services firm. It’s owned by 16 of the world’s biggest investment banks, has more than 500 employees, and is expected to be worth $3 billion to $5 billion in the next two to three years. Uggla’s eight percent share of the company is currently estimated to be worth $240 million.

Chicken Clue

Archaeologist Alice Storey (BA'01, MA'04) discovers that a chicken bone from Chile’s Pacific coast pre-dates European contact. It’s the most tangible evidence yet that Polynesians landed in the New World long before Columbus.Storey is pursuing a phd at the University of Auckland.

Raymond Massey BBA’83

Supervising producer Raymond Massey (right) on the set of Personal Effects with director of photography Elliot Davis.

It’s SFU all the way in Personal Effects, a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher, and Kathy Bates. Much of the shooting took place on the Burnaby campus last fall with the central gym standing in for Ohio State University’s wrestling venue. Supervising producer is Raymond Massey (BBA’83), while assistant wrestling coach Justin Abdou (BBA’95) plays a referee, and 10 SFU varsity and alumni wrestlers are extras.


She’s just short of earning her degree in communications, but Angela Fong is off to communicate in another way. The former beauty princess (she was a finalist in both the Miss Molson Indy and Miss Hawaiian Tropic International competitions) and BC Lions cheerleader will strut her stuff with World Wrestling Entertainment doing full nelsons and flying clotheslines.

Art Work

Ken Lum (BGS'81) receives the second annual Hnatyshyn foundation visual arts award for outstanding achievement as an artist. He’s an international star with works showing in Vienna, Istanbul, Stockholm, and Turkey as well as all over North America. Lum is also one of the owners of hot Kitsilano restaurant Gastropod.

Bright Light

Joel Zylberberg (BSc'08) is the only Canadian winner of this year’s Fulbright international science and technology award for PhD study. Zylberberg, who graduates this spring, now has $180,000 over three years to study at the American university of his choice. He hopes to study experimental particle physics at the University of California-Berkley.

Write On

Gerda Wever-Rabehl (PhD'’02) sets up The Write Room Press, a small, independent publishing company. She focuses on non-fiction and academic manuscripts that have too small a run to be of interest to trade publishers. <>

Big Game

Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano (BA'82, PDP'87) becomes the first Canadian to coach an NBA game, taking the Raptors to a 109-91 win over the New Jersey Nets. Triano’s stellar career includes playing on and coaching the Canadian national team and being a member of the Canadian Olympic team.


It’s an obscure, mountainous state in northeastern India between Bangladesh and Burma, and the subject of a paper written by Kyle Jackson (BA'07). He visited the state and now he’s lobbying to get much-needed medical equipment for the region.

Nice Ice

Mike Blady (BSKIN'’07) keeps things smooth for the Vancouver Canucks as their newest Zamboni driver. It’s more than just driving the big thing – he has to learn calculus and the fourth law of thermodynamics to get his Class 4 Power Engineering certification. In case you didn’t know, ice care is competitive: the NHL ranks every rink after every game.

Mining Man

Butch Morningstar (MSc'88) is the new executive regional director for the B.C. Ministry of Mines. He’s responsible for vetting mining activity in a wide area.

Top Vet

Nick Nation (BSc'72) is the new president of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. He also owns and operates Animal Pathology Services Ltd., a specialty veterinary practice in Edmonton.

Top Eye Doc

Joel Naor (MBA'05) is new chief medical officer for California’s MacuSight, Inc., a developer of innovative therapeutics for the treatment of severe ocular diseases and conditions. He has also been director of clinical research at QLT, Inc., and senior medical director at Allergan, Inc.

Hanging Out With A Star

PR guy and former SFU student Steve Frost goes from promoting the late Vancouver Grizzlies to hosting an international media day in Barcelona with soccer star Ronaldinho. Frost, senior publicist with EA sports, was promoting Ronaldinho as the cover athlete of the new video game fifa Street 3.

Juno Nominee

Jazz musician Jodi Proznick (med’06) garners a Juno nomination in the best traditional jazz category for her album Foundations. She is also nominated for album of the year and bassist of the year at the National Jazz Awards.

Photograph of OAA winners by Greg Ehlers/lidc, Robyn Matthew by Diane Luckow/PAMR, Raymond Massey by Carol Thorbes/PAMR