Wendy Strachan, director of SFU’s Centre for Writing- Intensive Learning. Photo by Carol Thorbes

Prestigious Invitation

We’re the first Canadian university invited to participate in Cornell University’s writing for the disciplines consortium. A maximum of 10 universities and colleges annually are invited to collectively study discipline-based approaches to teaching writing and to using writing to enhance learning. SFU’s invitation comes because of the Centre for Writing-Intensive Learning, which is positioned to help implement the university’s new writing requirements.

Photo courtesy Erika Glandon

Dirty Laundry Spins Success

Business student Erika Glandon and partner Teresa Findlay have the hottest T-shirt line around: their hand-stitched Dirty Laundry shirts adorn actress Halle Berry and other glitterati. The pair have been interviewed by everyone from the New York Times to the Village Voice and are looking at both shoe and linen lines.

Mike Thewalt will analyze the spectrum of light emitted by synthetically manipulated silicon. Photo by Carol Thorbes.

Silicon Star

Physicist Mike Thewalt wins a prestigious 2004 Killam research fellowship, a Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) Medal of Achievement, and a CAP Brockhouse Medal to go with last year’s five-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Thewalt is redefining the limits of semiconductor spectroscopy, using isototopically pure silicon. The research is expected to set revolutionary new standards for semiconductor spectroscopy.

Surrey Site

SFU will open a new permanent Surrey campus in September next year in Central City, an award-winning complex at 102 Avenue near the Surrey Central SkyTrain station. The university is expected to eventually take over 322,000 square feet to accommodate more than 2,500 students by 2010. There are about 800 graduate and undergraduate students at the current temporary Surrey site in the Central City Mall. <>.

Detail from wide-ranging mural of British Columbia’s history including representation of First Nations’ art.

Hanging Out

Overlooking the academic quadrangle are Chief Maquinna, Captain James Cook, Emily Carr, and others. All are in Charles Comfort’s huge mural B.C. Pageant, which once hung in the Toronto-Dominion Bank at Granville and Pender in Vancouver. The $600,000 mural takes its new place at SFU after more than a year of cleaning and restoration.

Restauration expert painstakingly works on the mural.
Illustration by Rod Filbrandt

Soccer Score

A world-class soccer training facility at SFU will be home to the Vancouver Whitecaps and the national soccer teams. The $4-million permanent training camp will include two artificial turf fields with light and fencing, and future plans call for two additional fields, a clubhouse, coaches’ offices, and change rooms. Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot is donating the money for the facility.

Photo by Carol Thorbes

Science and Technology

The ceremonial first shovel is lifted for the new $23-million science and technology complex. It will accommodate an additional 500 full-time students and will help the university play a pivotal role in rebuilding the leading-edge, high-technology sector in B.C.

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s (Almost) 40

Yes, SFU will be 40 in 2005. Plans are already well underway for a series of events to celebrate the occasion. Tim Kelley will co-ordinate activities, with the support of Moyna Gick, who has worked as
executive assistant to several SFU presidents.

India Agreements/Chinese Campus

President Michael Stevenson inks memoranda of understanding with three key Indian universities – Punjab University in Chandigarh, Jawaharial Nehru University in New Delhi, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in Chennai. SFU also announces plans to open a satellite campus in China to serve both Chinese and Canadian students. Students will spend two to three years in China and then finish their studies at the Burnaby campus.

Illustration by Rod Filbrandt

e-shopping expert

An international SFU study shows online shoppers from different parts of the world respond differently to web-site design. Dianne Cyr, professor in the faculty of business and the school of interactive arts and technology, finds the Japanese like bright colours and warm images, Germans prefer darker colours and consider bright colours and animation unprofessional, and Americans want less detailed product information.

Illustration by Rod Filbrandt

Facing up to email

Computer scientist Steve DiPaola is trying to make computers more human. He and his colleagues are developing a program that will allow email users to create a computer-generated likeness that will speak using the user’s voice and convey expressions that coincide with the message. DiPaola says that soon – maybe within a year – we’ll be able to send emails this new way.

Illustration by Rod Filbrandt


Engineering science students Matt Brown, Hani Mehrpouyan, and Chris Mitchell have invented a device to stop your laptop from being stolen. If you step away from your laptop and someone moves it, the palm-held end of the theft-prevention device lets you know so you can either disarm the siren or rescue the computer.

Photo by Diane Luckow. Left to right: Avin Wadhwani , Vishal Raniga, Masud Chand, and Majid Ghorbani.

Info Specialists

MBA students Masud Chand, Avin Wadhwani , Majid Ghorbani, and Vishal Raniga take top honours in the first ever graduate-level case competition sponsored by the Chief Information Officers Association of B.C. The specialist MBA team beat out seven others.

Very Special Collections

The library’s special collections department adds material from a number of literary lights. New this year are the papers and B.C. book collection of Alan Twigg, founder of BC BookWorld, along with papers of poet and writer Norm Sibum, literary and architectural writer Lisa Robertson, and Caroline Adderson, twice-winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Photo by Marianne Meadahl. Andrew Blaber and his environmental physiology unit could soon have a new role in furthering space exploration.

On the Red Planet

The kinesiology department’s environmental physiology unit can now attain the atmospheric pressure found on Mars. It’s the only Canadian university to house such a facility, which will allow for testing Mars suits and related hardware. Andrew Blaber and his team in the Aerospace Physiology Laboratory are currently looking at the effects of long periods of weightlessness on human physiology in astronauts returning from space.

Photo by Carol Thorbes

Bear Mother and Dog Fish Woman

Allan and Faigie Waisman donate two Bill Reid plaster busts to the university. The busts are several feet tall and are of the Haida mythical creatures Bear Mother and Dog Fish Woman. Reid made the moulds as part of his Jade Canoe sculpture that sits at the entrance to Vancouver’s International Airport. SFU’s pieces are on the 3,000 level of the academic quadrangle in front of the Robert Brown hall.

We're Tops (Again)

For the sixth time in eight years the Clan wins the United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup, emblematic of the top university athletics program in the NAIA. Championships are won in women’s and men’s swimming and diving and in women’s cross-country. SFU is the runner-up in women’s indoor track and field and softball and places in the top 10 at the NAIA National Championships in men’s cross-country, men’s indoor track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s wrestling.

James Delgado stands in front of the shipwrecked Peter Iredale. The underwater archaeologist is author or editor of 30 books. Photo by Darryl Leniuk/ Courtesy Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Archaeology at Sea

Archaeology PhD candidate James Delgado (see aq, April ’04) is awarded the 2003 Naval History Author of the Year award by the U.S. Naval Institute. Delgado is recognized for “his significant contribution to uncovering the great historic secrets of the sea.” Delgado is also director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum and co-host of National Geographic TV’s The Sea Hunters.