Piping Hot

SFU Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee (above) wins the Silver Star in piping for ceol beag (light music) in Scotland's 200-year-old Northern Meeting piping contest at Inverness. It's the fourth win for Lee and it comes 30 years to the day after his first win in the event. He also comes second for piobaireachd (classical long pieces), a prize he's won twice before. The SFU Pipe Band, second in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, is preparing for a concert and CD recording at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in May to wrap up its 30th anniversary.

Health Help in Canada

Specialized health care that is usually only available in urban areas will soon be available to those in remote communities. Scott Lear, SFU kinesiologist and one of Canada's leading cardiovascular disease researchers, is developing websites to help individuals manage chronic diseases at home and outside metropolitan areas. The program will involve 180 patients suffering from heart, kidney, and liver disease, as well as diabetes.

Arthur Robson's project is the Biological Basis of Economic Behaviour.

Guggenheim Winner

Arthur Robson, Canada Research Chair in Economic Theory and Evolution, receives a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for a 12-month period starting in January 2012. The prestigious award goes "to men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Robson is the fifth SFU faculty member to receive it. Others are Ralph Maud (English, 1966), Geoffrey Bursull-Hall (Linguistics, 1972), Brian Newton (Linguistics, 1974), and Paul Delany (English, 1976).

Youth Violence

Robert McMahon, an internationally renowned child psychologist, is chair of a new SFU program designed to investigate ways to prevent and reduce violence among young people. The new $5 million B.C. Leadership Chair in Proactive Approaches to Reducing Risk for Violence Among Children and Youth is the first of its kind in the province. The endowment includes $2.25 million from the provincial government's Leading Edge Endowment Fund with matching funds from SFU.

Top 40 Under 40

Chemist David Vocadlo is one of the Globe and Mail's  Top 40 Under 40. His current research focuses on understanding processes that could lead to new treatments for serious diseases including Alzheimer's and bacterial infections. He is also one of six recipients of a prestigious E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which recognizes outstanding contributions to science in Canada.

Tainted Shellfish?

We are getting too much cadmium in our shellfish, according to Leah Bendell, an SFU specialist in ecotoxicology. In a paper published in the journal Toxicology Letters, Bendell says Ottawa cannot continue to ignore the health threats, including potential kidney and bone problems, from naturally occurring cadmium in shellfish. She says consumers must be made aware of the issue.

Generous Gift

The Bill Reid Foundation gives its entire collection of northwest coast art to SFU. The collection, worth more than $10 million, consists of 158 works (including 112 masterworks by Bill Reid). In return SFU will contract with the Bill Reid Foundation to continue to manage the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art at 639 Hornby Street in Vancouver.

Mythic Messengers, 1984; bronze frieze, 8.5 m long x 1.2 m x 45.7 cm
Bill Reid: Wolf Pendant, 1976; 22k gold, haliotis shell inlay, lost wax technique

Philanthropist Michael Audain donates a further $1 million to sustain the gallery and enhance programming in northwest coast art studies. The collection will remain intact and available to the public.
The gallery, which opened in 2008, showcases Reid's art and provides a space where scholars, artists, and the public can interact through exhibits, performances, and presentations. <www.billreidgallery.ca>

Check!

MBA student Maxim Doroshenko ties for top billing with 10-time tournament champion Georgi Orlov in the 2011 Paul Keres Memorial Chess Tournament's open section. He is studying strategy, marketing, and management at SFU's Beedie School of Business and combines charitable work and business networking with playing chess whenever possible.

Star Turn

SFU English student Seth Lochhead turns a Vancouver Film School assignment into a multi-million-dollar action movie. Hannah, starring Cate Blanchett, Soarise Ronan, and Eric Bana plays to packed houses around the world.

Surrey Stars

Three students and two alumni are chosen as Surrey's most promising youths, potential "leaders of tomorrow." The students are Kyle Krystalowich, head of SFU Surrey's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE); Ben Brown-Bentley, the Surrey Board of Trade's 2010 entrepreneur of the year; and Paul Hillsdon, a public policy researcher who ran as an independent candidate in the Surrey civic election in 2008. Alumni are Ashish Gurung, former SIFE president and co-founder of social media site QuikPiq (see Alumni Watching), and Glen Chua, of GlenChua.com, who runs the Surrey Film Festival.

Left to right: Daniel Chiang, Linda Zhang, Suraaj Aulakh, Kelly Kim, Cindy Li, and Charles Stevens

Scientist best in business

Suraaj Aulakh, a grad student in molecular biology and biochemistry (MBB), takes home first prize in the SFU Business Concept Competition. Her concept was for LabTricks.com, an educational website that posts videos aimed at making the transition from course work to lab work easier. The site was founded by Aulakh and other MBB students Daniel Chiang, Charles Stevens, Kelly Kim, Cindy Li, and Linda Zhang.

New Interdisciplinary Institute

The SFU Institute for Values in Policy and Science will bring together experts to discuss how ethics can help communities and governments make better decisions. Public lectures in 2011–2012 will focus on the ethical implications of climate change, while the 2012 – 2013 series will take on the impact of technology on personal privacy. Follow the institute on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ViPS.SFU.

No Sex Please, We're Stick Bugs

SFU biologist Bernard Crespi and an international team have discovered a stick insect species that appears to have been reproducing without sex for 1.5 million years. The results, which appear in Current Biology, say the Timema tahoe stick insect reproduces by cloning. Crespi and Tanja Schwander, a former post-doctoral researcher in Crespi's lab, say the insect's survival is likely a combination of genetic and ecological processes.

Tuna Trouble

Next time you eat that delicious tuna sushi or steak, realize it may be endangered from overfishing. A study by Nicholas Dulvy, Canada Research Chair in Marine Biodiversity, and other SFU researchers determines that five of eight tuna species are at risk of extinction worldwide. Pacific albacore, a prized west coast catch, is not at risk, although Atlantic bluefish is.

Health Help Internationally

Kate Tairyan (above) is extending health education to people in developing countries by creating a free online university to train health care workers. The Faculty of Health Sciences public health specialist is chosen as a Canadian Rising Star in Global Health and receives $100,000 to fund her idea to improve public health. Students enrolled in the free university will take courses online or, in locations without Internet access, use CD-ROMs or USB drives. Local mentors will provide instruction and guide students through practicums.

B.C. Book Prizes

Stephen Collis (above), associate professor of English, wins the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for On the Material, a meditation on language, geography, and socio-economics. Collis is also this year's Shadbolt fellow; he'll use his winnings to finance a new book entitled A History of Change. English professor emeritus George Bowering wins the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. Gurjinder Basran, who took a creative writing course through SFU, wins the B.C. Book Prize for fiction for her first novel, Everything Was Good-Bye.

Renaissance for Students

Parminder (above) and Kamaljit Parhar have set up the Parminder Parhar Endowment Trust Fund to acknowledge and support students. The popular owners of three Renaissance Cafes on the Burnaby campus will match donations dollar to dollar.
To donate, email wdekleva@sfu.ca, or call 778-782-3093.

 

Trudeau Scholars

Two SFU doctoral students receive prestigious $180,000 Trudeau scholarships. Alana Gerecke (English) is examining whether site-based dance in public places can help stimulate urban regeneration in North America, while Brent Loken (Resource and Environmental Management) is looking at the resilience and sustainability of socio-ecological systems in Borneo, including the Wehea Forest, which is home to one of the last intact orangutan populations in the region.

Column Art of Jack Lee by Marianne Meadahl/PAMR, Scientists Courtesy SFU NEWS/PAMR, Aurthur Robson by Diane Luckow/SFU NEWS/PAMR, Stick Bug by Ken-Ichi @ flickr.com Kate Taryan by Diane Luckow/PAMR, Oysters from istock.com Stephen Collis by Lawrence Schwartzwald, Gallery Exterior by effordphotography.com Mythic Messengers, Photo: Kenji Nagai, Wolf Pendant, Photo: Kenji Nagai, Chess Peice from istock.com Parminder courtesy SFU NEWS/PAMR