issues and experts

Giving, Gifting and Quarantining - SFU experts available for the holiday season

December 02, 2020

‘Tis the season for joy and cheer, despite a second pandemic wave and ongoing restrictions.

The following Simon Fraser University experts are available to speak on specific topics related to the season.

Keeping a list, checking it twice?

With the new COVID-19 restrictions in place, many shoppers are trying to avoid the malls and long lineups. Since the beginning of the pandemic, online shopping has surged and it isn’t slowing down. These virtual habits are likely to continue through the holiday season and into the New Year.

SFU Beedie School of Business associate professor Steve Kates is available to comment on online shopping habits, behavioural consumerism, consumer psychology and consumer culture.

Steve Kates, associate professor, business, 604.803.1964,

It’s a Blue Christmas

Expectations are high during this time of year, and for some, feeling isolated and alone is a common theme. Older adults are especially vulnerable to loneliness, leading to a higher risk of depression, especially when unable to see loved ones. Through internet connectivity, using video conferencing services can make the holidays a little less lonely.

SFU gerontology associate professor Theodore Cosco is available to speak on the ways to cope with social isolation and loneliness, the impact it can have on older adults and how to care for your mental health.

Theodore Cosco, assistant professor, gerontology,

SFU School of Interactive Arts & Technology professor Carman Neustaedter is also available to speak on family communication over long distances via video communication.

Carman Neustaedter, professor, School of Interactive Arts & Technology,

Wrap it Up

Whether giving or receiving, this year’s holiday gift exchange will no doubt look different. Despite spending the holidays apart from those outside our immediate households, there are still opportunities for social connection, happiness and selecting the best gifts for friends and relatives during the festive season.

SFU psychology associate professor Lara Aknin is available to speak on gift giving, social connection and happiness over the holiday break.

Lara Aknin, associate professor, psychology,

Giving back this Holiday Season

As the pandemic continues to alter this holiday season, giving back and helping those who in the need remains to be an important priority.

SFU Continuing Studies instructor and executive director of FoodShare Toronto, Canada's largest food security organization Paul Taylor is available to speak on food insecurity, the limitations of charity, and the interconnections between racism and food insecurity. 

Paul Taylor, instructor, continuing studies, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto,


Melissa Shaw, SFU Communications & Marketing

236.880.3297 |

About Simon Fraser University:

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.