SFU People in the News

April 26, 2012

Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations (PAMR).
This edition is a daily roundup that lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Wednesday April 25 to 9 a.m. today, Thursday April 26.
Media Matters now has a new editor, co-op student Adam Ovenell-Carter (SFU Communication). You can reach him by e-mail at:

Business/Sustainability | Employment | Art | Police | Crime | Athletics


  • SFU Surrey hosted its Opportunity Fest two weeks ago, and Peace Arch News caught up with the people behind one of the winning entries. Five students created the project, which reuses old rice bags and umbrellas as backpacks and earned top spot in the sustainability category.
    “We wanted to create something simple but totally practical, and help Vancouver reach its goal of becoming a greener city,” said team member Cindy Chen.
    Full story:


  • Student Leo Aitken-Mundhenk and Tony Botelho, career-services manager at SFU, were featured in a Georgia Straight story about how to get student jobs.
    After completing a major in SFU Communication, Aitken-Mundhenk had hoped to earn a spot in UBC’s master program in occupational therapy. He was unsuccessful, and now is forced to find work just to pay the bills.
    “Hopefully, I can find something that’s related to occupational therapy,” he said, “but if not, I’ll probably just try and get one or two odd jobs to push me through to the next application date.”
    Botelho, who works closely with students like Aitken-Mundhenk, is not shy about offering up advice to students in these situations.
    “Basically, the main advice we have for students this summer, as we do at all points, is to be open-minded in terms of the types of opportunities you look for,” Botelho said.
    “We also generally use it as a time to remind students that they could be looking at opportunities throughout the year . . . The earlier for university students, in a four- or five-year program, the earlier you start getting experience and exposure to the types of opportunities that you think you might be interested in . . . the better it is.”
    Full story:


  • Judy Radul was featured in a Vancouver Sun article in light of her upcoming exhibition at the Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver. Radul, who is on leave as head of the SFU’s MFA program at the School for the Contemporary Arts, is constantly wary of telling people what her art is about. She says that doing so limits the audience’s own experience of her work.
    This is especially noticeable in her most recent exhibit. One of the most striking features of her work is that it features an object, that is usually partially obscured, leaving it open to interpretation.
    "I'm thinking of those things," she said in an interview in the gallery. "One of the ways I try to figure out how to talk about a work is that my activity as an artist is not to take things and inject meaning into them. It's not that I'm not doing my job or don't know what I'm doing. I'm helping these things to exist and we'll figure it out."
    The show runs this Friday, April 27 to Saturday, June 9 at the Catriona Jeffries Gallery, located at 274 East 1st Ave, Vancouver.
    Full story:


  • SFU criminologist Neil Boyd was quoted in a story about the public’s declining faith in the police. The story, featured in the Vancouver Sun, states that Canadian’s faith in the police system has plummeted by more than 50 per cent is the past 15 years (according to an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll).
    Boyd cited a series of RCMP failures in B.C., such as the ongoing Robert Pickton case, the Tasering of Robert Dziekanski, and others, for the collapse in public faith. Moreover, Boyd said the RCMP's troubles may have influenced the rating of other municipal and regional forces across Canada.
    "Revelations about the conduct of police officers, especially in British Columbia, have given the RCMP a black eye," Boyd said.
    Full story:
  • The Justice Ministry of B.C. is attempting to set up a new, 10-year policing plan that would get the public more engaged, as reported in the Victoria Times Colonist. One facet of this is a soon-to-be-launched blog that would allow the public to voice its opinions on policing.
    SFU Criminologist Robert Gordon called the strategy a “farce,” saying it was no more than a way for the government to appear interested in the public’s opinion. "The answer is not this kind of half-witted, half-baked attempt to consult online with people, but instead to bite the bullet and strike a blue-ribbon committee - a fully independent body that is going to examine the structure and organization of policing in this province," said Gordon.
    British Columbians have the least faith in the police according to the same Angus Reid Opinion Poll, with only 27 per cent having faith in the RCMP. Gordon added that the government seems completely tuned out to that lack of confidence.
    Full story:
  • Meanwhile, for the fourth year in a row, the Vancouver Police Department has come in over their major crime budget, as reported by the Vancouver Courier. The VPD did come in on budget overall, and attributed the four-year streak of overspending to “major events in the community beyond management’s direct control.”
    One such event was the murder of Simon Fraser University professor Melanie O'Neill.
    (O’Neill, a chemistry professor, was found dead in her Vancouver home in July 2011. Eight months later, in March this year, Matthew “Mack” James Scott, 25, was charged with second-degree murder. Police said he and O‘Neill had had an on-again, off-again relationship.)
    Full story:


  • Mission RCMP Inspector Richard Kanarski, an SFU criminology PhD candidate, spoke to Rick Cluff of CBC's Early Edition about his research into domestic violence and about changes to support services for victims of domestic violence in Mission.
    Kanarski said that most instances of domestic violence go unreported, most often because the abused party has become so jaded to the violence.
    “The biggest challenge [in investigating domestic violence], is victims are constantly saying ‘does this work for me and does this meet my needs’”, said Kanarski. With the breadwinner of the family often being the abuser, there is potential that the victim’s livelihood could be taken away should their abuser end up in jail.
    “That’s the reason to have a dedicated investigator, because its not the person alone, we expect the investigator to work collaboratively with all these other service providers, [such as] victim’s services, community corrections, ministry of Children and Families . . . what we find is when we have these wraparound services, we have pretty positive outcomes.”
    CBC audio:



  • Lauren Mew of the SFU Clan softball team has been named to the NCAA’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) All-Academic team. The Business Administration major has maintained a 3.39 GPA while shining on the diamond; this her second straight year earning the honour.
    The Clan plays its final home game of the year today (Thursday, April 26), as it hosts the Western Oregon University Wolves at noon. The match will be the final home game for four seniors, Kelsey Haberl, Megan Durrant, Brittany Ribeiro and Leah Riske.
    The Clan will then head to Billings, MT to face the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets on Saturday (April 28).
    Clan news release:
  • The Province featured SFU’s “softball sisters”, catcher Ribeiro and first baseman Haberl.
    They were born on the same day in the same hospital, and have been side by side ever since. Now, as they graduate the program together, head coach Mike Renney sings their praises.
    "‘Kelsey has put up some incredible offensive numbers and she's going to graduate in the top five of some of our all-time leaders,’ said Renney of Haberl, who leads the GNAC with .473 hitting percentage. “But that has overshadowed her defensive play. She is as good as they come at first base.”
    On Ribeiro: “She toiled for a while as our back-up catcher, and in the 2010 national championships she didn't see one inning of action or one at-bat,’ remembers Renney. ‘But she did a great job of getting our pitchers ready in the bullpen. She didn't complain but I know she was contemplating her role. I told her how remarkably different it was going to be when she became the prime-time catcher and she hasn't looked back since. She has been the heart and soul of our defence.’"
    Full story:
  • The Richmond Review told readers how Richmond’s Durrant “played a prominent role in a homecoming Tuesday as the Simon Fraser University Clan edged University of B.C. Thunderbirds 6-5 in women's softball at Richmond's London Park.
    “Durrant walked and scored on a two-out double by Carly Lepoutre in the first inning and led off the seventh with a solo home run that tied the game, setting the stage for teammate Sammie Olexa's winning score on a wild pitch and infield grounder.”
    Full story:
    Clan news release (April 24):


  • Clan golfer Michael Belle was been named to the NCAA’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) all-conference second team.
    Belle recently turned in the Clan’s top performance at the GNAC Championship tournament in Coeur d’Alene ID where he finished in ninth place.
    This past year, he was named the GNAC Golfer of the Week twice after strong performances at the Cal State San Marcos Fall Classic in November and the Cavalier Classic in March. He also finished seventh in the GNAC with a season scoring average of 74.4 after playing in seven events.
    Clan news release:


  • The Clan track and field team took the Achilles Cup for the third year in a row by defeating the University of BC Thunderbirds in a meet on Tuesday (April 24) in Vancouver. The Clan took the women’s competition 60.5-43.5, the men’s competition 52.5-51.5 and took the team score, 118-101.
    The SFU men’s and women’s track and field teams will be back in action at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto CA on Sunday (April 29).
    Clan news release:




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