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November 8, 2001 Names in the News





Concordia faculty, staff and alumni/æ pop up in the media more often than you might think!

Taiaiake Alfred, who was known as Gerald Alfred when he taught political science at Concordia in the 1990s, is now director of the indigenous governance program at the University of Victoria, in B.C. His recent book, Peace, Power, Righteousness, raised a few eyebrows, according to the Times-Colonist. Alfred, a former U.S. Marine from Kahnawake with a PhD from Cornell, is a strong advocate of native self-government, which he sees as “parallel, equal co-existence.” He believes that through traditional values, aboriginal people can resist assimilation and reclaim their full dignity. While aggression would be strategically foolish for such a small minority, he doesn’t rule out using arms in self-defense.

Corinne Mount Pleasant-Jetté (ENCS/Native Access to Engineering) was interviewed for an article in the current issue of University Affairs about efforts to increase aboriginal enrolment in engineering and science programs. She said that of 45,000 engineering students across Canada, only about 140 are aboriginal; statistics indicate that fewer than one per cent of native students are in science-related programs.

Lillian Robinson (Simone de Beauvoir) appeared on Réalités on Radio Centre-ville, and on a program on CIBL, Lueurs d’espoir. The principal of Concordia’s women’s studies college is an outspoken advocate for the state of Palestine.

Clarence Bayne (DIA/DSA, Decision Sciences) teaches forecasting as well as economics in the health-care, arts and culture sectors. He was quoted in an article on baby boomers and fitness that was picked up by a number of papers, including the Edmonton Journal. “As education has increased,” he said, “the population has become aware of preventative medicine. We’re living longer, and are relatively healthier and have developed ways of maintaining our health, so the need for leisure services will grow.”

Alex Sharma (TESL/Education) was interviewed by the Gazette and quoted in an article on Afghanistan and Islam in Southeast Asian politics in the paper’s review section. He told alumnus Ray Beauchemin that Afghanistan “is in many ways not a country. It is a gathering of tribes that have fought for centuries.”

Sandra D’Sylva (Public Relations), who handles requests from filmmakers, was interviewed for a lively article in University Affairs about movie shoots on university campuses. She noted that although these film shoots bring in revenue for scholarships, not all are accepted. One that was firmly nixed: Satan’s School for Girls, for which the filmmakers wanted use of the Loyola Chapel.

An intriguing vignette by journalism student Eilis Quinn on the mood in Moscow after a series of apartment bombings was published by the Gazette as an example of how people behave after a big public disaster. Quinn had spent time in Russia as an exchange student, and wrote the piece last year for the course Sheila Arnopoulos gives at Lonergan College on cultural interaction.

Loïc Tassé (Political Science) and François-Philippe Dubé, from UQAM, wrote an essay in La Presse in which they examined the way Sept. 11 economic security issues changed the agenda of APEC, the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation, which met in Shanghai recently.

One-named artist Evergon, who teaches photography at Concordia, was profiled recently by La Presse about his pioneering use of the giant Polaroid, in the wake of that company’s collapse. He told the reporter that he likes the way the medium permits instant feedback from his subjects. Among the subjects of his most recent work is his mother, Margaret Lunt, 82, who posed nude. Evergon rents a giant Polaroid camera in Boston for $2,500 for several days’ work. He had several works on view in the World Trade Centre when it collapsed on Sept. 11.

Harold Simpkins (Management) was on a panel on Global television, discussing “cybersquatting.” This practice makes life difficult for small business, because the squatters make people pay to get their own domain name. Others on the panel were business people with experience of the phenomenon.

Mrugank Thakor (Marketing) was interviewed by the Canadian Press about Air Canada’s new name for its no-frills passenger service, Tango. “Offhand, it’s got a South American flavour to it, a holiday flavour,” he said hopefully. “Then you look at the product, and it’s flying mainly between Canadian cities.”

Mick Carney (Management) has been interviewed a lot lately about the woes of the world’s airlines. He was on CBC Daybreak recently when Swissair actually stopped operations for a brief period. He was also interviewed this week on CBC national TV news about hardship at Canada 3000.