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  October 10, 2002 Of Note



Nadia Bhuiyan

File photo

Nadia Bhuiyan rewarded for wheelchair

Congratulations to Nadia Bhuiyan, an assistant professor in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, who has won the grand prize in the 2003 Innovation-Research Contest, sponsored by the Association de l’industrie des technologies de la santé (AITS).

Bhuiyan, with McGill University doctoral student Linghua Kong, received the award for her project, Design of a Cost-Effective Electrical Motor Wheelchair, at the Genesis Awards Gala on April 30.

The gala, which was the closing-night event of the sixth annual BioMedex conference, is hosted by BioQuebec and AITS. It honours innovators in health technology and life sciences whose projects display the greatest potential for commercial and industrial use.

“I was surprised, but thrilled, of course, that we were awarded first prize,” she said. “There were many promising projects in competition.”

Bhuiyan set out to develop a new generation of the electrical motor wheelchair with basic functions, high reliability, and performance at a competitive cost. Such a lightweight, affordable wheelchair would be welcome, given the limited coverage of many medical plans for such devices.

More than 300 people attended the conference, many of them prominent in the health industry, Bhuiyan said. “We already have companies that are interested in the product, and we made many contacts.” She will apply the $2,500 award to future developments of the wheelchair, as well as rewarding some of the people who helped out on the project.


Sephardic cultural conference

Concordia will host the first international symposium of the Sephardic Cultural Institute (SCI), entitled Sephardic Identities and Modernity, on May 25 and 26. Sephardic Jews trace their ancestry and religious traditions to Spain and Portugal, and more recently, North Africa and the Middle East.

The conference will bring together over 50 academics and cultural personalities from the Sephardic world. Local scholars, among them Concordia religion professor Norma Joseph, will be joined by journalists, performers, religious leaders and educators from Europe, Morocco, Israel, the United States and Canada. Several scholars from the Université de Montréal, UQÀM and McGill University will participate in panel discussions, as well as Pierre Anctil, Quebec’s former director of intercultural relations.

Sessions will take place in French, English and Spanish, and themes range from Culture and Oral Traditions and The Contribution of Sephardic Women to literature, art and music. On May 26, King David - The Musical will be presented at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, on the Loyola Campus, and, the following night musician Samy Elmaghribi will perform at Théâtre Outremont.

The conference was organized by SCI in conjunction with the Concordia-UQÀM Chair in Ethnic Studies (Concordia section), under the direction of Daniel Salée of the School of Community and Public Affairs. Concordia’s Department of Public Affairs will act as the host committee.

After the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal were exiled in the 15th centuries, they settled throughout North Africa and the Middle East. In the past century, many left their native countries for the U.S., Canada, Israel and France, which are now the centres of Sephardic culture. The SCI’s Web site illustrates their migrations in an animated presentation.

The Sephardic Cultural Institute was founded by the Sephardic Foundation of Canada and Quebec’s Sephardic community to safeguard and promote Canada’s Sephardic cultural legacy.

For full schedule and information, visit www.culturesepharade.org.

-Melanie Takefman


Bram Freedman surrounded by his affectionate Secretariat team. Left to right are Yvonne Jolly, Heather Adams-Robinette, Barbara Henchey and Danielle Tessier. Evelyne Loo was unfortunately absent.

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

Farewell to Freedman

Attendance was high at a farewell reception for Bram Freedman on May 12. Bram’s long title — General Counsel and Assistant Secretary-General — came in for some gentle ribbing, but praise was high for his integrity, candour, and effectiveness as Concordia’s legal advocate.

As Bram said in his farewell speech, he had no idea when he joined Concordia out of law school 11 years ago how broad and varied his experience would be — everything from multimillion-dollar construction contracts and a trend-setting bond issue to labour contracts and disciplinary hearings.

He will join the Federation Combined Jewish Appeal as Director of Administration and Strategic Initiatives. Thanks and best wishes for the future, Bram.


Left to right, Theodora Boland-Duchamp, Karine Montpetit, Giancarlo Zerbino (behind), Angela Vaudry, Professor Parker and May Handinero.

Photo by Ali Shaker

Professor Robert Parker feted for 26 years in art education

Robert Parker, art education professor and a former dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, was celebrated at a reception at Rosalie, the new restaurant-bar on Mountain St. on the occasion of his retirement.

Among the presents was a Dürer print entitled Knight, Death and the Devil. Parker. who taught at the University for 26 years, is seen above at the party with some of his students.





Art grads exhibit work at The Gazette

Students in the Faculty of Fine Arts hold a Graduating Class Exhibition every year, but this year’s venue is unusual: the lobby of The Gazette.

Works by about 50 graduating art students will be on view the week of June 9 to 13.

The show will be open to the public during regular lobby hours, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Access is at 245 St. Jacques St. W. side, and will wind up with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. on June 13, the day of the Faculty of Fine Arts convocation.

The idea for the unusual venue was put forward by Robert Winters, a Gazette business editor who is also a fine arts student. Winters was on the organizing committee for the show, and suggested his own place of work to fellow committee members Laurel Smith (Fine Arts, student life) and Lauren Gould (Advancement/Alumni).