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October 24, 2002 Names in the news



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

Steven Appelbaum (Management) was quoted in The Globe and Mail by Susan Pinker in the context of job interviews. He teaches a course in interviewing, and conducts simulated interviews in which the candidate is asked to execute a job-related task on the spot, such as writing a press release or analyzing a case study.

Harold Chorney (Political Science), who has been a candidate for office himself, was heard on CJAD’s The World Today commenting on the possibility of provincial elections taking place on a Sunday. In the October 18 broadcast, he also said that pictures on ballots would encourage people who do not follow politics closely to vote, and that physically attractive candidates would benefit. Chorney also participated in a panel discussion on the decline of the sovereignty debate in Quebec on CBC Radio on Nov. 5.

Movie critic Bill Brownstein profiled music instructor Craig Morrison’s offbeat teaching style in The Gazette of Nov. 9. Brownstein attended Morrison’s Rolling Stones 101 class at Zeke’s art gallery, where the professor played little-known Stones tunes and students debated what constitutes a Stones hit.

Peter Downie (Journalism) was praised for his efforts to instill social activism in his broadcast journalism students in The Gazette of Oct. 18. Next semester, Downie’s students will produce documentaries on a charitable organization in Montreal and then donate them to the organization for publicity purposes. “I tell students that if they hope to change the world, they’ll be at it for 12 hours before sinking into despair,” Downie told journalist Mike Boone. “Hoping to change one person’s mind is a more manageable goal.”

Le Devoir profiled prolific art historian François-Marc Gagnon, director of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art on Nov. 2. Gagnon was praised for his contributions to Quebec culture. “Le milieu artistique [ici] n’est jamais soumis; il est très politisé et conscient qu’il faut changer l’ art pour changer la société,” Gagnon told Le Devoir.

Michel Magnan (Accounting) could consider giving up his day job for a spot at The Gazette. Business writer Jay Bryan quoted Magnan in two articles alongside a photograph of the professor on Nov. 9. In the first, Magnan predicted that the recent stock market meltdown could hurt corporate earnings if the market does not recover quickly. In a second article on the vulnerability of pension plans that are funded by companies’ investments, Magnan said that Canadian firms contribute less to pension funds than U.S. companies.

Terry Byrnes, chair of the English Department, defended Yann Martel against allegations of plagiarism in The Gazette of Nov. 8. Martel admits that he used the premise — but no more than that — of a Brazilian novel for his own novel, Life of Pi, winner of the Man Booker Prize last month. Byrnes argued that what counts is “the way the sensibility interprets the situation,” not the situation itself.

Guy Lachapelle (Political Science), in an essay published in Le Devoir on Nov. 5, criticized sovereignty activists for blaming the Parti Québécois exclusively for the weakness of the separatist movement in Quebec. “Le monopole du discours souverainiste n’appartient pas seulement au premier minister, aux ministres ou députés,” he wrote. “Il appartient à tous ceux et celles qui souhaitent ardemment que le gouvernement du Québec soit le seul gouvernement à gérer nos impôts.” He added that it is the responsibility of Quebec’s civil society to rally for sovereignty.

The Globe and Mail referred to a paper by James McIntosh (Economics) in an article on the financial advantages of bank mergers on Oct. 30. It supported the view that mergers that were disallowed by the Liberal government in the ’90s were a fundamental growth strategy. “The mergers would have led to slightly lower prices and, consequently, an increase in consumer welfare,” McIntosh’s paper concluded.

Kudos to Cinema graduate Kim Nguyen, whose newly released feature film, Le Marais, received a rave review from Luc Perreault of La Presse on Nov. 2. Perreault praised Nguyen’s fable about rare creatures living in a mythological Eastern Europe as being highly original and reminiscent of Chagall and Kafka.

Concordia’s John Molson School of Business is drawing attention for tackling business ethics in its MBA curriculum in light of the recent Enron and WorldCom scandals. Martin Felsky, who teaches a videoconferencing course entitled Law, Ethics and Corporate Finance in the Age of Enron, told The Globe and Mail on Oct. 28 that students “need to understand the context in which they’ll be operating, both legally and ethically. So we go behind the headlines to ask, What are the issues here?”