Profs In the News

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Prof. Byron Sheldrick, Political Science, co-wrote an op-ed column for the Globe and Mail on Nov. 26 on SLAPP lawsuits. Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation are lawsuits brought against group of citizens, usually alleging that the group has committed defamation, trespass, or some other civil wrong. Sheldrick and his co-author argued that these can have the effect of curtailing political engagement over a public issue and that legislation is needed to curb their overuse. Sheldrick is researching research the restructuring of local governance around concepts of engagement and collaboration, as well as the concept of legal empowerment.

Prof. Sylvain Charlebois, Marketing & Consumer Studies, was interviewed by a number of CBC Radio stations across Canada on Nov. 24 on the shrinking size of food packages. This follows a Maclean’s Nov. 16 story on the same topic. Charlebois said retailers are facing increased costs due to rising commodity prices and changes to food safety standards. Rather than shocking customers by raising prices they are reducing product size. Charlebois was also interviewed by the Globe and Mail on Nov. 20 about a study he co-authored on world food safety performance. In the story, he discussed Canada’s strong showing in the rankings, and potential areas of concern. Charlebois studies food economics, distribution and policy.

Prof. Stuart McCook, History, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on Nov. 21 for their #AskTheGlobe video segment on eco-friendly coffee. McCook has studied coffee and runs a blog on the history of coffee at CoffeeCultures.org. McCook explained how to find the most environmentally sustainable coffee brands. He said it is possible for a brand to be eco-friendly and not certified, but consumers will not know for certain if a brand is eco-friendly, sustainable or Fair Trade unless it is certified by a reputable organization.

Prof. Beth Parker, Engineering, was interviewed by International Innovation magazine for their November issue on groundwater contaminants in fractured rock environments. Parker is the director of the U of G-based G360 Centre for Applied Groundwater Research, a leading centre of hydroecology research, which was featured in an accompanying article. Parker discussed how to address contamination in groundwater, and what steps should be taken for remediation.

Lynne Mitchell, director of the Centre for International Programs, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on Nov. 21 for a story looking at students studying internationally. Mitchell is U of G’s international liaison officer and develops, coordinates and fosters internationalization across the university. She noted studying abroad can be expensive for students, and said the university is looking at ways to allow students to study abroad in shorter segments of time.

Professor emeritus Thomas King, English, is making headlines across Canada. His book, The Back of the Turtle, won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award in the fiction category. King’s win was noted today by the National Post, Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, CTV News and other media. One of Canada’s most well-known and respected authors, The Back of the Turtle is King’s first novel in more than 15 years. The fictional work examines a community trying to recover from an environmental disaster.

Prof. Medhat Moussa, Engineering, was interviewed by CBC Radio – KW Nov. 18 for a story on the growth of robotics in agriculture. He discussed the challenges of using robots to pick fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes. Moussa studies robot learning, design and human-robot interaction, and is developing advanced grasping systems that will pick vegetables with the right amount of force. He said robots will never replace all human workers but can make greenhouses more effective and successful.

Prof. Paul Anglin, Marketing and Consumer Studies, was interviewed by CTVNews.ca Nov. 17 about purchasing real estate in Canada. Anglin said that there are a number of factors to consider, including price volatility, market conditions, public transit and personal situations. Anglin studies housing and real estate issues, especially the process of buying and selling houses.