ACFAS, the Association francophone pour le savoir, recently held its 76th annual conference in Quebec City, and Concordia was well represented. Ronald Rudin reports that one of his PhD students, Simon Jolivet, was one of the organizers of a colloque on Quebec and Ireland. The presenters included Rudin, Jolivet, and Antoine Guillemette, another Rudin doctoral student. Linda Cardinal, of the University of Ottawa, the closing speaker at the colloque, will be the O’Brien Visiting Scholar next year in Canadian Irish Studies. Rudin doctoral student Kathryn Fitzpatrick chaired one of the sessions at the colloque.

Several Concordia computer science researchers, including Prabir Bhattacharya, will be involved in a major research project on ovarian cancer, the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women. The goal of this project, led by Lucy Gilbert of McGill University, is to help identify the disease at a curable stage.

While he has had a prolific career as an academic, Suresh Goyal (Decision Sciences) enjoys another flourishing career as the writer in Hindi of more than 200 published stories and a novel that reached some 10 million people. Now he finds himself mentioned in a doctoral thesis. Asma M. Sayed, a candidate at the University of Alberta, has written “English versus Heritage Languages: The Politics of Language in South Asian Canadian Writing.” In it, she describes Goyal as “by far the most active Hindi writer in Canada.” She goes on to describe how his writing shows Canadian life, particularly university life, from the point of view of the Indian immigrant.

A paper by Mrugank Thakor (Marketing), graduate student Katayoun Saleh and Rajneesh Suri, of Drexel University in Philadelphia, caught the attention of the media recently. In a survey of 166 undergraduate students, they found that the presence of old customers is likely to deter those of university age. The researchers used three settings. The likelihood that old people would be present at a restaurant or a health club elicited a negative reaction from the students. Only the third setting, a web-page development seminar, had no negative reaction.

Congratulations to Ning Yaki Shi, who will be awarded the Joe Kelly Graduate Award at the convocation of the John Molson School of Business for an outstanding doctoral thesis, “Cross-Listing, Management Earnings Forecasts, and Firm Value.” Congratulations also to Lora Dimitrova, who won the 2008 Uma Sharma memorial Award for her MSc thesis on “Family Ownership, Liquidity, and Insider Trading in Newly Public Firms.”

Magnifying glass

Karin Doerr (Simone de Beauvoir/CMLL — pictured right) and partner Gary Evans were shocked to hear of the recent earthquakes in Sichuan province, as they had just visited Sichuan University. They were relieved to hear that their hosts and most of the other residents of Chengdu were unharmed. They had been charmed by the city.

“Many scooters drove by silently, save for their squeaking brakes,” Doerr writes. “They all ran on batteries. Taxis, buses and many cars were powered by natural gas. We saw seniors keeping fit by walking or using simple iron structures alongside the streets to exercise. In the parks, they were stretching, dancing, or doing tai chi in groups, often with their grandchildren in tow.”


Concordia University