News Briefs

Two new Rhodes Scholars for the U of M

Two students at the University of Manitoba set to graduate this spring have won prestigious Rhodes Scholarships.

For Melissa Bailey and Jody Reimer, this scholarship means spending the next two years studying their selected fields at Oxford University in England, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

Bailey, a Kelvin High School grad, is majoring in genetics. Reimer, a Steinbach Regional Secondary School grad, is majoring in mathematics and minoring in comparative religious studies.

Bailey sees a future in research and has interests in the current dialogue of stem cell research. In her spare time she’s an aerial dancer, when not busy volunteering with Let’s Talk Science — a program where science students go to schools to spread interest in science among the younger students.

Reimer’s academic interests revolve around making mathematical models of biological systems, and while she doesn’t have a career pinned down yet, she’s sure Oxford will open many doors. She recently took a semester off to study political science in Finland and to pursue her love of cycling and hiking.

The U of M now boasts 95 Rhodes Scholars, the most of any other university in Western Canada.

GSA supports U of M’s decision to suspend Lukacs

The U of M Graduate Students Association has endorsed the university’s decision to suspend math professor Gabor Lukacs, reported Macleans On Campus
In a letter issued to several media outlets, GSA president Meaghan Labine said that the UMGSA supports the university’s protection of students personal information that is required by law.

“The University of Manitoba’s response in dealing with this breach of confidentiality reflects the university’s commitment to ensuring the confidentiality of a student’s personal information,” said Labine, referring to Lukac’s filing an application for judicial review of Jay Doering’s, dean of graduate studies, decision to waive an exam requirement for a PhD student. Lukacs was suspended for allegedly violating the students privacy by revealing their identity within the court documents.

“Consequently, to the extent that the university’s decision to suspend its faculty member may have been based on the unauthorized disclosure of personal health information, the UMGSA feels this Human Resources decision was justified.”
In the letter, Labine also criticizes the notion that the U of M is “PhD Mill” and suggestions that the university has granted “compassionate” degrees.

The hearing for the case has been rescheduled to Jan. 20, 2011.
Stalker of U of M student sentenced

Christian Pries pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and assault last Friday, related to the stalking of a U of M student, and was sentenced to eight months house arrest.

The Winnipeg Sun reported that Pries and the unnamed female victim met in February 2008, while both attending the U of M. After a lunch date in April, she was continually contacted via Facebook, at which point correspondence proves she had only platonic intentions for the relationship.

But as correspondence continued, it was shown that Pries falsely believed they were in a relationship.

In January 2009, while waiting at a bus stop, Pries pulled up to the woman and offered her a ride.

When she declined, he got out of his car and tried to force her inside. A bus driver who witnessed the altercation reacted by approaching them and grabbed Pries by the collar, telling him to let her go.

After filing a report with campus security and later city police, his attentions only intensified, peppering her with unwanted text messages. Police warned him to stay away, but the victim claims that he followed her from class to class and watched her while she took exams.

The presiding Judge Kelly Moar stated the victim suffered “significant emotional impact,” has lost her sense of security and remains fearful Pries is somewhere nearby.

Pries had no previous criminal record.