Mikhail Dzuba poses for the camera at the SFU Awards Dinner on March 5, 2020.

SFU Bookstore director retires: celebrating 25 years of leadership

By Taylor Assion

May 1, 2020

Mikhail Dzuba has carved his path as a leader during his accomplished 25-year career at Simon Fraser University. As the senior director of the Bookstore and Spirit Shop as well as Document Solutions, he has exemplified leading-by-example through his intentional, thoughtful and reflective approaches to engagement with both his staff and customers. In March, he received a Staff Achievement Award for Leadership in recognition of his leadership skills and his many contributions to the SFU community.

“When I reflect upon my career at SFU over the last couple decades, I am filled with a profound sense of gratification. It is a tremendous honor for me to be recognized as a standout leader amongst this community of exceptional peers,” says Dzuba.

Growing up on a farm in the Okanagan, Dzuba learned the power of collaboration and hard work. As he matured, Dzuba embraced creativity, beginning his post-secondary educational journey in the arts and embarked in a new direction – an educational psychology program that brought him to SFU. Learning to embrace change through his education, Dzuba was able to adapt his passion and creativity to fuel innovative thinking and develop unique problem-solving skills that he would later use throughout his career.

Prior to working at SFU, Dzuba held various positions in the service industry and he attributes his ability to put himself in another’s shoes to engage with new experiences and perspectives to this period. These types of skills, in a service setting, provide an authentic and meaningful customer experience which can foster a sense of connection, loyalty and community – an atmosphere that is evident throughout his departments.

Dzuba doing some light reading at the Harbour Centre SFU Bookstore.

Since joining SFU in 1995 as the bookstore manager at Harbour Centre, Dzuba developed as a leader through the mentorship and coaching he found here. On his own, he continually sought out opportunities for growth by volunteering with associations relevant to his field. Knowing the importance of keeping up-to-date with a changing industry, Dzuba committed to staying current by both taking courses himself and by imparting his knowledge and experience onto others in the role of an instructor and mentor.

Although he retired at the end of April, Dzuba’s contributions have left long-lasting impressions as he has imparted his leadership values to his staff and peers through his exemplary efforts. From B.C. initiatives to industry-wide projects, Dzuba’s impact will continue to be seen through his contributions to driving change and leading innovation in the campus bookstore industry.

While we will miss his presence on our campuses, the influence of his leadership will continue to resonate throughout SFU for many years to come.