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Mehrdad Rastan

2008 Staff achievement: Mehrdad Rastan, work performance

February 5, 2009

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Each year, SFU’s staff achievement awards highlight staffers’ exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments. Throughout this semester, SFU News will feature profiles on each of the 2008 winners, who were recognized at a formal luncheon on Jan. 21 at the Diamond Alumni Centre.

Mehrdad Rastan meets and works with more than 1,000 undergraduate students each year in his job as a teaching lab technician in the physics department. It’s the number-one reason he enjoys his job.

"My passion is people," he says. "I’m very interested in getting to know people and interacting with them." He derives great pleasure from assisting students and watching their attitudes change from apprehension to understanding and even enjoyment as they progress through first-year physics labs.

His interest in his work and in students is one reason more than 50 staff, faculty and students nominated him for the work performance award. "He also provides invaluable advice to TAs and instructors, including his keen insight into which pedagogical techniques work well for students, and which approaches do not," said one nominator. "I incorporated many of his suggestions in the design and implementation of labs for a new version of our department’s popular first-year astronomy course."

But managing and supervising labs is only one-half of Rastan’s job; he also maintains the physics department’s local area network and provides computer support to the department. It is, says his nominator, all far more than one full-time job, but Rastan performs with "a high degree of competence and dedication, and with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of patience and good humour."

This year is particularly challenging for Rastan: he is enrolled full-time in SFU’s Master of Financial Risk Management program while working part-time for the physics department. He is also a single parent to three daughters aged 10-14 and coaches and manages community soccer teams. His workload, he confesses, takes up to 20 hours a day.

While Rastan has worked full-time in the physics department since earning his BSc at SFU 14 years ago, he expects to make a career move when he finishes his MFRM this summer. He’s considering a career as a financial risk manager or an investment advisor. "My ultimate goal is to help people prepare for retirement."

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Iraj Rastan

I am very proud that I have such a brilliant, hardworking and dedicated son.

Iraj Rastan,

Burlington, Ontario.

Farhad Abar

My dear Mehrdad,I admire you as the best student,and your Mom as the best mother of the year in Vancouver.

J

MEHRDAD!!! U ROCK!!! u are an amazing person & u deserve this

maryam

Hi Mehrdad i khow about u in the site and wish the best for u.

I am in iran and want to go to ur university can u help me with ur information.

Thanks

Amar

Hey Mehrdad,

I am very proud of you,keep up the hard work!

Ag

Alex Loosley

Congratulations. Simply put, SFU physics won't be the same without you.

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