Staff Achievement Awards

March 09, 2006, volume 35, no. 5

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In the past, SFU has annually acknowledged and honoured one SFU staffer with an achievement award recognizing their commitment to SFU. This year, President Michael Stevenson and the staff achievement award committee are honouring staffers in a variety of categories because, says Stevenson, “each year we were turning down too many worthy nominees.” Each of the award recipients has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the university and all were honoured recently at a luncheon at the Diamond Alumni Club. Each also received an engraved SFU watch and a framed certificate acknowledging their accomplishments.

Leadership sara swenson

SFU's first grants facilitator, Sara Swenson, has a talent for leadership and team building that has helped SFU researchers win millions of dollars worth of new grants over the past eight years. She works for both the faculty of applied sciences and the faculty of science and is also SFU's Canadian Foundation for Innovation grant coordinator. Swenson's vision and success, say her nominators, is why the SFU grant facilitator model has been copied at universities across the country.


Athletics/artistic achievement  britt townsend

During her seven years as head coach of SFU's varsity track and field and cross country programs, Britt Townsend has achieved local, national and international success, including two National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) coach of the year awards in 2005 and two NAIA national team championship awards in 2005. As well, her women's cross country program was selected as the 2005 Buffalo Funds Five Star champions of character, recognizing the team's dedication to respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.



Team achievement

payroll team

Every two weeks, year round, without fail, SFU faculty and staff receive their pay. Not to mention all of the teaching support staff, research assistants and others, who number in the thousands and who change from semester to semester. It's a feat that's taken for granted by most, but it shouldn't be, say those who nominated SFU's payroll clerks - Fay Weir, Jackie Evanson, Sharon Harrison, Louise Eckert, Mary Solomon and Patt Pennington - to receive the annual staff achievement team award. "They're dedicated, they're loyal and they do whatever they need to do to ensure the employees are paid on time and correctly," says their manager, Lynn Downie, who was glad to see them win the award. "In the year that I've been here, I've never seen them let anyone down - they go above and beyond." Over the past two years, these women all spent copious overtime hours to learn the challenging PeopleSoft computer system and ensure that everything worked as accurately in the new system as in the old. The clerks also assisted with the initial training for more than 300 supervisors who had to learn how to do new timesheet reporting and they continue to provide guidance and support in this area.

Work performance

jeffrey ruddFor more than 15 years, physics technician Jeffrey Rudd has been expanding the boundaries of his job description, going the extra mile for faculty and students in ways that have allowed the physics faculty to do more and better teaching and outreach. Working with modest funding, he has single-handedly built a first-class physics lecture-demonstration resource at SFU, including a web site for sharing ideas with other institutions across North America. This resource centre has improved interest and learning in large lecture courses and provides materials for more effective outreach activity.


Lifetime achievementpaulette johnston

If something on campus needs doing, chances are Paulette Johnston will be there. A program manager with co-op education, she has frequently volunteered her time and leadership skills during her 20 years at SFU. Currently in her second term on SFU's board of governors, Johnston also sits on the SFU News editorial board and the ICBC silver scholarships selection committee. She has served as a loaned representative for the United Way and co-organized the faculty of arts and social sciences' 40th anniversary festivities. She will also chair the 2006 United Way campaign.


Personal achievement

lynn reader Despite a decade of life-threatening physical and emotional health challenges, Lynn Reader has shown enormous courage, patience and fortitude, determinedly remaining at the heart of the support staff operation for professional programs in the faculty of education. Diagnosed in 1996 with an inoperable brain tumour, Reader, a program assistant, has continued to work above and beyond the call of duty despite her health consequences and the loss of her husband to heart disease.


Employment/student service

diane kelso As admissions supervisor for professional programs in the faculty of education, Diane Kelso's job entails many duties, including interviewing prospective applicants and supporting the complex decision-making process on whom to enroll.

Over the past 24 years, say her nominators, Kelso has tried to accommodate applicants' career ambitions, hopes and dreams while maintaining high standards and fairness.

They applaud her professionalism, her moral and ethical sensibilities and her respect for due process.

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