People of SFU

Meet the 2021 SFU Staff Achievement Award winners

March 02, 2022
SFU’s annual Staff Achievement Awards recognize staff members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the university or the community.

SFU staff are the backbone of the university, ensuring the smooth operation of the institution, supporting key university priorities and fostering a welcoming environment for professors to research and teach and for students to learn and thrive.

SFU’s annual Staff Achievement Awards recognize staff members for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the university or the community. The awards are a way to showcase some of the great work being done at SFU and in the community by inspired and outstanding staff members.

Congratulations to all the winners of SFU’s 2021 Staff Achievement Awards.

Athletic/Artistic Achievement

Achieving local, national or international success in any facet of physical or artistic endeavours.

Tiffani Martinez

Event Coordinator
Athletics and Recreation

Tiffani Martinez turned a random invitation to play football into a life-long passion to share the predominately male-dominated sport with girls and women throughout the Lower Mainland. Personable and energetic, she organizes more than 90 sporting events a year for SFU. In her spare time, she organizes flag football teams, leagues and skill sessions – championing grassroots football and creating a safe space where women can learn the game.

Community Contribution

Giving of time and energy to foster goodwill and compassion for others.

Tessa Perkins Deneault

Manager, Communications and Strategy
Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

A dedicated communicator, Tessa Perkins Deneault champions the local arts community through her volunteerism, her non-profit work and her freelance journalism. In her spare time, she sits on the board of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, where she provides guidance on programming for the renowned event. Perkins Deneault is also working with the SFU Retirees Association on a book about the history of art at SFU.


Exemplifies significant leadership skills such as the ability to lead and guide staff, develop staff talents and successfully manage an efficient and effective unit at the highest level.

Patricia Graca

Director, Enrolment and Student Services
Lifelong Learning

A member of the senior leadership team at Lifelong Learning, Patricia Graca’s integrity, skill and commitment to excellence are legendary among her team. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing staff and consistently works to empower people to improve and grow in their roles. She is an ambassador for Lifelong Learning at SFU and champions accessible, flexible education and the processes and systems needed to support it.

Lifetime Achievement

Demonstrating years of leadership, devotion and commitment to Simon Fraser University over the course of their employment.

Liny Chan

Associate Director
SFU Institutional Research and Planning

Over the past three-plus decades, Liny Chan’s work ethic, depth of knowledge and meticulous student enrolment and faculty allocation reporting have allowed SFU’s leadership to make important decisions, like budgeting, with absolute confidence. Described as a supreme subject matter expert, Chan chose to come to the office during the pandemic in order to water plants for co-workers.

Student Service

Enhancing the university’s ability to meet their employee/student needs in an efficient and professional manner by going the “extra mile” and anticipating and proactively meeting their expectations.

Corbin Saleken

Department Resource Specialist
School for the Contemporary Arts

An exemplary employee, Corbin Saleken works with students in the School for the Contemporary Arts’ film program, providing equipment for their film shoots along with advice and assistance. His endless patience, kindness and knowledge have helped make the student experience more rich, rewarding and successful.


To recognize teams that exemplify collaboration and cooperation; and that demonstrate a significant contribution with results on behalf of their department and the university.

Centre for Educational Excellence

Over the past two years, the team at the Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE) has helped move hundreds of courses and exams online and is now working to help instructors combine the best of online learning with face-to-face learning. The CEE team also facilitated faculty development through hybrid methods that include virtual training, in-person sessions and online resources. The team also launched anti-racism programs and equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Work Performance

Demonstrating work performance that is consistently above and beyond the call of duty.

Brenda Tang

Associate Director
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Brenda Tang’s breadth of ability in overseeing operations, administration and financial management has helped steer the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue through a dramatic growth spurt, particularly during the last year. A tribute to her interpersonal, managerial and leadership skills, she inspires excellent work performance from her staff and her colleagues.

Valerie Rodden

Board Assistant
Office of the Board of Governors

Throughout her 31 years of service to SFU, Valerie Rodden has shown an unfailing attention to detail and a tireless commitment to the board and its members. Her willingness to help colleagues, her work ethic and her genuine kindness, compassion and generosity directly supports the governance of the university.

Augustin Tretinik

Project Manager
SFU Facilities Services

Whether it’s assembling effective project teams, or conducting his own research into industry trends, Augustin Tretinik always goes above and beyond the call of duty to upgrade and renovate physical spaces for the university. He is lauded for his consistent and strong work ethic, as well as his vision, skill and professionalism in creating innovative, imaginative and inviting spaces like the Harbour Centre concourse mural project.

Maya Piddocke

Manager of Lab Operations
Department of Biological Sciences

Responsible for managing the operation, maintenance and the use of Department of Biological Sciences’ teaching and research laboratories, Maya Piddocke juggles an impressive workload, while managing large projects, including the renovation of four large teaching labs. She accomplishes her work with efficiency, integrity and an exceptional can-do attitude.

Mehdi Eftekhari

Desktop Support Analyst
SFU IT Services

While providing IT support for numerous individual clients across several units, Mehdi Eftekhari consistently goes the extra mile, helping resolve technology issues quickly with helpful, kind, patient and knowledgeable customer service. During the pandemic, he supported a number of teams in their transition to work-from-home with prompt, efficient service, taking time to explain things in ways that all staff could understand, regardless of their comfort with technology.

Nominate your colleagues for their outstanding achievements

We are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2022 Staff Achievement Awards. We want to recognize staff members who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the university or their community this past year. The SFU community is invited to nominate staff members for one of the 10 categories. To find out award categories, how to nominate and more, please visit the SFU Human Resources website . Deadline to submit is Oct. 14, 2022.