Faculty and Staff

2016 Staff Achievement Award winners: Gary Traynor, B-Jae Kelly and Livleen Diwana

March 31, 2017

SFU's annual Staff Achievement Awards honour staffers' exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments. Every Friday until Apr. 7, SFU News will post short profiles of the 2016 winners, all of whom were acknowledged at an awards dinner on March 8, 2017.   

Work Performance

Gary Traynor, driver and store assistant, Facilities Services

Kind, helpful, conscientious, thoughtful, hardworking and reliable—these are just some of the many words colleagues have used to describe Gary Traynor, a recently retired driver and store assistant.

He was a daily presence for many SFU departments. Consistently going above and beyond for his clients, he made his mark during his more than 39-year tenure at the University. This dedication showed in every aspect of his work.

Traynor could always be counted on to help out colleagues—even when it meant additional work for himself—such as picking up and dropping off urgent packages. He also took the time to get to know staffers personally, taking the initiative to learn more about his clients’ families and interests outside of work. And he routinely dropped off baked goods such as muffins and tarts for them to enjoy—all paid for out of his own pocket.

“Gary's friendly demeanor and presence are missed,” says one nominator. “He was a rare find and the University was lucky to retain his services for all these years.”

Adds another, “Seeing him on a daily basis was like clockwork—reliable and consistent.”

Work Performance

B-Jae Kelly, manager, logistics and technical operations, Department of Geography

Behind every successful department is an unsung hero. For SFU’s geography department, that’s B-Jae Kelly.

One nominator perhaps says it best, “Simply put, B-Jae is pivotal to the smooth operation of the Department of Geography.”

As the manager of logistics and technical operations, Kelly must manage shifting demands for resources and support in diverse settings. His myriad responsibilities range from maintaining and allocating lab equipment to addressing health and safety concerns.

He’s even responsible organizing responses to unexpected departmental problems. On more than one occasion he deftly addressed floods in Robert C. Brown Hall, where the geography department is located, from heavy rainfall on campus.

In one instance, Kelly quickly assembled a team to physically relocate a teaching computer lab for spatial information systems to another space in the middle of the semester. They worked diligently—sometimes outside of regular working hours—to accomplish the task and avoid delays for students, faculty and staff, and creating added financial costs and stress.

“This example serves as one of many cases in which B-Jae’s performance in the workplace was crucial to a successful outcome,” says a faculty member who nominated Kelly. 

Work Performance

Livleen Diwana, faculty relations coordinator, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology encompasses five schools and programs, spreading across four buildings and three campuses—the Burnaby and Surrey campuses, and Vancouver’s Harbour Centre and Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Despite this, the dean’s office runs like a well-oiled machine thanks in large part to faculty relations coordinator Livleen Diwana.

Colleagues say she is always pleasant and professional regardless of the situation, and works efficiently and supportively.

Among her responsibilities, Diwana provides confidential academic support to the dean, coordinates faculty appointments and renewals, and assists faculty with meeting grant deadlines.

“Livleen has remained the steady heart of the unit, keeping everyone on track and supporting the pressing, highly confidential and often deadline-driven work of the office,” says one nominator.

She has done all of this while the faculty experienced significant change, including four different deans—two of them pro tem; two different office managers; and four different associate deans, as well as other staff turnover.

Yet Diwana successfully adjusted to all of their working styles and strategic priorities.

“She is always professional, reliable and highly competent,” says another nominator, “and exudes a lovely modesty and warmth.”