Staff, Achievements

Congratulations to the 2017 Staff Achievement Award recipients from across FASS

January 31, 2018

By Christine Lyons

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is proud to congratulate four FASS staff members earning a 2017 Staff Achievement Award in the “Work Performance” category for the 2017: Richard Blackwell (Psychology), Laura Bologea (Philosophy), Beverly Neufeld  (FASS, Dean’s Office), and Ellen Siew Meng Yap (International Studies). SFU’s annual Staff Achievement Awards recognize SFU employees who have demonstrated outstanding achievement within the University or their community.  

Richard Blackwell – Manager, Information Technology, Psychology

Responding to the needs of a department as large and diverse as that of Psychology is no easy feat. Richard Blackwell’s colleagues praise his exemplary loyalty, work ethic, and sense of humour. With a degree in Psychology and Biology from University of Alberta, Blackwell joined SFU’s department of Psychology in 1986 as a data analysis programmer. He says the most interesting and challenging part of his job has been keeping up with the fast-paced, constant change that IT has seen over the last 30 years. “A lot has changed since I started working in IT in the days of the mainframe, Apple II, and the original IBM PC.  It has been a fun and exciting ride.  The challenge, of course, is keeping up with a constantly diversifying field.” 

Laura Bologea –Manager, Academic and Administrative Services and Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Philosophy

Laura Bologea is known by her colleagues to have perfected the art of balancing the requirements of her job: being efficient, methodical, and stringent while also being helpful, accommodating, and supportive. She came to SFU in 2010 after a career in management and teaching. “I love the academic environment and I had already been involved with SFU as a contractor, so when the opportunity to lead the IELTS Test Centre came up, I did not hesitate.” Bologea joined the Department of Philosophy as manager and undergraduate advisor in 2013 and says it is the “perfect job. “You see both sides of the university and it is never boring.” The department, she says, is vibrant, “philosophically accepting,” and especially supportive when she began her position, cheering her on as she learned the ropes. The most rewarding part of her job is advising students. “Being able to help them sort out their path in university, come up with solutions when they thought there were none, and seeing them leave the office with a smile—that’s what makes my day!”

Beverly Neufeld – Research Grants Facilitator, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

As a grants facilitator for one of the largest administrative units in the university, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Beverly Neufeld’s work is unparalleled. For over 12 years Neufeld has aided the FASS faculty across many disciplines in identifying funding opportunities, navigating complex granting systems, and tirelessly editing project proposals. Neufeld came to FASS as a grants facilitator in 2005 with a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics. She says one of the most interesting parts of her job is working with researchers in such diverse fields as FASS encompasses. “I get to work on projects that are about everything from the history of the potlatch ban, and the experiences of transgender youth in Vancouver, to the economics of development aid, and how the brain processes errors.”

Ellen Siew Meng Yap - Manager, Academic and Administrative Services and Academic Advisor International Studies

Administrative manager and academic advisor, Ellen Siew Meng Yap, is an integral part of the School for International Studies. In addition to having a consistently excellent work ethic and dedication to students, colleagues say she is well-respected among both professors and students and she often “acts as a bridge” between them. Yap holds both an undergraduate and a master's degrees from SFU. She joined the School for International Studies in 2006 as a secretary prior to taking on the dual role of manager and academic advisor in 2011. “I am very grateful to have smart, compassionate and thoughtful colleagues in my unit,” Yap says. She also says she’s learned from and been inspired by the people she meets through International Studies and “hands down,” her favorite part of the job is “meeting and connecting with students from all over the world.”