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Rose Evans Awarded SFU Staff Achievement Award

September 03, 2020
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Story courtesy of SFU Faculty of Science

By Diane Mar-Nicolle

Anyone who has ever worked with Rose Evans knows about her reputation.

The manager of academic and administrative services in the SFU Department of Physics is renowned for her “can-do” attitude, her problem-solving expertise, and her ever-present kindness.

These are some of the reasons why Evans received an SFU 2019 Staff Achievement Award for work performance.  Her nominators praise her as the ‘calm in the centre of the storm’ and as someone who implements innovative ideas and identifies problems before they cause issues.

Evans completed a BA in English at SFU and then spent 12 years working for the Georgia Straight newspaper, where she eventually became director of human resources.  Despite considering the position her “dream job,” Evans says the long commute and stressful environment were not conducive to raising her new-born daughter.

In 2011 she took a year-long break to spend time with her daughter and accepted a job at SFU as the grad secretary in the Department of Physics.

Since then, she has been promoted to her current position and is an integral and respected member of the department, where she says the best part of her job is the people.

“The administrative and technical staff teams in physics are amazing — their extreme competence allows me to maintain the illusion that I know what I’m doing,” she laughs.

“I’m always so grateful that I work in a department with such a strong problem-solving ethic. I’ve never seen anyone here throw up their hands and despair of not finding a solution to an issue. Everyone approaches challenges as opportunities for creative solutions, and that’s really energizing.”

She also finds support and camaraderie while working in groups such as the science managers’ team.

“That group is a hugely important source of wisdom and support for me.”

When asked about the least appealing part of her job, Evans cites a common concern.

“I don’t like dealing with issues related to our aging facilities (extreme temperatures in offices, for example) because there’s so little I can do to resolve these.”

Evans says she is humbled and grateful to receive a Staff Achievement Award.

“It means so much that my colleagues took the time to nominate me.  I know how much they all have on their plates and I’m truly grateful that they would do this.”

She adds, “ I don’t deserve an award over any of the other amazing people I’m privileged to work with here at SFU, but I am committed to do the best work I can to live up to the recognition.”