In 2008: (left to right): Jack, son of Erin English (arts and social sciences); Liam, son of Jennifer White (science); Kaleb, son of Linnea Cudmore (IT services); Lucas, son of Liesl Jurock (student development); Callum, son of Nicole Gjertsen (White), (library); and Forrest, son of Arlette Stewart (TechOne). See the updated photo 10 years later, below this story.

Faculty and Staff

Ten years later—six SFU moms still working at SFU

May 12, 2017

By Diane Luckow

Ten years ago, six staff members at SFU’s Surrey campus all gave birth at about the same time—and all had sons. SFU News later featured a photo (above) and a short item in its May 1, 2008 issue.

Today, all six moms are still working at SFU, although not necessarily in the same jobs or on the same campus.

That news is gratifying to Sandi de Domenico, SFU’s associate vp, human resources.

“Over the years SFU has worked hard to develop a suite of employee benefits that resonates with staff, and encourages them to remain at SFU,” she says. “These include general maternity and parental top-up payments, tuition subsidies for staffers and immediate family members, onsite daycare, and free access to university fitness facilities.”

In fact, this is the 10th consecutive year that SFU has ranked among Canada’s Top 100 Employers, an annual editorial competition to recognize the nation's best places to work. SFU also ranks in the competition’s subgroup Family Friendly Employers.

The family-friendly designation recognizes those employers that offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs to help employees balance work and family commitments.

The competition’s rankings are based on eight criteria that include employee benefits, and workspace quality and atmosphere. This year, SFU received A+ for health and family-friendly benefits, physical workplace, and training and skills development; and scored A’s for work atmosphere and communication, financial benefits and compensation, and vacation and personal time-off.

Communication co-op coordinator Liesl Jurock, mother of Lucas, says, “I didn't expect to stay at SFU for the majority of my career, but it offers a lot of benefits to a working mother.

“From getting maternity leave top up and a good chunk of vacation, to the conveniences of having summer camps right here, I couldn't think of working anywhere else. Of course, I'm hoping my son will end up studying here too in another a few years, so the tuition benefit will be put to good use too.”

Erin English, mom to Jack, has worked at SFU since 2005 and is now secretary to the Dean of Science.

She and several of the other moms have taken advantage of the free tuition subsidy.

“It was time to challenge myself and show my son that it’s never too late to follow your dreams,” says English. “My journey through SFU, with work and education, has been incredible, and I am really so blessed to be part of this community.”

Recently, to mark the kids’ 10th year, the moms organized another photo shoot of their offspring (below) and then joined in on another photo.

Ten years on, the babies have grown. Front l-r: Forrest and Lucas. Back l-r: Kaleb, Jack, Callum and Liam.
Moms and sons, left to right: Linnea Cudmore (Kaleb), Jennifer Coffey (Liam), Nicole White (Callum), Erin English (Jack), Liesl Jurock (Lucas), Arlette Stewart (Forrest).