Faculty and Staff

2017 Staff Achievement Award winners: Wolfgang Richter, Beverly Neufeld, Donalda Meyers

March 02, 2018

SFU's annual Staff Achievement Awards honour staffers' exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments that were acknowledged at an awards dinner on Feb. 27, 2018.  

Lifetime Achievement

Wolfgang Richter, senior database administrator, IT Services

When it comes to database support, Wolfgang Richter, director of research computing for IT Services, is an unsung hero who has been recognized with a 2017 Staff Achievement Award for lifetime achievement.

During 40 years at SFU his leadership in developing, implementing and maintaining sophisticated research databases has made him the “go-to guy” for researchers at SFU and beyond who encounter tough database dilemmas.

His ingenious de-identification algorithm, for example, was key to creating a publicly searchable database of all court cases in B.C. This work, developed 15 years ago for SFU’s Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies (ICURS), was used to create “a research database on criminal case management and outcomes that is unique in the world,” says a nominator.

Today, in addition to his regular work, he continues to support criminology research at ICURS and is also the principal database expert for a collaboration between the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, Compute Canada and the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research.

Work Performance

Beverly Neufeld, research grants facilitator, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Beverly Neufeld works behind the scenes as a research grants facilitator in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), but faculty members wanted to shine a light on her exceptional work, successfully nominating her for a 2017 Staff Achievement Award for Work Performance.

In their many enthusiastic nominating letters, faculty members tout Neufeld, who has held the position for almost 13 years, as one of the faculty’s greatest assets. They attribute their successful grant applications to her extensive knowledge of the funding system, and her comprehensive writing and editing advice.

As one nominator said, “I can’t emphasize enough what a difference working with her has made in my career. Her support has helped build confidence, and the improvement in my own success rate has resulted in increased research productivity, which in turn has benefited my students, and has even spilled over to new partnerships I'm developing with researchers at other institutions.”

Says another, “She is a joy and a pleasure to work with.”

Lifetime Achievement

Donalda Meyers, director of special projects, Faculty of Education

Known as someone who “gets things done,” longtime staffer Donalda Meyers, director of special projects in the Faculty of Education, has been recognized with the 2017 Staff Achievement Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Meyers joined SFU in 1981 and has worked in the education faculty since 1990, where she has devoted her long and distinguished career to providing support, service and leadership in a number of different roles. Her keen work ethic and thorough knowledge of SFU operations have led to several secondments to other faculties or departments where she has embraced challenges with her customary vigor and goodwill.  Most recently, she has overseen a $25-million renovation to the Faculty of Education building.

“She shows up for work every day and inspires those of us lucky enough to be around her,” says a nominator. “She makes everyone around her better, with a sunny disposition and the wisdom of someone who knows and cares deeply about service to SFU.”