Faculty and Staff

2017 Staff Achievement Award winners: Greg St. Germain, Richard Blackwell, Devi Pabla

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.

Community Contribution

Greg St Germain, equipment assistant, Athletics & Rec

Greg St. Germain is a change maker in his community, whether he’s on the job as an equipment-room assistant in SFU’s Athletics and Recreation Department, or volunteering for the ALS Society of BC.

His work at SFU and the ALS Society of BC is being recognized with the 2017 Staff Achievement Award for Community Contribution.

His dedication to the society began 15 years ago. “I wanted to do something aimed at helping people, plain and simple,” says St. Germain. “A former SFU co-worker asked me to sell raffle tickets at a Vancouver Canadians game to honour Lou Gerhig and from then on I became more passionate and involved with the society.”

Four years ago, St. Germain became the walk coordinator for the Fraser Valley Walk for ALS. After he sent a call-out for volunteers for the 2016 walk, more than 30 departmental employees and student athletes joined him and raised $60,00 for ALS research and patient care.

“Having known Greg for several years, I can attest to the fact his infectious enthusiasm largely contributed to the inspiration of this event,” says a nominator. “I’m very proud to call Greg one of our own.”

Work Performance

Richard Blackwell, manager, information technology, Department of Psychology

Addressing the information technology needs of a department as large and diverse as that of psychology is no easy feat, but Richard Blackwell, the department’s manager of information technology, meets these demands with aplomb.

The winner of a 2017 Staff Achievement Award for work performance, he was nominated for his exemplary loyalty, work ethic and sense of humour.

Blackwell has worked in the department for more than 30 years. He manages a team of three technicians that, says a nominator, “is an unbelievably well-functioning and efficient team.”

His many nominators praise his comprehensive IT knowledge, his commitment and dedication to helping staff and faculty no matter the issue, and his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to respond to calls after hours.

Says one nominator, “Richard's ability and competence are matched by his genuineness, his affability and his wonderful sense of humor.”

Says another, “Richard is simply one of those exceptional people who makes a noticeable difference in the professional lives of those around him.”


Student Service

Devi Pabla, secretary, Faculty of Education

For the past 35 years, secretary Devi Pabla has been “the welcoming, caring, hard-working face” of the Faculty of Education, where she has carried out her duties “quietly and diligently” behind the scenes to ensure faculty and staff excel in their work.

As well, says a nominator, Pabla’s “continuous devotion to students” makes her richly deserving of the 2017 Staff Achievement Award for Student Service.

“Devi never just does her job. She always does her best job,” says a nominator. “This takes concentration, patience, skill, caring and an attitude of pride and concern.”

Faculty, staff and students also appreciate Pabla’s caring support and listening skills.

“You always leave Devi feeling good. She spreads her happy dust about her like the blue fairy in children’s stories.”

Says another nominator, “I believe she is one of those admirable individuals in SFU’s grassroots community who sustain and better the community’s practice, value, reputation, and lives of the people.”