Leadership Award winner Mikhail Dzuba poses for the camera at the SFU Awards Dinner on March 5, 2020.

Awards and recognition

Meet SFU's 2019 Staff Achievement Award winners

March 10, 2020

Congratulations to the winners of SFU’s 2019 Staff Achievement Awards. These awards highlight the exceptional work of SFU employees—and remind us how much the university depends on the talents and commitment of its dedicated staff.

Lifetime Achievement

Awarded for demonstrating consistent leadership, devotion and commitment to SFU over many years.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bruce Leighton (left) with Nicole Belanger (right).

Bruce Leighton

Associate member, Department of Biological Sciences

A frequent lecturer in SFU’s biology department, Bruce Leighton was an Associate Member of Biological Sciences for six years after graduating from SFU’s Biological Sciences program. He helped found the SFU Disease Research Group and operated the Alcan Aquatic Research Centre at SFU. During his career at SFU, he made outstanding contributions to biological conservation efforts and to the SFU community.

Jo-Anne Ray

Manger, Academic and Administrative Services, Publishing @ SFU

Jo-Anne Ray helped create and develop the Master of Publishing program and the undergraduate Minor in Print and Digital Publishing. With her unique combination of resourcefulness, diligence and compassion, she handles finances, advising and scheduling for both programs.   

Malcolm Toms

Manager, Network Operations, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

Over his 39-year career at SFU, Malcolm Toms has watched his role evolve many times, but his willingness to go above and beyond never has changed. Staff, students and faculty in FASS admire his breadth of knowledge and dedication to solving computer problems big and small, and will miss him greatly when he retires this March.

Frank De Vita received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Frank De Vita

Superintendent, Buildings and Grounds, Facilities Services

For 28 years, Frank De Vita has ensured that SFU students, faculty and staff have a safe, comfortable environment at the Burnaby campus. He is a skilled problem-solver and the “go-to” person for dealing with snow and ice, landscaping and emergency repairs.

Community Contribution

Awarded for generously giving time and energy to foster goodwill and compassion within the SFU community. 

Casey Bell

Financial assistant, Department of Mathematics

In 2017 and 2018, Casey Bell contributed to the SFU Academic Summer Camp for Indigenous Students by arranging everything from website design and registration to catering and room bookings, all in addition to her regular duties—and always with a kind word and a smile.


Awarded for demonstrating originality in developing and improving procedures and processes for students, staff and faculty at SFU.

Innovation Award winner Martin Mroz (left) with Sandi de Domenico (right).

Martin Mroz, Lisa Olgilvie, Karin Kosarzova, Wayne Heaslip, Tammy Nazaruk, Marcia Guno and Jaclyn Hayward

My SSP Team, Health and Counselling 

This team created and implemented My SSP, a program that gives SFU students free access to mental health support from anywhere in the world. Their diligent work has greatly impacted student experience and well-being across SFU’s campuses. 


Awarded for demonstrating exemplary leadership in managing an efficient and professional working unit.

Mikhail Dzuba

Director, SFU Bookstores

Throughout 25 years of serving the SFU community, Mikhail Dzuba has demonstrated an exceptional ability to lead and guide staff, building collaboration across programs and faculties. A thoughtful and positive leader, he models kindness to everyone he encounters. 

Student Service

Awarded for going the extra mile to meet employee and student expectations.

Rosaline Baik

Coordinator, Student Recruitment and Advising, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

In her work with the FASS One program on SFU’s Surrey campus, Rosaline Baik provides first-year students with resources, support and mentorship to ease their transition from high school to university. She is reliable, listens well, and consistently goes the extra mile to help her students succeed.

Student Service Award winner Barbara Ringham (left) with Robert Urquhart (right).

Barbara Ringham

Undergraduate advisor, School for the Contemporary Arts

Barbara Ringham’s dedication to equipping SFU students with the resources they need to succeed is evident in all aspects of her work. Her colleagues admire her professionalism, willingness to provide thoughtful feedback, and ability to come up with innovative solutions.


Awarded for demonstrating exemplary collaboration and cooperation between teams to improve processes at the university.

Zareen Naqvi, Liny Chan, Yolanda Dorrington, Jessica Tilley, Suman Jiwani, Wayne Sun, David Ham, Joanne Quan, Janice Wiebe, Kirstina Harvey, Jennifer Parkhouse and Tia Alexander

Institutional Research and Planning (IRP) Team

The IRP team has continuously performed at a high level, providing data that supports and advances institutional priorities and ensuring data integrity across university departments. This team’s staff are driven by collaboration, always willing to provide advice, expertise and help to ensure deadlines are met. 

Work Performance

Awarded for demonstrating excellent work performance that is above and beyond the call of duty.

Rose Evans received a Work Performance Award.

Rose Evans

Manager, Academic and Administrative Services, Department of Physics

Rose Evans manages the day-to-day activities of the physics department with kindness and a “can-do” attitude. She is an expert problem-solver who sets up innovative workflows and identifies problems before they can cause issues. Her colleagues describe her as the calm at the center of a storm. 

Work Performance Award winner Tara McFarlane (right) with Nanda Dimitrov (left) and Sheri Fabian (centre).

Tara McFarlane

Administrative coordinator, Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD)

Tara McFarlane’s colleagues say she is well-known for her commitment to fairness and equity in the workplace, her attention to detail, and her passion for mentoring students and younger staff members. Her behind-the-scenes work allows the ISTLD and its staff to thrive.

Work Performance Award winner Sheila Pineau (right) with Justine Crawford (left).

Sheila Pineau

Coordinator, Audience and Events Services, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit

Engaged, curious, open-minded and dedicated, Sheila Pineau is talented at anticipating her clients’ needs and ensuring that all events at SFU Woodward’s occur without a hitch. Her colleagues see her as an unsung hero and the glue that holds the department together. 

Melissa Stephens

Chair secretary, Department of Biological Sciences

Melissa Stephens’ colleagues admire her work ethic, attention to detail and ability to get jobs done with no follow-up required. Outside her regular duties, she also organizes several annual social events, creating a sense of community within the department. 

Work Performance Award winner Marion Walter (centre), with Sheilagh MacDonald (left) and Alexander Janzen (right).

Marion Walter

Assistant to the Director, School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Marion Walter has been involved with SFU from the university’s earliest years—both her parents were SFU employees—and she has continued their legacy with her work. Always finding innovative ways to improve efficiency in the office, she is conscientious, hardworking and strives for excellence in everything she does.'

Diversity and Inclusion

Awarded for valuing and supporting campus members across a broad range of differences to enhance a sense of belonging and inclusion on campus. 

Theresa Burley

Research Project Manager, CRC & Equity in Research Lead

Through her knowledge of frameworks for tackling inequities and her commitment to EDI in all facets of her work, Theresa Burley has raised community awareness about EDI and taken positive steps toward creating an institutional culture that is inclusive, respectful and safe.

Mitchell Stoddard received a Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Mitchell Stoddard

Director, Centre for Accessible Learning

Mitchell Stoddard championed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts long before EDI became an identified priority at SFU. He commits himself daily to developing a diverse, inclusive environment at SFU for members of historically disenfranchised groups.