Celebrating staff: Sunrose Ko

Meet Sunrose Ko, manager of administration and finance in the Department of Computing Science.

Katie Willis - 05 March 2021

For Sunrose Ko, the best thing about working in the Department of Computing Science is the people—whether it is winning “most participants” at the annual Turkey Trot United Way fundraiser or just popping into a colleague’s office to chat. 

Ko is the manager of administration and finance in the Department of Computing Science and has been part of the department for more than 20 years. The countless and invaluable contributions of staff make the world go round in the Faculty of Science, and we are thrilled to introduce you to Sunrose Ko. Hear more about her work. 

Job title and area:

I am the manager of administration and finance in the Department of Computing Science

How long have you worked at the Faculty of Science?

23 years. 

What is a typical day on campus like for you ?

I start my day by checking my email and calendar, and then make a priority list of what I need to work on that day. Supporting my chair and my team are at the top of the list. Since I manage the day-to-day operations of the department and oversee all the accounts, I receive a wide range of queries regarding student payments, grant applications, funding, budgeting, procurement, hiring, benefits, space allocation, renovations, and more. I also check and approve financial transactions and often provide reports to various stakeholders. 

As department manager, I recruit, train, supervise, and evaluate department staff. Being part of the executive committee, I participate in strategic planning to develop and support current and future program initiatives. A typical day is very busy and fast-paced, yet there is a lot of variety and no two days are the same.

How has your work changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Other than working remotely, nothing has significantly changed. I can still access all the office drives and files and work as I was in the office. We still have meetings, but now they are all online. 

However, I really miss seeing the smiling faces of our people everyday. I miss the time when we could just pop into each other's offices, discuss problems, and get the solutions right on the spot. 

Moreover, we now have to order PPE and keep up to date on the provincial and campus rules and guidelines for COVID-19, and then assess how they impact our department and our researchers. We had to calculate and post the occupancy limits for all the rooms to be ready for when people are allowed to return to campus. We make sure everyone knows that Safety Measures General Directives must be followed.

What's the most common question people ask you about your job?

What is it like to manage the department budget?

The answer is it is challenging, especially in this economic environment. There are many projects and initiatives we would like to implement, but we have limited resources, so it is challenging to prioritize and allocate funding. However, it is rewarding when we achieve our goals within our budget.

Favourite memory from work?

I have many happy memories while working in the Department of Computing Science. One of my favourites was winning the "Most Participants" award in the Turkey Trot (fundraising for United Way) for many years. Afterwards, professors, staff, and graduate students had a potluck lunch, sharing the turkey and various cultural dishes in Heritage Lounge. Computing science is truly a happy big family. 

Favourite thing about working at the Faculty of Science?

People at the Faculty of Science work as a team. Everyone from the Dean, to the Chairs, to APOs, to professors, to support staff, and to students are kind and appreciative. We respect and support each other, and strive for excellence in the areas of teaching, research, student and administrative support services, and EDI.