Sports and Recreation Student Staff Awards 2021-22


    Not all award winners are pictured

On April 9, Sports & Recreation (SRS) hosted its annual Student Staff Recognition event, honouring the top student staff on each SRS team with individual awards.

It was the first time this event was able to take place in-person in almost three years, so the teams were very excited to be able to come together to recognize the incredible contributions of these exceptional individuals, who went above and beyond this past year - helping us to reopen programming and maintaining an incredible attitude while operating under all the new policies and procedures that were required. We are so grateful for their incredible contributions. 

The following are a list of our top student staff award winners for this past year:

The Bob Zeisner Award for 2021/2022: Julia Foss

This honour is bestowed annually to the student leader that, over the course of their scholastic career with the Department of Sports and Recreation services, best exemplifies a commitment to our mission and values through demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and community building and a dedication to servicing our program and our membership. The Bob Zeisner award is named after long-time Manager of Campus Recreation, Bob Zeisner.  

This year's winner was an obvious choice to the leadership team – she has stood out all year and demonstrated exceptional qualities we look for in our staff and they exceeded every expectation we could imagine. Throughout this past year, all of our student staff have had to adapt, adjust, be compassionate, be understanding, and jump in to help wherever we needed. Julia was a leader and role model in every aspect just listed. She had the ability to remain calm in all situations, demonstrate patience and kindness on the front line and with staff teams, and was a go to for many things our full-time staff needed. We had the absolute pleasure this past year to watch this individual grow and develop so much as a leader but also personally and professionally. From going out of her way to help coworkers with coverage or lend an ear to support them through a difficult time, there isn't anything Julia wouldn't do to help the WSRC staff.  

We have tried numerous times to encourage her to continue at Western so we can keep her on our team, but we will somehow find a way to keep her involved as she has the ability to take our team to the next level and support our employees to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.  

In addition to the above, she is the student representative for our department Strategic Plan Committee. She has assisted with the facility reopening and numerous adjustments to vaccination checks, and she ensured that Membership Services always had updates and correct information about all program areas to ensure the MS team could answer all members questions to the best of their abilities

It has truly has been a pleasure having her work with us through all of the challenges this past year; she has offered incredible perspective, support and troubleshooting ability. Her leadership skills are incredible, as well as her communication skills and problem solving are skills, which will truly be an asset the rest of her life.  

Congratulations Julia!
Fitness Centre Shift Leader of the Year: Mathew Seeburger
Mathew started working with our team in 2018 as a Fitness Centre attendant. In 2019 he went on an exchange to the University of South Carolina and also worked Campus Recreation. Fall 2022 Mathew returned to campus ready share his experiences at USC. He is a dynamic leader and a pleasure to be around. Mathew quickly established himself as a support system for many on our team. He is always supportive of teammates and provides guidance, both on shift and on his personal time. Mathew is known for recruiting staff and members to attend Helen's yoga class. Congratulations Mathew.
Fitness Centre Fitness Centre Attendant of the Year: Sean Elder
Sean started with campus recreation in August of 2021. He quickly established himself as hard-worker. He often can be found cleaning or volunteering for tasks most others shy away from. His positive attitude and strong work ethic resulted in him being nominated for staff of the month on several occasions. Congratulations Sean.

IMS Official of the Year: Brendan Fox
Brendan displayed a high level of knowledge in understanding rules and communicating them to participants (especially flag football). He was very proactive in monitoring and managing game flow and emotions, and is a very hard worker – he worked most weekends for flag football, including in the snow/rain. Congratulations Brendan.

IMS Convener of the Year: Dennis Haluza
Dennis is an incredibly efficient performer and well deserving of this award; he would be be given a task and would complete it quickly with a high level of accuracy. He has strong leadership skills - shown in training his officials and dealing with participants, and is a great problem solver - was able to quickly analyze a situation, propose several alternative plans, and implement an appropriate decision. Congratulations Dennis.

Mustangs TV/Event Staff of the Year: Tyler Nikiel
Tyler has been an invaluable member of the Mustangs TV/Event staff team for several years now. He brings to each shift a keen willingness to help, a great understanding of the needs of the team and the work, and an incredible support to the team overall. Thank you and congratulations Tyler.

Communications (Game Day) Staff of the Year: Erika Pepe
Erika is a very motivated and talented individual. She consistently goes above and beyond in picking up shifts, taking on new projects, and supporting her team members. Her attention to detail, creativity with her writing, and passion for Sport is incredible. Her positive and calm attitude helps to lift up anyone she works with, and she has demonstrated strong willingness to learn, leadership and a dedication to the team over this past year . Erika is relatively new to the Communications/Sports Information team but has quickly become an invaluable student staff member who has an enthusiasm for her role that is obvious to those around her. She is very deserving of this award, and the team is incredibly lucky to have her. Congratulations Erika.

Communications (Digital Communications) Staff of the Year: Tatiana Gordon
Tatiana has worked with the team for two years and in that time has taken on a leadership role in helping us to see many digital projects across the finish line. She is calm, organized and efficient, as well as being a creative writer of both articles and social media. She was an incredible support during the past two years of communications for both virtual and in-person programming, and we are incredibly lucky to have her on our team. She consistently goes above and beyond in taking on new projects and supporting her team members, and she has an amazingly positive attitude and has demonstrated a strong willingness to learn – and learn quickly! Tatiana is incredibly deserving of this award, and we feel so fortunate that she chose to join our team. Congratulations Tatiana!

Lifeguard of the Year: Thomas Lecuyer
This individual is truly loved by everyone.  They have the ability to show up and make the pool deck a fun and positive environment.   They work hard and go above and beyond in making our team a strong and cohesive one.   They are incredibly proactive in connecting with members and ensuring a high level of safety for everyone.  Our team this year would not have been the same without him and his incredible energy. Congratulations Thomas.

Headguard of the Year: Emily Roden
This individual has shown resiliency and adaptability many times throughout this year.   Their ability to go above and beyond in numerous was has not been unnoticed.   From creating a welcoming environment to providing excellent coaching and mentorship, it has been a joy to have them on the team and watch them grow so much.  She has jumped in numerous occasions when we have needed coverage and has done an exceptional job with being a new SFA instructor.  Not to mention creating a photo board on deck with ongoing games to help staff get to know each other. Congratulations Emily

Associate of the Year: Avery Weeks
This individual is one of those staff that you find, and you really don't want to lose.  They are a role model employee, they are trustworthy and dependable, they go above and beyond, and most importantly – they enjoy their job and being a member of the MS team.  This individual will go out of their way -almost daily if not weekly to help our team, whether it be with coverage, training an employee, bringing in absolute amazing energy, or going out of their way to ensure a positive experience for a member.  Not only have they been a role model employee, but they step up continually whether on shift or showing up in a blue SERT uniform to provide medical care to our members. Congratulations Avery.

Shift Leader of the Year: Christian James-McDonald
This year's SL is truly a good human.  Every time this individual sees you, they check in with you and ask how you are doing and actually want to know how you are doing.   This individual will show up for every shift in the most positive mood and be ready to give 150%.  They go out of their way to help with shift coverage – even working two shifts a day if needed.  Qualities that come to mind when I think of this individual are:  genuine, empathetic, respectful, humble, caring, compassionate, and dedicated.  While this individual did not even apply to the SL role, it was during the interview when Julia and I immediately said, we need him as a Shift Leader, he would be incredible and I'm happy to say, he has not proven to us this was the best decision. Congratulations Christian.

Congratulations again to all our top award winners! Thank you for all of your leadership, and the incredible support you showed the team over this past year.

And thank you to all of our student staff, we couldn't do it without you and are very grateful.