Sandra Ondracka, Scott Van Hende, Brittany Jennings, Mike HaveyCampus Recreation manager Sandra Ondracka and acting director of ARS Mike Havey flank the department’s student employees of the year, Scott Van Hende and Brittany Jennings.

Luncheon shows appreciation for athletics and recreation student staff

As Lancer teams advanced in post-season play, athletics support staff worried about the prospect of hosting the Queen’s Cup for the Ontario University Athletics championship in men’s hockey the same weekend as the Final Eight tournament for national women’s basketball.

One thought kept his department from panicking, acting director of Athletics and Recreational Services Mike Havey said Friday: “We knew we had a student employee who could step up and take on that project.”

That student, Brittany Jennings, was one of two recognized as student employee of the year at the Blue and Gold Student Staff Appreciation Luncheon. When the Lancers did indeed win the right to host the Queen’s Cup, she was pressed into action.

“I had to approach the championship like it was any other home game,” said Jennings, notwithstanding a crowd of fans three to four times larger than normal.

“It was a huge challenge,” she acknowledged, “but a very rewarding experience—especially since we won.”

Scott Van Hende, co-winner as student employee of the year, said his years working for Athletics and Recreational Services have changed the direction of his career. After holding a variety of positions, from the Forge Fitness Centre to coordinator of club sports, he will pursue graduate study in sports management once he graduates this spring with a BHK in movement science.

Find more information, including a full list of the award winners honoured at the luncheon, in the full article, “Lancers honour student support staff.”