KELOWNA, B.C. – Long-time department of athletics and recreation staff member Lucia Boersma was recognized during a virtual ceremony on Thursday morning for her contributions to customer service on campus as she was awarded the Enhancing UBC Experience Staff Award of Excellence.
Boersma, who has served in the department for 22 years and currently holds the role of Assistant to the Director, started her time at UBC Okanagan in July 1999 when the university was known as Okanagan University College and has had a lasting impact on the numerous student-athletes, alumni, coaches and staff that have been involved with the department during that time.
"I have only been at UBC Okanagan since 2018, but it took only a few moments to find out the kind of person that Lucia is," said Tom Huisman, UBCO's director of athletics and recreation. "The passion she has to help and guide the young people who come to UBC, her love for the campus and its connection to the community, and the incredible amount of respect she has earned from students, alumni, staff and faculty for what she does and contributes to UBC make her the ideal recipient of this award. Lucia embodies customer service and we are so proud of all that she has accomplished, and will continue to accomplish, as a member of our department."
"Lucia has enriched the lives of many hundreds of student-athletes," added women's volleyball head coach Steve Manuel, who has worked with Boersma since 2001. "She has provided an inviting, safe and inclusive environment and she continually caters to the needs of students, looking out for their best interest and helping them out with any and all issues."
Her contributions to the department over her time at UBC Okanagan have been numerous. They include the application and transition of the department to the Canada West conference and U SPORTS, creating department business plans, designing and redesigning facility spaces, creating various department initiatives, including the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast, the Big Block Club and the Heat Athletic Council, and the hosting of various, provincial and national championships.
Boersma has also twice taken on the role of Acting Director of Athletics and Recreation, in both 2009 and 2017, overseeing the entire operation of the department during that time.
Outside of her contributions in the department, Boersma has also regularly volunteered her time on campus, including with the Grad Gala, CREATE and Convocation, and has been active in coordinating varsity team's community outreach initiatives.