Supporting the family unit

The true measure of any gift is the passion behind it. As a recent graduate who now works on campus, Steve Brodrick's generosity is a natural extension of his student experience and stems from his desire to make a difference.

"I can see myself in a lot of students," says Brodrick with a smile. "I came to the U of L from Calgary with no intention of staying in Lethbridge after I finished my degree. Obviously, I'm still here and that's because of the positive experience I had as a student."

Through involvement with groups like the Students' Union and the Organization of Resident Students (ORS), Brodrick engaged with the University community and established lasting connections. These opportunities provided valuable leadership experience, something Brodrick feels could benefit other students.

"I wanted to see them get involved and to take some initiative towards improving campus," explains Brodrick, who set out to establish a scholarship recognizing student leadership. "The ORS Council Excellence Award was established in 2008 and has been given out annually ever since."

Brodrick took this experience with him as he made the transition from student to staff. In his current role as assistant manager of housing services, Brodrick became aware of the unique challenges faced by students living in family housing and established an award that recognizes the achievements of those individuals pursuing an education while raising a family.

"We have 32 families living on campus," says Brodrick, who notes that most people aren't even aware that the U of L offers family accommodations. "These individuals seem almost superhuman in their ability to balance school and other responsibilities, but they weren't being recognized for this incredible work. I wanted to change that."

The establishment of these awards represents a huge accomplishment for the 23-year old, but he's not done yet. Brodrick continues to look for ways to enhance the student experience, believing that the success of our students will ultimately benefit the University as a whole.

"Our students are our best ambassadors," says Brodrick, who graduated in 2008 and admits he talks often of his alma mater. "I think faculty and staff should feel some responsibility for ensuring that all students have a positive experience because students are the reason the rest of us are here. Supporting student awards is a very tangible way of demonstrating a commitment to our students."


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