Laurier Grads Soar: Andrea Elliott
Former student leader with Athletics and Recreation has built her love of writing into a career in communications with the Ryerson Rams
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - Posted by Jamie Howieson
Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that has returned for the 2017-18 year. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.
Andrea Elliott: Sports Information Specialist, Ryerson Rams
Ever since those days as a 10-year old in elementary school, Andrea Elliott remembers having this insatiable appetite to write about things.
Elliott couldn’t quite remember if there may have been some mimicking of events back at Lakeside Public School in the Durham Region community of Ajax, but her story-telling was superb and the ability to be creative and thorough was impressive.
Given the nickname of “Comma Queen” back then, because she admitted to having used an excessive amount of the punctuation marks to separate her words, thoughts and clearly articulate her ideas, Elliott was showing early signs of a bright future in the world of communications.
Many years later, after earning a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, and having been actively involved in numerous athletic events – from an administrative side rather than as a varsity performer – Elliot has found her niche.
“Never been happier than I am now, in a dream job, and it all goes back to my days at Laurier,” said Elliott who despite being a multi-sport athlete at Ajax High School, excelled and caught the attention of many because of her ability to get things done.
Now, after several progressive career moves, Elliott is a Sports Information Specialist at Ryerson University in Toronto with duties that include event logistics, and overseeing communications writing assignments as well as ensuring the accuracy of statistical sports information.
“There was a time that I wanted to be a teacher, like my mother, but my older sister was at Laurier and when I went to see her, just picked up this Laurier vibe – I felt comfortable there and the transition to university life.”
Interested in kinesiology, and having been an athlete at secondary school, Elliott thought about playing varsity volleyball at Laurier.
But, the time commitment was a bit too much for her and she hooked on to the administrative side of Athletics and Recreation as an Event Coordinator, and was thorough at setting up facilities for games and special events.
The leadership role was something she enjoyed, and with it, strong communications skills, preparation and writing, and lots more. Twice the winner of the annual Dean Esther Brandon award, given to a female who contributed most to athletics at Laurier, Elliott also received the Golden Hawk Award of Excellence.
That only paved the way for a one-year post-grad program at Durham College, closer to home, and a diploma in Sports Business Management.
Her first taste of responsibilities, outside of Laurier, occurred as an intern working for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. Then, an opening occurred with Ontario University Athletics – her first full-time position - writing content for sports information guides, weekly round-ups and media releases.
“I was doing something that I enjoyed,” she recalled. “That was what mattered to me - being happy, staying ambitious and effective.”
For Elliott, reliable and knowledgeable, the experience piled up - and people noticed.
Elliott moved on to the Ontario Lacrosse Association as a Program Coordinator, and it was while volunteering to help with the an Ontario university hockey playoff, that she heard about the Ryerson opening, applied and was hired.
While there may have been times for her to feel her heart racing, pushed on getting things done on time, and being far from reaching a state of calm, Elliott always had an aggressive and positive approach that just kept fuelling her confidence and showing others that she was quite capable.
In the summer of 2017, she had her first experience at a major world sports event. Elliott was chosen to handle the Communications Officer duties for Team Canada competing in Taiwan at the International University Sports Federation games.
David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.
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