MSc OEH alumna Nicole Boeder wins Roberta Ellis Award

Written by Haoyuan Li

Recent graduate Nicole Boeder is the first-ever winner of the Roberta Ellis Award for Excellence in the Study and Practice of Occupational and Environmental Health.

The $1,000 award, sponsored by the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety (PWHS) and WorkSafeBC for its inaugural year, was presented to the Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc OEH) alumna in April.

Nicole Boeder

MSc OEH graduate Nicole Boeder

Ms Boeder received the award in part for her work at her co-op placement with Teck Resources as part of the occupational hygiene team. She said trying to understand all of the potential hazards in the work environment was a little overwhelming at first, but she was able to adapt with the help of hygienists and hygiene technicians on site. While it was initially challenging to leave Vancouver, she ended up enjoying her placement.

“I could not have asked for a better experience.”
MSc OEH graduate Nicole Boeder

PWHS said the award was created to honour the longstanding support of Roberta Ellis, who retired as a senior executive at WorkSafeBC last year, in the education and training of students in occupational and environmental health, and whom Ms Boeder said had made a lot of contributions to the public health industry.

“I am really honoured to win the award that is named after her.”

Now working as a health & safety advisor at Vancouver Airport Authority, Ms Boeder’s role involves inspecting potential health hazards and responding to health incidents. She said while the program taught her professional knowledge in the area of public health, other skills that she developed during her studies were equally important, including critical thinking and communications skills.

“The program gave me the baseline knowledge of occupational hygiene, as well as the fundamental skills that I needed to be successful in any HSE/Hygiene role.

“However, what it gives graduates the most is teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.”
MSc OEH graduate Nicole Boeder

Pictured from left are Assistant Professor Chris McLeod, Nicole Boeder, and Roberta Ellis. Photo credit: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety.

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