Co-op/WIL/EL Student of the Year Awards

Every year EWO awards students with the Co-op/WIL/EL Student of the Year Awards

The Co-op/WIL/EL Student of the Year Award is presented to one student (or group) attending a university and one student (or group) attending a college, who have showcased exceptional job/commuity/project achievement, extra-curricular involvement, and a strong contribution to Co-operative Education, Work-Integrated Learning, or Experiential Education.

Note: Groups of students are eligible for the WIL/EL Awards.

The winning student receives an award of $750.

Are You Eligible?

To be eligible for the Co-op/WIL/EL Student of the Year Award you must:

Be nominated by an EWO member institution with the approval of the employer/community partner involved

Be a full-time student (or a group of students for the WIL/EL Awards) in an undergraduate, graduate, diploma, advanced diploma, or certificate program at the institution

Complete the nominated work term/project within the calendar year.

How to Apply

Please visit the Co-op Nomination Guidelines or the WIL/EL Nomination Guidelines webpage to find out about how to apply and to download the required documents.

Co-op Student of the Year Award Recipients

The EWO Co-op Student of the Year Award recognizes Ontario Co-op students who have showcased exceptional job accomplishment, extra-curricular involvement, and a strong contribution to Co-operative Education.

  • Award Winners 2020
  • Award Winners 2019
  • Award Winners 2018
  • Award Winners 2017
  • Award Winners 2016
  • Award Winners 2015
  • Award Winners 2014
  • Award Winners 2013
  • Award Winners 2012
  • Award Winners 2011
  • Award Winners 2010

Award Winners 2020

College Winner:

William Tran, graduate of Centennial’s Supply Chain and Operations Management Diploma program, was an outstanding co-op student in every way. In his co-op work term in Logistics at TJX Canada, he innovated reporting methods to support their digital transformation. William has also excelled academically and in athletics, with many achievements, among them: a 96% average, top 3% of his cohort, and 3 silver medals in intercollegiate tournaments. He also raised $2000 for SickKids Hospital with his Varsity team. While his second work term was cancelled due to the pandemic, he stayed in touch and was offered a work term the following semester. He has shared tips on perseverance despite setbacks for a Centennial Marketing article. While now graduated from Centennial, he continues to volunteer as a Peer Career Coach and as an eMentor. He has also been appointed as a full member of the Supply Chain Management Program Advisory Committee.

University Winner:

Omar Hajjaj had his 2020 co-op terms with the QUEST research team, primarily working with the University Health Network where he was a vital component of several research projects. He helped coordinate the largest Canadian COVID-19 study investigating the use of convalescent plasma in patients with COVID-19 and created an interactive tracker for patient enrollment that is used in over 60 hospitals across North America. Omar also completed the largest published literature review of umbilical cord blood testing practice. He presented his findings to the Canadian Obstetrics Pediatrics Transfusion Network. Omar generously gives his time and energy to improve the community around him. At the University of Waterloo, he has developed resources to educate students on the co-op program through leadership positions in Science Orientation and in his position as a Residence Don. He also volunteers as a Hotline Responder and a Research Assistant at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Awards Committee

Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo (Co-Chair)
Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College (Co-Chair)
Andrew Bassingthwaighte
 | Brock University
Tammy McDowell | Georgian College
Paul Needham | George Brown College
Matt Wheatley | Algonquin College

Award Winners 2019

College Winner:

Christina Weng is a student in Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Interaction Design program. Christina earned a prestigious position with Microsoft Vancouver Garage where after a cross-Canada flight she was instrumental in the rebrand and user experience design of a Microsoft product that now has 120,000 downloads.  
Christina has won many hackathon competitions, and was even flown to California to compete in a Stanford-hosted hackathon where she received two awards. She is the Co-founder/President of the “Hackademics” club at Sheridan and raised over $12,000 in sponsorship funds for the club.   
 Christina is an incredibly inspirational mentor to other students through resume workshops, portfolio reviews, mock interviews, job search articles she’s publishing and a Co-op podcast! Christina is a tremendous example for students of what can be achieved through a strategic job search. She will graduate from Sheridan in April 2020 and has already accepted a full-time offer from Facebook in California.

University Winner:

Brad’s programming and statistical knowledge has allowed him to significantly improve existing models and practices, directly leading to a significant increase in profits and reduction of costs. This positive impact at the Royal Bank of Canada, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, and Canadian Tire have led to very positive performance reviews including multiple returning offers. His community involvement has been evident through volunteer experience raising money for the Federated Health Charities and increasing diversity in the technology workplace. During his four years of studies in BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics, he has been an Honour Roll & Dean’s Honour List Recipient for all his years of study and has been nominated for the Golden Key International Honour Society for being identified as the top 15% in the faculty. In January 2020, he will be returning to Brock University to pursue a Masters in Statistics with a focus in Computational Statistics.

Awards Committee

Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo (Co-Chair) Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College (Co-Chair) Tammy McDowell | Georgian College Paul Needham | George Brown College

Award Winners 2018

College Winner:

Lawrence Young completed his third co-op work term as part of Sheridan’s Computer Systems Technology-Software Development and Networking Engineering program with RBC’s Amplify program which is designed to attract top student talent and present them 16 weeks to solve RBC’s most pressing challenges. Lawrence worked as part of a team tasked with developing a chat bot that could have a far-reaching impact on RBC’s client interactions.  Lawrence impressed with his application of his advanced training, his ability to present his ideas at all levels of the organization and his professionalism.  Lawrence is an exceptional student who, as an individual with a severe visual impairment, has provided guidance to both Sheridan and RBC to continually improve the experiences of other students and employees with disabilities.  Lawrence has now been hired full-time by RBC, having accepted one of the 5 RBC job offers he received on conclusion of his work term!

University Winner:

Rachel is a fifth year student in her final semester, and had the pleasure of completing four co-op work terms during her time at Brock. Her first co-op was at Meridian Credit Union, during which she developed a passion for data analytics, and enhanced efficiency by automating the audit of business processes. Her next co-op was an 8-month term at RBC, where she built the code to deploy numerous marketing campaigns and developed a new strategy for targeting clients that has since been tested for marketing other RBC products. Her last co-op term was at Canadian Tire Financial Services, where she produced analytical tools to help improve Canada’s performance in the Olympics, such as creating a player performance tool for Curling Canada. While working on these meaningful and exciting projects, she gained 16 months of invaluable experience in the field she would like to pursue a career in.

Awards Committee

Ashley Carnrite | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo
Bettyna Bélizaire | University of Ottawa
Tammy McDowell | Georgian College
Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College
Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University

Award Winners 2017

College Winner:

Shannon Walsh Moreau is an incredibly passionate individual who is not only bettering herself through further education with the Honours Bachelor of Athletic Therapy program, but also strives to improve injury and pain management. Her wealth of professional experience is highlighted by her most recent co-op work terms with the Ottawa Redblacks. She has not only developed and implemented new rehabilitation and training programs, but has helped develop new treatment techniques. Shannon’s advanced leadership is further evident by her winning the Dr. Ron Taylor Award 2017 for exemplary leadership qualities and strong interpersonal skills and character. Her community involvement is inspiring, having donated countless hours to the Shepherds of Good Hope Christmas program and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Also, Shannon’s eagerness to help fellow students by sharing her knowledge proves she is an amazing representative of Sheridan College and of co-operative education.

University Winner:

Emily Pass is a third year undergraduate student studying Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. During her fall 2017 work term, she was a Research Assistant to Professor Stanimir Metchev at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration. She successfully developed a data analysis pipeline for Colibri, a rapid-imaging astronomical experiment. Emily created the pipeline from scratch and completed it within six weeks, far ahead of schedule. Her findings from this pipeline were published in a 13-page scientific paper in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a well-respected academic publication in this field. Emily is one of 270 Schulich Leaders in Canada.

Awards Committee

Ashley Carnrite | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Rob Phillips | Sheridan College
Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo
Bettyna Bélizaire | University of Ottawa
Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University

Award Winners 2016

College Winner:

Catherine Poehlam is a student in Sheridan’s CST- System Analyst Co-op program. Catherine’s academic achievements, having maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout her program, are matched by her professional, personal and community achievements.
Not only has Catherine overcome anxiety to become a confident self-starter who founded a club specifically for young women hoping to work in the technology sector, she also lead a team of students in developing a project that commanded a first place finish by a panel of judges. In addition, Catherine mentored students in her web design class. Catherine’s Co-op term for PointClick Care resulted in an impressive tool to improve efficiency within the company, drawing direct recognition from the CEO. In addition, her promotion of Co-op at Sheridan resulted in a new posting.
As a student who has demonstrated overwhelming success, forward momentum and spirit, Catherine is an amazing representative of Sheridan College and of Co-operative Education.

University Winner:

Brianna Guild graduated with distinction from the University of Guelph in February 2017 with a B.Sc. Honours Biochemistry (Co-op) degree and a minor in Psychology; Brain & Cognition.
Her undergraduate research career included accomplishments such as authorship on a publication as well as another manuscript in progress, and presenting at six scientific conferences. She completed co-op work terms with three different employers, most recently in the laboratory of Dr. Jim Uniake at the University of Guelph, where she is currently employed post-graduation. Through volunteer experiences with SpeechLanguage Pathologists at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Let’s Talk Guelph, Brianna discovered her interest in working with individuals with communication disorders. She has applied for Master’s Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and hopes to improve the human condition by ensuring that each individual she works with reaches their full potential.

Awards Committee

June Martin | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Rob Phillips | Sheridan College
Kirk Patterson | University of Waterloo
Bettyna Belizaire | University of Ottawa
Ashley Carnrite | Georgian College

Award Winners 2015

College Winner:

Amanda is a parent, mental health advocate, and honours student.  She resides in Hamilton Ontario.  Amanda entered the Health, Wellness, and Fitness Co-op program in September 2013 and quickly became known for her peer support, tutoring, and encouragement.  This helpful nature served her well as she excelled in her Co-op position as a Lifestyle team member and Fitness Consultant with Health Systems Group (at ArcelorMittal Dofasco).  Drawing on her experience with Mohawk College’s Mental Health in Motion Team, Amanda worked as a key member of the Lifestyle team which had exceptional achievements in the area of Mental Health at work.  Amanda and her fiancé put their passion for overall health to task by walking over 400km from Toronto to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to raise awareness for mental health initiatives and overall well-being.  Amanda is in her final semester and personifies excellence in Co-op student achievement at Mohawk College.

University Winner:

Rachel McDonald is a fourth year student enrolled in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo. After finishing her degree, she plans to go on to medical school. Rachel’s spring 2015 work term was with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as a Clinical Research Assistant. She worked alongside radiation oncologists, providing patient care and developed research initiatives for palliative radiation oncology. Several of Rachel’s papers and abstracts have been published in peer-reviewed journals. She also had the opportunity to participate in the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she delivered two poster presentations. In her spare time, Rachel participates as a volunteer with Adapted Aquatics, teaching swimming to individuals with disabilities. 

Awards Committee

June Martin | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Rob Phillips | Sheridan College
Kirk Patterson | University of Waterloo
Marg Medeiros | Fanshawe College
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University

Award Winners 2014

College Winner:

Ali Zaheer is a student in Sheridan’s Business Administration – Finance Co-op program. During his Co-op work term with Sheridan’s Financial Aid department he was recognized by students and his supervisor for his exceptional service to students and for increasing department efficiency through his development of new processes.

 Ali is also the President and Co-Founder of the Sheridan Finance Associate (SFA) which strives to ensure career success for students within Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business. In this role, Ali organized on and off-campus events and networked with industry professionals for the benefit of his fellow students. One of the events Ali organized resulted in 16 of his colleagues securing employment with TD Canada Trust.

Ali is a great role model for students and has demonstrated remarkable initiative, leadership and a passion for helping others throughout his time at Sheridan.

University Winner:

Skye Wattie is an Arts & Business Psychology co-op student at the University of Waterloo. He is currently completing his last year, working on an honours thesis in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Skye spent four work terms with RL Solutions first as an implementation  Coordinator, and in his last term, as an Implementation Specialist. Skye was given a full-time work portfolio which demanded multiple software  implementation projects, liaising with Healthcare practitioners from around the world and ensuring client self-sufficiency in software application.

Skye is a member of the cross country team at UWaterloo, and a Don at an off-campus residence. He also volunteered for a number of organizations in Ontario, and participated in running marathons for various causes and bicycled across Canada to meet people with augmentative and alternative communication to share their stories.

Awards Committee

Marg Medeiros | Fanshawe College
June Martin | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Rob Phillips | Sheridan College
Kirk Patterson | University of Waterloo
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University

Award Winners 2013

College Winner:

Hargurdeep Singh, a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering Technology – Design & Drafting Co-op student at Sheridan College, has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Co-op Student of the Year in the College category. During his Co-op work term with the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies,
Hargurdeep stood out for his initiative, leadership and drive. He formed the Sheridan Engineering Association (SEA) which he quickly grew to 200+ members. Hargurdeep built a partnership between the SEA and The Tetra Society of North America. Their projects for the design of assistive devices for people with disabilities were added to curriculum allowing Hargurdeep and his colleagues to offer incredible value to this organization.

Through Hargurdeep’s efforts, Sheridan is the first college in Canada to have a student chapter with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Hargurdeep is a great example of what can happen when students choose to go above what is required and to give back to their classmates, program and school.

University Winner:

Massine Bouzerar, a 4th year Bachelor of Business Administration Co-op student at BrockUniversity has been selected as the winner of the 2013 Co-op Student of the Year Award in the University category. As a Financial Analyst Co-op student at Mondelez International, he spearheaded an audit of one of the divisions, making recommendations that would save the company $10 million over the long term and introducing an additional $140 million in potential business ventures. With a 93% average, Massine has also been a devoted advocate for Brock Co-op.

For the past 2 years he has participated in recruitment and liaison activities both on campus and in Toronto. Massine’s passion and fervor for entrepreneurship is evident in several of his current extracurricular roles. He serves as the President and Founder of Niagara Youth Business Education Initiative, which is a not-for-profit organization targeting youth to expose them to future careers in business.

Awards Committee

June Martin | Georgian College
Alexis Trejgo | George Brown College
Kirk Patterson | University of Waterloo
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University

Award Winners 2012

College Winner:

Patricia, a Bachelor of Applied Technology – School of Construction Management and Trades student at George Brown College nominated by Aecon Buildings, a Division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.
Each of these exceptional and deserving students received a certificate and cheque for $500. We at EWO encourage all Co-op practitioners and our valued Co-op employers to consider nominating outstanding students for these prestigious awards.

University Winner:

Valerie a Bachelor of Business Administration – Management student at the University of Toronto Scarborough nominated by Nestlé Canada Inc.

Awards Committee

Kathleen McDowell | U of Toronto Scarborough (Co-Chair)
Kathleen Winningham | Centennial College (Co-Chair)
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University
June Martin | Georgian College

Award Winners 2011

College Winner:

Patricia, a Bachelor of Applied Technology – School of Construction Management and Trades student at George Brown College nominated by Aecon Buildings, a Division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.
Each of these exceptional and deserving students received a certificate and cheque for $500. We at EWO encourage all Co-op practitioners and our valued Co-op employers to consider nominating outstanding students for these prestigious awards.

University Winner:

Valerie a Bachelor of Business Administration – Management student at the University of Toronto Scarborough nominated by Nestlé Canada Inc.

Awards Committee

Kathleen McDowell | U of Toronto Scarborough (Co-Chair)
Kathleen Winningham | Centennial College (Co-Chair)
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University
June Martin | Georgian College

Award Winners 2010

College Winner:

Stephanie Matzos is a Business Administration – Human Resources co-op student at Centennial College, in Toronto. Stephanie was nominated for her outstanding work while employed as a Human Resources Coordinator at The Children’s Wish Foundation. There, she established her leadership ability by implementing a years of service program, enhancing current job descriptions to better identify key competencies and developing an employee handbook. Stephanie also helped promote co-op education at Centennial by being a guest speaker in co-op classes where she spoke about her fantastic experience at Children’s Wish. Stephanie also has rounded her co-op experience by maintaining a 95% average in her program at Centennial. As demonstrated, Stephanie is an excellent choice for EWO Co-op student of the year.

University Winner:

Liane Langstaff is a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences Co-op student at the University of Guelph. Liane’s contributions to the food technology field through her work at the Guelph Food Technology Centre, are without question second to none for an undergraduate university co-op student. Her role as a Sustainability Consulting Student afforded her the opportunity to aide clients in integrating sustainability into their operations. Through her high productivity and “zest for learning”,Liane was a valued member of her team. The scope of Liane’s contributions is also evident through her leadership as a senior co-op student and ambassador for co-operative education.

Awards Committee

Kathleen McDowell | University of Toronto Scarborough
Kathleen Winningham | Centennial College
Pennie Schrader | University of Waterloo
Denise Olah | Seneca College
Daniela Ibarra | Ryerson University
June Martin | Georgian College

"Learning visual design and being able to practice it for the first time affirmed that I made the right decision.”
Christina Weng
Bachelor of Interaction Design
Post-secondary institution: Sheridan College
Recipient of the 2019 College Co-op Award from EWO

WIL Student of the Year Award Recipients

The EWO WIL Student of the Year Award recognizes one student (or group) attending a university and one student (or group) attending a college, who have showcased exceptional job/community accomplishment, extra-curricular involvement, and a strong contribution to Work-Integrated Learning.

  • Award Winners 2020
  • Award Winners 2019
  • Award Winners 2018

Award Winners 2020

College Winner:

Rebekah Derle is a student in the Recreation and Leisure Services program at Conestoga College, and the Student Representative on the Program Advisory Committee. She completed her placement at St. Andrew’s Terrace long-term care home in the city of Cambridge, Ontario. She provided support in the Life Enrichment Department where she spent time each day with the residents to enrich their lives, especially during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She had learned how to plan, implement, and run programs safely for the residents at the home. She is also a musician who plays the trumpet – and uses her musical gifts to run music programs for the residents.

University Winner:

Selina Quibrantar is a fourth-year Human Biology and Population Health student at the University of Toronto (U of T), driven to foster change at the local and global level through investigating ways to address food insecurity. Through her applied research project with Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF), she investigated the inequities that include barriers to food security within Toronto, proposed a policy recommendation to alleviate food insecurity in the Ward 7 neighborhood, and created an executive summary document that was published and shared with the Toronto Food Policy Council to optimize Toronto’s role in managing community food assets. She then leveraged this WIL experience to initiate an independent project in the summer for the COVID-19 Student Engagement initiative with U of T Global, where she utilized her professional connection with BCCF, and extended WIL globally, to create a video series to enrich learning on campus.

Awards Committee

Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo (Co-Chair) Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College (Co-Chair) Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University Tammy McDowell | Georgian College Paul Needham | George Brown College Matt Wheatley | Algonquin College

Award Winners 2019

College Winner:

Tara Sottile is a second year Journalism – Mass Media diploma student at Durham College. She has a passion for writing, broadcast and video production. She is a radio tech at Riot Radio, Durham College’s student-run radio station, and a regular contributor to The Chronicle, the campus newspaper. Tara was also the recipient of the college’s Best First Year Commentary Award in 2019. She is passionate about telling stories, and helping other’s share their stories. She searches for meaning in all stories she produces and is focused on giving a voice to the voiceless. Tara hopes to continue telling stories and pursue a career in radio broadcast after graduating.

University Winner:

Anh-Mai is a Master of Education ISP student with her roots and undergraduate studies in Vietnam and her academic pursuit of a Masters degree in Canada.  As part of her educational journey, she participated in a Work-Integrated Learning field placement focused on Marketing & Communications; her area of expertise.  Anh Mai completed a full audit of social media activity at Brock University within the Faculty of Education, as well as three additional University’s use of social media.  From here she gathered overall social media demographic information, created a content calendar and provided a full report including future recommendations. Outside the experiential classroom, Anh-Mai has experience as a marketing specialist, holds the position of Marketing Officer for the Goodman School of Business’s Goodman Group, is a student Ambassador and also a Peer Mentor within a residence Living Learning Community and is a fully engaged graduate student.

Awards Committee

Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo (Co-Chair) Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College (Co-Chair) Tammy McDowell | Georgian College Paul Needham | George Brown College

Award Winners 2018

College Winner:

“Life has taken me on many journeys, but nothing will break my determination and ambitions”. Cristina Pereira.  Growing up, home was not always the safe and supportive environment that it should be for a child.  Cristina went on to experience bullying at school, which led to anxiety, depression and at times, suicidal thoughts.  Early on, Cristina decided she wanted to dedicate her life to supporting the marginalized.  She designed and delivered an award-winning program to educate youth about the dangers of drugs. She raised funds for community projects, and engaged young women with addictions through soccer, empowering them to make meaningful lifestyle changes.  Following a workplace accident, Cristina needed to re-train due to a chronic injury and the Social Worker Diploma program at Sheridan was a natural choice.  She has quickly become nurturing support for classmates.  She motivates and supports them and helps them to excel.  At Sheridan, Cristina maintains an enviable academic record, has excelled on her professional practice, all the while juggling the responsibilities of motherhood.

University Winner:

Stephanie Lasica is a fourth year student in Brock University’s (Honours) Media and Communications Studies program with a Concentration in Digital Culture.  Upon graduating in June of 2019, she aspires to pursue a degree in Public Relations.  Within her capstone internship course this year, she has helped facilitate the annual Terry O’Malley Lecture and Grant Dobson Case Competition that are highly visible and well attended events on the campus.  This term, she will continue her work applying theory to practice as she plans and delivers the annual Connect Networking event hosted by This is My Niagara.  Aside from executing large events and all that goes with it, Stephanie uses the opportunity to hone her teamwork, critical thinking and presentation skills, knowing that her experience with the in-class and in-field aspects of her experiential courses have contributed to her personal narrative and personal brand, which ultimately will share her future career.

Awards Committee

Lauren Broderick | University of Waterloo (Co-Chair) Andrew Bassingthwaighte | Brock University Trent Jarvis | Mohawk College (Co-Chair) Tammy McDowell | Georgian College Paul Needham | George Brown College

EL Student of the Year Award Recipients

The EWO EL Student of the Year Award recognizes one student (or group) attending a university and one student (or group) attending a college, who have showcased exceptional job/community/project accomplishment, extra-curricular involvement, and a strong contribution to Experiential Learning.

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