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Materials and Nanosciences student Natalya O'Neill named 2016 Science Co-op Student of the Year

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stephanie Chan, Natalya O'Neill and Stefan Idziak
Stephanie Chan, Natalya O'Neill and Associate Dean of Computing and Co-op Education Stefan Idziak.

Natalya O’Neill (centre), a Materials and Nanosciences student, was among six students recognized today by the University of Waterloo for their outstanding achievements in co-operative education. 

The University of Waterloo Co-op Student of the Year Award recognizes a student's exceptional contributions to co-operative education and their community. This is Waterloo’s top award for students in a co-op program. 

“Our students never cease to amaze us,” said Peggy Jarvie, associate provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education at Waterloo. “The contributions they make on their work terms are truly remarkable. This year’s winners embody the world-class talent that the University has become known for over the past six decades.”

Natalya spent two work terms with Dr. Michelle Sholzberg in the Hemophilia Comprehensive Care Program at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, where she created a medical alert card and educational booklet for patients with asplenia, or abnormal spleen function.

St. Michael’s was so impressed with the functionality of the Natalya’s medical alert card, they’re now working to use the system at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and eventually distribute it to hospitals, medical centers, and doctors’ offices across the country.

In addition to winning the Faculty’s Co-op Student of the Year Award, Natalya also received an honourable mention for the Education at Work Ontario (EWO) Co-op Student of the Year Award.

“The co-op program has allowed me to acquire and enhance skills that are leading me to a life of achievement, purpose, uniqueness and the respect for others,” says Natalya. “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not have these experiences. Every moment I spent during my co-op program has helped me with my academics and will help in the future with my academic and professional career.”

Biomedical sciences student Stephanie Chan was also recognized with an honourable mention certificate for her two co-op terms with Dr. Edward Chow at the Radiation Oncology department at Sunnybrook Health Services Centre.

“Dr. Chow really encouraged me to take on responsibilities that weren’t in my original job description,” says Stephanie. “Every co-op has a basic job description that has certain expectations but there are also so many opportunities for students to reach out to their employer to ask to take on more responsibilities or initiative.”

The 2016 University of Waterloo Co-op Students of the Year also included Pearl Zaki (Applied Health Sciences), Adnan Kahn (Arts), Baraa Hamodi (Engineering), Regan Zink (Environment), and Alister D’Costa (Math). This year’s Honourable Mention awards went to John Pagado (Applied Heath Sciences), Jona Cho (Arts), and Karan Bir (Engineering).

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