2013 co-op students of the year

2013 co-op students of the year

Perakaa Sethukavalan

Health Studies, Faculty of HealthPhoto of Perakaa Sethukavalan

Employer: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Perakaa’s passion for prostate cancer research motivated her to design effective studies, receive ethics board approval, and collect and analyze the data and publish the results.
  • She is first author on two of the four articles and six of nine abstracts she has published.

  • Presented at the 2013 American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) and a poster discussion at the 2013 European Cancer Congress.

  • Published that stereotactic radiation saves cancer patients almost $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

  • Showed that a rapid diagnosis prostate centre cut wait times from suspicion to treatment by two months on average.

  • Received third place back to back awards at 2012 and 2013 Sunnybrook Research Institute summer studentship competition.

Akash KapoorPhoto of Akash Kapoor

Accounting and Financial Management, Faculty of Arts

Employer: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

  • Akash spent 50 hours of his own time to design a tool that would increase auditing efficiency by 2%, reducing the time spent during an audit engagement by more than 6,500 hours for almost 650 associate level staff.
  • For his role in the Assurance and Auditing group, Akash taught himself the public practice of auditing and excelled almost immediately.
  • Volunteers with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario tax clinic, most recently planning and leading tax preparation presentations.
  • Administers websites for several Waterloo student clubs and start-up businesses, hosts academic and mentorship sessions, helps students with résumé preparation, and provides interview tips.
  • Designed two innovative mobile applications in his spare time.
  • Recipient of the 2012 Arts Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Josh Bradshaw

Systems Design Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringPhoto of Josh Bradshaw

Employer: WatrHub Inc.

  • Josh changed WatrHub's most important codebase, critical to the company’s business, to a self-learning autonomous system. Improved output to eight seconds from 11 minutes.
  • Resulted in 60% increase in the number of clients the company can handle.
  • On his own initiative, Josh found and fixed small flaws in process for creating digital profiles of wastewater treatment. These fixes saved other staff four to five hours of work each week and one day a week for himself.
  • Received Technology Co-op Achievement award and Impact Award in recognition for the amount of time and money he saved for CIBC.

Natalie ShamPhoto of Natalie Sham

Planning, Faculty of Environment

Employer: United Nations Human Settlements Programme

  • Natalie implemented an original idea to develop a Sustainable Housing Rehabilitation Index (SHRI).

  • Used multivariate statistics to measure the differences per country on the state of housing to be rehabilitated, based on the four pillars of sustainability.

  • Published a formal paper, titled “Sustainable Housing Rehabilitation for Inclusive Cities.” The paper was successfully accepted and presented at a conference in Melbourne, Australia, hosted by RMIT University and the UN Compact Cities Program.

  • The paper was published in December 2013 in the annual prestigious Global Cities Review.

  • Appointed as project manager of a team of staff in improving, strengthening, and creating outreach and awareness activities of the GHS and the Branch through social media.

Melanie Chanona

Applied Mathematics, Faculty of MathematicsPhoto of Melanie Chanona

Employer: Faculty of Science, University of Waterloo

  • Within the first two months, Melanie found evidence supporting a long-standing theory related to the nature of certain types of black holes. 
  • Learned the concept of Rigid Quasilocal Frames formalism to construct fundamental conservation laws for energy and momentum.
  • Three separate research endeavours of Melanie’s were submitted for publication.
  • Won first prize in the best student presentation competition at the Canadian Association of Physicists Congress where she competed against over 100 graduate-level candidates.
  • Won first prize for best presentation in the Mathematical and Theoretical Physics Division at the Canadian Undergraduates Physics Conference.
  • Volunteered in Vietnam with orphans of victims of Agent Orange, worked alongside psychiatric patients in an organic garden in Argentina as part of their rehab therapy, and currently volunteers with her local rock climbing club.

Sorina ChioreanPhoto of Sorina Chiorean

Biochemistry, Faculty of Science

Employer: Environment Canada

  • Sorina learned and performed biological tests involving radioactivity and immunology on collected animal samples for steroid levels in two days rather than the expected one week.
  • Compared the current procedure with a new one to determine which was more effective.
  • Her research helped to optimize the current method which will help to lower the cost and time associated with running the tests.
  • Travelled to Fort McMurray to help monitor fish species found in the oil sand regions. Helped catch, label, and record information on the regions' aquatic life to be compiled into a valuable report.
  • Report will be used to evaluate the effects oil companies are having on the environment around them and will be published online for public access.

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