2014 Co-op Students of the Year

Erin Wong​

Kinesiology: Pre-Health Professions, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Employer: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Erin WongWorked as a clinical research assistant at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for both her winter and spring 2014 work terms, leading the development of a research protocol for focused ultrasound that will significantly help in the treatment of bone metastases. 
  • Presented five oral presentations at the International Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Conference in Miami, Florida and received the Young Investigator of the Year Award for her oncology work. Clinical physicians sought Erin’s perspective and insight, clearly impressed with her acumen. 
  • Assisted a Sunnybrook social worker as a translator for Mandarin and Cantonese speaking immigrants to communicate their homecare needs. 
  • Promoted mental health awareness through the University of Waterloo Healthy Minds Group on campus. 
  • Supports underprivileged children in China with their academic endeavours as part of the Fu Hui Organization.
  • Honourable mention for the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education 2014 Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Skye Wattie

Arts & Business – Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Employer: RL Solutions

  • Skye WattieManaged a full-time portfolio of healthcare risk management software implementations, resulting in $400,000 in revenue, as an implementation specialist.
  • Handled all aspects of implementation: organization and management, client presentations, consulting, testing, and client training. His innovation of new tools and a hands-on approach to training enabled clients ease of access and a smaller time commitment to learning the software.
  • Attended a conference in California where he presented on change management and met clients face-to-face with whom he had only previously worked remotely. 
  • Worked as a Residence Life Don on campus and has received excellent reviews on his attitude and engagement with students. 
  • Co-founded a national awareness and fundraising campaign (Kilometres for Communication) to fund opportunities for people who speak with augmentative and alternative communication devices and raise public awareness for the different ways that people communicate.
  • Winner of the Education at Work Ontario 2014 Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Andrew Andrade

Mechatronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Employer: Self-employed (Enterprise Co-op)

  • Andrew AndradeIn his self-employed Enterprise Co-op work term, Andrew co-founded PetroPredict, an organization that uses machine learning for risk modelling to inform oil companies about pipeline leaks that could cause environmental damage.
  • Strategized funding for PetroPredict by winning $25,000 at the Velocity Fund Finals, as well as more than $70,000 at various other competitions, including a contract with a multi-billion dollar oil company.
  • Placed third in the Society of Petroleum Engineers Canada-wide graduate research competition for his work on artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry. 
  • Leads technology development and research at PetroPredict and supervises a number of new recruits including Waterloo and secondary school co-op students. 
  • Proudly promotes co-operative education and has been a motivational speaker at his own and other high schools. 
  • When not building technology, Andrew enjoys climbing mountains and traveling the world. He is currently on exchange in Singapore.
  • Winner of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education 2014 Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Jessica Peixoto

Environment & Business, Faculty of Environment

Employer: Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (Perth, Western Australia)

  • Jessica PeixotoAs a research assistant, Jessica’s top accomplishments were co-authoring a book (Sustainable Development Goals: Practical Steps Toward a Better World Book) and assisting in the creation and implementation of a new doctorate program (Doctorate in Sustainable Development). Normally these assignments are only given to masters students and professors. 
  • Wrote an extensive program proposal and on her own obtained approval and feedback from dozens of faculty, professionals and university staff. 
  • Completing her fifth term as a Residence Life Don and was previously a member of a residence council whose main function was to help students plan small events. 
  • Volunteered for events such as the university’s Fall Open House, presented a Maximize Potential session to educated students in residence about sustainability, and served at St. John’s Kitchen as a food and support provider for community members who need assistance.

Liam Horne

Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics

Employer: PiinPoint

  • Liam HorneIn winter 2014, Liam was a co-op student for the startup Piinpoint and within the year went on to become the company’s Chief Technology Officer and leader of product development.
  • Worked solely on writing software for PiinPoint’s platform initially, but he quickly became involved with business strategy, day-to-day operations optimization and managing the company’s growth of technology infrastructure as the company structure grew three times in size.
  • Helped the company raise its seed round from Silicon Valley and Canadian investors and today the company platform is used by some of the largest retailers and real estate brokerages in the world. 
  • Founded and organized Hack the North, Canada’s largest hackathon.
  • Received sponsorship from many large and fast-growing technology companies last September, resulting in full travel reimbursement for 1000 students to come to Waterloo for the event. Technology industry leaders that attended as judges include Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of The Social+Capital Partnership.
  • Leads the organization for the second Hack the North on September 18, 2015.

Laura Sevick

Biotechnology & Economics, Faculty of Science

Employer: St. Michael’s Hospital

  • Laura SevickFirst worked for St. Michael’s Hospital in 2012. She returned in winter 2014 as project manager for the COMET (Community Oncologists of Metropolitan Toronto) Clinical Trials Consortium (CCTC). The CCTC is a virtual network that links medical oncologists across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and surrounding region. 
  • Coordinated the re-launch of the network and ultimately ensured its success through problem solving. 
  • Helped improve website efficiency and met one-on-one with trials staff across the GTA to better illustrate the project goals, and encourage them to join the network. 
  • Completed data analysis on curative chemotherapy for colorectal cancer patients, and presented her research at a variety of conferences including the GI American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in San Francisco. 
  • Volunteered for two months as a pre-school manager in Ghanzi, Botswana, where she helped children receive early education opportunities through the creation of essential documents such as job contracts, grant proposals and schedules. 
  • Volunteered in the Waterloo Region at a variety of events including Congress 2012 and the university’s Science Open House.