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Information for

2017 Co-op students of the year

Group shot of 2017 award winners

Leah Drost

Health Studies, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Employer: Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreLeah Drost, 2017 Applied Health Sciences Co-op Student of the Year

  • Worked as a Clinical Research Assistant where she facilitated clinical tasks for palliative and breast radiotherapy clinic patients.
  • Created a landmark study, the largest body of research ever on the common medical practice of receiving radiotherapy after undergoing surgery for cancer spread to the bone. Her work is published in the medical journal Radiotherapy and Oncology.
  • Presented her palliative research to industry experts at the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer in Washington, D.C.
  • Volunteered to organize pop-up clinics in remote Nicaraguan communities to provide accessible healthcare.

Matthew Condie

Economics, Faculty of Arts

Employer: HubHead Corp.Matthew Condie, 2017 Arts Co-op Student of the Year

  • Hired as a Marketing Coordinator but assumed the responsibilities of the Director of Marketing two weeks into his work term.
  • Introduced customer-centric marketing strategies that focused on sharing valuable information with clients rather than simply promoting the company.
  • Expanded HubHead Corp.'s online reach by reinventing their social media presence, significantly increasing the volume of content produced overall.
  • Passionate about creating inclusive communities and volunteers with the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Awareness Week.

Vincent Shadbolt

Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Employer: Motorola Mobility, a Lenovo CompanyVincent Shadbolt, 2017 Engineering Co-op Student of the Year

  • Managed software and hardware releases for Motorola devices across Canada.
  • Tested and launched major IMS features (VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWifi) for 2018 product releases.
  • Collaborated externally with Freedom Mobile and internally with Motorola's international teams based in China and Brazil (and even learned some Portuguese along the way to increase efficiency!).
  • Identified a critical bug in a new Android release that was sent to Google on Motorola's behalf. This resulted in Google notifying all US and Canadian carriers and phone manufacturers to stop rolling out the update to users.
  • Created the Stethosaver in response to ongoing disease transmission epidemics via contaminated medical equipment in developing countries. The Stethosaver automatically sanitizes stethoscopes with a 99% effectivity rating.

Aaron Buckley

Geography and Environmental Management

Employer: CH2M HILLAaron Buckley, 2017 Environment Co-op Student of the Year

  • Quickly became an invaluable part of CH2M HILL's team by filling gaps and providing support to multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Managed a project that led to a major North American city being able to increase their drinking water capacity by 30%.
  • Streamlined internal workflow procedures by updating data input systems to automatically sync and maintain several databases in a central location, increasing accuracy and efficiency significantly.
  • Co-founded and served as president of the Geospatial Club, running GIS (geographic information system) software workshops that teach relevant skills in demand in the workforce.
  • Aaron's work earned him an honourable mention for the Education at Work Ontario Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Jiajia Yin

Actuarial Science, Faculty of Mathematics

Employer: Travelers CanadaJiajia (Deborah) Yin, 2017 Math Co-op Student of the Year

  • Led a sub-pricing model project to be used by Travelers globally and will have a worldwide impact on profitability for the company.
  • Presented her work to senior management, including the CEO and Vice Chairman of Travelers Canada. She was invited to give this presentation again to a different audience in recognition of her work.
  • Pioneered research into the trucking insurance market in Canada. Her pricing model helpedTravelers Canada expand into this new market and tap into a potential revenue source valued in the millions.
  • Spoke to an Indonesian delegation about the benefits of the co-op program and encouraged them to given Indonesian students similar opportunities.

Emily Pass

Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science

Employer: Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration, University of Western OntarioEmily Pass, 2017 Science Co-op Student of the Year

  • Single-handedly wrote and completed a data analysis pipeline for Colibri, a rapid-imaging astronomical experiment. Within six weeks, she has completed a year's worth of work.
  • Created a 13-page scientific paper detailing her work and was published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific after a rigorous peer-review process during her spring 2017 academic term.
  • Spoke to a group of prominent donors about the value of co-operative education during the 2014 University of Waterloo President's Reception.
  • Served as both co-president and communications manager for the Waterloo Space Society, connecting students with industry experts in the field.
  • Recipient of the Schulich Leader Scholarship, valued at $60,000. Emily is 1 of only 270 in Canada to receive this.
  • Awarded the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada and Education at Work Ontario Co-op Student of the Year Awards for her work.
  • Read more about Emily's story here.