The countdown to the Co-op Student of the Year Awards ceremony begins 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

By: Namish Modi (he/him)

Work-integrated learning (WIL) at the University of Waterloo steps into the spotlight with the Co-op Student of the Year Awards ceremony on March 21.

Organized by Waterloo’s Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) unit, the awards recognizes students for outstanding contributions to their employers in 2021.

The ceremony takes place during WIL month.

Each March, CEWIL Canada (Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada) celebrates successes and promotes awareness of co-op and work-integrated learning (WIL) programs.

Saluting honourable mentions

Prior to the awards this year, CEE is announcing its honourable mention winners from each faculty that excelled on their co-op terms. These students will also be recognized at the ceremony.

“We are excited to highlight our exemplary students who made significant and memorable contributions to their employers in 2021,” says Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education at Waterloo. “I’d like to also congratulate our honourable mentions for each faculty at the University."

“Each student has made a valuable contribution and long lasting impression with their employer and helped future-proof themselves for continual success in the future.”

- Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education

Here are the honourable mention winners for the 2021 Co-op Student of the Year Awards:

Jillian Eden Franz headshot

Jillian Eden Franz, third-year Arts and Business, Political Science (Faculty of Arts)

In the Fall 2021 work term, Franz took on multiple marketing content development projects as a marketing and implementation analyst at PiinPoint. A key player in developing PiinPoint’s content strategy, Franz managed the organization’s website restructure, launched the organization’s newsletter and managed digital communications on LinkedIn


Nimisha Saxena headshot

Nimisha Saxena, fourth-year Management Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)

Saxena worked as a technical program manager intern at Tesla in Winter 2021. During her term, she assisted with developing the third-party risk management program (TPRM). She also launched TPRM assessments and was well-versed in a key exchange platform. Saxena evaluated and updated Tesla’s information security policies, built out an information risk board, and built team project boards for vulnerability management, incident detection and response teams.


Riley Jauniaux headshot

Riley Jauniaux, fourth-year Environment, Resources, Sustainability (Faculty of Environment)

During his eight-month Winter and Spring 2021 co-op terms, Jauniaux was a lab assistant for Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. In his role, he adapted to the virtual environment effectively while creating activities, such as virtual field trips, to align with learning outcomes and objectives. He created a wildlife documentation project and online games for You@Waterloo Day. Jauniaux helped bridge the gap that students faced by not being able to physically interact with colleagues.


Maisha Adil headshot

Maisha Adil, fourth-year Health Studies (Faculty of Health)

During her four-month work term as an IT business analyst at Roche, Adil facilitated international projects and transformed the co-op onboarding program at the organization. One major outcome Adil provided was transforming how the organization shares knowledge transfer letters among students. Adil brought fresh perspectives to the organization’s strategic business analyst initiative.


Anant Maheshwari headshot

Anant Maheshwari, fourth-year Computer Science (Faculty of Math)

In Fall 2021, Maheshwari spent his work term as a visiting undergraduate student at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The Broad Institute is a non-profit research organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. In working for Dr. Victoria Popic, Maheshwari focused on a research project at the intersection of deep reinforcement learning and computational genomics. He contributed to the development and optimization of a new tool to phase human genomes. His research resulted in increased efficiencies and as especially exemplary given the timeline and complexity of the project.

Jonathan Hsu headshot

Jonathan Hsu, fourth-year Science and Business (Faculty of Science)

Hsu completed a four-month Winter 2021 work term at EDF Renewables, a renewable energy company that develops solar, wind and battery storage systems. Hsu developed an automated costing tool that made it convenient for the solar development team to estimate the cost of a solar project, which helped improve efficiency at the organization. Hsu also developed an in-depth manual for co-op students.

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