Celebrating our undergraduate award winners

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Several students have achieved a huge milestone, being awarded for distinguished academic achievement in their school or department. Join us in celebrating our Faculty of Environment award winners. 

Paramvir Singh


Paramvir Singh was awarded for distinguished academic achievement in Geomatics and the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal. Here's what he has to say about what's next for him and what he will miss about his time at UWaterloo.

What is next for you?

We need to transition to renewable energy, like in the aviation sector. That is one area where I think I would like to explore. Or, getting involved with location allocation for new development projects because we must be smart about how land is used. These are places where I see myself being the most useful and the most excited.

What will you miss about UWaterloo?

From hanging out at Environment Society Coffee Lounge to working at the Bike Centre or saying hi to the custodians as they started their work in EV3 near my favorite study spot, I am going to miss the community. During the challenging times of COVID-19, these friendships became a lifeline, providing much-needed emotional support and a listening ear. I have so much gratitude for my classmates and friends who stuck by my side and helped me navigate the uncertainties of that time and university life in general.

Read his full reflection on earning his BES and what following your passion can accomplish.

Petrina Cheung


Let's give a big round of applause to Petrina Cheung! She received an award for outstanding academic achievement in Planning. We had the chance to ask her about her future career plans and what she will miss most about her time at UWaterloo.

What is next for you?

I will be working in the private sector of land use planning. I am hoping to get involved in a variety of projects ranging from affordable housing to master planning. I look forward to continuing to broaden my horizons about planning policies and stepping into the next chapter of life!

What will you miss about the University of Waterloo?

I will miss being involved in student clubs and meeting people from all kinds of backgrounds, like attending talks by guest speakers which were extremely helpful for me to navigate the ever-changing planning field. Personally, I enjoyed PLAN 483 where I was able to learn about the different aspects of land development. Joining different extracurricular activities allowed me to de-stress from schoolwork and explore my interests in language and volunteering.

Yuki Yeung


We are honoring Yuki Yeung for her exceptional academic performance in Geography and Environmental Management. We asked about her future plans and the experiences she cherishes the most during her time on campus.

What is next for you?

Moving forward, I'm glad to say that my academic career isn't over yet. In the fall, I will begin my Master of Arts at the University of Waterloo focusing on health geography. Hopefully, in the future, I can further take my passions to help guide evidence-based policies that can improve the well-being of people locally and internationally.

What will you miss about the University of Waterloo?

Geography has been my favorite class since elementary school and my interests were further explored through my undergraduate classes in natural disasters, GIS, health, and human geography. During the lockdown, I learned that I would miss sitting in lecture halls and learning and experiencing all the diverse opportunities, while making friends through clubs, group projects, co-ops, volunteering at ES coffee shop, and serving as an orientation leader - may we all move on to something better.

Kaai Giao To


A big shout out to Kaai Giao To, they have been awarded for academic excellence in geography and aviation. We spoke with Kaai about their future at the flight academy and experience at UWaterloo.

What’s next for you?

I am thrilled to share I will be working as a flight instructor at Aeolus Flight Academy and a flight simulator research assistant at WISA. I am also a proud member of Canadian Aviation Pride, which celebrates and supports diversity and inclusivity in the industry.

Career-wise, I want to challenge myself and try out all aspects of general aviation before joining the airline. My advice for students is there are no limits to what you can achieve if you follow your path.

What will you miss about the University of Waterloo?

I will certainly miss living five minutes away from my friends and having spontaneous meetups for the gym, tennis, or just a good night out. Now that I have moved out of Waterloo, I am glad that I made lifelong friends during my time at the university so that we can enter adulthood having each other’s backs.

Sharah Gallego Meneses


Sharah Gallego Meneses achieved academic excellence in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. We asked her what’s next for her career and what she’ll miss about UWaterloo.

What is next for you?

I'm thrilled to share that I've embarked on an exciting journey as an Energy and Sustainability consultant for a firm based in Calgary, Alberta. My focus is on propelling the renewable energy sector and advocating for sustainable practices across Canada. Through collaboration with industry leaders and stakeholders from coast to coast. Specifically, I aim to create and implement innovative solutions that will lead to a more resilient and environmentally conscious world. In my role as a consultant and advocate at UWaterloo, I hope to contribute to the nationwide transition toward a greener, more sustainable future.

What will you miss about your time at UWaterloo?

Academically, one of the aspects I will miss the most is the engaging field courses organized by the Faculty of Environment, where I had the opportunity to explore Canada's biodiversity in breathtaking locations. On a social level, I will miss the dynamic club scene and the invaluable opportunities to immerse myself in diverse cultures through student-led events and festivals. It is these extraordinary experiences that made my time at UWaterloo truly unforgettable.

Alexandra Andratis


Let's give a big round of applause to Alexandra Andratis for her outstanding academic achievement in Knowledge Integration! We had the pleasure of asking her about her future career plans and what she will miss most about UWaterloo.

What is next for you?

After graduating, I will be returning to the University of Waterloo for a Master of Engineering in Systems Design, combining my knowledge and interests in climate change, Environmental factors, and health. I am looking forward to continuing my journey at Waterloo. 

What will you miss about your time at UWaterloo?

Throughout this journey. I have been coached, encouraged, and assisted by my professors who have been a valuable part of my academic journey. I will miss spending time the Knowledge Integration studio and seeing my other colleagues regularly.

Also, I'll miss being part of the Faculty of Environment community, participating in Orientation Week, and serving as a peer mentor. I will always look back on the time I spent in my undergrad with immense gratitude.

I have had the chance to grow, cultivate, and explore my interests through the opportunities that Knowledge Integration has provided me with. I have made many connections and made lifelong friends that I hope to continue to build upon as I return to campus in the fall to further my education! 

Qinyi Zhou


A drum roll please for Qinyi Zhou, she has been awarded for academic achievement in Environment and Business. She told us about her upcoming plans for the summer and the precious moments she has during her time at the University of Waterloo.

What is next for you?

In the summer, I am going to be interning as a product manager at Baidu, which is one of the largest AI and Internet companies in the world. I hope this experience can bridge my transition from undergraduate to postgraduate life by giving me different perspectives on a variety of industries.

In the fall, I will be starting the Business Analysis postgraduate program at the University of Hong Kong. I hope this will help me expand my skills and knowledge to secure a position as a full-time product manager allowing me to create user-friendly products to meet people’s needs.

What will you miss about your time at UWaterloo?

Academically, the experiences I will find myself missing are the teamwork projects. The interdisciplinary curriculum exposed me to different studies and helped me find my interests. I was able to not only enhance my skills and apply what I’ve learned to real-world scenarios but apply what I’ve learned to my friendships by communicating with people from different backgrounds. 

Living in Waterloo encouraged me to meet many friends who like me loved physical fitness and staying active, we usually went to PAC four times a week. Those cherished memories held a special place in my heart.

Congratulations to Paramvir, Petrina, Yuki, Kaai, Sharah, Alexandria and Qinyi for achieving this huge milestone! Families and supporters can tune into the Faculty of Environment's convocation on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 13. The full ceremony will be live streamed.

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