Alumni profiles

Zinnie Cowing with her mother and friend.

Alumna Zinnie Cowing

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Geography and Environmental Management top student 2016

The 2016 Faculty of Environment Alumni Gold Medal was awarded to Zinnie Cowing, graduating from the Geography and Environmental Management program (GEM). Presenting the award, Dean Jean Andrey recalled that among all the applications, Zinnie’s stood out because her experience “was so multifaceted”, from her academic achievements and research success to her experience in the workplace and volunteering.

Jinny Tran holding flowers.

Alumna Jinny Tran

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Planning top student 2016

Nominated for the Alumni Gold Medal, Jinny graduated with the highest overall grade average in the Planning program. She achieved her high marks while also working to finance her education independently through part-time jobs, research positions and co-op terms, and still found time to volunteer in the community.

As her professors have noted, “Jinny just makes things happen:”

Sarah Dolman holding flowers.

Alumna Sarah Dolman

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Knowledge Integration top student 2016

Professors have described Sarah as “an exceptional student” who “constantly displayed the desire to learn”.  An Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee, she represents the multidisciplinary Knowledge Integration program very well, earning minors in Applied Language Studies and Psychology as well as a certificate in French language.

Some of her many accomplishments include:

Jonathan Van Dusen holding his diploma.

Alumnus Jonathan Van Dusen

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Geomatics top student 2016

Jonathan initially considered pursuing studies in computer science and environmental issues separately, so was pleased to find a program that combined both passions. Graduating with the highest average in Geomatics this year, he was also known by his professors for having the best co-op reports every term (winning the Faculty of Environment Work Term Report Award three times) and for his ability to bridge academic and professional work.

Chelsea-Anne Edwards holding flowers.

Alumna Chelsea-Anne Edwards

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Geography and Aviation top student 2016

Nominated the top Geography and Aviation student in 2016, Chelsea-Anne was an excellent candidate for the Alumni Gold Medal.  She performed extremely well academically in her classes as well as at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre.  On the most advanced Transport Canada examination in the program, she earned the highest score not only in her class, but in the history of University of Waterloo Aviation.

Kristopher Kolenc standing in front of a Faculty of Environment poster.

Alumnus Kristopher Kolenc

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Environment and Business top student 2016

Earning a final average of 89.9%, Environment and Business’ top student in 2016 Kristopher Kolenc genuinely enjoyed his studies. For his 4th year capstone project, his team worked with Oxford Properties, a global real estate investment and development company, to determine best practices for sustainability engagement of its 3,300 shopping centre tenants across Canada.

Jacob Winter looking into the distance.

Alumnus Jacob Winter

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

International Development top student 2016

Jacob chose the International Development program because he wanted to use his knowledge and training to help those who lack the resources he has.  “Quietly thoughtful and reflective, Jacob’s humility and depth can command a room,” one professor comments.  During his eight-month-international-placement, Jacob worked at the National Youth Council of Malawi in the Research and Evaluation department, where he monthly and quarterly reports for the Council.

Joseph Wang posing in his University of Waterloo hockey gear and uniform.

Alumnus Joseph Yo Wang

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Environment and Resources Studies top student 2016

Alumnus Samantha St. Amour-Gomes

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Geography and Environmental Management Top Academic Achiever 2017

Samantha’s scholarly success shines through her impressive 93.53% cumulative average in Geography and Environmental Management, while her work-ethic and passion is evident in her community involvement, work abroad and extensive environmental advocacy. During her years as a Waterloo student, Samantha was a teaching assistant for two courses, an Environment and Visitor’s Centre ambassador, and an international peer mentor.

Alumnus Jillian Anderson

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Knowledge Integration Top Academic Achiever 2017

With an outstanding overall average of 90.4% and an impressive thesis about the application of computer science to the challenges in agriculture, it is clear that Jillian Anderson, Knowledge Integration's top academic achiever this year, is a remarkable student with a striking intellect.   

Alumnus Emma Fisher-Cobb

Alumni Gold Medal Award winner

Alumni Gold Medal Award winner and Top Academic Achiever in Environment and Business

Emma is graduating with an impressive 90.83% average, a vast amount of environmental work experience and a positive impact on many people she has crossed paths with. For her fourth-year capstone project, Emma and her group worked with the Hillside Music Festival in Guelph, Ontario developing a marketing plan including extensive data collection and environmental research.

Alumnus Sara Ganowski

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Environment, Resources and Sustainability Top Academic Achiever

“Incredibly bright and a gifted, emerging scholar” is how her professors describe Sara Ganowski, the Environment, Resource and Sustainability top-graduating student this year. Graduating with a joint honours degree in both ERS and Speech Communicaation, a final average of 88.8%, and a wide range of skills from environmental research to communication and critical thinking, Sara’s interdisciplinary approach to complex issues is surely impressive.

Alumnus Eric Cheng

Alumni Gold Medal Award nominee

Geography and Aviation Top Academic Achiever