University of Waterloo celebrates standout co-op students in first virtual ceremony

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

laptop that says congratulations with confetti

By: Namish Modi

On March 23, Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) recognized its 2020 Co-op Students of the Year and Problem Lab winners in a first of its kind virtual ceremony.

Leaders from across the university, including Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur, were on hand to help celebrate these outstanding students.

"[At Waterloo,] we’re investing in the future talent of our country. The [students] are returning that investment in many folds."

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice Chancellor of University of Waterloo

Faculty of Environment Co-op Student of the Year Brad Bruder was recognized for his outstanding work term at Habitat for Humanity, where he helped families move into affordable housing amid COVID-19.

“Winning the award feels pretty great, I’m really honoured to have received it, and to be honest, I think says more about the employer than it says about me.” says Bruder, a Planning student.  “I think it says my employer gave me the tools and empowered me to make a real difference during my co-op, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Habitat for Humanity for that.”

Rupa Vemulapalli, a Computer Engineering student, was named the Faculty of Engineering’s award winner for her exemplary performance at Rushby Energy Inc.

WATCH NOW! Hear what the winners have to say about their co-op experience, and accepting their awards. 

 
 
“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work in such a supportive work environment where the co-founders basically facilitated the opportunity for growth and improvement, and it ultimately led to my success with receiving this award,” she says.

Vemulapalli played a role in the development of an iOS app that will help electric vehicle suppliers quantify long-term gains in establishing charging stations in designating locations.

“it goes without saying the quality of our co-op program is thanks to our fantastic students,” says Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education. “And the student voice is so important to us as we think about how to continue to improve our programming to provide meaningful work-integrated learning experiences that help students prepare for their future careers.”

2020 CSOTY winners:

Faculty

Winner

Honourable mention

Arts

Jonathan Lee

Mayuri Punithan

Engineering

Rupa Vemulapalli

Amanda Coleman

Environment

Brad Bruder

Ali Anwar

Health

Emily Lam

Maddy McBay

Mathematics

Ryan Goldford

Allen Wu

Science

Omar Hajjaj

Celine Huab

2020 Problem Lab Winners:

Faculty

Winner

Term

Environment

Petrina Cheung

Spring 2020

Science

Omar Hajjaj

Spring 2020

Engineering

David Wheatle

Winter 2020

Science

Linda Marie Pallotto

Winter 2020