Waterloo honours its top co-op students, including national winner

Monday, April 9, 2018

A student from the University of Waterloo is top co-op student for Canada, Ontario and the University for 2017.

Emily Pass, a student of physics and astronomy in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science, was just named Canada’s 2017 Co-op Student of the Year by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada. She also won the Education at Work Ontario (EWO) Co-op Student of the Year award, Ontario’s top prize.

Waterloo honoured Pass and five other students from each of Waterloo’s six faculties for their contributions to their employers, communities and the development of co-operative education.

University of Waterloo's 2017 Co-op Students of the Year

The winners of the University of Waterloo's 2017 Co-op Student of the Year Awards are (from left) Vincent Shadbolt, Jiajia Yin, Aaron Buckley, Emily Pass, Matthew Condie and Leah Drost.

“The calibre of our co-op students never ceases to amaze me,” says Mario Coniglio, associate vice-president, academic at Waterloo. “The contributions this year’s winners made on their work terms exemplify the innovation and talent our co-op students are known for.”

The following are the University of Waterloo’s 2017 Co-op Students of the Year.

Leah Drost – Health Studies (Faculty of Health)

Working at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Drost made significant contributions to the medical field. Her research focused on post-surgery radiotherapy for cancer that had spread to the bone. It was a landmark study and was published in the medical journal Radiotherapy and Oncology. She presented her research to the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Condie – Economics (Faculty of Arts)

Condie entered HubHead Corp. as a marketing coordinator, but quickly assumed responsibilities at the director level two weeks into his co-op term. He expanded and reinvented the company’s social media presence through implementing customer-centric marketing strategies and creating client-focused content.

Vincent Shadbolt – Biomedical Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)

Shadbolt managed all software and hardware launches for Motorola devices across Canada. At Motorola Mobility (a Lenovo Company), he was responsible for testing and introducing major IMS features (VoLTE, ViLTE and VoWifi) to be released for 2018 products. He collaborated with the company’s Chinese and Brazilian teams, learning Portuguese during his work term to help bridge major communication gaps.

Aaron Buckley – Geography and Environmental Management (Faculty of Environment)

At CH2M HILL, Buckley managed a project that increased drinking water capacity by 30 per cent in a major North American city. He has also volunteered his consulting services to organizations such as the Waterloo Regional Police Service, making a difference in the local community. Buckley also received an honourable mention for EWO’s 2017 Co-op Student of the Year award.

Jiajia Yin – Actuarial Science (Faculty of Mathematics)

While on a work term at Travelers Canada, Yin played a key role in developing a pricing sub-model project that will have a worldwide impact on profitability for the company.  She presented her work to senior management, including the CEO and Vice Chairman of Travelers Canada. The company was so impressed with her work that they have hired her to work for them full-time after she graduates.

Emily Pass – Physics and Astronomy (Faculty of Science)

Pass was a research assistant at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration. She successfully developed a data analysis pipeline for Colibri, a rapid-imaging astronomical experiment. She developed the pipeline from scratch—a year’s worth of work— completing it in six weeks. Her findings appear in a 13-page scientific paper in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a respected academic publication. Pass is also one of 270 Schulich Leaders in Canada.

In addition to the students listed above, Anita Iacono (Health), Darya Berezhnova (Arts), Austin Tripp (Engineering), Stephen Kiss (Environment), Zeping Ding (Mathematics), Stephanie Chan (Science) and Marisa Rankin (Science) received honourable mentions for Waterloo’s awards.