Waterloo recognizes 2018 Co-op Student of the Year Award recipients

Friday, March 22, 2019

Stephanie Chan

Every year one co-op student from each faculty is recognized by the University of Waterloo for their contribution to their employer, community and the further development of experiential education. The 2018 Faculty of Science Co-op Student of the Year is Stephanie Chan (Biochemistry). Astronomy and Physics student Emily Pass received the 2018 Co-op Honourable Mention.

Chan worked as a Clinical Research Assistant during her co-ops term at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She worked in a number of clinics during her multiple terms with Sunnybrook, including the palliative care radiation clinic, breast cancer radiation clinic and the bone metastases clinic. 

She studied the safety and efficiency of an ultrasound device in it's first in-human trial for treating fibroids, creating new processes to decrease the time required to manage the study by 20%.

In a separate study, Chan studied the prevalence and predictors of shortness of breath in patients at palliative radiotherapy clinic, allowing physicians to approach symptom management in a holistic way.

She also helped patients complete symptom screens, provide physicians with summaries of patient cases and collaborate to improve patient flow.

Outside of the hospital, she is an active member of AIESEC Waterloo.

“Across every discipline and level of experience you can find a student who has created a meaningful impact in their workplace,” said Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education at Waterloo. “The growing number of employers from all over the world who hire Waterloo students demonstrates the reaches of our reputation for excellence.”

Portrait of Emily PassAstronomy and Physics student Emily Pass (pictured left) received an honourable mention for her Spring 2018 co-op term as an iREx Summer Intern at McGill University’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx).

During her work placement she conducted a literature review using her own method to determine new temperature estimates for twelve planets. Pass focused on constraining the temperatures of planets in other solar systems (exoplanets) using sparse data, serving as a building block for subsequent research in the field and produced a paper outlining her work and discoveries.

She also developed and tested a machine learning algorithm that constrained temperatures much more accurately than previous methods.

Last year, Pass won the faculty, provincial and national Co-op Student of the Year Awards for developing a data analysis program that rapidly detects objects in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond Neptune. 

Group photo of all six 2018 co-op of the year students

2018 Co-op Student of the Year recipients (back row, left to right): Nathan Duarte, Stephanie Chan, James Schnarr, (front row, left to right) Krista Duncan, Yutong Wu and Lauren McLennan.

This year’s winners truly showcase what Waterloo students can accomplish at home and around the the globe. Spanning a variety of sectors, several 2018 winners made strides in medicine, signaling Waterloo’s momentum as a health technology and service leader.

Meet Waterloo’s 2018 Co-op Students of the Year:

  • Lauren McLennan – Public Health (Faculty of Applied Health Sciences)
  • Krista Duncan – Speech Communications (Faculty of Arts)
  • Nathan Duarte – Biomedical Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)
  • James Schnarr – Environment and Business (Faculty of Environment)
  • Yutong Wu – Computer Science (Faculty of Mathematics)

In addition to the students listed above, Yasmeen Razvi (Applied Health Sciences), Carly Stanisic (Arts), Emily Lam (Engineering), Hannah Dubber (Environment) and Yan Zhang (Mathematics) received honourable mentions for Waterloo’s awards.

New to the awards line-up this year is the Co-op Problem Awards. Four University of Waterloo co-op students have been recognized by The Problem Lab for their ability to find and analyze an important problem affecting their employer. The Problem Lab has a goal to increase the ability for our community to create innovations of greater economic and social consequence by identifying and understanding important problems.

The recipients were:

  • Taryn Siertsema – Therapeutic Recreation (Faculty of Applied Health Sciences)
  • Jenny Hoang – Master of Accounting (Faculty of Arts)
  • Cameron Martin – Nanotechnology Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)
  • Dan Timonera – Computer Engineering (Faculty of Engineering)

If you or a student you know has performed exceptionally as a co-op student and deserves recognition, we are now accepting nominations for 2019. For more information, please reach out to Brent Thornhill, one of our Co-op Student Experience Managers.