2016 Co-op Award Winners Announced

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Co-operative Education & Career Services Announces the Recipients of the 2016 Co-op Awards

Each year, Co-operative Education & Career Services at the University of Guelph recognizes the success of Co-op Students and Employers with five different awards. These awards will be presented at the Co-op Awards reception to be held on Thursday March 9th, 2017, from 4-6pm at Cutten Fields.  

The 2016 Co-op Student of the Year in Commerce & Social and Applied Human Sciences is Cameron Chamberlain. Cameron is currently in his 5th year of studies in the Management Economics & Finance co-op program and was nominated by Edward McLaughlin of Fidelity Investments Canada. “Cam participated fully in team meetings, consistently providing insightful ideas and feedback”. In his role as a product research analyst, he helped develop and evolve Fidelity’s category review analysis and presentations. He automated and created efficiencies in producing the presentation and its delivery, provided valuable input with his competitive analysis and shared many great ideas for product enhancements. Cam was awarded the “You Earned It Award” for his great work on the Category Reviews – the first co-op student in the Products and Marketing department to win this prestigious award and was selected twice to create videos about his experience at Fidelity which will be used in presentations to future students.

The 2016 Co-op Student of the Year in Science & Engineering is Brianna GuildBrianna, who has just completed her final semester of the Biochemistry Co-op program, was nominated by Dr. Jim Uniacke, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph. “Brianna works very well within our team and can collaborate with a variety of different people within or outside our department. She has without a doubt improved morale and work ethic within our team through her leadership and positive energy”. During her work term, Brianna played a key role in developing a procedure to culture human cells in physiological oxygen using a hypoxia workstation that garnered national media attention. She also co-authored a recently accepted publication in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, assisting with the writing of the manuscript that will accompany the video of the procedure. She has presented her work at several local and national meetings and won Best Undergraduate Poster at the Guelph Neuroscience Day.


This year’s recipient of the Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement is Brianna Guild. Brianna contributed meaningful writing pieces to the Peer Connect blog, developed new content for the Co-operative Education & Career Services website, facilitated presentations for prospective students, and took part in student orientation activities. Brianna’s “willingness to go above and beyond in every task she was given” saw her promoted to a Senior Peer position, where she took on more leadership responsibilities, including mentoring her own group of Co-operative Education & Career Services Peers. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Brianna was awarded the first annual Barbara Cardow Award in 2016 for offering consistent support to others and embodying excellence in student service. She also held leadership roles on the Biochemistry Student Association for 3.5 years and volunteers with Let’s Talk Guelph as well as the Speech Language Pathology department at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph. Brianna was nominated by Melissa Turner, Career Advisor in Co-operative Education & Career Services.

The recipient of the 2016 National Co-op Employer of the Year Award is Cole Engineering Group Ltd. Hiring over 70 students since 2008, Cole Engineering has been one of the top employers for Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Engineering co-op students. Student nominators, Devon Huang and Maria Vogiatzis were provided with an exceptional educational experience. “The transition from student to employee in a professional environment can be intimidating, however, the culture at Cole allowed me to assimilate and transition seamlessly. The office environment, the employees and my mentors were professional, encouraging and welcoming. I have gained valuable knowledge and advice for career development through the support and guidance of these mentors. They ensured that I experienced various project phases from concept to design and allowed me to participate in numerous types of engineering tasks.” – Maria Vogiatzis, Student Nominator

The recipient of the 2016 Guelph Co-op Employer of the Year Award is The Uniacke Research Lab in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph. Dr. Uniacke started his laboratory at the University of Guelph in October 2013 and has quickly become active in the Co-op Program at the University by hiring co-op students and participating in the hiring process for new Co-op Coordinators. The nomination was submitted by Biochemistry co-op students Brianna Guild and Shannon Sproul. “Jim is a very active supervisor, and he always has his office door open if you need advice about your project.  He encourages troubleshooting and discussion within the lab as well, especially during the two weekly lab meetings. With so many students working on so many projects, Jim does a great job keeping everyone organized, as well as educating new students coming into the lab. This in-depth introduction allowed me to enter the lab with an understanding of how my project fit in with the rest of the lab, making lab meetings and also my own project, more meaningful for me.” – Shannon Sproul, Student Nominator

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. Click here to see a full list of student and employer nominees. 

For more information about the co-op awards, please click here.