2017 Co-op Award Winners Announced

Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Co-operative Education & Career Services Announces the Recipients of the 2017 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 six different awards. These awards will be presented at the Co-op Awards reception to be held on Thursday March 8th, 2018, from 4-6pm at Cutten Fields.  

The 2017 Co-op Student of the Year in Commerce & Social and Applied Human Sciences is Danielle Tyl.

Danielle is currently in her third year of studies in the Marketing Management Co-op program and was nominated by Amy Flood of Rogers Communications Inc., "Danielle has very quickly shown us that she is at the top of the Co-op class and demonstrates professionalism beyond her years”. In her role as an Associate Community Specialist, Danielle was the designated Social Media lead, managing all of Rogers’ social channels.  She led several Customer Service initiatives and assisted with the promotion of store openings on social channels which led to a 21% increase in store traffic. Her understanding of Rogers’ customers allowed her to create a social strategy that will be implemented across the sports, wireless and cable lines of business in 2018. Danielle’s integrated social media and website content strategy is expected to save $1.5M for the brand this year. 

The 2017 Co-op Student of the Year in Biological & Physical Science is Simone Renwick

Simone, who recently completed her studies in the Biochemistry Co-op program, was nominated by Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, University of Guelph, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, “I would say that, at this point, Simone is already working at the level of a PhD student, and this is remarkable given her early stage of career”. During her work term, Simone was assigned a project that required working on extremely small and very precious samples. She quickly picked up new techniques and demonstrated a very developed understanding of the theory behind the methods and the project as a whole. The phenomenal attention to detail she demonstrated in recovering bacterial species from specimens helped the University’s collaborators at Sick Kids leverage further funding towards the project. Simone has accepted a graduate student position - direct entry PhD - with Dr. Allen-Vercoe.  

The 2017 Co-op Student of the Year in Computing & Engineering is Frazer Seymour.

Frazer is completing his final year of the Bachelor of Computing program. He was nominated by Dr. Jason Ernst and Tracy McDonald of Left of the Dot Media Inc. “Frazer has far exceeded our expectations of a co-op student in every aspect, from his ability to work in a team collaboratively, implement ideas independently, and provide insightful ideas to help move the project forward”.” Frazer significantly contributed to technical aspects of the role including implementing a git workflow strategy that helped team members collaborate easily and effectively and contributing to efforts that saw the company receive a $75,000 grant from the CIRA to deploy Left’s library in a pilot project in conjunction with Professor Dan Gillis at the University of Guelph. Additionally, Frazer was fully committed to Left’s community engagement program and volunteered his time on numerous occasions to make a difference in his community. 

This year’s recipient of the Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement is Dar’ya Heyko

Dar’ya has significantly contributed to the University of Guelph through her involvement as a Peer Helper and Event Host for Co-op & Career Services, a University of Guelph Ambassador where she leads campus tours for prospective students and her participation in recruitment events, co-op workshops and program related showcases. As a female in Computer Science, Dar’ya wanted to promote representation of females in the industry, leading her to participate in Girls Go Code – an event teaching young females in grades 8 to 12 to code. Dar’ya’s vibrant spirit and strong ability to motivate and mentor others has allowed her to be extremely successful beyond campus as she maintains a high level of performance and commitment in the workplace during her work terms. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Dar’ya was nominated by Laura Gatto, Co-op Coordinator in Co-operative Education & Career Services.

The recipient of the 2017 National Co-op Employer of the Year Award is Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). Since 2015, CNL has employed 18 University of Guelph co-op students in a total of 32 work terms, providing unique, valuable, one-on-one access to the foremost scientific minds and scientific nuclear equipment and training. Nominator Jacy Conrad, a PhD student in the Chemistry co-op program, was provided with an exceptional educational experience and invaluable professional development and networking opportunities during her work terms. Assigned a research project that far exceeded her expectations by being both challenging and appropriate for her education level, Jacy’s work was supported by experienced professionals in the field, who were “always ready to help, made [her] feel safe, welcome, and confident in the quality of [her] research.” Other opportunities provided to Jacy included one-on-one tours of facilities, laboratories, and reactors; attending meetings; presenting her work at industry conferences and being included in work beyond her specific research project, all of which allowed her to gain a better understanding of how the company and nuclear industry functions.  

The recipient of the 2017 Guelph Co-op Employer of the Year Award is RWDI. An ardent University of Guelph supporter and co-op employer for over 15 years, RWDI was nominated by Mechanical Engineering co-op student Atli Eyvindson. During his work term, Atli gained a vast amount of high quality technical engineering experience and was given the opportunity to grow his practical skills in numerous areas both directly and indirectly related to engineering. Over the years, RWDI has provided co-op students with excellent mentoring and valuable feedback, along with the support to take risks, connect with clients and stretch their abilities. A wide range of professional development opportunities including technical courses, leadership courses and public speaking opportunities are available to the students as well. Atli was encouraged to participate in a group behavioral training session that he describes as “life-changing”. Through this work term connection, RWDI has supported the Gryphon Racing Team, of which Atli is a member, by allowing them to use their wind tunnel facilities for design testing.  

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.