2022 Co-op Award Winners Announced

Posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2023


U of G Co-operative Education Announces the Recipients of the 2022 Co-op Awards

Environment and Climate Change Canada is the recipient of the 2022 National Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

""Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) was nominated by Marine and Freshwater Biology Co-op student Sandra Jaskowiak. During her work term, Sandra had the opportunity to be involved in lab work, data analysis, data visualization and two, week-long field work trips to Terrace Bay. She participated in various training courses to expand her professional growth and future employability. Through these opportunities, she developed countless skills and gained experience with coding, mapping, graphing, and cleaning data. Her supervisor, Hans Biberhofer, encouraged her to assist with other projects where she gained experience working in an eco-toxicology lab and assisted with water sampling in Hamilton Harbour, to name a few. Sandra facilitated a Student Seminar Series, acting as a two-time Co-Chair of the Canada-wide student event within the federal government where co-op students present their work to other students, supervisors and directors within ECCC. Sandra says of Hans: “He has been an incredibly supportive mentor, genuinely cared about my ideas, opinions, goals and mental health. I could not have asked for a better employer”. 

Linamar Gear, Linamar Corporation is the recipient of the 2022 Guelph Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

""Mechanical Engineering Co-op student Alex Pavlick nominated Linamar Gear for the support and encouragement he received from all departments during his work term. He had a mentor who showed him the ropes of the manufacturing industry and was frequently invited to sit in on training sessions and meetings that helped expand his skills and knowledge as a student and future engineer. As he progressed through the work term, Alex was granted more independence and autonomy in his work and was exposed to every aspect of manufacturing engineering. “They allowed me to try, fail and improve from those failures every day”. When Alex showed interest in the design area, his supervisor, Aaron Fischer, encouraged him to seek out more responsibilities in that area. Alex took on the majority of the design work for an entire automatic part gauging machine and with the support and guidance from the rest of the project team, the design was approved after two months of work. Alex is thankful for the valuable skills he gained in design, 3-D modeling, product selection, project management, proposal presentations and budget development while working on the project.

Simone Ianniello (he/him) is the recipient of the 2022 Co-op Student of the Year in the BComm, BASc and BA category.

""Simone, a fourth year Food and Agricultural Business Co-op student, was nominated by Emma Osman, his supervisor at Oracle NetSuite. He was the first University of Guelph co-op student ever hired by Oracle NetSuite and “from day one, Simone managed to stand out in the group with his ability to build rapport, actively listen and ask questions". Simone consistently demonstrated his eagerness to learn, grow and execute. He effectively managed, advised, and trained customers on the software; provided valuable feedback to the Internship Program that will be used for upcoming cohorts; developed and presented the Campus Ambassador program to multiple managers, directors and the VP and received approval for the program where co-op students will hold events, post on social media and interact with other university students to promote opportunities at NetSuite. Simone was the only co-op student to achieve the NetSuite Financial User Certification, which is earned through the successful completion of an exam. Now in his final semester, Simone, as a Campus Ambassador, will bring awareness to the co-op and full-time opportunities and is looking forward to joining Oracle NetSuite as a permanent employee following his graduation.

Matthew McArdle (he/ him) is the recipient of the 2022 Ian Pavlinic Memorial Award for Innovation Co-op Student of the Year in Computing.

""This award, established in 2018 by Tulip in honour and remembrance of exemplary Co-op student Ian Pavlinic, recognizes a Co-op student in the School of Computer Science who has demonstrated innovation, collaboration, and made a positive impact during their work term. Matthew is in his third year of studies in the Software Engineering Co-op program. According to nominator Jenn Bilawski of Vidyard, “in his first week, Matt demonstrated a learning speed faster than anything I’ve seen from other co-op students or even experienced developers”. He immediately began contributing to their new analytics dashboard which was in Beta at the time of his hiring and went on to lead a project to implement the final feature needed for release to all their enterprise customers. He did a remarkable job keeping work moving along during the summer vacation season; worked closely with Product and Design to make decisions and communicate with business; attended weekly meetings prepared with relevant and insightful questions about projects, technology, and career development; and eagerly and confidently took on large tasks and tickets, completing them quickly and with great attention to detail. He identified bugs missed by others in testing sessions; voluntarily presented the team’s work to the company; increased team morale with his social engagement and provided suggestions for social team-building activities. Thanks to Matt, Vidyard is eager to see what other University of Guelph Co-op students have to offer.

Matthew Quinn (he/ him) is the recipient of the 2022 Co-op Student of the Year in the BSc, BSc(Env) and BBRM category.

""Matthew, a fourth year Microbiology Co-op student, was nominated by Dr. Shu Chen, Laboratory Services at the University of Guelph. “Matthew demonstrated his passion and dedication to science with excellent work ethic and exceptional capacity in continuous learning and research, and generated high quality results and impactful outcomes for a research project and clients”. Matthew validated a new DNA metabarcoding method for the detection of Salmonella serovars to better support the poultry industry to enhance food safety. He helped write an abstract that was accepted by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and gave a poster presentation at an ASM conference in Washington. He also submitted an abstract and video for the 2022 Clive Kingsbury Video Competition and was one of the top ten finalists. He assisted with the writing of a manuscript that summarizes the research findings and built a database for determining common Salmonella serovars and designed a workflow using Geneious software that has greatly improved accuracy and efficiency of data analysis. He assisted staff in providing professional analytical services, including detection of food-borne pathogens, species identification of unknowns to DNA synthesis and eDNA testing. Matthew’s dedication to quality results, exceptional hard work and resulting accomplishments were a great example to other students and staff.  

Natasha Lisitsky (she/her) is the recipient of the 2022 Co-op Student of the Year in the BEng category.

""Natasha is in her final year of studies in the Environmental Engineering Co-op program and was nominated by Camille Taylor with WSP Canada Inc. “Natasha is the top student I have ever had to pleasure to work with. Her curiosity, eagerness to learn, willingness to accept feedback and outstanding communication skills helped her stand out amongst her peers”. Natasha worked with many project managers and was credited with outstanding work by each one of them. She provided support to a team of fifty engineers and scientists in Ontario, Quebec and Sweden with tasks related to air quality, climate, noise and vibration technical deliverables and project management. She completed technical reporting, developed emissions inventories, performed fieldwork, and supported land use compatibility assessment and air quality reports. Natasha improved a software tool and developed a combined technical tool which she presented to her team in their monthly technical meeting, explaining how to use the tool and the methodology behind its development. This tool is now being used on many projects and has increased efficiency which, in turn, is generating cost savings on many projects. While at WSP, Natasha was involved on the social committee and participated in an employee resource group called Women of WSP.     

Nida Ansari (she/her) is the 2022 recipient of the Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement.

""This award is presented each year to a student who mirrors the outstanding qualities and talents that Collin possessed. Nida is not only an outstanding student academically, having achieved the Dean’s Honour list every semester, but she is also highly active with many extra-curricular activities and community organizations including her role as a Learning Peer Helper in the Library Commons coaching fellow students on study strategies, time management, organization, exam preparation and co-facilitating workshops on effective mental health strategies. She is an active member of the Psychology Society, having been Marketing Coordinator, Co-President and currently, Chairperson. She highlighted the co-op student experience through the Society’s blog “GetPsyched”, an initiative she co-founded in 2021. She has shared her experiences and advice as a psychology co-op student and promoted the co-op program to other students. Nida also shared her co-op activities and accomplishments as part of the Experiential Learning Hub’s social media campaign and participated on the EL Hub’s Career Development Advisory Committee. She completed outstanding co-op work terms with The Grove Hubs and an NSERC-funded research project. According to her Co-op Coordinator, Shelley Gallina: “Nida is genuinely invested in the success of her classmates and helping them recognize meaningful and diverse opportunities available to them and she sees every opportunity as a meaningful learning experience and strives to ensure that she has an impact on the community around her”.

Congratulations to all 2022 Employer & Student Nominees

Nominees for the 2022 Co-op Employer of the Year

  • 7D Surgical Inc., Toronto, ON
  • Avanade Canada, Toronto, ON
  • City of Guelph, Solid Waste Resources, Guelph, ON
  • Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Eclipse Automation, Cambridge, ON
  • Guelph Food Innovation Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Human Resources Department, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Laboratory Services Division, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Laurentian Bank of Canada, Kitchener, ON
  • Mackenzie Investments, Mississauga, ON
  • Maple Lodge Farms Research Department, Beamsville, ON
  • Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery, Toronto, ON
  • Onward Manufacturing Company Ltd. – Broil King, Waterloo, ON
  • Oracle NetSuite, Mississauga, ON
  • Steeped Tea, Ancaster, ON – 2 nominations
  • Sustainability Office, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • The Hanner Lab, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Vive Crop Protection, Mississauga, ON – 2 nominations

Nominees for the 2022 Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement

  • Katherine Idzik, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jordan Thakar, Environmental Sciences

Nominees for 2022 Co-op Student of the Year

  • Aiman Afzal, Biomedical Toxicology - Vive Crop Protection, Mississauga, ON
  • Noah Alexander, Mechanical Engineering - AlumaPower, Sarnia, ON
  • Huda Ameer, Biomedical Engineering - Sterling Industries, Vaughan, ON
  • Justin Ashford, Management Economics and Finance - Ernst & Young LLP, Toronto, ON
  • Sania Azim, Biomedical Engineering - Enbridge, Scarborough, ON
  • Joseph Bachar, Psychology - Experiential Learning Hub – University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Or Brener, Software Engineering - York Digital Consulting Inc., Richmond Hill, ON
  • Breaghana Casey, Marketing Management - Mackenzie Investments, Toronto, ON
  • Tia Shin Fat (Darren) Chay Loong, Software Engineering - ecobee, Toronto, ON
  • Ashley Chen, Biomedical Toxicology - Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Benjamin Colcuc, Mechanical Engineering - MacDon Industries, Winnipeg, MB
  • Rachael Contini, Environment and Resource Management - Infrastructure Ontario, Toronto, ON
  • Daniel Cordero- Monroy,   Biological Engineering - Bishop Water Inc., Arnprior, ON
  • Jason Cox, Marketing Management - United Craft Inc., Toronto, ON
  • Laura de Souza, Biomedical Toxicology - Vive Crop Protection, Mississauga, ON
  • Samantha Dekart, Biological Engineering - Riverside Natural Foods, Vaughan, ON
  • Daniel Denton, Computer Science - ProNav Technologies Ltd., Kitchener, ON
  • Reece Diemer, Nanoscience - Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc., Guelph, ON
  • Liam Dietrich, Engineering Systems & Computing - Brock Solutions Inc., Kitchener, ON
  • Grant Doherty, Physics - Carleton University, Department of Physics, Ottawa, ON
  • Adam Duggan, Management - Student Experience – University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Adam Duggan, Management - Kritik Education, Toronto, ON
  • Justin Erogun, Computer Science - 7D Surgical Inc., Toronto, ON
  • David Ferguson, Environment and Resource Management - Muck Crops Research Station - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Cameron Fisher, Software Engineering - NCR Corporation, Waterloo, ON
  • Abigail Gravelle, Marketing Management - Sephora Canada, Toronto, ON
  • Verina Habib, Biomedical Toxicology - Pharmasave – Lisgar Pharmacy, Mississauga, ON
  • Lucy Haughton, Marketing Management - The Bay, Toronto, ON
  • William Hawkins, Mathematical Economics - Avanade, Toronto, ON
  • Alyssa Henderson, Psychology - St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Dirk Holtshousen, Marketing Management - Kritik Education Corp., Toronto, ON
  • Madison Hughes, Biomedical Toxicology - Department of Pathobiology - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Sawyer Hume, Marketing Management - Roots Marketing, Guelph, ON
  • Dawoud Husain, Software Engineering - Computing and Communications Services - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Mariam Ibrahim, Biological Engineering - Blendtek Fine Ingredients, Cambridge, ON
  • Nicole Ieraci, Marketing Management - Epic Investment Services, Toronto, ON
  • Nour Kashlan, Biomedical Toxicology - One Health Institute - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Emma Kassam, Ecology - Department of Integrative Biology - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Chloe Koelmel, Marketing Management - RBC, Toronto, ON
  • Sonia Kolodziejczak, Software Engineering - Seahorse Dating Inc., Kitchener, ON
  • Claire Krasinkiewicz, Psychology - Fedele Family, Guelph, ON
  • Jayden Lakhani-Travis, International Development Studies - Experiential Learning Hub - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Melissa Loeffen, Biomedical Toxicology - Novocol Pharmaceutical of Canada Inc., Cambridge, ON
  • Grace Lucas, Psychology - Focus on Nature, Guelph, ON
  • Nicole Marek, Psychology - Progressive Steps Training and Consultation Inc., Ajax, ON
  • Sophia Matuzic, Biomedical Toxicology - Trillium Hatchery Inc., Stratford, ON
  • Meghan O’Rourke, Biomedical Engineering - Sonova, Kitchener, ON
  • Ryan Paiva, Environmental Engineering - Region of Peel, Brampton, ON
  • Florian (Alex) Pavlik, Mechanical Engineering - Linamar Gear, Linamar Corporation, Guelph, ON
  • Kim Pham, Hospitality & Tourism Management - Co-operators, Guelph, ON
  • David Pilla, Real Estate & Housing - Laurentian Bank of Canada, Kitchener, ON
  • Sarah Renaud, Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry - STEMCELL Technologies, Vancouver, BC
  • Katelyn Roe, Biomedical Engineering - Johnson & Johnson Inc., North York, ON
  • Connor Sanderson-Kirby, Marketing Management - SOTI Inc., Toronto, ON
  • Connor Schulz, Software Engineering - System1, LLC, Guelph, ON
  • Alycia Selman, Environmental Science - Sustainability Office - University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Gurkiran Sethi, Psychology - Experiential Learning Hub – University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
  • Griffin Shaw, Biochemistry - Trillium Hatchery, Stratford, ON
  • Mitchell Shorgan, Marine and Freshwater Biology - Environment and Climate Change Canada, Prince Edward Point, ON
  • Mackenzie Starkebaum, Computer Science - De Groot Ventures Inc., Relevant Bits, Hamilton, ON
  • Krystyna Tatarska, Marketing Management - CIBC, Toronto, ON
  • Abigail White, International Development Studies - Canada Kuwait Aid Network Inc., Guelph, ON

All student and employer winners will be celebrated at the Co-op Awards reception in March. 

The Experiential Learning Hub would like to acknowledge the following donors:

  • Tulip for their sponsorship of the Ian Pavlinic Memorial Award for Innovation – Bachelor of Computing Co-op Student of the Year Award

And these employers who made generous donations towards the Co-op Awards Program:

  • AlumaPower Corporation
  • Trillium Hatchery

► If you are an Employer of a University of Guelph co-op student on a work term this semester, we invite you to share your success story by submitting a nomination package before April 28, 2023 for the Co-op Student of The Year AwardIf you are a  you a student currently on a work term, we invite you to recognize your employer by submitting a nomination before  April 28th, 2023 for the Co-op Employer of the Year Award.