The Association for Co-operative Education BC / Yukon is pleased to announce the recipients of the Co-op Student of the Year Awards for 2016. These awards recognize a BC or Yukon Co-op student who demonstrates an outstanding level of achievement in their co-operative education work placement experience; combined with a strong academic record, volunteer activities, and significant contributions to promoting co-operative education in their school and in the community.
University Category: Paul Kim (University of Victoria)
Paul Kim is a biochemistry student at the University of Victoria. Passionate about science, he is committed to utilizing his education to generate impact in healthcare and medicine. Co-op has made it possible for him to begin accomplishing this through his publications. Paul worked at the Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research and the BC Cancer Agency over the past two summers. During his work terms, he characterized novel drugs to combat antibiotic resistant infections and studied the immune system in the context of ovarian cancer to determine optimized methods of treatment through metabolic modulation. Meeting leaders in his field and witnessing scientific discovery has inspired his learning and propelled his personal development. In addition to his passion for science, Paul is an avid volunteer for Students Offering Support and the Canadian Cancer Society which both provide him with the opportunity to leverage his education to sustain positive impact.
College Category: Gavin Poole (Camosun College)
Gavin Poole is in his final semester of the 2 year Electronics and Computer Engineering diploma program at Camosun College, where he is maintaining a 8.72 GPA and has been recognized on the Dean's list each term. Gavin is a recipient of Camosun's Yvonne Thompson Page Co-op Student of the Year award for 2016. He completed a summer co-op work term at the Canadian Coast Guard in Victoria, BC. As a co-op student working as a technician, he performed installations and troubleshooting of the communications systems. His employer found his excellent skills along with his positive work ethic to be a significant benefit in finding innovative and cost effective solutions for the projects he worked on, especially in the remote location of Gimli Manitoba. Gavin's instructors have stated that he is the perfect technologist combining theoretical comprehension and practical application of diverse technology concepts.
Honourable Mention - University Category (Simon Fraser University)
Eric Fell, a Chemistry student from Simon Fraser University, completed his fall Co-op work Term as Photonic Systems Research Assistant at 4D Labs materials science research institute in Burnaby, BC. During this time, he worked on the development and characterization of new metal alloys for water splitting catalyst electrode materials. His Co-op supervisor Gary Leach describes Eric as "a talented young researcher with a perspective that most students at this stage of their career lack. He is able to recognize good science from bad and has a strong desire to pursue excellence." Eric's passion for science and travel has seen him take part in renewable energy technology development both in Canada, and in Germany through the FAAD-RISE program. Eric plans to pursue graduate studies in renewable energy materials research.
Honourable Mention - University Category (University of British Columbia)
Rebecca Peng is a fourth-year Arts student studying Honours English at UBC. She started her co-op journey with one term as a Student Communications Assistant with UBC Student Communications Services, followed by two terms as a Marketing Associate with PHEMI, a data warehouse company based in Vancouver. It is this latter role for which Rebecca is recognized as the UBC Arts Co-op Student of the Year. On campus, Rebecca is an active member of her community, acting as Print Manager and Editor for the Garden Statuary, UBC's English Undergraduate Journal, and VP External and Web Administrator for the English Students' Association. Throughout her studies and extra-curricular activities, Rebecca has maintained an annual academic average consistently about 87% and received numerous awards for high academic standing and achievements in writing.
Honourable Mention - College Category (Langara College)
Wince Leung is currently completeing her BBA degree at Langara College. Of her 4 co-op work terms, the two most recent were with Cnaadian Heritage. Her psotion was very demanding, encompassing work in many areas. Her supervisor was very impressed with her skills and abilities. "Wince is a great example of what we are now hiring for in government: innovative, adaptablw and focused on customer service. She is helping us to shift our culture, to move towards better use of technolgoy". WInce has combined high grades, top performance in business competitions and outstanding volunteer work to receive many awards; the list is too long to include. She is passionate about everything she does and shares what she has learned and how she has grown to encourage others to take co-op. wince will graduate in June 2017 with her co-op designation, great work experience and a future with tons of potential.
Honourable Mention - College Category (Camosun College)
Chelsea Dunbar is in her final year of the Environmental Technology diploma program at Camosun College, where she is maintaining a 7.65GPA or 85% average. Chelsea is a recipient of Camosun's Yvonne Thompson Page Co-op Student of the Year award for 2016. She completed a fall co-op work term at the Canadian Forest Service's Pacific Forestry Centre's entomology lab in Victoria, BC. Despite the challenges of being a single parent to two young children, a demanding academic program and a co-op work term that was a completely new experience for her Chelsea has excelled at all three. Her children are thriving, her grades are consistently high and her co-op supervisor praises her dedication to doing a consistenly excellent job and for exceeding expectations. Both her employer and her instructors commend Chelsea for her strong work ethic and for being extremely easy to work with.