1. Submit a Nomination
  2. Nomination Guidelines
  3. 2023 Co-op Award Winners
    1. Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year
    2. Graduate Co-op Student of the Year
    3. Co-op Employer of the Year

Every year, Co-operative Education recognizes our employers and students with Co-op Student and Employer of the Year Awards. Students can nominate their employer for the co-op awards. Employers can nominate any Carleton co-op student who worked for them over the past year.

Submit a Nomination

Nominate a Student

Nominate an Employer

Nomination Guidelines

Nomination Guidelines for Co-op Student of the Year

Nomination Guidelines for Co-op Employer of the Year

2023 Co-op Award Winners

The Co-operative Education Office is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Carleton University Co-op Student and Employer of the Year Awards! The Co-op Awards are presented each year to recognize the outstanding achievements, contributions, and performances of our co-op students and their employers. The Co-op office would like to congratulate and thank all Co-op Awards winners and nominees for their contributions to Carleton University’s Co-op program.

Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year

2022 Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year Austin Herrrington wears a Cavanagh baseball hat and stands in front of a brown wall in front of a photograph of a yellow construction truck.

Austin Herrington, Winner of Carleton University’s 2023 Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Austin Herrington is a fourth-year student in Civil Engineering and Winner of Carleton’s 2023 Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year Award. Herrington is completing his co-op work terms as a Project Coordinator with Thomas Cavanagh Construction, working on some of the company’s most challenging infrastructure projects, including multimillion-dollar contracts for the Ministry of Transportation and local municipalities.  

In his nomination, Project Manager Brett Verdon highlighted how, in just a few months, Herrington learned how to manage difficult tasks (including contract documents, engineered drawings, project cash flow, and day-to-day operations) better than many seasoned professionals, asking thoughtful questions to help his understanding and consistently working to improve his performance. 

His work has set the standard for coordination with our various departments, saved the company thousands of dollars by mitigating inefficiencies, and consistently improved team morale. Often the first to arrive at the office and one of the last to leave, he has quickly solidified himself as one of our most valuable team members. Carleton should be proud of the caliber of student [they] are bringing into the workforce. 

Verdon highlighted a range of projects that Herrington worked on, including how Herrington set the standard for coordination with their asphalt department. His accuracy and clear communication helped to reduce errors in the field, improving efficiency and saving the company thousands of dollars in the process. Furthermore, Herrington’s careful review of contract documents and pertinent questions led him to identify instances where a change in construction staging could save time and money on highway infrastructure projects. Herrington presented these ideas to the Ministry of Transportation, which were ultimately accepted, resulting in nearly a hundred thousand dollars of additional profit for the company while simultaneously saving money for Ontario’s taxpayers – an incredible accomplishment for a co-op student.

In addition to all of this, Verdon highlighted how Herrington was an active participant in workplace fundraisers, events, and team building activities. “He integrated himself into our team and made many friends throughout the company. His performance has been well beyond our expectations for co-op students. We are very happy to say he will be staying with our company over the coming months before returning to Carleton University in September, and there will be a position waiting for him upon his graduation. 

Graduate Co-op Student of the Year

2023 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Aidan Oliver-Burgess wears a green blazer and black shirt and stands in front of a Canada flag.

Aidan Oliver-Burgess, Winner of Carleton University’s 2023 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Aidan Oliver-Burgess is a Master of International Affairs student and Winner of Carleton’s 2023 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Award. Oliver-Burgess completed two co-op work terms as a Student Analyst with the International Security and Political Affairs Branch at Global Affairs Canada (GAC). She was nominated by Andrea Westcott-Lacoursiere, her Deputy Director.

The Threat Assessment division is responsible for identifying and assessing threats to Canada’s diplomatic missions abroad. Oliver-Burgess supported the team by researching and analyzing issues to produce strategic and operational threat assessment products in collaboration with domestic and international partners. She worked closely with diplomatic staff posted overseas and was uniquely exposed to both the work of the Canadian security community and the work of Canadian missions throughout the region. Throughout Oliver-Burgess’s work terms, she displayed exceptional dedication and commitment to the safety and security of Canadian staff, citizens, and permanent residents abroad.

Says Westcott-Lacoursiere, “Whatever our team threw at her, Aidan rose to the occasion, while at the same time, always ensuring to seek guidance and clarification whenever necessary. This included serving as the lead and/or supporting analyst for over 20 missions in the region. As new colleagues joined the team, she also supported the onboarding and training of new team members.”

Oliver-Burgess’s ability to analyze complex geo-political issues and trends was complemented by excellent interpersonal skills that enabled her to establish and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues in the Canadian security community, as well as with regional security managers and mission security officers abroad.

In addition to working and juggling academic requirements for her master’s program, Oliver-Burgess also voluntarily took on additional work, including 24/7 emergency response shifts to respond to urgent inquiries from Canadian citizens and permanent residents in distress. Westcott-Lacoursiere noted that this work is extremely difficult and emotionally draining, however, Oliver-Burgess continued to aptly manage her priorities within tight deadlines. She also joined extracurricular activities at GAC, including taking on a role within the executive committee of the Young Professionals Network, which works to ensure that the perspectives of young professionals and new employees are included in decision-making at the most senior levels.

“I am happy to report that as a result of her incredible work and performance, we have offered Aidan another contract and are looking to having her bridged into the division upon graduation.”

Co-op Employer of the Year

2023 Co-op Employer of the Year Omar Masaud stands against a grey wall in a white shirt and blazer.

Omar Masaud, Winner of Carleton University’s 2023 Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

Omar Masaud is the Team Lead, Electronics at Gastops and Winner of the Co-op Employer of the Year Award. Masaud was nominated by Matt Drury, a fourth-year student in Aerospace Engineering.  

Drury completed multiple work terms with Masaud in the Research and Innovation Department, working towards the development of exciting inductive sensing technologies. Drury highlighted how Masaud steered their team through multiple testing and development programs, interacting with key manufacturers in the industries of aerospace and energy generation, all while maintaining an organized set of goals and plans for Drury’s personal and professional development. 

Says Drury, “As a student studying Aerospace Electronics and Systems, I am gaining a unique educational skillset of both Mechanical Engineering foundations as well as Electrical Engineering principles. Omar, himself a graduate of this same program 10 years prior, provided me with multiple opportunities to practice and develop a variety of these skills. Importantly, he spent considerable amounts of time working with me in the laboratory, teaching many of the technical skills that I was robbed of learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am incredibly grateful for the time he spent with me, never once showing any form of frustration or lacking interest in it, sometimes long past the end of the workday.” 

Masaud kept a watchful eye over the progress of Drury’s work and gave him access to exciting tasks that would improve a different part of his ever-growing toolbox. 

“He challenged me to work at the high level that he knew I was capable of. I was given full responsibility over many aspects of my work as he felt I had earned it, a unique opportunity for a co-op student like me to really feel like and know that I was a valuable part of Gastops.”

Drury says he would recommend Masaud as a supervisor and an employer to any STEM student and says that Masaud’s incredibly kind ways of teaching and bringing the best out of his students, while always maintaining his exceptional workload, would make any employee (let alone a student) fortunate to work under him. Says Masaud, “Our collaboration has been enriching for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to learn a great deal from our time together. I have every confidence that Matt has a bright future ahead of him!”