The Co-operative Education Office is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 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 performance of our co-op students and their employers. Click an award name below to read about this year’s winner!
2017 Undergraduate Co-op Student of the Year
Congratulations to Bianca Mitchell-Reyes, third-year Bachelor of Information Technology student in the Interactive Multimedia and Design Program and winner of the 2017 Co-op Student of the Year Award.
Mitchell-Reyes completed a twelve-month work term at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), working as a Graphic Designer within the Strategic Communications department from January to December 2017 and completing her most recent work term as a UI/UX Designer in RBC’s Intrapreneurship department.
When nominating Mitchell-Reyes for this award Alysse Glick, Manager of Intrapreneurship Projects, wrote that Bianca was involved in a number of projects that involved leading brainstorming and prototyping sessions and developing branding elements and User Interface designs. Glick included that some of Bianca’s most notable accomplishments included filming a Michelle Obama conference, creating video materials and animations for media clips used in senior leader initiatives, developing brands and products that will continue in RBC as unique and innovative identities and supporting countless fellow co-op students.
“Not only did she deliver high quality, high impact work in high pressure environments with tight timelines, she did it with an infectious energy and built a network of peers, mentors and reverse mentors who all became captivated by Bianca,” Glick wrote in her nomination form.
Glick also had four of her colleagues (three Directors and a VP) contribute to her nomination of Mitchell-Reyes. Each contributor’s comments were overflowing with praise for how positively Mitchell-Reyes’ work ethic, creativity, skill, passion, and attitude impacted the projects they had worked on together.
2017 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year
MacKenzie Stone, a Master of Public Policy and Administration student, is the winner of the 2017 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Award.
Stone completed an eight-month work term as a Program Officer at the Youth Participation Directorate of Canadian Heritage’s Citizen Participation Branch.
Stone was nominated by Maria Martin, Manager of the Exchanges Canada Program, for taking the lead on the creation and delivery of a number of high-profile presentations to the department’s Deputy Minister and for her work supporting the intake launch and application analyses of the Youth Take Charge Program.
“I can state categorically that MacKenzie Stone has performed above expectations; she has been able to make a significant contribution to two grants and contribution programs, with the caliber of her work being on par with that of seasoned program officers. MacKenzie is a credit to Carleton’s Co-op Program and we certainly would consider hiring other Carleton students after our positive experience in this instance,” said Martin.
2017 Co-op Employer of the Year
Ilona Naujokaitis-Lewis, a Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, is the recipient of the 2017 Co-op Employer of the Year Award.
Naujokaitis-Lewis was nominated by both her co-op students, Katharine Maclean, a fourth-year biology student, and Adam Blasl, a fourth-year environmental science student. Both students praised Naujokaitis-Lewis for being an exceptional mentor who provided them with the opportunity to develop hands-on skills and exposed them to a variety of research techniques they will be able to use in their future careers.
“As a first time co-op employer, Ilona by far exceeded all expectations of the qualities a co-op employer should have. She is patient, encourages a challenge and is a natural teacher. The most beneficial part about being in co-op is being able to experience what is taught in the classroom in real life. Ilona was able to integrate multiple disciplines and techniques into my co-op experience, and I will be forever grateful for that,” wrote Maclean in her nomination form.
Blasl completed his first co-op work term as a Research Assistant at the National Wildlife Research Centre with Naujokaitis-Lewis throughout the summer 2017 work term.
When nominating Naujokaitis-Lewis for the 2017 Co-op Employer of the Year Award, Blasl wrote, “I would tell other co-op students that Ilona is a great boss and leader because she takes genuine interest in her students’ ideas and needs, and is able to foster a sense of kinship while simultaneously managing a professional and organized work environment. She provided impeccable guidance throughout a host of new experiences and I feel that my knowledge on the process of field science has grown exponentially, building greatly upon my previous academic experience.”
Honourable Mentions – Co-op Student of Year
Fourth-year software engineering student Arun Galva, and Master of Public Policy and Administration student, Brian Jobse, both received honourable mentions for Co-op Student of the Year for their significant contributions to their projects’ outcomes throughout their respective co-op work terms.
Arun Galva completed a twelve-month work term as a Technical Systems Analyst within the DevOps business unit at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Ian Kerins, Director of DevOps within RBC’s Innovation and Technology department, nominated Galva for Co-op Student of the Year.
“Arun was instrumental in getting the DevOps 2.0 live. Without his support and collaboration we would not have been able to complete and deliver this project on time. He has demonstrated the skills of a seasoned developer since he started. He is always eager to assist, never turning down a challenge and continually provided a fresh viewpoint,” Kerins wrote in his nomination form.
Kerins also included testimonials from six colleagues who spoke to Galva’s flexibility when trouble-shooting and problem-solving, enthusiasm and willingness to take on new tasks, and dedication to produce the highest-quality work and see a job through to the end, all with a positive, client-first attitude.
Brian Jobse [photo not available] worked as a Policy Student at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) throughout the summer 2017 work term.
Jobse was nominated by his supervisors, Stephen Vail, Director of Policy, and Owen Adams, Chief Policy Advisor, for the significant impact he had on the CMA’s research work on Population Health Management (PHM) concepts and practices in Canada and internationally; a policy area gaining increasing attention by health systems. Jobse’s work resulted in the publication of a research paper on PHM in the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership, of which he was the lead author.
“Brian was actively involved in several key initiatives including research support for CMA’s work on the legalization of marijuana, coding open-ended data for a survey related to physician practices in Canada, and organizing a special session for all summer students with our policy and research team on how policy is developed at the CMA. Brian’s expertise and level of engagement were greatly appreciated by his co-workers. He has been a great ambassador for Carleton University’s Co-op Program,” wrote Vail and Adams.
Honourable Mentions – Co-op Employer of Year
Congratulations to both Paul Young-Davies, Senior Manager of Software Engineering at DRS Technologies and Meredith Wright, Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Communication Health Assistants at Speech-Language & Audiology Canada.
Young-Davies and Wright each received an honourable mention for 2017 Co-op Employer of the Year.
Congratulations to all Co-op Awards winners, honourable mentions, and nominees!