Guidelines for 2019 Student of the Year Award

Nominations are Closed

The nomination period ended on January 24, 2020. We are currently in the process of reviewing nominations. We hope to have results by early this spring. 

 Student Award History

Since 1994, CEWIL Canada, formerly known as CAFCE, has chosen a student each year to receive the Co-op Student of the Year Award (CSOTYA). Until 2018, this award recognized a wide variety of achievements -- job performance, academic performance, and contributions to their co-op employer, to Co-operative Education, and the community-at-large. The award was presented to a college and a university Co-operative Education student. The two winning students were celebrated during National Co-operative Education Week.  Winners received a certificate and a $500 cash award from CAFCE to recognize their achievements. All nominated students will receive a letter and certificate of recognition for their national nomination.

In addition, the two winning students received the Emery-Dufault Award ($500) in recognition of the contributions of two of the founding fathers of Co-operative Education in Canada, Dr. Charles Leslie (Les) Emery and Professor George Joseph Dufault. 

The CEWIL Student of the Year Committee revised student nomination information for 2018 in line with the expanded mandate and in response to member feedback.  Nominees are now assessed on their engagement in WIL and how, through their WIL experience, they positively impacted their host organization (eg employer, community partner) their academic institution, and themselves.  Each winning student (2 from colleges and 2 from universities) will receive $1,000.  The Emery-Dufault Award continues to partially fund the Co-op student award amounts.


Student of the Year Awards 2018

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) is pleased to celebrate the 2018 Work-Integrated Learning Students of the Year. Four students from across Canada, Nathan Duarte, Lawrence Young, Kira Cheeseborough, and Natasha Mando earned top recognition for bringing their academic studies to life and making an impact in their workplaces, on their campuses, and with their lives.


Nathan Duarte is a third-year Biomedical Engineering co-op student at the University of Waterloo, who has completed work terms at Synaptive Medical and Harvard University. His experience involves researching and developing strategies and materials to successfully 3D print kidney tissues. His contributions span the university campus as well. As founder of the university’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Conference, Nathan helps expose his peers to cutting-edge developments in the biomedical field and provides opportunities for students to connect with industry or academic partners in similar areas of expertise.

Lawrence Young is a student in Sheridan College’s Computer Systems Technology – Software Development & Network Engineering program. He participated in RBC’s Amplify program, where he took an active role within the team to develop a solution to their online customer chat business challenge and became the most sought after grad in the past three years. Back on campus Lawrence has presented to groups of students to promote co-operative education and coached students on job search.

Kira Cheeseborough is a Thompson Rivers University Bachelor of Social Work student in her third year. She completed a work-integrated learning practicum experience as a Peer Support Worker for A Way Home Kamloops from January-May 2018. There, Kira led the development of an Education Peer Navigation program for youth who have experienced homelessness at university. Kira began her academic journey faced with adversity and her drive and ability to self-advocate helped her navigate through various supports on and off campus to help her attain her goals.

Natasha Mando is, according to her nominator, "a determined student who has been successful in her Practical Nursing program at Mohawk College because of her drive and dedication.” Although Natasha faced several obstacles as a deaf student during her clinical placements, her drive and dedication made her step outside of her comfort zone to provide the best care for her patients. Described as a trailblazer, Natasha researched and acquired assistive technologies including a stethoscope that is used by hearing-impaired clinicians that displays the sound of a patient’s heart and lungs visually. Each clinical placement was equally impactful for Natasha as it was for her preceptors and colleagues, many who learned American Sign Language and new clinical techniques as a way to make her feel welcomed and included.

Co-op Student of the Year Awards 2017

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) announces the 2017 Co-op Students of the Year: Emily Pass, University of Waterloo and Robin Stone, Camosun College.

Rising to the top, from a field of 27 nominees, Emily and Robin embodied all the attributes of outstanding co-op students by making a significant impact in their co-op work term, achieving high academic performance, showing commitment to enhancing the profile of co-operative education at their post-secondary institutions, and making a difference in their communities.


Emily Pass, Faculty of Science, Astronomy and Physics

Work term: Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration, University of Western Ontario

  • Emily single-handedly wrote and completed a data analysis pipeline for Colibri, a rapid-imaging astronomical experiment. Within 6 weeks, she had completed a year’s worth of work. She has created a 13-page scientific paper on her work, published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This successfully went through a rigorous peer-review process during her summer 2017 academic term.
  • Spoke to a group of prominent donors about the value of co-operative education during the 2014 University of Waterloo President’s Reception.
  • Served as both co-president and communications manager for the Waterloo Space Society, connecting industry experts to students.
  • Recipient of the Schulich Leader Scholarship, valued at $60,000. Emily is 1 of only 270 in Canada to receive this.


Robin Stone is currently completing the fourth year of her Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting degree at Camosun College and completed her second co-op work term in the IM/IT Capital Investment Branch within the Ministry of Citizens’ Services for the BC Government.

During her work term, Robin played an integral role in the successful completion of two major projects the first of which revolved around the investment intake cycle and its use of a new online application system. Robin developed training materials and sessions for all ministries using the new application system, and led the generation of quantitative and qualitative analysis on each case submitted.  

The second project involved a learning/training program Robin developed and proposed. This program, titled “The League of Digital Heroes”, connected leadership training and peer-support learning across the ministry and utilized a unique gamified platform. It is a program that provides leaders a practical way by which to apply any theoretical leadership concepts to a real-world setting.

Robin had a tremendously positive impact on the Ministry of Citizens’ Services during her work term and also on her community. She is an active member of Toastmasters where she holds various leadership roles and mentors other members in addition to leadership roles with Camosun’s student business competition group DECA and advocacy roles of the co-op program to her peers.

Honorable mentions were awarded to Victoria Marando from McMaster University and Shannon Nordal of Red River College College.

Wall of Fame