News > Congratulations to our 2018 Student of the Year Awards Winners!

Congratulations to our 2018 Student of the Year Awards Winners!

posted on March 8, 2019

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada is pleased to announce the 2018 Students of the Year Awards Winners

  • Student of the Year - Co-op (University): Nathan Duarte, Bachelor of Applied Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • Student of the Year - Co-op (College): Lawrence Young, Computer Systems Technology – Software Development & Network Engineering Coop, Sheridan College
  • Student of the Year - Other Forms of WIL (University): Kira Cheeseborough, Bachelor of Social Work, Thompson Rivers University
  • Student of the Year - Other Forms of WIL (College): Natasha Mando, Practical Nursing Diploma, Mohawk College

Rising to the top, out of 44 nominees, these candidates embodied all the attributes of outstanding work-integrated learning students by making a significant impact in their WIL work term.

Click here for the Student of the Year Press Release.

Student of the Year (Co-op)


Nathan Duarte: Bachelor of Applied Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of Waterloo

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. He has also worked to develop 3D capabilities for a neurosurgical imaging tool.

Nathan maintains an excellent academic standing with the Faculty of Engineering. He is the recipient of the faculty’s 2018 Co-op Student of the Year Award and ranks near the top of his class as part of the Dean’s Honours List. He presently serves as Class Representative for the Biomedical Engineering Class of 2021. 

Along with his academic and work term excellence, Nathan is passionate about community outreach. He founded the University of Waterloo’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Conference, which runs annually to share leading developments in biomedicine. 

Nathan was recognized for his Winter 2018 work term, where he served as Wyss Institute Visiting Undergraduate Student at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He helped develop novel bioink to improve cell proliferation and phenotype in vascularized tissue on 3D printed kidney models, decreasing cell proliferation rates from 21 days to 3 – 5 days.

Nathan is also the co-founder of the University of Waterloo’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Conference and aspires to create wearable consumer devices that will shape healthcare. 


Lawrence Young: Computer Systems Technology – Software Development & Network Engineering Coop, Sheridan College

Lawrence Young completed his 3rd Co-op work term as part of Sheridan’s Computer Systems Technology – Software Development & Network Engineering program with RBC’s Amplify program. Amplify is designed to attract top student talent and challenge them over 16 weeks to develop innovative solutions to RBC’s most pressing challenges.

Lawrence worked as part of a team tasked with developing a chat bot that could reimagine RBC’s digital interactions with business banking clients. Lawrence impressed with his professionalism, his application of advanced training, and his ability to present ideas to all levels of the organization.

Lawrence is an exceptional student who, as an individual with a severe visual impairment, has provided guidance to both Sheridan and RBC to continually improve the experiences of other students and employees with disabilities.

Lawrence has now been hired full-time by RBC, he accepted one of the six RBC job offers he received on conclusion of his work-term!


   Student of the Year (Other Forms of WIL)

Kira Cheeseborough: Bachelor of Social Work, Thompson Rivers University

Kira Cheeseborough is a Thompson Rivers University Bachelor of Social Work student in her third year of the four-year degree program. She is also a part-time Youth Advisor and Peer Support Navigator for A Way Home Kamloops, the organization where she completed a work-integrated learning practicum experience from January-May 2018. There, Kira led the development of an Employment and Education Peer Navigation program for youth who have experienced homelessness at Thompson Rivers University.

Kira is also the Chair of Youth Against Youth Homelessness and Co-Chair of the Employment and Education committee within A Way Home Kamloops. Kira began her academic journey while overcoming trauma from homelessness and throughout her journey she began to identify gaps in related supports. Her drive and ability to self-advocate helped her navigate through various on and off campus supports to attain her goals. Since then she has worked tirelessly to bridge those gaps for other at-risk youth in the Kamloops community and beyond.


Natasha Mando: Practical Nursing Diploma, Mohawk College

Natasha Mando completed her diploma in Practical Nursing from Mohawk College and participated in three clinical placements with Hamilton Health Sciences during her program. She recently passed her nursing exams and has received her professional licence.

Natasha is goal-oriented, innovative, and a natural leader. During Natasha’s clinical placement, she demonstrated her ability to apply theory to practice, while advocating for herself and others.  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 in order to provide the best care for her patients. Her innovative character was affirmed when she took the initiative to research equipment and methods to utilize during her clinical placement, to ensure patient access and safety. As a trailblazer for the Deaf community, Natasha led by example to inspire others to believe in their educational goals and pursue self-advocacy.    

Natasha is also the recipient of the Leadership Accessibility Award for 2018 at Mohawk College.

Honourable mentions to the following nominees:

  • Student of the Year - Co-op (University) Honourable Mention: Sabrina Fanelli, Bachelor of Business Administration, Co-op, University of Toronto
  • Student of the Year - Co-op (College) Honourable Mention: Julian Wiesner, Chemical Engineering Technology, Cambrian College
  • Student of the Year - Other Forms of WIL (University) Honourable Mention: Dara Jarallah, Master of Global Business, University of Victoria
  • Student of the Year - Other Forms of WIL (College) Honourable Mention: John Fisher, Post Graduate Certificate - Museum & Gallery Studies, Georgian College