posted on March 9, 2018



Toronto, ON, March 9, 2018 – Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) is pleased to celebrate the 2017 Co-op Students of the Year: Emily Pass, University of Waterloo and Robin Stone, Camosun College. 

Co-op students from across the nation are doing amazing things. Out of 27 impressive nominations, Emily Pass and Robin Stone were identified as two students who embodied all the attributes of outstanding co-op students: they made a significant impact in the workplace during their co-op work term, achieved high academic performance, showed commitment to enhancing co-operative education at their post-secondary institutions, and made a difference in their communities through volunteering. In addition, honorable mentions were awarded to Victoria Marando of McMaster University and Shannon Nordal of Red River College.

Robin Stone has had far-reaching influence as a student in Camosun College’s Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting programShe has shown an ability to use her initiative, knowledge and applied learning to impact her community. She has excelled academically with a perfect grade point average, while being a mother to an active young son. She leads a student business competition group DECA, volunteers and mentors for Toastmasters, and encourages her peers to participate in co-operative education.

In her first co-op term with National Defense Canada, she successfully advocated for student wage equity between college and university students in similar programs/positions. In her second co-op term, the one for which she was nominated in 2017, she proposed and developed a learning game for the BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services designed to meet the unique needs of teams that have virtual team members. Her supervisor, Jillian Carruthers, commented, “In her short time as an employee within the BC government, Robin not only became a subject matter expert in our IT system, but the driver in developing a program to support virtual and distributed teams within the ministry.”

Emily Pass is a third-year undergraduate student studying Honours Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. She has been a leader in bringing careers in physics and astronomy to the student body. As an executive of the Waterloo Space Society, she has organized events inviting industry experts to speak about their careers. She also has touted the value of experiential learning and co-operative education to university donors, further strengthening the learning and career development opportunities at the university. Her influence does not stop there, while maintaining a 96.7% grade point average, she still finds the time to proofread students’ job applications and inspires children to follow their interests in space and astronomy.

During her 2017 co-op work term with the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration (CPSX), she proved what it takes to be a stellar student employee. According to her supervisor, Dr. Stanimir Metchev, “within six weeks she had finished everything that I had planned for a year…Emily single-handedly wrote the data reduction pipeline for a rapid-imaging astronomical experiment called Colibri.” Emily then wrote a 13-page paper, which was later published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Perhaps the most-inspiring aspect of celebrating co-op students is how work-integrated learning has impacted them personally, professionally and academically. Emily expressed that co-operative education experiences shaped almost every aspect of her life, “those experiences have taught me how to learn, and what I want to learn. They have given me the confidence to give back to my community. Co-operative education has laid the foundation for an amazing career, and I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that it has provided to me.”

In addition to receiving a $500 cash award from CEWIL Canada, with a certificate to commemorate their achievements, Emily Pass and Robin Stone will each receive the $500 Emery-Dufault Award. The Emery-Dufault Award was established by CAFCE (now CEWIL Canada) in 2003 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. Les Emery first introduced the idea of co-operative education to Waterloo College Associate Faculties, the forerunner of the University of Waterloo. His proposal and subsequent work led to the establishment in 1957 of the first co-operative education program in Canada. George Dufault set up and headed the Department of Co-ordination, now known as Co-operative Education and Career Action department, until 1958.

Each year CEWIL Canada recognizes outstanding co-op student achievement at the College and University level. Co-op/work-integrated learning offices across Canada will be celebrating this and other co-op/work-integrated learning initiatives during National Co-op and WIL Week, March 19-23, 2018. Currently there are 90 CEWIL Canada member institutions across Canada and the U.S., representing more than 80,000 students.


Helen Kobrc 
Co-Chair, CEWIL Co-op Students of the Year Awards Selection Committee (2017) 
250-721-7358 |


robin_stone.jpg  emily_pass.jpg
Robin Stone (Camosun College)      Emily Pass (University of Waterloo)