Feb. 11, 2019

'We look forward to hiring you in the future'

Fourth annual Co-op and Internship Awards celebrate student and employer support for work-integrated learning programs

Author

Molly Neufeld, Faculty of Science

Pascale Sicotte, vice-dean of arts, presents Leigh Goddard with her certificate for winning Student of the Year working for an on-campus office. Goddard was nominated by her employer, Lies Thompson, for her excellent work done during her co-op placement in the Undergraduate Science Centre.

Pascale Sicotte presents Leigh Goddard with her certificate for winning Student of the Year (arts).

Molly Neufeld, Faculty of Science

Experiential learning is more than just a buzzword at UCalgary, as the Arts and Science Co-op and Internship Annual Awards proved last week.

A celebration of the hard work of Co-operative Education and Internship students and employers, the awards took place for the fourth year in a row on Feb. 5. The event is hosted by the faculties of science and arts, bringing together students and employers of distinction within both work-integrated learning programs. The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking collaborative space was an appropriate venue for the event, bringing the ambitious students and employers, with their guests, together to celebrate their accomplishments of the past year.

There was no shortage of nominations across the variety of student and employer categories: 31 nominations were submitted by Arts and 24 were submitted by Science. In December, a panel of seven judges reviewed the 55 nominations. Students and employers were evaluated by rubrics outlining various traits; students were reviewed for their adaptability, leadership, and problem-solving skills, employers primarily on their mentoring and leadership abilities.

Associate deans Nancy Chibry and Dr. Dawn Johnston, PhD, spoke to the rise of student and employer participation in work-integrated learning within the university. Chibry announced the exciting news of the expansion of the Faculty of Science Internship program in the coming years. Dr. Pascale Sicotte, PhD, and Dr. Cindy Graham, PhD, respectively the vice-dean of arts and the vice-dean of science, presented the awards. Both vice-deans thanked all students for their excellent ambassadorship as students of the University of Calgary, and commented upon the positivity of the event.

Cindy Graham, vice-dean of science, presents Ryan Konynenbelt with his certificate for winning Student of the Year working for a Large Company. Konynenbelt was nominated by his employer, Gerald LaRiviere, for the work done during his internship at TransCanada.

Cindy Graham presents Ryan Konynenbelt with a certificate for winning Student of the Year (science).

Companies ranging from large organizations like Husky, CNOOC International, and TransCanada, to local startups such as Pixineers Ltd and Stream Data Systems, to government departments, were represented at the awards ceremony. Spontaneous job offers happened in more than one instance during the awards presentation. “We look forward to hiring you in the future,” was repeated by employers upon receiving their award or applauding their student as they accepted an award. Several employers confirmed that their co-op or internship student was continuing to work full- or part-time for them if not now, upon their graduation.

Communications student Leigh Goddard, winner of Campus Student of the Year for the Faculty of Arts, expressed her appreciation for the program. “The team I work with is so supportive and they feel like a second family to me,” Goddard said. “I have been exposed to a huge network of inspiring and driven individuals who I look up to on a daily basis.” Her 12-month co-op term as a student experience assistant in the Undergraduate Science Centre allowed her to develop student engagement initiatives reaching out to the 5,000+ undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science. She now works part-time for the Undergraduate Science Centre.

Gerald LaRiviere of TransCanada Pipelines nominated Ryan Konynenbelt as Science Student of the Year, praising him as an employee with a “reputation as an excellent team player who can solve issues no matter the domain.” Konynenbelt is currently working full-time for TransCanada with the same team he interned for. “The internship experience has been arguably the most beneficial factor of my undergrad and has led me to the beginning of my career.”   

Co-op and internship programs are a three-way relationship between university, student, and employer, and the awards ceremony was testament to this flourishing relationship. The Arts co-op program and Science co-op and internship program are invaluable resources to students and employers in the Calgary community and beyond.

Cindy Graham and Nancy Chibry celebrate with the student and employer winners and honourable mentions for the Faculty of Science.

Cindy Graham and Nancy Chibry celebrate with the student and employer winners in the science faculty

Arts winners

  • Student winner, on campus: Leigh Goddard
  • Student Honourable Mentions, on campus: Milana Leskovac, Valeria Palacio
  • Employer winner, on campus: Leadership and Student Engagement, Andrew Barry
  • Employer Honourable mention on campus: University of Calgary International, Andrea Morrow  
  • Student winner, small/ medium, off campus: Tess Kisilevich
  • Student Honourable Mentions, small/ medium, off campus: Hannah Boyle, Richard Luebke
  • Employer winner, small / medium, off campus: Ministry of Community and Social Services, Government of Alberta, Kelta Coomber
  • Employer Honourable Mentions, small / medium, off campus: Burns Memorial Fund, Michelle Clarke
  • Student Winner, large, off campus: Miguel Serquina
  • Student Honourable Mentions, large, off campus: Andreae Sennyah, Allison MAckenzie
  • Employer winner, large, off campus: Husky Energy, Barb McCarthy and Jeff Townsend

Science winners

  • Student winner, small/ medium, off campus: Pujan Bhatta
  • Student Honourable Mentions, small/ medium, off campus: Kourosh Banaeianzadeh, Christopher Kinzel
  • Employer winner, small / medium, off campus: Stream Data Systems Ltd, John Paiaro
  • Student Winner, large, off campus: Ryan Konynenbelt
  • Student Honourable Mentions, large, off campus: Ramanpreet Sidhu, Hannah Rueb
  • Employer Winner, large, off campus: CNOOC International, Marisol Barragan
  • Employer Honourable Mention, large, off campus: Calgary Airport Authority, Bart Smith
Pascale Sicotte, vice-dean of arts, and Dawn Johnston, associate dean, celebrate with the student and employer winners and honourable mentions for the Faculty of Arts.

Pascale Sicotte and Dawn Johnston celebrate with student and employer winners in the arts faculty.