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Sheridan students celebrated for their co-op and work-integrated learning achievements

Jun 1, 2023

Launching Sheridan’s first newsmagazine and an industry-based/external beta testing a speech therapy app is just scratching the surface of the incredible things Sheridan students have accomplished this past year.

To celebrate the achievements of co-op and work-integrated learning (WIL) students, Sheridan’s Career-Integrated Learning department hosted the 2022 Co-op and WIL Student of the Year Awards in April. Over the course of two days, and in partnership with the Faculties, the ceremonies recognized students who completed their work term in 2022 and made significant contributions to their place of work and beyond. This year, 12 students from across our five faculties were recognized for their outstanding WIL accomplishments.

“Sheridan prides itself on having a unique approach to career-integrated learning and offers some of the best work-integrated learning opportunities for students in the postsecondary sector,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor, during the awards ceremony. “The enthusiasm of Sheridan students and their ability to learn and grow, not just in the classroom, but beyond, is truly inspiring.”

For decades, Sheridan has provided co-op and WIL opportunities in its programs. This year, more than 7,500 students in 90 different diploma, degree and certificate programs participated in co-op and WIL.

Over the last 10 years, 23 Sheridan students have received more than 30 provincial or national awards and honourable mentions for their exceptional work in their field of practice, including five students that received accolades this past March.

A huge congratulations to all our award winners. Learn more about their accomplishments below:

Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS)

Prabhjot Bhatti (Practical Nursing)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Mandatory Professional Practice (Health) (FAHCS)

Prabhjot BhattiDuring her mandatory professional practice placement at Post Inn Village – a long-term care residence – Prabhjot Bhatti took extra time to get to know her patients and their stories to help ease their loneliness. In addition to her daily patient care responsibilities, Bhatti built meaningful connections with her patients and made it her mission to bring tokens of happiness to their day.

Bhatti’s WIL opportunity gave her experience in an area of nursing that she had not previously considered, opening her eyes to the vast number of opportunities available in the nursing profession.

“Here I am today. Proof that if you put your mind to it and you work really hard, you will make it.”

– Prabhjot Bhatti (Practical Nursing)
2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Mandatory Professional Practice (Health) (FAHCS)

Shavanni Singh (Paralegal)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Mandatory Professional Practice (Non-Health) (FAHCS)

Shavanni SinghDuring her practicum as Workforce Development Coordinator for the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), Shavanni Singh was recognized for her unparalleled passion for worker safety. She was tasked with conducting preliminary legal research on a provincial and federal level. Singh’s findings will be used to create an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training program that the Council will offer to its members.

Outside of her work term, Singh was an active member of the Paralegal Association at Sheridan and was the Chief Communications Officer for the Sheridan Mooting Society. Upon graduation, Singh’s goal is to continue helping people understand their personal stigmas and biases to stop them from turning to discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Kelly Cabral (Child and Youth Care)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Field Placement (FAHCS) & Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning Ontario (EWO) WIL Student of the Year – College Category

Kelly CabralAfter recovering from an illness that left her bedridden, Kelly Cabral was determined to make a difference in the world. During her remote field placement with Active Lives – a day program for postsecondary adults with exceptionalities and special needs – Cabral took the opportunity to make meaningful connections with non-verbal participants of the program.

In addition, Cabral volunteered as a beta tester identifying issues and providing feedback on S.A.L.T., a speech therapy app which launched in May 2022. Cabral was also recognized for her leadership in Active Lives’ Bell Let’s Talk campaign, which successfully raised funds through more than 500 social media posts.

“[Sheridan] really inspired and empowered me to take initiative in the field and in the classroom. Because of that, I was able to do what I was able to do at Active Lives.”

– Kelly Cabral (Child and Youth Care)
2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Field Placement (FAHCS) & Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning Ontario (EWO) WIL Student of the Year – College Category

JJ Van Goozen (Honours Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences – Athletic Therapy)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FAHCS) & CEWIL Student of the Year – College and CEGEP WIL; Honourable Mention for the EWO WIL Student of the Year, College Category

JJ Van GoozenJJ Van Goozen is highly engaged as a student, intern and member of the broader community. During her internship at Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy Clinic, Van Goozen applied her classroom learning and quickly realized that not everything she needed to know was in a textbook.

Van Goozen adapted her ability to treat patients for wheelchair users and discovered a new passion for treating para-athletes. She has a talent for making connections between people and organizations, thinks outside the box, and finds ways to bring people together to bring more joy into this world. Between work and school, Van Goozen also finds time to be a leader, coach and mentor for various lacrosse teams.

Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD)

Melania Santilli (Bachelor of Interior Design)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FAAD)

Melania SantilliAs a Project Designer at Figur3, Melania Santilli exceeded all expectations of her design team. Santilli approached her tasks with a ‘can-do’ attitude, determined work ethic and a focus on sustainability. Santilli’s outstanding work led to a part-time employment opportunity with Figur3 upon her return to the classroom.

In addition to her internship, Santilli was actively involved with the Interior Design Collective — a student-run group which organizes design-related events for peers – where she contributed countless hours to initiatives for her fellow classmates. Santilli is also actively involved in trade organizations such as International Retail Design Conference (IRDC), Network of Women in Hospitality (NEWH) and Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and has received numerous industry awards for her extracurricular contributions.

“It was such a fulfilling educational and personal experience, but without Sheridan’s faculty and staff to guide me prior to [my internship] it wouldn’t have been possible.”

– Melania Santilli (Bachelor of Interior Design)
2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FAAD)

McKenna Ansara (Bachelor of Interior Design)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FAAD)

McKenna AnsaraFourth-year Honours Bachelor of Interior Design student McKenna Ansara is the first Sheridan student to secure an internship with Gensler, an acclaimed global design firm. During her full-time internship at the Toronto office, Ansara collaborated with design teams overseas and was quickly granted high levels of responsibility due to her exceptional work ethic.

Ansara rapidly became an asset to the team, was offered the extraordinary opportunity to participate in weekly meetings with other Gensler interns across the globe and volunteered her time to unique community initiatives. Outside of her internship, Ansara continues to elevate her fellow classmates and prospective interior design students by sharing her portfolio and participating in co-op speaking engagements.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHASS)

Katie Smith (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Plus)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Field Placement (FHASS)

Katie SmithKatie Smith completed her field placement as an ESL teacher at Heartland International English School. During her practicum, Smith created innovative and well-thought-out lesson plans, and often took the time to make meaningful connections with her students.

In addition to achieving academic excellence in her practicum and professional practice course, Smith collaborated seamlessly with her classmates to deliver exemplary assignments with creative plans. When describing her practicum and her teaching experience, Smith noted that the placement enabled her to recognize the importance of cultural and global awareness, allowing her to build her own confidence.

Saz McKean (Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing and Publishing)

2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FHASS) & EWO Experiential Learning Student of the Year Award

Saz McKeanDuring the Winter 2022 term, Saz McKean led two experiential learning opportunities at Sheridan: Executive Coordinator with the Sheridan Student Union (SSU), and Editor-in-Chief for Serendipity, a newsmagazine cultivated by and for students.

As Editor-in-Chief, McKean paved the way for other students to participate in work-integrated opportunities by hiring three editors and a social media coordinator, and also created other co-op and part-time jobs for students interested in contributing to the newsmagazine. The launch of Serendipity was an enormous success and provided McKean with insight into business-related career opportunities in publishing, providing them with a new career path.

“A lot of the knowledge and steps that I took to create Serendipity [NewsMag] was thanks to everything that I learned in my classes and the support that I got from them.”

– Saz McKean (Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing and Publishing)
2022 Work-Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Internship (FHASS) & EWO Experiential Learning Student of the Year Award

Faculty of Applied Science and Technology (FAST)

Dulan Samaratunga (Advanced Manufacturing Management Graduate Certificate)

2022 Co-op Student of the Year (FAST – Engineering Sciences)

Dulan SamaratungaAs a Manufacturing Production Analyst at A. Berger Precision Ltd., Dulan Samaratunga honed his analytical, decision-making and collaborative skills while working in both the engineering and planning departments. In his role, Samaratunga helped put into action numerous improvement projects, including the implementation of a new packing data recording system.

During Samaratunga’s first industrial working experience in Canada, he not only gained valuable hands-on experience but also became an advocate for Sheridan’s co-op program. He continues to promote it to international students who are considering studying overseas.

Pilon School of Business (PSB)

Mehnaz Singh (Business Administration – Human Resources)

2022 Co-op Student of the Year (PSB) & Honourable Mention for the 2022 EWO Co-op Student of the Year Award

Mehnaz SinghHaving left a nearly decade-long career as a train operator, Mehnaz Singh took a leap of faith during the pandemic and went back to school, choosing a co-op program to provide her with work experience in her newly chosen field. During her work term with Pivotal Integrated HR Solutions, Singh worked on several large projects including an international recruitment initiative, an Accommodation Training Toolkit, and facilitating a partnership with JumpStart Refugee Recruitment.

Despite a busy family life as a mom of two young children, Singh finds time to be a member of the Sheridan Human Resource Student Association and Sheridan Student Business Association, has served as chair for two different Parent Councils, and connects with a large network of working moms via Facebook, where she shares the benefits of her co-op journey.

Akashdeep Singh (Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting)

2022 Co-op Student of the Year (PSB) & Honourable Mention for the 2022 CEWIL Canada Student of the Year Award

Akashdeep SinghAkashdeep Singh completed his second co-op work term at KPMG during the Winter 2022 term. As a Staff Accountant, Singh performed at a 94% productivity rate, acted as a peer buddy to other students on their first work term, and was appointed as a coordinator to other staff.

In addition to his academic and co-op success, Akashdeep was appointed as a Sheridan Student Brand Ambassador where he promoted Sheridan and co-operative education to more than 1,000 new students at a predeparture session in India – his home country.


Sheridan’s Career-Integrated Learning offers several services including cooperative education, career services, work-integrated and experiential learning, and community employment services to support students, alumni, and the community.

As a proud member of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada, Sheridan’s Career-Integrated Learning team celebrated National Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning Month throughout the month of March.

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