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Thirteen student award recipients at Sheridan's 2023 Co-op and WIL Student of the Year Awards

Sheridan celebrates student co-op and work-integrated learning achievements

Newsroom authorby Marianne Sy-LuceroApr 26, 2024
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Last month, in partnership with Sheridan’s Faculties, the Career-Integrated Learning department hosted the annual Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Student of the Year Awards at the Sheridan Conference Centre located at the Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville.

The awards ceremony celebrates the achievements of co-op and WIL students who completed their work term in 2023 and made significant contributions to their place of work and beyond. This year, 13 students from across Sheridan’s five faculties were recognized for their outstanding WIL accomplishments.

Over the last 11 years, 24 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 last year. 

Sheridan is home to one of the largest co-op programs in Canada, having offered co-op and WIL opportunities in many of its programs for decades including more than 60 that have a co-op or internship component. In 2023, more than 7,500 students enrolled in over 90 different diploma, degree and certificate programs participated in co-op and WIL.

“Each year, the Sheridan community is inspired by our students. When listening to their individual stories, we truly appreciate the magnitude of their growth after a co-op or WIL experience,” said Joanne Islip, Interim Director Career-Integrated Learning. “Students are not only gaining a deeper understanding of their field of interest and real-world knowledge, but they are also building confidence in their abilities at work, learning how to interact in different environments, developing their career catalysts — also known as employability skills — and so much more. The value of co-op and WIL is beyond compare.”

Representative from KPMG accepting the 2023 Co-op and Internship Employer of the Year Award from SheridanEmployers play a significant role in the success of our co-op and internship programs by providing opportunities to our students and supporting them beyond their work term. To recognize the contributions of our employer partners, the inaugural Co-op and Internship Employer of the Year Award was presented to two exceptional employer partners who went above and beyond to support Sheridan’s co-op and internship students in 2023. This year’s recipients were KPMG and Figure3.

In 2023, KPMG hired and enabled 12 students to obtain their co-op and internship credits, employing students from Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business and Faculty of Applied Science and Technology ranging from programs such as Accounting, Human Resources and Information Sciences — Cyber Security.

Representative from Figure3 accepting the 2023 Co-op and Internship Employer of the Year Award from SheridanSince 2013, Toronto-based design firm Figure3 has been hiring Sheridan students, and much of its current workforce are graduates from programs in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design. In 2023, Figure3 hired multiple interior design interns and provided students with mentorship opportunities, creating career-shaping industry experiences.

A huge congratulations to all of Sheridan’s award winners. Learn more about the accomplishments of the student recipients below:

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design (FAAD)

Caitlyn MillaresCaitlyn Millares (Visual Merchandising)

2023 Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAAD) - Field Placement

During her field placement at 16 Tonnes — a design and build company specializing in set design for various media platforms — second-year Visual Merchandising Design student, Caitlyn Millares embraced a diverse role. Millares showcased her ability to be adaptable and versatile, tackling everything from carpentry to painting. In addition to her placement, Millares actively represented Sheridan by facilitating donations of sets, materials and props to the Visual Merchandising Arts program and helped promote the program to prospective students, alumni and Sheridan community. Millares also devoted her time to numerous volunteer efforts within Sheridan, including open houses, designing window displays, and year-end shows.

Maia AzevedoMaia Azevedo (Honours Bachelor of Interior Design)

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAAD) - Internship

As an Architectural Coordinator, fourth-year Honours Bachelor of Interior Design student Maia Azevedo completed her internship at Unity Health’s St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto where she managed more than 50 projects, including redesigning an office into a waiting room for cancer patients.

Throughout her time at Unity Health, Azevedo's passion and professionalism left a positive impression on her colleagues and supervisors. Most notably, Azevedo’s proposal to improve lighting for patients, visitors and staff gained immediate interest from several departments and sparked discussions about its implementation across all Unity Health hospitals.

Azevedo also represented Sheridan as one of our nominees for the Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning Ontario (EWO) provincial WIL Student of the Year awards.

Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS)

Blandina BoatengBlandina Boateng (Practical Nursing)

Sheridan Mandatory Professional Practice Student of the Year (FAHCS)

As part of Sheridan’s Northern Nursing Initiative Blandina Boateng (Practical Nursing ‘23) had the unique opportunity to complete her placement at Sault Area Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Boateng’s tasks included direct patient care, medication administration and monitoring vital signs, but her time at the hospital also taught her to advocate for patients’ rights and ensure Indigenous traditions were respected.

Boateng’s was often recognized for her openness to receiving feedback, commitment to personal growth and ability to provide exceptional patient care. With her outstanding work ethic and compassionate demeanor, Boateng consistently left a positive impact on both patients and colleagues.

Aaisha Hussain-Rasul (Honours Bachelor of Community Safety)

Aaisha Hussain-RasulSheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAHCS) - Internship

Throughout her internship placement at Connect4Life — a not-for-profit organization offering programs and resources for those with disabilities — fourth-year Honours Bachelor of Community Safety student Aaisha Hussain-Rasul was praised for her dedication and versatility.

As a Community Outreach Worker, Hussain-Rasul demonstrated initiative by devising a comprehensive community outreach plan, spearheading a school supply drive, drafting a grant proposal, and working with her supervisor on a webinar series course focused on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility.

Beyond her academic and placement commitments, Hussain-Rasul actively extended her support to fellow Sheridan students by facilitating introductions to Connect4Life, sharing stories of her positive experience.

Shenelle MorganShenelle Morgan (Child and Youth Care)

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAHCS) – Field Placement

Third-year Child and Youth Care student, Shenelle Morgan completed her field placement at E FRY Hope and Help for Woman — a social services agency that aims to provide hope and help to women and girls at risk. Morgan credits her time as the co-facilitator for the Empowering Against Exploitation program for helping her to find her voice and the confidence to share her stories with others, ultimately empowering and making strong connections with the young girls participating in the program.

Morgan’s unwavering dedication and commitment to serving others extends beyond her placement. In addition to volunteering at community events, Morgan also co-founded Black Girl Frolic — an online platform that aims to promote wellness and positivity among Black women. Morgan was also recognized with honourable mentions from Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning Ontario (EWO) and Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada, having been nominated on the provincial and national level.

Faculty of Science and Technology (FAST)

Hilary BestHilary Best (Honours Bachelor of Information Sciences – Cyber Security)

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAST - Computing) – Internship

As a Security Analyst DevOp Intern at Canadian Tire, Hilary Best consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication to her role. Best continually surpassed her employer’s expectations and was recognized by management on multiple occasions for her ability to identify issues, and the solutions to solve them.

During her co-op placement, the fourth-year Honours Bachelor of Information Sciences — Cyber Security student made an impact through her leadership in the development of an online application and her ability to lead discussions with third-party vendors.

Best exhibited exemplary leadership both in her co-op placement and academic environment. Best's proactive approach to learning — often described as being akin to a sponge — earned commendations from both her faculty members and the Canadian Tire team.

Yagna Kalpa JoshiYagna Kalpa Joshi (Information Technology Infrastructure and Service)

Renee St. Denis Co-op Student of the Year (FAST - Computing)

During his co-op placement at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Yagna Kalpa Joshi (Computer Systems Technician — Information Technology Infrastructure and Services ‘23) served as an IT Analyst at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office.

In this role, Joshi provided local IT support and developed scripts for task automation, resolving more than 200 tickets in three months. This feat earned Joshi a full-time job offer within two-and-a-half months in the role.

Outside his co-op placement, Joshi was an active member of the Sheridan community. As a Program and Course Tutor, Student IT Support and Customer Service Representative at the Sheridan Student Union, Joshi positively contributed to the success of his peers and supported the community. Joshi was also involved in campus clubs such as the Chess Club, Davis Car Club and volunteered for events organized by the Google Developer Student Club.

Navleen KaurNavleen Kaur (Urban Design)

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FAST - Engineering) – Field Placement

As an Urban Design Intern at NPG Planning Solutions — an innovative land use planning and development firm — Navleen Kaur (Urban Design ‘23) played a pivotal role in transforming data-driven information into visually captivating graphics.

Kaur’s meticulous attention to detail and proficiency in conveying intricate concepts through design helped set the tone for the content, making it more inviting for the readers. This exceptional work resulted in Kaur receiving a job offer upon completing her internship.

In addition to excelling in her placement, Kaur made significant contributions to the Sheridan community by sharing her experiences with fellow students, exhibiting her design work, and actively participating in college events.

Hayley PeeverHayley Peever (Architectural Technology)

Sheridan Co-op Student of the Year (FAST - Engineering)

Since the age of 10, Hayley Peever knew she wanted to pursue a career in architecture and was elated when she was accepted into Sheridan’s Architectural Technology program. The recent graduate secured her co-op placement with NAK Design Strategies — a landscape architecture and urban design practice — as a Design Intern where she quickly became an invaluable member of the team.

After recognizing her struggles with organization and efficiency throughout her co-op experience, Peever received an ADHD diagnosis following the end of the term. Peever remained positive throughout her co-op, shifting her mindset from focusing on being perfect all of the time to, the mantra: “the more mistakes I make, the more chances I have to learn.”

Appreciative of the guidance and mentorship she received during her co-op term, Peever's career goals have shifted. In the future, Peever hopes to inspire youth to explore careers in architectural technology as a high school Tech Design teacher, where she can share her passion for the field.

Peever was also chosen as a Sheridan nominee for the provincial Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning Ontario (EWO) and national Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada Co-op Student of the Year awards.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHASS)

Emma JohnstonEmma Johnston (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL Plus))

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (FHASS) – Field Placement

In her field placement as a student teacher at Sheridan, Emma Johnston (TESOL Plus ‘23) showcased her talents for creating and teaching lessons. Johnston was valued for her respectful demeanour, both towards her students and placement mentor.

In addition to her field placement, Johnston was actively engaged in her community, including volunteering as a conversation partner for international students seeking to enhance their English language skills.

Through her program, Johnston also had the opportunity to travel to Brazil, where she was able to observe English taught as a foreign language. This experience solidified her desire to travel, and she is currently working abroad as an English teacher in South Korea.

Pilon School of Business (PSB)

Ramandeep RamandeepRamandeep Ramandeep (Office Administration – Health Services)

Sheridan WIL Student of the Year (PSB) – Field Placement

As a Clerical and Patient Experience Associate at William Osler Health System — Brampton Civic Hospital, Ramandeep Ramandeep’s (Office Administration — Health Services ‘23) top priority was the well-being and experience of patients visiting the hospital.

Ramandeep’s empathy and care was evident throughout his placement. He spent time each shift assisting patients at the self-registration kiosk and walking them to their destination. He also proactively learnt a new interpretation technology to communicate more effectively with patients in their preferred language.

As a student, Ramandeep was a Sheridan Student Ambassador and volunteered his time at numerous events, including Open House and Convocation.

Upon completion of his field placement, Ramandeep was hired by William Osler Health System as a Clerical Associate.

Meghna Rajendra ShahMeghna Rajendra Shah & Althea Tauro

Sheridan Co-op Student of the Year (PSB)

Meghna Rajendra (Business Analysis and Process Management ‘23) and Althea Tauro (Project Management ‘23) joined forces as Student Ambassadors for Sheridan EDGE — a campus-based incubator and entrepreneurial hub — where they aimed to nurture an entrepreneurial community across all of Sheridan’s campuses. Their roles involved connecting with students through class visits, booths, events and collaborating with groups such as Enactus Sheridan and the Sheridan Student Union.

Althea TauroGoing beyond traditional ambassador duties, Rajendra and Tauro pioneered strategies to spark student interest in entrepreneurship, freelancing and intrapreneurship — and their dedication paid off. Sheridan EDGE now boasts a community of over 1,300 students, exceeding their initial target of 1,000.

As ambassadors of Sheridan EDGE, Rajendra and Tauro shared their co-op experiences with others, inspiring them to pursue similar opportunities for professional growth. This experience was also selected to represent Sheridan as nominees for the provincial EWO Co-op Student of the Year Award.

Sheridan’s Career-Integrated Learning offers several services including cooperative education, career services, work-integrated and experiential learning 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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