The 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

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Seven winners of the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards
And the winners are…

Every year, the University of Ottawa CO-OP Office selects one CO-OP student per faculty to win a Student of the Year Award. Amongst this selection, three winners are chosen for their exceptional performance in three criteria: on-the-job achievement, academic achievement and extracurricular activities at school, at work or in the community.

1st Place - Marianne Stintzi (Faculty of Social Sciences)

Summer 2023 CO-OP term with the Canadian Embassy in Spain

Marianne, who is a legally blind person and a fourth-year student in international development and globalization, did such a great job while on a placement at the Embassy of Canada to Spain that the team asked her to stay on for an extra four months. During her CO-OP term in Madrid she prepared media briefs, represented Canada at diplomatic events, liaised with the European Union and NATO, and organized official visits. Marianne was also part of a Canadian delegation to NATO that discussed the war in Ukraine, and she prepared reviews of traditional and social media coverage during a critical period of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Taking a minor in Spanish as well, Marianne went on to pursue an international exchange in Chile, where she did a research project on Indigenous identities, and then conducted another research project in Brazil in which she examined how gender and race affects the social standing of Afro-Brazilian women. Back at uOttawa, she completed uOGlobal training and participated in United Nations simulations while helping others as a uOConnexion mentor and as co-president of UNICEF uOttawa.

“Throughout her placement with the foreign policy and diplomacy team at the Embassy of Canada in Madrid, Marianne showed outstanding skills, coupled with intellectual maturity and exemplary judgment.” — Véronique Choquette, Canadian Embassy in Spain supervisor.

Marianne Stintzi
First prize winner

“This experience allowed me to gain a unique perspective regarding the geopolitical dynamics underlying international relations and the different players interacting in the diplomatic arena.”

Marianne Stintzi

— 1st place winner of the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

2nd Place - Mathis Turgeon-Roy (Faculty of Engineering)

Fall 2023 CO-OP term with Public Services Procurement Canada

Fourth-year mechanical engineering student Mathis found a solution to a complex heating and ventilation problem at the Parliament buildings that had baffled others. “I innovated by creating new tools that could easily simulate pressure losses in a water pumping system, and I led a full study of the cooling system,” Mathis says. On top of that, he continued to excel in his courses, achieving an overall CGPA of 9.82, scoring a perfect 10 in three out of five terms – the highest grades in the entire mechanical engineering program. Mathis also found time to represent the Gee-Gees in badminton and Ultimate Frisbee, and to work for Residence Life as a team leader, helping first-year students adjust to life in residence.

“He discovered pumping problems with the cooling systems, he outlined how to rebalance the heating in a 12-storey building and performed all the calculations required to correct a design...” — Pierre-André Mongeon, PSAC supervisor

CO-OP winner Mathis Turgeon-Roy
Second prize winner

“I was innovative in creating new tools to easily simulate pressure loss in a water system, and led a full study of the cooling system.”

Mathis Turgeon-Roy

— 2nd place winner of the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

3rd Place - Divya Menon (Telfer School of Management)

Winter 2023 CO-OP term with EY Canada

Fourth-year finance student Divya worked in a technology-focused role, setting up client interviews and working sessions to improve the supply chain process during her term as a business consulting intern at Ernst & Young’s Supply Chain and Operations Consulting practice. Her responsibilities included streamlining workflows and implementing innovative user-centric solutions. In the meantime, Divya also worked with other dedicated students to raise $81,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) as vice-president of internal affairs of the CASCO Charity Organization. She also led a 30-member team in organizing inclusive events and workshops as co-president of Telfer’s Women in Management Network, and worked as a TA while maintaining a CGPA of 9.7.

“Divya was one of the strongest CO-OP students Ive had the pleasure to work with in the last five years and I think is an absolute credit to the quality of the uOttawa CO-OP program.” – Jordan Daly-Frey, EY supervisor.

CO-OP winner Divya Menon
Third prize winner

“My experience at EY reinforced my passion for making meaningful contributions that positively impact our community and the world.”

Divya Menon

— 3rd place winner of the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

Benjamin Smith (Faculty of Science)

Winter 2023 CO-OP term with Health Canada

Fourth-year biochemistry student Ben investigated the adverse health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation during space travel while on his Health Canada placement, contributing to work that is gaining international recognition and supported by the Canadian Space Agency and NASA scientists. He worked on a project with the Ionizing Radiation Health Sciences Division of Health Canada’s Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau, and the research into adverse outcome pathways led to a paper submitted to the Environmental Molecular Mutagenesis Journal.  By the end of the placement, Ben had written detailed descriptions of the mechanisms for diseases, examined the weight of evidence, identified research gaps and proposed future directions for research. Ben says the placement improved his general ability to learn and analyze academic articles.

“With little guidance Ben had to learn a broad range of concepts related to radiation-induced bone loss, circulatory disease, cataracts and cognitive deficits. He went above and beyond to grasp the intricacies of the project.” – Vinita Chauhan, Health Canada.

Benjamin Smith
Honourable mention

“My work improves the understanding of these diseases and assists risk mitigation in the context of space travel. The mentorship I received ... was key to my success.”

Benjamin Smith

— Honourable mention in the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

Marie-Judith Alissoutin (Civil Law and International Development and Globalization)

Summer 2023 CO-OP term with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Marie-Judith scored a PM-04 job for the next two years at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, where she worked during her two previous CO-OP work placements. Although she is now in her fifth and final year of her program, Marie-Judith was a member of the Faculty of Civil Law’s Association du droit du travail et de l’emploi for two years. Over the past academic year, she also volunteered as a French and mathematics mentor with uOttawa’s School of the Greats, an initiative that helps Francophone children from at-risk communities to succeed in school. In all, Marie-Judith completed four CO-OP placements throughout her studies, the other two at uOttawa’s Clinique de droit notarial and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

“A comment that came back often when she helped an investigator with an investigation was that the work Marie-Judith had done had enabled real progress on the file.” — Julie Duguay, PCC supervisor

Marie-Judith Alissoutin
Honourable mention

“Participating in the CO-OP program was very beneficial to me and allowed me to take part in an unparalleled university experience, both in the area of work and academics.”

Marie-Judith Alissoutin

— Honourable mention in the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

Stephane Grey (Communication)

Fall 2023 CO-OP term with the National Research Council of Canada

In the fall, Stephane, who is a fourth-year communication student with a 9.5 CGPA, completed his third CO-OP work placement with the NRC’s Communications Branch and he continues to work there part-time. He initiated and led a well-received Success Storiesproject to highlight the talents and diverse experiences of other students in the NRC CO-OP program across Canada. He conducted interviews, wrote the articles and crafted social media content. He also led a student engagement program that included weekly virtual chat sessions, language learning rooms, an in-person picnic lunch and other events. As a result, the NRC’s reputation as an excellent student employer was enhanced. Originally from an anglophone community in Ontario, Stephane has taken four French courses at uOttawa to re-connect with his French-Canadian roots. He’s also president of the Broken Quill Writing Society, a creative writing club at uOttawa.

“One of his greatest achievements was the initiation and leadership of a ‘Success Stories’ project to showcase the talents of fellow students in the NRC CO-OP program.” -- France Prud’homme, NRC supervisor.

Stephane Grey
Honourable mention

“To contribute to the CO-OP program, I participate in surveys and share my positive experience with other students often.”

Stephane Grey

— Honourable mention in the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards

Ellen Dobbs (Master of Information Studies)

Ellen’s many achievements during her placement include researching how artificial intelligence could be used in library settings. Her findings were submitted to the Library of Parliament’s AI review committee for consideration. The library may be a quiet place, but certainly not in terms of things to do. Ellen’s tasks included compiling reference materials to help answer questions from MPs, assisting clients at the reference desks, creating signs, organizing book displays and researching options for furniture. “I gained experience in using databases, online search tools and the library’s collection to research a wide variety of subject areas,” Ellen explains. Throughout her MIS degree, she maintained an CGPA of 9.2.

“Ellen quickly gained the trust of Senior Research Librarians and managers in the team and was relied upon to handle work at a quality level and timeliness expected from any other member of the Research Librarian team.” – François Simon Wathier, Library of Canada supervisor.

CO-OP winner Ellen Dobbs
Honourable mention

“This CO-OP term helped me to develop stronger reference and research skills and a broader understanding of how my degree can be applied to various areas of library studies when I graduate.”

Ellen Dobbs

— Honourable mention in the 2023 CO-OP Student of the Year Awards