The Association for Co-operative Education BC / Yukon is pleased to announce the recipients of the Co-op Student of the Year Awards for 2014. These awards recognize a BC or Yukon Co-op student who demonstrates an outstanding level of achievement in their co-operative education work placement experience; combined with a strong academic record, volunteer activities, and significant contributions to promoting co-operative education in their school and in the community.

University Category:  Laramie Ferguson (Simon Fraser University)

Laramie Ferguson, an Honours Biological Sciences Co-op student from Simon Fraser University has been described by her most recent co-op supervisor, Jason Emery (Associate, Stantec Consulting Ltd.), as demonstrating an “enthusiasm and drive to succeed” that is “inspirational to others”. Her commitment to conservation and ecology have seen her truly engage the world as she has travelled to Africa for field school and committed countless hours to her own nest box project to aid in barn owl conservation in her home community of the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island. The success of the project resulted in media accolades as Laramie’s infectious energy for the project forged strong allies with local high schools and businesses in addition to capturing the interest of Environment Canada. With five co-op semesters to build on, she has followed her advice to her fellow students that it was worth the wait to graduate with extensive skills, a broad range of experience, and an elaborate professional network; Laramie sees a world of opportunity ahead of her.

 College Category:  Kyle Nelson (Camosun College)

Kyle Nelson was a student of Environmental Technology at Camosun College. From September 2013 to May 2014 he worked as a Geomatics Technician with the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), a branch of Fisheries and Oceans Canada based at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, BC.  Working in the Tides and Currents section of CHS, Kyle contributed to the Continuous Vertical Datum for Canadian Waters project. This work provided him with a variety of challenging geomatics-related tasks in the office and at unique field locations along the B.C. coast. Kyle’s supervisor, Bodo de Lange Boom, was impressed with the speed and enthusiasm for which he embraced these tasks, stating, “Kyle performed well above my expectations both as a Co-op student and as an individual with his level of experience in our specialized type of work.”  Kyle is now at the University of Victoria pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Studies and plans to continue to participate in co-operative education as he proceeds towards his career.


Honourable Mention – University Category (University of British Columbia)

Jennifer Bhatla is a fourth year Geological Engineering student completing her Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia. From May – August 2014, Jennifer completed her final co-op work term in the Spiti Valley of India on a safe water project for a local school, part of the UBC Global Health Initiative. Her co-op experience over five work terms has been diverse, from oil and gas with Devon Energy in Calgary to project assistance in bone and joint health research at the University of Calgary to her work in India, the first with an NGO. She is passionate about health and contributing her engineering skills to assist the communities and individuals to improve their conditions. While maintaining a 4.10 GPA, she is also an active volunteer with the Landed Learning Project at UBC Farm and an executive member of the UBC Triathalon Club.


Honourable Mention – College Category (Camosun College)

Working in Royal Oak as an accountant, Camosun College Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting co-op student, Jasmine Giesbrecht, was responsible for supporting Getz & Burden, a Certified General Accounting firm, with a variety of vital projects and tasks.  Jasmine’s positive attitude, willingness to learn and high level skill et wre noted as valuable assets by her supervisor, Vern Burden.  Mr. Burden commented that her passion for work allowed her to complete “more difficult files within the office”.  Jasmine attributes her current career success in the accounting field to her experiences over her two co-op work terms.  She says that “I am grateful for the experiene at Getz & Burden for providing me with the skills to not only transition into the CPA program, but my new job at MNP”.  Jasmine has successfully passed her first module of the CPA program, and plans to enroll in the next module in May.