News Release, May 11, 2020.

The Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon (ACE-WIL) recognizes Michelle Zapiola (UBC), Bashara Hussain (UBC), Quoc Cuong (Jack) Do (Langara), Salvatore De Simone (Langara), and RebalanceMD of Victoria, BC, for outstanding achievement and a commitment to promoting and supporting work-integrated learning (WIL) programs across BC and the Yukon. Though not able to recognize the winners in person this year at its Annual General Meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions, ACE-WIL is nevertheless delighted to announce these exceptional individuals.

Collage of 2019 ACE-WIL student and industry partner award winners

The 2019 ACE-WIL student and industry partner award winners, clockwise from top left: Michelle Zapiola, Quoc Cuong (Jack) Do, Stefan Fletcher (RebalanceMD), Salvatore De Simone, and Bashara Hussain.

RebalanceMD of Victoria, BC, is honoured as the 2019 Industry Partner of the Year for their ongoing commitment to providing highly sought after, valuable and unique learning opportunities for co-operative education and WIL students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels since 2013. Working alongside a multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists, kinesiologists and other health professionals, students gain practical, hands-on experience with diverse clientele, allowing them to develop professional competencies and better understand their career possibilities.

“Our community partners and employers support thousands of post-secondary students who are seeking meaningful opportunities and practical experience as part of their formal academic studies,” explains Jennie Nilsson, president of ACE-WIL. “RebalanceMD has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to hire students regardless of economic circumstances and their collaborative approach to mentoring students has profoundly impacted these future professionals.”

“We have been so pleased to host so many students of such a diverse background in our office over the years since the inception of RebalanceMD – each student brings a unique perspective and willingness to learn that we always find admirable,” says Stefan Fletcher, CEO and Physiotherapist, RebalanceMD. “We strongly believe in fostering and mentoring young minds who become wonderful members of our community and beyond and are honoured to be able to touch the lives of so many learners while we care for our patients together.”

As well, ACE-WIL honours four students who demonstrate an outstanding level of achievement during their work-integrated learning (WIL) experience. There are nine types of WIL, which includes co-operative education, practicum, apprenticeship, field placement, service learning, applied research and more. WIL programs are offered at 25 public post-secondary institutions across BC and the Yukon, meet academic program requirements and can accommodate a wide variety of workplace learning situations.

This year’s student award winners are:

  • Michelle Zapiola (UBC), for a WIL student in the University category, an Economics and International Relations undergraduate, honoured for her extraordinary dedication to her varied work placements, academic advisory and research, and her engagement with staff and fellow students.
  • Bashara Hussain (UBC), for a Co-op Student in the University category, a fourth-year Arts student majoring in Economics and minoring in Computer Science, honoured for excellence during her three co-op work terms and for actively contributing to build and enhance the co-op experience at UBC and with the provincial government.
  • Quoc Cuong (Jack) Do (Langara), for a WIL student in the College category, a recent graduate with a Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing Management, honoured for his passion and commitment to his work and for helping students, and local and international community members.
  • Salvatore De Simone (Langara), for a co-op student in the College category, a recent graduate in Computer Studies, honoured for excelling in a co-op that was outside his program area and generally filled by Masters level students, and for giving his time to encourage other student to pursue co-op education.

“Every year, we receive many excellent nominations showcasing the amazing work of students in the BC/Yukon territory, and this year is no exception,” says Sue Stanley, Vice-President ACE-WIL and Chair of the Awards Committee, “We are continually impressed by the caliber of the nominees, and our 2019 winners are an incredible example of the achievements, talents, and passion our students exhibit. Sincere congratulations to all.”