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March 15, 2007 2:20 PM

Conestoga College Names Co-op Students and Employer of the Year

March 19-23 is National Co-op Week, recognizing the value and importance of co-operative education at Canada’s colleges and universities, and Conestoga College is marking the occasion by naming the recipients of its Co-op Student of the Year Award, as well as a Co-op Employer of the Year. The awards will be given at a special reception to mark National Co-op Week, on Wednesday, March 21 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Blue Room of Conestoga’s Doon campus in Kitchener.

The purpose of the student awards is to celebrate the hard work and dedication that these outstanding co-op students have displayed during their work terms. From the first step of creating and perfecting their resumes, to the last step of the completion of their co-op employment, the amount of effort that goes into the co-op process each year is remarkable and praiseworthy.

The employer award is being given for the first time this year. It acknowledges not only the support and encouragement that co-op employers provide to students, but also the high quality of professionalism that co-op employers and supervisors bring to their role and their excellence in this important learning process.

The student winners are Marisa Havens and Heather Hennessy. The employer winner is ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. of Cambridge.

Marisa Havens is from Guelph and is enrolled in the degree-level Architecture - Project and Facility Management program. She has done co-op terms with Bruce Power in Tiverton, as a facilities and services specialist, and with Sun Life Financial Canada in Waterloo, as a space design and planning coordinator. She was nominated for this award by her third work-term employer, Aecon Industrial of Cambridge. While there, she coordinated a project involving construction of a used fuel dry-storage facility at the Bruce A nuclear plant. A winner of many program-related achievement awards at Conestoga, she is also active in varsity fastball and peer tutoring services at the College, and is a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Heather Hennessy is from Waterloo and is enrolled in the Business Administration - Marketing program. She has had two co-op work terms with Desire2Learn Inc. of Kitchener, a firm dedicated to online learning solutions. She has been involved with duties as diverse as writing and editing materials, media monitoring, in-depth research, helping manage events, and developing and coordinating marketing campaigns. She, too, has won a number of program-related awards. Outside Conestoga, she is a learning coach in a local public school and active with Junior Achievement, as an adviser and consultant in after-school programs.

Each winning student will receive an award of $250.

ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. of Cambridge is a long-time partner and supporter of Conestoga. Students from a number of the College’s co-op programs have gained valuable experience at the company; many have gone on to careers with this internationally recognized and respected firm. ATS regularly sponsors 30-40 co-op education work terms annually, and student evaluations of these experiences are abundant in their praise of the quality, knowledge and professionalism that characterizes their supervisors and work colleagues.

Conestoga currently has 27 co-op programs available. These range from Culinary Skills and Hospitality Management, to Business Administration - Marketing and Human Resources Management, to Civil Engineering Technology and Computer Programmer/Analyst. Every four-year Conestoga degree program features co-op.

Co-operative education, which gives students the opportunity to work in paid employment related to their chosen fields of study, combining periods in college or university with real-world experiences and situations, has become a much-respected and highly valued form of practical higher education.

CONTACT: Mary Wright, Co-op and Career Services, 519-748-5220, ext. 3219, mwright@conestogac.on.ca

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