Inaugural CCEE event recognizes collaborative excellence

They’re exceptional examples of Brock’s involvement in community partnerships and on Tuesday night they were recognized for the work that they do.

For the first time, a Community Partner Recognition and Appreciation Event was held at Heartland Forest in Niagara Falls as Brock University’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education team celebrated student achievements and recognized employers and community partners for their profound impact on student success.

“Every student has the opportunity to bridge learning to practice through their studies and it is through the support of everyone in this room that we are able to lead the way,” said Cara Krezek, Director, Co-op, Career and Experiential Education.

Among the evening’s guests were student and alumni award winners, though Krezek pointed out that it was only a small glimpse into the many successes CCEE learns about each day.

Communication, Pop Culture and Film student Stephanie Lasica was presented with the University’s Experiential Education Student of the Year award while Mathematics and Statistics student Rachel Van Herk, Business Administration student Josiah Dueck and Master of Business Administration student Pradeep Kirani all won Co-op Student of the Year awards.

Van Herk and Lasica were also recipients of the Education at Work Ontario award for their outstanding efforts in their respective co-op and experiential learning programs.

Brock alumna and Chief Operating Officer of RSM Canada Rhonda Klosler (BBA ’93) was honoured with the Brock University Alumni Association’s Alumni Co-op Employer Award for her efforts championing the University’s co-op program within her organization.

“We’re grateful for all the work and effort each contributing member has put into engaging their students and ensuring they have the right skills for their future and to deepen their learning through hands-on practice,” said Krezek.

The event recognized staff and faculty who have dedicated their careers to supporting student experiences, learning and success on a daily basis, in addition to the various internal and external supporters of CCEE who have welcomed Brock students into their organizations. These include outstanding supervisors from non-profit organizations, government agencies, small and medium businesses and large corporations from across the province.

Without support from this collaborative community, Brock could not deliver the quality programming in experiential and career education that is nationally recognized, Krezek said.

“Brock was built with the support of the community, and it is because of these community partnerships that we are seen as leaders in co-op, career and experiential education in Canada,” said Greg Finn, Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic.

In Brock’s strategic plan, one of the four pillars includes community engagement and providing transformative and accessible academic experiences for students through the provision of meaningful access to community partners and employers. This co-operative approach and commitment to experiential learning opportunities helps ensure students gain the kind of career and life skills that are essential to the communities they serve throughout their career journey.

“It truly does take a village,” said Anna Lathrop Vice-Provost, Teaching/Learning and Student Success. “The village that we have here today is made up of community members from non-profits, government, start-up venture companies and large corporations, all of whom support student learning and transitions from school to work.”

Representing Stephanie Mitchell and the Mitchell family, generous supporters of CCEE, was David and Marie Mitchell, who received a special mention in the evening’s opening remarks. The Mitchell family continues to support the work of CCEE through endowed gifts, which help propel student success and excellence within Brock’s career and experiential programming.

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