Each year, CEWIL celebrates the successes and promotes awareness of co-op and work-integrated learning programs across Canada. From March 1 until March 31, we will be sharing stories, events across the country, tools, partner information, and much more. Please join us in using #FutureofWIL throughout the month as we continue to build the capacity for work-integrated learning opportunities in Canada!


Each year, on the 4th Wednesday of March, CEWIL is pleased to celebrate the National Day of WIL! This year, the National Day of WIL is March 27th, 2024. We encourage you to engage your students, employers, colleagues, and partners to help us celebrate this inaugural National Day of WIL. Please join us on social media using #FutureofWIL and sharing stories of WIL across Canada!


*Announcements for each of the categories noted below will be released throughout CEWIL Month – please check back often to see new exciting announcements!

Employer/Community Partner Awards


Hydro One

Hydro One has long been a steadfast advocate for Brock Co-op students, demonstrating unwavering support over the years. In 2023, 7 students were hired by Hydro One, along with strong on-campus presence for Hydro One at on-campus events and activities. The Hydro One team attended Experience Expo, Hire U and Co-op Education’s 5N90 Networking event. Hydro One managers have shown their commitment to student growth and development, highlighted by our Co-op Student of the Year recipient, who commented on the outstanding support he received while in his work term with the organization. Numerous Co-op students who have had amazing experiences while on work term with Hydro One,  work terms, and many have subsequently received Full-time job offers with the company.  We are thrilled to recognize Hydro One as Brock’s 2023 Co-op Employer of the Year – Large Organization.

Jeff Battaglia – Manager, Program Development, Forestry Work Management
Ashley Fenwick – Manager, Forestry Work Management
Gobi Jayakumar – Manager, Power System Projects – Grid Modernization and Contract Management
Syed Sher – Project Manager
Alisha Rodrigues – Talent Acquisition Assistant
Christopher Cyrus – Talent Acquisition Consultant

Honourable Mention to 2023 Nominees: Niagara Parks, Innio, City of Welland, Canadian Tire Corporation


Jones & O’Connell

Jones & O’Connell has fostered a longstanding tradition of nurturing talent from Brock University. Ryan, a graduate of Brock’s BACC Co-op Program and a Partner at Jones & O’Connell, is a staunch advocate of hiring from Brock’s BAcc co-op program, hiring dozens of Co-op students since 2014, including 4 Co-op students in 2023. Jones & O’Connell’s unwavering commitment to the development and empowerment of Brock’s budding professionals is exemplary.

Jones & O’Connell has also been a proud supporter of Brock’s CPA Days as well as our 5N90 Networking events, sharing professional knowledge and experience over many years. In addition, Ryan is an example of strong Brock graduates staying local, working local, and creating more local jobs for our graduating Brock students. Jones & O’Connell’s participation not only contributes to the growth of their firm, but also champions the creation of invaluable opportunities for emerging talent within the local workforce.

Ryan Jones, Partner

Honourable Mention to 2023 Nominees: Lipton LLP Chartered Accountants, DDL, DJB, WMKL, Tutorbright

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD – Non profit/Not-for-profit

Niagara Health System

Niagara Health System (NHS) has shown their commitment to collaborating with Brock University Co-op through various initiatives throughout 2023, including hiring 5 students. Student feedback has been extremely positive, highlighting the support received from their supervisors, along with access to projects that align with their interests. One student secured a Full-time role with NHS because of her outstanding performance.  NHS attended Experience Expo, Employer Roundtable, Hire U and 5N90 Networking events. With on-going available roles for students to access, we are excited to continue this partnership with NHS and are thrilled to announce this organization as the winner for the 2023 Co-op Employer of the Year – Non-Profit.

Marissa Panucci – Onboarding Advisor, Project Monarch & Information Technology
Carrie Garritsen – Recruitment Specialist
Tracy Gilbert – Project Director, HIS
Daniel Rolim – Manager Information Technology Information & Communications Technology

Amber Tremblay-Gerada – Coordinator, Student Resources

Honourable Mention to 2023 Nominees: Brain Injury Community Re-entry (Niagara) Inc., Civiconnect


  • Adam  Mataya –  Airbus Helicopters Canada
  • Damian Andrews – BLR LLP
  • Joe Turner – Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Jiyin Tu – Ceridian
  • Michael Lostracco – City of Welland
  • Lucas Candelino – Civiconnect
  • Anthony Stranges – Daimler Truck Financial Service Canada Corporation
  • John O’Toole – Daimler Truck Financial Services Canada Corporation
  • Prabhleen Arora – Deloitte LLP
  • Charlotte Passafiume – Durward Jones Barkwell & Co LLP
  • Katie Wong – GFL Environmental Inc.
  • Jamie Vongphit – Grant Thorton
  • Sruthi Regi – Grant Thorton
  • Katie Manu – Hydro One
  • Josee Bessette – Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
  • Darren Rotsch – Murphy & Chung Professional Corporation
  • Andrew Shahmurat – OLG
  • Phil Truong – Pepsico
  • Shane Shibley – RSM
  • Tasnim Shariff – Scotiabank
  • Daniel Son – TD Bank
  • Jim Nesbitt – The Stronach Group
  • Ravinder Nagendra – Tribunals Ontario


  • Kirsty Wunder – BlackBerry
  • Jasmine Peazel-Graham – City of Port Colborne
  • Sandra Poulin – CMC Microsystems
  • Brigitte Winchester – Hatch Ltd.
  • Robyn Cardy – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Gobi Jayakumar – Hydro One
  • Paul Russell – Hydro One Inc.
  • Naaila Dar – Medline Canada
  • Laurel Broski – Niagara Health System (Project Monarch)
  • Karley Cowan – Rumley Holmes LLP


  • Shanna Jarvis – Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
  • Ben Hall – Canadian Niagara Hotels
  • Bola Adedeji – Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Maryanne Dias – Freshstone Brands
  • Brigitte Winchester – Hatch Ltd.
  • Vanessa Conlon – Meridian Credit Union
  • Victor Krause – Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery (MPBSD)
  • Pamela Hamilton – Niagara Region
  • Alex O’Brien – Canadian Tire Financial Services


Anthony Stranges,
Manager, Controlling, Accounting & Account Reconciliation, Finance & Controlling, Daimler Truck Financial Services Canada Corporation

Anthony’s contributions to our organization and to the development of Brock Co-op students have been truly exceptional. Anthony graduated from Brock University in 2018, and since then, he has played a pivotal role in helping to persuade his employer, Daimler Truck Financial Services, to hire students from Brock’s Co-op program. He has directly and indirectly managed and supervised 10 Brock Co-op students, demonstrating his commitment to fostering the growth and development of emerging talent. Anthony was also instrumental in helping 3 of them secure Full-time employment with Daimler Truck Financial Services, a testament to his ability to identify and nurture exceptional talent. He acts as a mentor to all the students that he has supervised as well as to others that have been hired within the organization.

What sets Anthony apart is his unwavering dedication to promoting the Brock Co-op program within his organization and his passion to ensure that students that are hired have a rewarding Co-op work term experience. Antony consistently goes above and beyond to create a supportive and nurturing co-op culture, where students feel valued and empowered to excel. Anthony actively advocates for the program, championing the benefits of hiring Co-op students, patiently training students, and ensuring that all supervisors invest in their growth. His efforts have helped to strengthen the relationship between Brock University and Daimler Truck Financial Services, ensuring continued success for both parties.

Anthony goes out of his way to promote the advantages of hiring Co-op students to his peers and actively encourages his peers to consider hiring from Brock. He recognizes the unique value that Brock students bring to the table and actively promotes the benefits of recruiting from Brock Co-op. His advocacy has not only resulted in increased opportunities for Brock students but has provided our students with great opportunities to build their skills and competencies.

Beyond his role as a supervisor, Anthony does his best to participate in Brock events, most recently participating in our 5N90 networking events, offering valuable insights and guidance to junior students navigating their career paths. His willingness to share his experiences and provide mentorship has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the personal and professional development of many Brock students.

Anthony Stranges embodies the spirit of the Brock Alumni Co-op Employer of the Year Award. His extraordinary achievements, including his role as a mentor, his contributions to the Co-op culture within Daimler Truck Financial Services, and his advocacy for the Brock Co-op Program, make him a deserving candidate for this prestigious honor.

Honourable Mention to 2023 Nominees: Krista Burch-Bateman MacKay LLP, Calyn McLean-Niagara Region, Syed Sher-Hydro One

Law Plus Partner AWARD

John Howard Society of Niagara

From the inception of the Law Plus program, the John Howard Society of Niagara has been a vital community partner serving on the Advisory Board Committee to help build the program to what has become today. Annually, professionals from this organization have committed their time as guest speakers to share their career path. Staff, including Executive Director, Jay Gemmell, have also taken the time to mentor Law Plus students and regularly respond to student inquiries providing helpful feedback and guidance, inspiring them to learn more about law adjacent careers in the non-profit sector.

Law Plus students seize both the volunteer and employment opportunities that are offered by this organization because they provide valuable professional training and on-going mentorship in justice services and restorative justice program areas. As Virtual Court Moderators, students have the opportunity to interact with individuals within the justice system including accused persons in court proceedings while assisting them with navigating the virtual court process.

This year, the John Howard Society of Niagara supervised a research project in partnership with the Ontario Court of Justice where the Law Plus students had the unique opportunity to volunteer as Researchers. Students were able to develop their critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills while contributing to the advancement of the Ontario Court System.

Med Plus Partner Award

Niagara Region Public Health

Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) has been an instrumental community partner for the Med Plus program. Over the years, countless professionals have offered their time as guest speakers including the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention leadership team, Health Inspectors, Epidemiologists, Health Promotors, and Outreach Nurses. This unit has hosted observational visits and job shadows inspiring students to seek out the various volunteer and student employment opportunities they have provided for our program.

This year, the NRPH provided Med Plus students with professional development health care certification trainings, and facilitated a workshop where students learned about and debated public health issues. We are also grateful to the professionals who offered their time completing informational interviews with students interested in their fields.

Recently, the Region selected Med Plus to lead the Vision Screening Program which is a program in collaboration with OnSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation that offers free vision screening clinics to local elementary schools to detect vision problems early and promote healthy vision in children’s success and development. Our students have been provided with hands-on training and experience in clinical vision screening techniques allowing them to develop professional skills beneficial to pursuing future careers in health care.

Experiential Education Partner of the Year 2023 – Ubisoft Toronto

Ubisoft Toronto has played a pivotal role in enriching the educational experience for Brock students, particularly within the Interactive Arts and Science (IASC) program. Their involvement in courses such as Game Design and Production, Interactive Media Practices, and Interactive Media Design and Production has been instrumental in providing real-world insights and expertise that complement our curriculum. Through Game Design Document reviews and participation in our industry night event, Ubisoft Toronto has directly contributed to developing our students’ talent and knowledge, addressing both organizational needs and supplementing resource gaps within our department.

Ubisoft Toronto’s contributions have been essential in encouraging and improving entrepreneurship and professionalization among our students. Their active engagement and support have opened doors for our students that go beyond traditional academic boundaries, offering them a glimpse into their future careers and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Ubisoft Toronto’s partnership with the Department of Digital Humanities has been nothing short of transformative. Their commitment to enhancing student learning, developing talent, and fostering strong industry connections exemplifies the ideals of the Experiential Education Partner Award.

Student Awards

NICOLE NACCARATO – Intern, Grand River Hospital

Master of Business Administration & Master of Public Health

Co-op Student of the Year Award – Graduate
EWO Co-op Student of the Year Award

Nicole completed her Spring 2023 work-term alongside the President and CEO of Grand River Hospital (GRH). In her short time at GRH, she not only shattered expectations but made substantial contributions to projects across multiple areas of administration including finance, operations, business development, nursing, and the KW4 Ontario Health Team. Some of her proudest accomplishments include: presenting her work and recommendations on the future strategic directions of world-class hospitals to the senior leadership team; meeting the Ontario Minister of Health; contributing to the development of a new neurosurgery program, having worked as a neurosurgery nurse herself; and her well-received community engagement strategies for the inaugural KW4 OHT Strategic Plan. She is looking forward to returning to GRH this fall to continue her work with the KW4 OHT. Nicole is a dedicated member of her community, relying on her creativity and talents to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

PARTH PATEL – Software Engineer, Wealthsimple

BSc Computer Science

Co-op Student of the Year Award – Undergraduate

As a Software Developer Intern at Wealthsimple, Parth demonstrated exceptional technical skills and core competencies, and experienced personal and professional growth. His contributions to team projects and collaboration showcased Parth’s ability to innovate, problem-solve, and communicate effectively. Recognized as the “Fastest PR Reviewer,” Parth demonstrated efficiency and a keen eye for detail. Balancing academic pursuits with this role, Parth honed his time management and presentation skills.  Parth’s journey, marked by resilience and adaptability, showcases the skills and abilities Brock Co-op students bring to employers, and the Brock community.

ARYAN TIWARI – Intern, United Nations

BA Business Administration

Co-op Student of the Year Award – Undergraduate

Aryan chose to pursue Co-op amid financial constraints and a competitive job market, finding invaluable mentorship from professionals within the Co-op Education Team at Brock University. This journey, coupled with the Co-op program’s support, fueled Aryan’s professional growth. Securing internships through the Co-op portal, including an eight-month work term at Hyundai Auto Canada Corp, he navigated a steep learning curve in the automotive sector. Representing both the Co-op Team and the UN Association in Canada in Geneva, Aryan broadened his global perspective at the International Organization for Migration Headquarters. The fusion of Co-op experiences with academics enriched his understanding, making courses more engaging. As an ambassador for the Goodman School of Business and Co-op Education, Aryan actively contributed insights to incoming students, helping them to overcome pandemic-induced challenges with resilience. This transformative journey reflects Aryan’s commitment to adaptability, perseverance, and continuous growth.


BBA, Business Administration

The Sohaib Chilmeran Scholarship

As a newcomer to Canada, Krupa’s time at Brock has been defined by resilience, unwavering commitment, and dedication. Since the age of 15, Krupa has shouldered the responsibility of supporting her family, showcasing an impressive work ethic and dedication. Confronting financial challenges, Krupa has tirelessly pursued excellence in her academic studies at Brock while juggling the demands of part-time work. Krupa’s belief in the transformative power of education and continuous improvement is admirable. In her Co-op journey, Krupa has demonstrated an eagerness to seek feedback and a commitment to self-improvement. Despite facing numerous challenges, Krupa’s unwavering positivity and determination to forge ahead have left us all proud of her achievements. Witnessing her remarkable journey and accomplishments has been a privilege.

Jacob Dekok, Hannah Balint, Kevin Stefanchuk, Patrick Bronn, Fatima Abourida, Zabir Patwary


Public Health (BPH)

Experiential Education Student of the Year Award

Catherine Van Veen is a fourth year Public Health Student at Brock University. In addition to her studies at Brock, she holds provincial registration as a Practical Nurse, while also raising young daughters and working for her family business.

During her time at Brock, she has worked exceptionally hard to broaden her knowledge, and when she earned the opportunity to travel to Namibia in 2023 through the experiential course HLSC 4F93, she was both exhilarated and intimidated. She is forever thankful that she seized the moment as it has changed her life. She continues to nurture relationships with in-country partners and is proudly working with locals from Katutura, Namibia to develop a peer-to-peer support network for caregivers and implementing a research project exploring the impacts of peer support. By receiving this award, Catherine hopes to further inspire her daughters to persevere, even when it seems impossible.


BA, Political Science

Law Plus Student of the Year Award

Tara Shivafard is a fourth-year Political Science student who also works as a Junior Analyst at Infrastructure Canada. As an Iranian-Canadian, she was inspired by the Iranian women led Women Life Freedom Movement resulting in becoming a women’s rights activist and has spoken about the movement and criminalization of gender apartheid to politicians including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Tara serves as the Vice Chair of the Defence and Intelligence Working Group at Women of Colour Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) where she develops programming focused on feminist approaches to peace and conflict. She serves as a Youth Advisor to Senator Marilou McPhedran at the Canadian Council of Young Feminists, where Tara runs the Women’s Rights in Iran and Afghanistan Working Group. In her role as the Director of Programming for the Canadian Institute for Defence of Democracies, she founded a student-run and youth-run think tank and encouraged her peers in Law Plus to join which created a long-term placement option for them. Tara attributes the networking skills taught to her in Law Plus resulting in receiving an offer for a position with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

As a first-generation University student, Tara found value in seeking guidance and mentorship with the Law Plus staff team as well as her peers in the cohort. In her second year, she led the first-ever collaborative session between Law Plus and Brock Model United Nations (BMUN) and in her third year, assisted with the facilitation of the BMUN simulation session for the program. As a Mentor for the Law Plus program, she has been a role-model for incoming students, encouraging them to get involved with organizations, advocate for others and make a change.

Tara will be pursuing her Master’s of Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto in Fall 2024. “I am deeply proud to be a Law Plus student and will carry what this program has taught me across all my personal, academic, and professional endeavors.”



Med Plus Student of the Year Award

Akanksha Guleria is a fourth-year Medical Sciences student also pursuing French Studies. In her role as a student, she has been actively involved in Undergraduate research aiming to integrate technology with health care delivery. She is a varsity athlete on the Fencing team, works as a Senior Career Navigator in CareerZone, Tutors children with the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara and actively supports promotion initiatives with Niagara Region Public Health.

In Med Plus, Akanksha selflessly contributes to the success of the program as a Mentor for incoming first year students and was selected to facilitate a session inspiring students to create

their own autobiographical sketch as a way of showcasing their activity and involvement throughout their post-secondary journey.

Akanksha attributes her experiences in Med Plus to not only enriching her personal and professional growth, but also reinforcing her commitment to a career in medicine. “Med Plus has been a guiding force, providing me with opportunities for growth, friendship, and invaluable experiences. It has demonstrated the transformative power of mentorship and perspective in academia, and I am grateful for the impact it has had on my journey.”

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