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Tour de Co-op and Career


Did you know that UVic co-op students are actively involved in cutting-edge research? They contribute to, and often lead, research projects for employers in a wide range of fields and industries. Tour de Co-op and Career is part of UVic's Ideafest, a celebration of UVic research.

What research do students do?

They do it all! From studying the mountain pine beetle in Northern BC to researching new policy for lawmakers, co-op students are in the thick of cutting-edge research on campus and beyond. Check out the profiles below to learn about the vast range of research that co-op students contribute to every day.

Want to do professional research for co-op employers?

Contact the co-op program in your academic area to learn how to join the program and fit research into your career plan.

Want to look for a research position outside co-op?

Contact Career Services for help moving forward.

What research have ANTHROPOLOGY co-op students done?

Jenny Cohen in the field. Jenny Cohen (MA Anthropology) completed a work term with Parks Canada that connects to her thesis research: She worked with Parks Canada to research intertidal archaeological sites in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in Haida Gwaii. The three main research foci were: assessing paleoecological change of salmon habitat through distribution of archaeological fish weirs in streams; landscape archaeology of modified beaches indicating a variety of maricultural subsistence strategies such as clam gardens, octopus gardens, and intertidal fish traps, and; paleoethnobotanical research of a 10,700 year old archaeological wet site. The paleoethnobotanical work was directly related to Jenny's thesis research of early Holocene plant technology and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of ancestral Haida habitation.
Julie-Anne Weaver. Julie-Anne Weaver (MA Anthropology) spent a work term researching with Parks Canada (Jasper National Park): She worked as a student researcher in Jasper National Park with the Aboriginal Liaison Officer on a project entitled: Changing Relationships: The People of the Upper Athabasca Valley. This project was meant to further strengthen the relationship between Jasper National Park and some of the local Aboriginal groups. Julie-Anne traveled from Jasper to Grande Cache, Alberta to work collaboratively with members of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation and the Upper Athabasca Valley Elders Council on creating a new historical storyline that will be used towards interpretation projects for visitors of the Park. 

What research have BIOCHEMISTRY/MICROBIOLOGY co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Nicole Little (Biochemistry and Microbiology) worked as a research assistant for UVic professor Chris Upton: She focused on research involving viral bioinformatics and viral research. One of her research focuses was on African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). She found a gene with significant (predicted) structural similarity to known SH2 domains. However, there were a few missing key amino acid residues and so the team sent the protein for crystallization to get a real, experimentally derived structure to confirm the predictions. The results may have helpful clinical benefits in potentially developing both a treatment and perhaps a vaccine for the virus. ASFV has no available treatment and no vaccine and has up to 100% fatality rate in infected domestic pigs. The only way to contain the disease is unfortunately through culling, and the virus has resulted in great loss in the pig farming industry so any treatment or vaccine is extremely important.
Erin Love in the field with meerkats. Erin Love (Microbiology) traveled to South Africa to research meerkats: As a UVic microbiology student, Erin had spent her first three work terms in laboratory positions, so she jumped at the chance to work overseas. She ended up loved her experiences observing and compiling data on a meerkat population in Northern South Africa, at the Cambridge University-owned Kalahari Meerkat Project in the Kuruman River Reserve. Erin was volunteering alongside her husband, who is studying at Cambridge and will eventually use the gathered data for further studies. Read more.
Vincent Poon (right). Vincent Poon (Microbiology, right) spent four months with the BC Centre for Disease Control: After performing enzyme substrate tests, multiple tube fermentation, and streaking plates with E.coli, I and my fellow Co-op students posed here with the fruits of our labour."

What research have BIOLOGY co-op students done?

Thomas and Ashley in the Gulf Islands.

Ashley Currie and Thomas Diesch (Biology) spent a work term conducting raccoon research with UVic adjunct professor Dr. Michael Clinchy: Under the supervision of Dr. Clinchy and grad student David Hope, Thomas and Ashley collected data on raccoons in the Gulf Islands, including location, numbers and the impact they have on songbirds and inter-tidal species. The research will eventually be used by Parks Canada to develop a conservation strategy that lessens the impact raccoons have on other species.

"I enjoyed this experience as it gave me the chance to apply my knowledge from Vertebrates of BC (Bio 329), and Marine Invertebrates (Bio 321) outside of the classroom, and gain important field skills." - Ashley

“I spent four months hiking and camping and gaining a great understand of what it's like to work in the field." - Thomas Read more.

Jenna Patterson spotting a dolphin in Florida. Jenna Peterson (Biology) spent a summer as an intern with the Sarasota Bay Dolphin Research Program in Florida: Her job involved photographing dolphins in the ocean from her vantage point in a boat and then identifying them in a database back at the office. There are 160 identified dolphins in Sarasota Bay, and researchers can tell them apart just by examining their dorsal fins. Read more.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Brianne Lindsay (Biology) worked for Dr. Patrick Nahirney with UVic's Island Medical Program: In Dr. Nahirney's lab, she used electron microscopy techniques to study Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Electron microscopy takes extreme precision and dedication to obtain results. The research project is in its preliminary stages and the team hopes to develop a technique for electron microscopy that will allow them to see how alcohol affects the hippocampus (the learning and memory center of the brain).

"This research opportunity will greatly help with furthering my understanding of neuroscience. I feel I will be able to take on the rest of my undergraduate degree with a step ahead in laboratory experience."
Natasha Ewing. Natasha Ewing (Biology) spent a work term as the K-12 education developer at Ocean Networks Canada, an underwater observatory supporting a new generation of coastal and deep-sea research: She was able to combine her passions for education and marine science by encouraging grade 6 to 12 teachers to incorporate marine science into the Canadian curriculum. Working one-on-one with students let Natasha engage them with the mysteries of the ocean through real-time data and hydrophone clips and stunning deep sea images.

"After my initial 4-month term, I was offered a full-time position to continue bringing the ocean to classrooms across the country – an amazing opportunity!"

Tour de Co-op and Career image.

Rose Swansburg (Biology) worked for UVic's Division of Medical Sciences under the supervision of UVic professor Dr. Leigh Anne SwayneDr. Swayne studies ion channels and their roles in neural stem cell behavior. During Rose's co-op work term, Rose investigated which proteins were being activated and up regulated in neurogenesis through a stroke model: stroke causes significant brain damage, and neurogenesis must occur to repair the damage.

"I used molecular techniques to determine the expression levels of these specific neural proteins. By understanding the molecular mechanisms of stroke, improved treatment practices can be developed. The team of people I worked with was amazing, and this co-op complemented my medical interests perfectly."

Molly Neil.

Molly Neil (Biology) received an NSERC grant to work for UVic's Department of Biology in the oceanography lab: In the field, Molly helped collect data on UVic’s research vessel in the Saanich Inlet. She also assisted with various laboratory techniques and data analyses.

"I shared ownership of the project and was really proud of the results. This was without doubt, the greatest learning experience of my undergraduate degree."

Keely Bays.

Keely Bays (Biology) researched employee behaviour trends for Recreation Integration Victoria: Over her eight-month work term, she looked at the outcomes of other co-op and student learning experiences at the organization over the previous twenty years. She put together an online survey and set up interviews with a number of past student employees. As a result, she learned that the majority of people who had worked at Recreation Integration Victoria over the years used what they learned at the organization in their current lives.

"It is amazing to see how one short-term work placement can have such an affect on a person’s life and career goals!"

Recreation Integration Victoria was named the 2011 Co-op Employer of the Year. Learn more about the organization and its impact on co-op - check out the Youtube video.

What research have BUSINESS co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Arjun Shewale (MBA) was one of two co-op students hired by Island Health (IH) to develop a formal co-op hiring processes: He worked with a Master of Public Admin student to develop processes and manager resources to support the sourcing, hiring, integration, and evaluation of co-op students into programs/opportunities across IH. Some of the benefits of utilizing co-op students for project work include (1) developing a cost-effective way to have top talent undertake and support key projects within IH (2) promoting IH as an employer of choice for young talent, and (3) evaluating potential future employees at low cost and low risk.
Tour de Co-op and Career image.  Jay Gillette (MBA) spent a work term as a strategy analyst with the Department of National Defence (CFB Esquimalt) and was awarded the 2010 Co-op Student of the Year award for Business: His tasks included developing a performance reporting system to improve office practices related to customer service, resource application and program delivery. Gillette’s supervisor Michael Morrison considered him such an integral member of the team that he was invited to work on the organization’s business plan. Read more.

What research have CHEMISTRY co-op students done?

Sara Mooi in the lab.

Sara Mooi (Chemistry) worked with UVic professor Tom Fyles: Under Fyles’ supervision, Sara was able to create five kilograms of an anti-fouling agent used to stop barnacle growth on boats, docks, pipes and in other aquatic environments.

“My favorite part of the job was knowing that the product of the work term was important to my supervisor and, in turn, the environment. It feels awesome to know that what we worked on is being tested in Florida right now and could be of real use." Read more.

Peter Guan at Eco-Care Technologies.

Peter Guan (Chemistry) spent his fifth work term at Eco-Care Technologies: He evaluated the stability of active ingredients in products when they were stored in bottles made from different plastics or glass. He turned his co-op work term into a full-time position following graduation.

“Co-op was a huge influence in my career preparation and was the main reason I was able to secure a job right after graduation.”

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Michael Hamilton (Chemistry) worked for the Hospital for Sick Kids in the Molecular Structure and Function Program: Under the supervision of a Cystic Fibrosis Clinic Director, Michael helped research how the Cystic Fibrosis TR protein engine communicates with, and regulates the opening of the channel component of CFTR. The project aimed to map the link between the engine and the channel pore for the normal CFTR protein, as well as for CF-causing mutants, which will identify targets for FTR-correcting molecules.
Michael Jarosz.

Michael Jarosz (Chemistry) spent a work term focusing on a research project with UVic's Department of Chemistry and Dr. Lisa Rosenberg: He worked as a junior research assistant in the Organometallic Research lab, where he researched how to develop the transformations of secondary phosphines using late transition metals. He also participated with research in developing ways of synthesizing high molecular weight polysilanes chains containing useful functional groups by modifying the Si-H bonds.

"This project gave me a new understanding of the patience and hard work that researchers go through. I learned many new techniques, specifically working with compounds that are air sensitive and have found that the incredible lab experience I received from my work term is making a big positive difference in how I conduct my current academic labs."

What research have DISPUTE RESOLUTION co-op students done?

Kelly Brandt

Kelly Brandt (Dispute Resolution) traveled to Galway, Ireland to work as a Dispute Resolution Specialist at the Rathfredagh Cheshire Home: Rathfredagh is a care facility for Irish adults who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. The old stone building services up to 31 residents who are cared for by 75 staff involved in nursing and personal care, accommodations, maintenance, therapy, and recreation. The workplace had turned into a warzone, and Brandt was hired to relieve some of the conflicts and help the organization work as a team.

After completing some course work, Brandt will head back to Rathfredagh in the fall. Hoping to finish her program next April, Brandt would like to collect data for her thesis project on her second visit to Ireland. Read more.

What research have EARTH AND OCEAN SCIENCES co-op students done?

Ashley Gross in Hawaii.

Ashley Gross (EOS) travelled to Hawaii to work at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: She was responsible for researching ground deformation for the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. Specific goals included: (1) processing all RADARSAT interferometry data acquired of the Big Island of Hawai`i since 1998 and cataloging results, (2) correcting strain data for Earth tides, pressure variations, and other factors, and assembling a time series of strain data that can be accessed on-line by HVO staff, and (3) assessing the viability of the oblique photogrammetry technique for measuring deformation of the active Pu`u `O`o vent on, Kilauea volcano.

“Co-op has given me incredible opportunities and has helped me discover what I want to do as a career. I highly recommend the program.”

Amanda Mullin in the lab.

Amanda Mullin (EOS) worked as a research assistant for Natural Resources Canada, where she studied gas hydrate magnetism: The co-op student performed laboratory measurements and analyzed the magnetic properties of sediments recovered from the IODP Leg 311 cruise to the Cascadia margin. Her laboratory results were used to determine the impact of gas hydrate growth and disassociation on the magnetic mineralogy of host sediments.

“Working as a research assistant for the Geological Survey of Canada allowed me to gain extensive knowledge in gas hydrate formation and its relation to rock magnetism within accretionary prisms. I was able to apply my academic skills in the workplace.” Read more.

Lisa Fodor in the field.

Lisa Fodor (EOS) worked as a geology field assistant for the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources: In the field she helped collect shale samples to be analyzed for total organic carbon content. This was done in the hopes of defining a shale gas resource estimate for the Besa River Formation in Northeastern BC. Once back in the office, she was responsible for washing, grinding and re-bagging all of the samples before they were shipped to the lab.

"This research is related to my future studies as a geologist because I may decide on a career in natural resource exploration."

Graham Knibbs Graham Knibbs (EOS) worked for the Pacific Geoscience Centre with Natural Resources Canada: Graham assisted scientists in the Gas Hydrate Research Group in meeting their long-term geohazard and geological research objectives. His tasks involved desktop studies (data reduction, literature searches, cartography, graphic generation) as well as lab-based work (geological and experimental studies). This included the synthesis of research data (marine surveys, terrestrial surveys, spatial data bases, literature searches, graphical presentation and interpretation of data) collected during recent field work in the Mackenzie-Beaufort; as well as compilation and presentation of research data in a GIS; and various lab duties (sediment testing and bench testing of equipment).

What research have ECONOMICS co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Daniel Sharratt (MA Economics) contributed to the BC Ministry of Health's proposed Care Management Strategy: He conducted econometric forecasting to create a Cost Benefit Analysis for this new strategy, which aims to modernize health care service in British Columbia.

What research have EDUCATION co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Dave Nagel (MEd) was hired to undertake a joint research study for the Director’s Office of Co-operative Education and Career Services and the Office of Indigenous Affairs (INAF): His goal? To examine the factors that encourage or dissuade Indigenous students from joining UVic Co-op. He surveyed Indigenous students who have taken part in co-op as well as those who haven't, and compiled a report identifying recommendations to enhance Indigenous student access to and participation in co-operative education.

What research have ENGINEERING and COMPUTER SCIENCE co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Benjamin Taylor (Electrical Engineering) was named the 2010 Co-op Student of the Year for Engineering and Computer Science/Math Co-op and Career: Benjamin spent a term working for UVic electrical engineering professor Dr. Tao Lu, where he helped set up a laser to create tiny doughnut-shaped cavities on a silicon chip. These cavities can potentially be used to create high-precision clocks and may even been applied to biological research. Ben’s project would usually take a graduate student two months to complete; Ben completed the project in one month.  Read more.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Stephanie Morrison (Mechanical Engineering) worked with UVic professor Dr. Stephanie Willerth in the field of biomedical engineering:  The Willerth lab is currently investigating various methods of implanting neurons and oligodendrocytes derived from stem cells into the injury site of the central nervous system to restore functionality. Stephanie's research involved comparing mouse iPS cells and R1 cells, which they should differentiate and proliferate the same way as R1 cells. These cells are being heavily investigated as a more ethical alternative to the generation of ES cells.
Nathan Willson in the lab. Nathan Willson (Electrical Engineering) traveled to RWTH University in Germany to work on a research project with other undergraduate students: His research focused on the investigation of scattering, an acoustical property that describes the reflection of sound incident upon a surface. Nathan's duties were to implement a microphone robot that took measurements autonomously. The project will be used by Masters and PhD students doing research.

"Acoustics and sound are two things that I am extremely passionate about. By pursuing co-ops in through research and academia I’ve been able to develop a long list of valuable contacts, many of whom are prominent leaders in their field. Going abroad enabled me to meet so many people, experience a new culture, learn a bit of the language, and have a truly rewarding experience both personally and academically. I can say with ease that it has been the best experience of my life."
Lyndon Liepert. Lyndon Liepert (Electrical Engineering) spent a work term with UVic professor Dr. Ted Darcie in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: While working under Dr. Darcie, he focused on better understanding how terahertz frequencies interact with matter. He and Dr. Darcie sought to use terahertz radiation to perform spectroscopy upon gas-phase samples to determine their constituent molecules. The biomedical industry is an eager consumer of such a method of spectroscopy. During his work term, Lyndon built upon the knowledge acquired in his electrical engineering studies by branching into other fields such as chemistry, physics and biology.

What research have ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES co-op students done?

Elyse at a Western Bluebird nestbox site. Elyse Parchoma (Environmental Studies and Visual Arts) spent a work term with the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT): With the guidance of her supervisor Shyanne Smith, Elyse conducted research for the Bring Back the Bluebirds program that is part of an international initiative to increase Western Bluebird numbers. Elyse researched appropriate habitat to support nestboxes, then assessed box use by bluebird populations.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Erin Lawless (Environmental Studies and Geography) conducted research for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve: She worked with Todd Golumbia, Park Ecologist, to develop a Restoration Strategy for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. This strategy will be the roadmap to restoration for the park by providing over-arching restoration goals and principles, summarizing restoration efforts to date, and identifying priorities for restoration actions.

What research have EXERCISE SCIENCE, PHYSICAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION co-op students done?

Sarah Cameron (right) and Dr. Joan Wharf Higgins. Sarah Cameron (Recreation and Health Education) conducted research for UVic professor Dr. Joan Wharf Higgins: As an evaluation assistant on the Thrifty Foods' nutrition seminar project, which Dr. Wharf Higgins helped coordinate, Cameron visited recreation centres to assess the nutrition seminars’ success. Sarah is one of dozens of co-op students who have helped Dr. Wharf Higgins on a bevy of research projects over the past few years. Read more.
Heidi Hopkins. Heidi Hopkins (Recreation and Health Education) spent four months with Power to Be Adventure Therapy, a local not-for-profit organization that provides outdoor recreation activities for youth facing challenges: She was responsible for researching and compiling a research manual that lists organizations, services, programs and contacts that can help youth connect with the resources they need. Read more.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Michelle Cox (Kinesiology) worked for the Institute for Applied Physical Activity and Health Research: She spent the summer creating, piloting, evaluating and editing a nutrition and physical activity intervention program for youth with intellectual disabilities. She conducted a systematic literature review, created a teacher's handbook as well as student workbooks and handouts. This was the first phase in a three part intervention program, and was focused on helping the participants to really understand the answers to questions such as: "What is health? What is physical activity? What can I do to be more healthy? What is healthy eating? etc."

"There was a real emphasis on 'doing' not just learning about what we were discussing. The research related to my academic studies as it gave me a lot more experience working with and creating programs for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and also refined my research skills and professional writing."
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Terese Kumlin (Recreation and Health Education) worked as a policy and research assistant for the BC Ministry of Health Services: During her work term, Tess had the opportunity to take the research skills and course material she learned in the RhED program into the real world. Her main project was to create a database documenting age-friendly initiatives occurring in BC. This was part of Age-Friendly BC, a provincial initiative supporting the creation of age-friendly communities.

"My co-op experience opened me up to actions and initiatives that influence the entire province, which made working there both meaningful and thrilling. I am now pursuing my masters in public health and hope to continue working in the field for many years to come."
Tour de Co-op and Career image.

Ryan Brodie (Kinesiology) worked in the Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory at UVic: Ryan worked alongside UVic professor Dr. Paul Zehr. He had the opportunity to aid graduate students in developing and carrying out experiments in a motor control lab setting, as well as to develop software to improve the data analysis work-flow used by the students that he worked with.

"I developed an understanding of the control of rhythmic motor patterns in the body, such as walking and cycling. The broad goal of working with a number of different experimental paradigms centered on these different types of patterned reflexes is to enquire about plasticity in the nervous system and its potential role in rehabilitation."

What research have GEOGRAPHY co-op students done?

Brett Wildeman (left). Brett Wildeman (Geography, left) worked as an assistant wildlife biologist with Parks Canada in Radium, BC: During his work term, he spent time in the Little Yoho Valley collecting Terrestrial Bird Monitoring data. This data was collected as part of the Ecological Integrity (E.I.) monitoring program to assist in identifying changes in population over time, and species living in the area.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Robyn Jones (Geography) worked on campus with Environment Canada's Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre at UVic: As a data archivist and analyst, she assisted Dr. Peters' research in developing an ecological flow/water level needs assessment framework for a northern deltaic environment experience multiple stressors from climate variability and change.

"I examined hydrological connectivity of perched basins (which only occasionally connect to the main flow system) and my work involves researching existing literature, creating an archive with relevant hydrological and ecological data with geospatial information and assessing the feasibility of connectivity analysis of several basins."

What research have HEALTH INFORMATION SCIENCE co-op students done?

Faye Jones at Procura. Faye Jones (Health Information Science, left) completed a co-op work term with Procura, a Victoria-based IT company that delivers innovative IT services for homecare agencies: During her work term, she evaluated components of the company's software product, which help agencies coordinate every aspect of homecare provision, from scheduling and billing to patient records and coordination.

“The product is quite cool—it can do things like synch up with MapQuest maps to show a health care employee the quickest route to a patient’s home. It’s really game-changing, and I’m excited to be a part of it.” Read more.
Jonathan Rabenek. Jonathon Rabenek (Health Information Science) travelled to Toronto to complete his first co-op work term with Cancer Care Ontario: As a student analyst within the Service Delivery and Management team, Jonathon assessed product functionality and made recommendations for implementation. Jonathan is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo. Read more.

What research have HUMANITIES AND FINE ARTS co-op students done?

Karolinka (on the right). Karolina Zuzalek (Writing, right) spent a summer at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO), home of the historical Plaskett Telescope: She helped run observatory and telescope tours for school children, and also assisted a physics co-op student who was hired to conduct research at the observatory. Read more.
Jasmine Nielsen (women's studies) completed a work term with the BC Ministry of Health: She conducted stakeholder research for various Pandemic Planning projects with a focus on vulnerable and marginalized communities. This included conducting extensive background research and compiling an in-depth report on Canadian trends. Jasmine was named the 2011 Co-op Student of the Year for the Optional and Professional Programs. Check out her interview for more information about what she learned on the job.

What research have LAW co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image.

Sarah Magee (Law) completed a co-op work term with BC Families in Transition in Victoria: She researched techniques to measure outcomes for BCFIT’s Legal Support Services Program. The goal is to create a new evaluation system for the program by identifying specific outcomes to track and creating the tools to do so. The research involved interviewing BCFIT staff, past clients of BCFIT, members of the legal community involved in family law, and other agencies involved in legal advocacy. 

"The research relates to my academic studies by giving me practical research and writing experience necessary for a career in law, and by providing me with exposure to the human side of legal studies. My aspiration to be involved in non-profit work has been solidified, and the experience has helped prepare me to embark on graduate studies once I complete my degree."

Lisa van den Dolder. Lisa Van den Dolder (Law, left) worked as a contract and policy analyst with the Capital Regional District’s Risk, Insurance and Contracts Division: Her responsibilities included developing wording for bylaws and contracts, as well as researching and making recommendations on liability and property law issues. Read more.
Amanda Aziz

 Amanda Aziz (Law) completed a co-op work term with West Coast LEAF, a non-profit advocacy organization based in Vancouver: As part of the law reform piece, she helped research and draft a policy paper about women without immigration status in Canada, and the challenges and vulnerabilities they can face, particularly when dependent on a sponsor for their immigration status. Women without status and with precarious immigration status are often forced to choose between remaining in an abusive relationship, deportation, and living without access to social services or the ability to work. The goal of the paper was to raise awareness with the public and help shape immigration policy with government, and is part of a longer series of issues that the West Coast LEAF Legal and Policy Committee tackles.

"The work has allowed me to use the legal education in research and writing that I have received so far, and apply it in a useful way. The project has also allowed me to see the exciting work that groups are doing in order to push the agenda of law reform and equality in BC and in Canada."

What research have PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY co-op students done?

Adam Draginda in Hawaii. Adam Draginda (Astronomy) spent a work term conducting research at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, which is perched on top of dormant volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island: He first worked there as a co-op student and was offered a full-time position after graduation. Adam operates the telescope, determines the optimal observing strategy, and carries out observations. He also writes software, helps with outreach and conducts research, and says the variety of tasks he does keeps his job “fresh and interesting.” Read more.
Ashley Rose in the lab.

Ashley Rose (Physics) spent a co-op work term working in medical physics for the BC Cancer Agency: During her work term, she assisted with a radiation therapy study.

“I was involved in the testing of new visual feedback equipment that is beginning to be used with breast cancer patients undergoing deep inspiration  breath-hold (DIBH) radiation therapy. I learned a lot about the medical physics field, which I wouldn’t have been as exposed to in the classroom.”

Jennifer Tigner

Jennifer Tigner (Astronomy) spent a work term at the Gemini Observatory in La Serena Chile: She worked with the instrument science team for the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI), a new near-infrared instrument that was installed on Gemini South in 2011. She created a library of observations as a part of the commissioning plan for the instrument, and selected targets for the first on-sky tests of the instrument. Her next work term was at the Gemini North Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii. She worked with a team of astronomers to troubleshoot and monitor the performance of the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS).

"Both of these work terms were different and fantastic; I gained career insight for my field of study and got to experience new cultures at the same time!”

Brendan Byrne. Brendan Byrne (Physics and Ocean Sciences) worked with Defence Research and Development Canada: His work term included measuring and analyzing ambient noise in coastal areas as a function of local surf and weather conditions. Under the supervision of a research scientist, he participated in a field trial to measure ambient sound levels in coastal areas using equipment designed for long-term unattended ambient noise measurements. He also worked to identify improvements in experimental method or sampling strategies that will be implemented in the planned ongoing measurement program.

What research have POLITICAL SCIENCE co-op students done?

Kathryn Jones at Q'ente. Katheryn Jones (Political Science) worked for Victoria-based non-profit Q'ente: Founded by UVic alumna Ashli Akins, Q'ente connects weavers in small communities in the Peruvian Andes with Canadian consumers. One hundred percent of the profits are returned to the communities in Peru, where weavers can improve their quality of life but still maintain their traditional art and culture. Katheryn, who has a background in business, researched and developed a retail strategy to expand the distribution of Q’ente weavings to events, galleries and stores. She also designed the society’s product catalogues.
Tour de Co-op and Career image. Georgina Nicoll (MA Political Science) worked for the Office of National Defence and Canadian Forces Canada: Georgina conducted research on international security issues for the Asia-Pacific Affairs Office at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Over the course of her workterm, Georgina wrote daily briefs about political and military developments around the world. She also conducted background research for speeches and conference papers, on topics such as the Mexican Navy and the depletion of fish stocks in Southeast Asia. For her term project, Georgina is researching and writing an article about the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which will be distributed as briefing material to Navy personnel and published in the CFB Esquimalt newspaper.
Kate Dearden.

Kate Dearden (Political Science) spent four months working as an intern for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) in India: She worked on a research project that explored the topic of "political devolution" - how political responsibilities are theoretically (and in reality) separated between the five levels of government in the country. She was able to travel to an eastern state of India to do interviews and collect data for her project.

What research have PSYCHOLOGY co-op students done?

Ferris Moxam at Rock Solid. Ferris Moxam (Psychology) spent a work term researching outreach methods for the Rock Solid Foundation: The anti-bullying organization put Ferris in charge of developing innovative ways to promote WITS, a program designed to help children choose safe and positive solutions to conflict (Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek help). During her four-month co-op work term, Ferris helped distribute WITS material to schools across BC, raised more than $23,000 in grants to help run the program, and served as liaison between the Rock Solid Foundation and the University of Victoria’s Centre for Youth and Society.

What research have PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Rachel Jackson (MPA) worked for UVic's School of Public Administration, under the supervision of Dr. Cosmo Howard: She conducted exploratory research and wrote a paper with Dr. Howard on the effects of the shifting site of statistical production, from autonomous bodies like Statistics Canada, to government ministries. She examined the use of statistical software by government employees to produce official statistics as part of a larger study of the production of official statistics funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

What research have SOCIOLOGY co-op students done?

Tour de Co-op and Career image. Naomi North (MA Sociology) spent a work term with the BC Ministry of Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Branch: She conducted research for the development of Trauma Informed Practice Guidelines. These guidelines will be used by mental health and substance use service providers in BC.
Tour de Co-op and Career image.

Sophia MacKenzie (Sociology) conducted research for the Fleet Maintenance Facility at the Department of National Defence: The facility had recently implemented new process guidelines, and Sophie was tasked with identifying barriers that might prevent workers from adopting these guidelines. She explored how different learning styles might impact the acceptance of new procedures. Her project involved a literature review and a survey of Fleet Maintenance staff.

"My co-op with the Department of National Defense allowed me to design and execute my own research project. I applied both my qualitative and quantitative research stills to gain information regarding the learning style preferences of 500 + Fleet Maintenance Facility employees. This project allowed me to design my own survey, conduct interviews, and lead focus groups.

This was a wonderful opportunity to apply my academic stills to a real world setting and provided with me with a great sense of achievement."

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