Congrats to the 2014 Co-op Students of the Year

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, Science, Engineering

- Vanessa Stofer

Each year, we bestow three Co-op Student of the Year awards to recognize students' outstanding achievements in all aspects of performance, including academic achievement, workplace performance, and extracurricular, community and co-op involvement. One winning student is selected from each of our three major program areas.

We're pleased to announce that our 2014 Co-op Students of the Year are:

Gaëlle Madevon (commerce)

Co-op Student of the Year – Peter B. Gustavson School of Business Co-op

Recognized for her high academic achievement and excellent work term performance, Gaëlle approaches both her university and work life with resourcefulness and creativity. She spent her first co-op term as a research assistant with UVic’s Department of Psychology and her second with GlobalFest in marketing and communications. For her final co-op term, Gaëlle acted as a corporate communications specialist for Ledcor Industries Inc., where she worked on communications and marketing projects, oversaw logistics for several major media events, and implemented successful social media strategies to increase online engagement. Gaëlle also has a strong interest in community engagement and volunteering—she served as treasurer and marketing assistant for UVic’s UNICEF Club and currently represents western Canada’s JDC West Organizing Committee as VP of Academics, freelances as a social media strategist for technology start-ups, and acts as social media coordinator for W100 Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur (2012/13), Kelsey Ramsden.

Silvia Penkova (mechanical engineering)

Co-op Student of the Year – Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics/Statistics Co-op

Driven by a passion for continuous learning in her academic and personal endeavours, Silvia Penkova is known for her relentless work ethic and positive attitude. As a former Sea Cadet fascinated by ocean exploration, Silvia spent her first three work terms refitting submarines for the Royal Canadian Navy at Babcock Canada Inc. Her interest in the environment and green technology then led her to pursue a work term in the Industrial Engineering branch of the Department of National Defence. There, she worked on a wastewater treatment plant that allowed process water to be cleaned and returned to city sewage, resulting in less waste. Silvia is interested in materials engineering and is currently working on a research project categorizing the optical properties of Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride semiconductors.

Tesi Carmona Wagner (biology)

Co-op Student of the Year – Optional and Professional Co-op Programs (all other programs)

Tesi Carmona Wagner has always been interested in animal behavior and wellbeing. For her first three work terms, she ventured abroad—she completed two co-op terms in Mexico researching birds in captivity and in the field and one in Germany through a German Academic Exchange Service internship, where she studied urban and rural blackbirds. Although she’d been primarily keen on the study of birds, Tesi rounded out her experience with a final 8-month placement as a research and animal care assistant in UVic’s Neuroscience Lab under Dr. Leigh Ann Swayne, where she managed and studied mouse colonies. Tesi’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm for science and research has made her a standout employee in Dr. Swayne’s lab, where she is still working. She has also undertaken many extracurricular activities related to her degree—she volunteered with the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre and Parks Canada and currently helps out at Rocky Point Bird Observatory. Tesi hopes to continue in academia and pursue her Master’s and eventually a PhD.


Co-op Students of the Year are nominated by their employers and supervisors. 


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Keywords: co-op, commerce, mechanical engineering, biology, student life, international

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