University of Manitoba - Asper School of Business - Co-op - Co-op Student of the Year
Co-op Student of the Year
The annual Asper School of Business Co-op Student of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in all aspects of the business student's performance, including academic achievement, workplace performance, and extra-curricular, community and co-op departmental involvement. The Asper Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient is announced at the annual Celebrating Co-op event held in late January.

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2016 Co-op Student of the Year:
Liying (Jenny) Peng

Liying Peng

Liying (Jenny) Peng made several key contributions to the business operations of her co-op employer, Manitoba Harvest, including testing a new online store and helping to rewrite a financial reporting package.

Her work went “far beyond expectations”—especially her ability to dissect complex analyses, mine data, and present information. “Her impressive capacity to learn new concepts and take the initiative to independently run with a project like this greatly increased the efficiency of our financial reporting department. She impressed us with her positive personality, willingness to jump in and take ownership of many different tasks.”

She is on the Dean’s Honour List and has received a number of scholarships, including the International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarship for the top 4% of students. She represented Asper at the ICBC Queen’s University MIS Case Competition and participated in the Investors Group Annual UG Case Competition. She serves as the Director of Student Relations for MISA (Management Information Systems Association) and is logistics coordinator for the BASC Case Competition. Previously, she served as co-director of the Outgoing Exchange Program for AIESEC and participated in the PRAXIS Service Learning Program, worked at Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, and volunteered at Winnipeg Harvest and Siloam Mission. 

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2015 Co-op Student of the Year:
Indigo Adam-Grant

Indigo Adam-Grant

Indigo Adam-Grant spent her first co-op work term as a Sales Strategy Associate at PepsiCo Foods Canada. Indigo’s employer offers the award committee many explain of her incredible work ethic and contributions to the company during her co-op work term. Indigo sold over $100,000 in displays and programs . Built strong relationships with store managers and sales representatives increasing sales opportunities through strong communications, enthusiasm and follow through. Set up sales meetings with people they had never met and did so with professionalism and ease. Used outstanding communications and sales skills to overcome client objections resulting in increased business. Created a training program and handbook for co-op students to ensure long term success in recruitment and retention of talented individuals. PepsiCo Foods went on to say “We work in a fast based work environment. In order to be successful our students must be quick learners and must grasp an understanding of our business easily and early. Keeping up with our ever changing and fast paced business was never an issue. In addition to outstanding sales skills, this student’s initiative, enthusiasm and energy increased team morale and their results enabled all team members to succeed. Indigo has shown us what is possible and how much can be accomplished in a 4 month term. Truly a new standard has been set for hiring.” In addition to her strong work performance, Indigo maintains a 4.22 GPA and is the recipient of multiple scholarships including most recently the Enterprise Rent-a-Car Scholarship for Leadership and has been on the Dean’s Honor Roll since admission to the School. She volunteers as a business mentor for the Entrepreneurship Adventurers Program at Joseph Teres Elementary School and has coached a girls’ basketball team for the past 3 years. She also serves as the Basketball Convenor for The Fort Garry Community Centre. Last year she was a member of the CSA’s Volunteer and Promotions team and she currently is a member of the Promotions team for the Asper Students Cooperative Association.

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2014 Co-op Student of the Year:
Cameron Teschuk

Cameron Teshcuk

Cameron spent his first and second co-op work term as a Human Resources Specialist at New Flyer Industries. Cameron's employer offered the award committee not one, but several examples of extraordinary contributions this student made to their business. Cameron became a key contributor on the project team tasked with implementing a new human resource information system. Completed programming for the benefit changes, and independently developed a stop-by-stop security systems manual for the managers. Created standardized regulatory reporting for the HR teams in the US and Canada and provided training to the US team to allow them to use the tools. In addition to his strong work performance, this student maintains a 4.16 GPA and is the recipient of multiple scholarships including the Nick Laping Memorial Scholarship for athletic and academic achievement, team leadership, integrity and community outreach, as well as being an Academic All Canadian. He has volunteers many hours to charity initiatives including Shinerama, Siloam Mission and the Boys and Girls Club. In addition he has participated at student business competitions nationally including JDC West - 2nd place MIS and CBC - 2nd place. And finally, this student is a Defensive Back and one of the Team Captains of the University of Manitoba Bison's Football Team who this year thrilled us all by winning the CIS Canada West Final, going on to represent Manitoba for the first time at the Uteck Bowl in Montreal.

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2013 Co-op Student of the Year:
Dale Camuyong

Dale Camuyong

Dale spent his first co-op work term as a People Services Specialist at New Flyer Industries.  Dale’s employer offered the award committee not one, but several examples of extraordinary contributions this student made to their business. During his time as a People Services Specialist, Dale took charge of a major human resource project for the leadership team, enabling the company to more effectively manage a vast archive of job descriptions. He consistently went above and beyond the call of duty by suggesting better ways to organize and format the information which have since been implemented.  Dale played a key role in recruitment as part of a team that hired over 50 production workers and assisted in rolling out the company’s MBO and manager bonus program: organizing, managing and coordinating the program for over 100 managers. 

New Flyer management praised Dale’s professionalism, dedication and sense of humour,
stating, “this student performs at such great heights, but is humble in nature, methodical in approach, and warm in character… We didn’t really want him to leave.” Dale is deeply involved in the Asper community, having served as President of the University of Manitoba Human Resources Association, Vice President of the Asper Co-operative Students Association, an active co-op mentor, Corporate Relations Manager for the Commerce Students Association and a member of this year’s JDC West HR team.  He also volunteers his time with Siloam Mission and was Volunteer Coordinator for last year’s 5 days for the Homeless Campaign.

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2012 Co-op Student of the Year: 
Maryia Kuzura

Mariya Kuzura

Maryia completed her first work term as a Marketing Associate in the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, a division of Manitoba Hydro International.  Initially, she was hired to research Eastern Europe as a potential market for products and services provided by MHI.  MHI had long felt there was an untapped market in Eastern Europe and Maryia paved the way for future opportunities.

Using her business, marketing and language skills, Maryia, a 2nd year Asper student, successfully identified key companies and contacts for MHI.  Building on this, she provided translation services during key conference calls and accompanied the Marketing team on a site visit to Russia to meet potential clients.  In addition to the obvious language competencies, she was integral in establishing and consolidating MHI’s relationships with their new partners in Moscow.  She received compliments from both parties, for her insightful translations and diplomacy, as well as her marketing skills in a highly technical field.   

In her nomination letter, Roberta Desserre, Managing Director of the HVDC Research  Centre, indicated that her “level of performance was extremely admirable for a technical person many years her senior and is phenomenal for someone of her age and experience.”  With Maryia’s assistance, MHI now has a high probability of realizing sales in a region where they had previously had limited exposure and success.

In addition to her outstanding contributions to her employer in her first work term, Maryia maintains a 4.3 GPA and is involved in a diversity of volunteer activities in the community.

For all of these reasons, The Asper School of Business is proud to award Maryia Kuzura with the Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2012, in recognition of her outstanding achievements at Manitoba Hydro International and within her community.

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2011 Co-op Student of the Year: 
Kim Fierback

Kim Fierback

We are very pleased to congratulate Kim Fierback on being selected as the Asper Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient for 2011. The support from Michael Raimondo, Kim's manager at Great West Life Assurance Company, for her winning nomination is a credit to Kim's accomplishments in the workplace and her ability to contribute as an outstanding team player.  In addition to Kim's significant contributions to the workplace, the Selection Committee was very impressed with her academic achievements, involvement in community initiatives and support and mentorship of fellow students in the co-op program.

Following are Kim's contributions to the workplace as described by Kim's manager and team:

Kim performed half of her co-op term (i.e. 2 months) in the Internal Audit department.  During her time in Internal Audit, she assisted staff on different audits by performing various audit tests.  She was also responsible for the completion of an entire audit file.  Her assignments gave Kim the opportunity to be exposed to a number of different lines of business as well as various types of audit testing. She did a good job of ensuring her work was well documented; asking questions for clarification; and being able to work fairly independently.  Kim performed half of her co-op in the Information Services Financial Management (ISFM) department. Kim worked on a number of high priority projects including process documentation and financial reporting packages which were reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer and Vice-Presidents of Great-West Life.

For one of her audits, Kim identified ways to change the audit sampling approach to make it in line with department policies.  For other testing, she was also able to identify some errors in files that impacted the results of the audit. Kim was tasked with documenting SAP and internal procedures on how to assemble reports that are reviewed at the CFO and Vice-President level. Prior to this, ISFM did not have any formal documentation on these processes. This made it very difficult for new hires to become productive quickly and also produced a large number of errors in reporting that needed to be caught in management reviews and quality assurance checks. With the process documentation Kim produced, two new (permanent) additions to the ISFM team became productive very quickly and errors were drastically reduced. This was an observation by Senior Analysts who have been working in ISFM reporting for over 10 years.

Along with achieving and maintaining a high level academic standing in her program and exceeding employer expectations in her co-op work term, Kim is a very active volunteer at the Asper School of Business. Kim was chosen to act as a mentor to new co-op students, and has served as a great ambassador for the Asper Co-operative Education Program.

Kim has demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, which has facilitated her transition into a leadership role among her peers at university, as well as in the workplace.  Kim has shown a rare level of dedication and responsibility in all her endeavors, and has a very bright future ahead.

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2010 Co-op Student of the Year:
Devan Graham

Devan GrahamThe recipient of the Asper Co-op Student of the Year 2010 is Devan Graham. Devan worked in the HR Department at Wellington West Holdings Inc. from January through August 2010. She was nominated by her manager - Brad Lutz, Director of Human Resources.

In describing Devan, Brad writes: "she greatly exceeded our expectations with the amount, quality and level of work she was able to complete. I have had exceptional co-op students work for me in the past, but Devan is simply the best of the best. She has been the best possible ambassador of the Asper Co-op program to our organization. Devan has been an outstanding addition to our team and she is an exceptional woman with an extremely bright future. We will be thrilled to have Devan start her full time career with Wellington West upon graduation."

Devan is an excellent Ambassador for the co-op program and the Asper School of Business, volunteering as a mentor to fellow students, answering questions, conducting mock interviews and helping the co-op team facilitate orientations to new students.   She has helped at information sessions to promote the Asper co-op program to prospective students.

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2009 Co-op Student of the Year:
Kelsey Noakes

Kelsey NoakesKelsey entered the Asper School in the fall of 2006, eager to be a part of everything offered at Asper. In her first year, she joined the new co-op program, was elected as the First Year Rep on the Commerce Students Association and applied to go on an international academic exchange to France. Never afraid to challenge herself, Kelsey secured her first co-op work term as a Marketing Analyst with the Birchwood Automotive Group. Amazingly, in her first co-op work term, Kelsey was responsible for all marketing activities within the dealership, managing a marketing budget of over $5000. Kelsey excelled in the role. Her performance that summer was rated as outstanding by her manager who stated "we would be very happy to have Kelsey be a part of our organization" for the long term.

For her 2nd term, Kelsey worked with the Director of HR at Birchwood  to re-design and implement their employee performance management system. She researched and developed training which was implemented throughout all 8 dealerships. Her performance again was outstanding and one of the managers Kelsey worked with was quoted as saying "We need 10 more Kelseys in this organization!"
In her final work with Team Systems - Birchwood's media support and IT division.  Kelsey spearheaded a number of innovative projects related to the development of Birchwood's social media presence and other internet-based initiatives, including dealership blogs and YouTube videos. All of these initiatives are aimed at moving Birchwood to a new level of customer communication and interaction.

Success comes through hard work but, sometimes hard work is not enough. When you ask high performing people what is the secret to their success, they often attribute it to strong mentors. The work environment provided to Kelsey during her time at Birchwood, and the support and guidance of her managers, has allowed her to develop into a dynamic, strategic business professional.

We've clearly seen that Kelsey is a strong performer in the workplace and an excellent ambassador for the co-op program. However, it is really in watching Kelsey in all her roles as a student, friend, colleague, social advocate and mentor that we begin to see the impact that Kelsey has had on the Asper community in her short time in the School. Never afraid to take the lead, to mentor and coach others, and to promote the School, Kelsey served as the VP - Logistics for the National Business School Conference in 2009, Co-Captained Asper's JDC West 2009 Business Competition team, was a member of the HR and Debate teams from 2007 through 2010 and the Marketing Director in 2008. This last year, JDC West raised over $10,000 for the United Way.

One of Kelsey's biggest, and bravest, initiatives was her participation in Asper's inaugural "5 Days for the Homeless" campaign last year. Kelsey was one of 4 extraordinary students who spent five days sleeping on the streets in March - securing food, blankets and shelter from whatever donations they could solicit or what they could find. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness and empathy for the plight of homeless people across Canada. The goal was to raise $5000 for RaY (Resource Assistance for Youth). They smashed that goal, raising over $13,000 for this important cause. Where most of us simply turn away at the sight of the homeless, Kelsey put aside her pride and vanity and explored for all of us what it is like to be hungry, alone and outside in the cold and the dark. The students' initiative was picked up by the media who covered the story for 5 days bringing their experiences directly to the breakfast tables and dinner tables of many of us.

Her courage has inspired other students and she is part of the organizing committee that will again challenge our perceptions and inspire a new group of students to advocate for change here and across the country. As a result of her leadership and active involvement, Kelsey has been the recipient of two prestigious leadership awards - the Associates 'Iggy' Award for Student Leadership and the CMA Professional Leadership Award.

Kelsey is a natural leader. Her compassion for others, her commitment to engaging 100% in everything she does - whether it's exceeding expectations in the workplace, contributing her leadership and mentorship to student activities or advocating on the part of those less fortunate, Kelsey brings focused energy and commitment to every endeavour.  The Asper School of Business is a richer community because of Kelsey, and I am extremely proud to be able to honour her accomplishments by recognizing her with the Asper School of Business Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2009. Please join me in congratulating Kelsey.

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2008 Co-op Student of the Year:
Kathryn Patrick

Kathryn PatrickKathryn Patrick is the first ever Asper Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient.

Kathryn enrolled in the Asper Co-op program in the Fall of 2006.  Already a strong student academically, she was eager to gain real-life experience in diverse settings in order to discover her strengths and solidify her career choices.  Kathryn participated in three separate recruitment sessions and has always been a top pick for employers.  She has made strategic choices in her work placements from small to large organization and in doing so has been exposed to diverse business practices and organizational structures - each one offering her a unique perspective as she develops as a business professional.

Her first work term was a Research and Development Coordinator at Frantic Films - a small Winnipeg based company with a world-wide reputation.  In that role she spearheaded an advertising campaign which appeared in an international visual effects magazine and designed a display booth for an international industry conference in Los Angeles.  Upon completion of her work term Kathryn was described by her supervisor "as by far and away the best co-op student I have ever worked with."

Kathryn's second work term, saw her take on the role of Product Marketing Intern at Roadtrips, an entrepreneurial company specializing in high end luxury sports travel.  Kathryn was involved in developing and designing a marketing and information package for Roadtrip's clients attending the 2008 Summer Olympics.  Lee Klassen, described Kathryn as an "extremely valuable member of the Roadtrips team - a fast learner, very intelligent, and capable of handling many responsibilities simultaneously."

Last term, Kathryn worked as a Project Manager Consultant at Rogers Communications, a large national organization.  Her mandate was to identify factors impacting employee retention and develop a comprehensive recruitment and retention program.  Kathryn traveled independently across the country, meeting with individuals from all levels within Rogers as well as with distribution partners and key stakeholders in order to collect data for her research.  She successfully identified contributing factors and created a unique development plan for each dealership to promote stronger team culture.

At the end of her work term, Kathryn presented the results of her research and project proposal in a 3 hour presentation attended by the Rogers national senior leadership team.

Liz Pham, Business Manager and Kathryn's supervisor stated...

"Kathryn made an outstanding contribution to Rogers.  Her research will be used in conjunction with a recruitment company Rogers will engage in 2009 to improve retention on a National level."

Kathryn is an inductee to the Beta Gamma Sigma society - an international honours society recognizing outstanding academic achievement in business schools and has served in as its Secretary.  Kathryn has also served as the Logistics Director and as the Co-Chair for the Manitoba International Marketing Competition.  She is a founding member of the Asper Students Co-operative Association and is currently a member of UMMA.

Kathryn is an outstanding ambassador for Co-op.  She has participated as a leader on Buddy Day - helping to orient newly admitted students to life at Asper; been a guest speaker promoting the Co-op program and the Asper School of Business to over 175 Winnipeg High School Counselors, and at recruitment events at high schools around the city.  She volunteers her time as a mentor and mock interviewer for new co-op students; and is the 'face of co-op' in Asper's marketing brochures and posters.

Kathryn has a passion for music and is an accomplished vocalist.  Last summer she was one of 50 finalists selected nationally to compete for the role of Maria Von Trapp in the CBC television production of, "How to Solve a Problem Like Maria?" created by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Kathryn was recently awarded an Honourary Mention for the National Co-operative Student of the Year Award by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education.  She competed for this honour alongside 35 other co-op students from well established programs across the country.

Kathryn is a remarkable young women and I am extremely pleased to be able to honour her accomplishments by recognizing her with the Asper School of Business Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2008.

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Learn About the Asper Co-op Program (Video)