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Co-op Student of the Year (Posted On: Thursday, March 24, 2011)

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Sven Hansen, a student in Georgian College’s Business Administration – Marketing program, has been named 2010 Co-op Student of the Year by the Canadian Association of Co-operative Education (CAFCE). He is also Georgian College’s Co-op Student of the Year.

Hansen, winner of the college student category,

shares the national honour with university student Melissa Bailey of the University of Manitoba.

Hansen returned to school in 2009 as a mature student. Although he could have applied for prior learning assessment for his co-op work terms, Hansen recognized the valuable opportunity available through his program and was determined to make the most of co-operative education.
After being selected for a co-operative education posting as Student Activities Assistant with Georgian’s International Education and Training department, he was told “this job is what you make it.” Taking that advice, he created a world of meaningful experiences that allowed international students to learn about real life in Canada.
“Instead of the standard Niagara Falls and CN Tower trips, Sven had our students at hockey games, skiing and snowboarding, the Toronto Auto Show, the King Tut exhibition, celebrated Chinese New Year and Diwali and created personal connections with all our students,” said Lindsay Byers, who helped nominated him for the award.
Another nominator, Christine Munro, praised him for his “strong sense of commitment and dedication … he often went beyond his job responsibilities.”

Hansen said his co-op work term helped him “gain vast amounts of experience dealing with diversity and cultural differences…these skills will prove to be a priceless asset throughout my career.”  Without co-op, he said, his portfolio of related work experience would have been limited, and the skills he has now developed would have been “unimaginable." 

“Co-op education was one of the best choices I have ever made in my life,” he said.

Hansen also volunteered to create a virtual tour of the college for the Georgian website, after learning from students that they were anxious to learn more about Georgian before leaving their home countries

to attend college in Canada. In total, he completed two co-op terms with the International department. Hansen has now been hired on contract in an administrative role in the department.
In addition to receiving a certificate and plaque from CAFCE recognizing their achievement, Hansen and Bailey each receive the $500 Emery-Dufault Award along with a $500 CAFCE Award. The award recognizes contributions of two founding members of co-operative education in Canada, Dr. Charles Leslie (Les) Emery and Professor George Joseph Dufault.

Each year CAFCE recognizes outstanding co-op student achievement from both the college and university level. Co-op offices across Canada will be celebrating this and other co-op initiatives during National Co-operative Education Week, March 21 to 25, 2011.


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