Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
March 17, 1999
U of G student receives top co-op education award
The University of Guelph will mark National Co-op Week March 22 to 29 by honouring student Tammy Lee, who was recently named Canadian Co-op Student of the Year by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) and CIBC.
Lee, a psychology major in her last semester, was chosen from 31 nominees from colleges and universities nationwide. Nominees must have outstanding achievements and contributions in all aspects of student life: academics, work terms, and extracurricular and community involvement. Lee is a U of G peer helper and member of the Co-operative Education Student Task Force. She completed work terms at L'Arche, a home for disabled adults, the Peel Health Department as a volunteer programs assistant and Huron Feathers Day Camp in Sauble Beach as the special- needs co-ordinator.
Lee was selected for the annual award by the Canadian Co-op Student of the Year selection committee. She was nominated by one of her employers and Tricia Bertram Gallant, U of G co-op coordinator. The award is given out annually by CAFCE and CIBC. Deborah MacIntosh, CAFCE president and director of career education and placement centre at the University College of Cape Breton in Sydney, Nova Scotia, called Lee "an ambassador of co-op education." "She exemplifies the very positive role co-operative education plays in the professional and personal development of Canadian post-secondary students."
Bertram Gallant added: "Tammy epitomizes the ideal co-op student -- she is up for adventure, eager to learn, professional, positive and an intelligent, hard worker. I nominated her not only for that, but for her patience and her caring for all the co-op students she has helped." U of G has offered co-op programs for 17 years and has about 1,000 co-op students. There are more than 60,000 students in co-op programs in Ontario.
Lee credits co-op education with helping her broaden her education and experiences. For example, at L'Arche, she lived with her "clients" for eight months. Their disabilities included Down's Syndrome, autism and schizophrenia. Lee helped them with tasks ranging from cooking to balancing their cheque books. "They motivated me to go into occupational therapy. I loved helping them set goals for themselves."
Her clients took a liking to her as well, dubbing her "the rat lady" because she had a pet rat. "I go back and visit them often," she said. "They still call me ‘the rat lady."
Contact: Tammy Lee, (519) 821-5247. For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338