Co-op student wins national award

March 10, 2005, vol. 32, no. 5
By Willow Johnson and John Grant

Document Tools

Print This Article

E-mail This Page

Font Size
S      M      L      XL

Related Stories

Jan Verspoor needs to make room in the recognition and awards section of his resume after receiving Canada's co-op student of the year award from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

The third year SFU science and environment co-op student was chosen from 23 other candidates across the country.

Despite winning SFU's 2004 Alumni Association outstanding student leadership award and SFU co-op's student of the year award in early February, Verspoor was still surprised to hear about his latest accolade.

The biology major maintains it was the co-operative education program that played the deciding role in his decision to attend SFU, a decision that has benefited his academic life and career aspirations.

With the confidence he gained during his first co-op placement as a member of a specialized research team with Environment Canada's Pacific Environment Science Centre, he set out to pursue a self-directed international work term.

This effort resulted in a trip to the Cayman Islands where he worked as a field assistant to a SFU PhD candidate, helping to collect data on health indicators of the southern stingray.

A vocal proponent of co-op, the self-proclaimed kid at heart acknowledges that the unique combination of academic and applied experience creates a competitive advantage when applying to graduate school or for future employment.

Described by his supervisors as outgoing, with a contagious enthusiasm for life and a worldly outlook beyond his years, Verspoor has devoted an impressive amount of time and energy to serving the SFU community and the community-at-large. Most notably, this past summer he found a unique way to combine his love of sports with humanitarian aims by establishing and leading international sport camps for underprivileged children in countries such as Bosnia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey.

Search SFU News Online