Senior Kyle Jonasen said his co-​​op expe­ri­ences in Hawaii and China helped him realize the direc­tion he’d like to take his career in archi­tec­ture. For Chelsie Ouel­lette, co-​​op allowed her to work as part of a world-​​class com­mu­ni­ca­tions team in the White House’s Office of Media Affairs, while nursing stu­dent Ken­neth Wong’s co-​​op enabled him to work at a hos­pital in China helping treat poor chil­dren suf­fering from burns and other serious injuries.

I def­i­nitely changed while I was there,” Wong said of his co-​​op expe­ri­ence, which included learning the Man­darin lan­guage to com­mu­ni­cate with hos­pital staff. “I feel more con­fi­dent, and it really made me realize that nursing is what I want to do.”

These stu­dents were among the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity seniors hon­ored yes­terday at the 40th annual Coop­er­a­tive Edu­ca­tion Awards cer­e­mony. The event rec­og­nizes out­standing stu­dents who have excelled in Northeastern’s sig­na­ture pro­gram, which exem­pli­fies the University’s lead­er­ship in expe­ri­en­tial learning.

What comes through is the diver­sity of these student’s co-​​op expe­ri­ences,” said Fred Hoskins, senior director of employer rela­tions in Cen­tral Co-​​op Edu­ca­tion Ser­vices. “They are working in Boston, Seattle, Cam­bodia and India, and they each have taken advan­tage of this range of opportunities.”

The co-​​op pro­gram began in 1909 with just eight stu­dents working for four Boston employers. Today, more than 6,000 stu­dents a year gain expe­ri­ence in Boston, across the United States and in 69 coun­tries around the world.

The stu­dents at this year’s event were joined by North­eastern fac­ulty, staff and alumni, as well as by family and co-​​op employers. Three stu­dents were rec­og­nized with named awards and 13 earned Out­standing Co-​​op Edu­ca­tion Awards. Award win­ners reflected on their co-​​op expe­ri­ences through video inter­views, which were shown at the event.

Full List of Awards

Heather Porriello, majoring in crim­i­nology, crim­inal jus­tice and human ser­vices, received the Thomas E. McMahon Award, given to one senior who clearly dis­plays out­standing integrity and char­acter com­bined with a high degree of devo­tion serving the needs of others throughout his or her co-​​op experiences.

Kyle Jonasen, an archi­tec­ture major, received the Paul M. Pratt Award, which is pre­sented to one senior each year who demon­strates excep­tional pro­fes­sional and per­sonal growth as a result of his or her co-​​op experiences.

Ken­neth McGrady, a dual major in com­puter sci­ence and math­e­matics, received the William Jef­ferson Alcott, Jr. Award, which is pre­sented to one senior who uti­lizes his or her aca­d­emic training in a cre­ative way to make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to society, and who has demon­strated excep­tional achieve­ment in coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion. It also rec­og­nizes the student’s accom­plished goals beyond the require­ments of the Uni­ver­sity curriculum.

The fol­lowing seniors were rec­og­nized with Out­standing Co-​​op Edu­ca­tion Awards: Krupa Asher, Alex Brick, Sarah Brown, Stephanie Crisp, Andrew Der­aney, Evan Jost, Mar­shall McLean, Danielle Moore, Chelsie Ouel­lette, Riley Pruett, Nicholas Sammut, Ryan Whelan and Ken­neth Wong.

Out­standing Co-​​op Coor­di­nator Awards were also pre­sented to Nancy Tavares, assis­tant coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion coor­di­nator in crim­inal jus­tice, and Pamela Goodale, coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion fac­ulty coor­di­nator in Eng­lish and com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies.