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The best of the best in co-op

For Danielle McDonough, co-op meant experiencing different cities and cultures as she discovered where to take her career in architecture and design. Josh Trautwein developed a nonprofit organization that enabled urban youths to get involved in soccer, while Alison Coll started a support group for patients with diabetes in Nicaragua.

These seniors and many others offered glimpses into their unique co-op experiences at Northeastern’s annual Cooperative Education Awards event on April 21.

Co-op is the cornerstone of Northeastern’s experiential learning model, taking students across the globe to gain real-world experience in their respective fields of study. This year marks the 100th anniversary of cooperative education at Northeastern, and the 31st year of the university’s awards for excellence in co-op.

The recipients are nominated from Northeastern’s six undergraduate colleges by co-op faculty coordinators. A committee made up of one member from each college makes the final selections.

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 12 earned Outstanding Co-op Education Awards, and the winners shared their experiences through video interviews.

“Physical therapy is a very hands-on profession,” said Maggie Goldberg, who worked at a hospital and rehabilitation center in Nepal. “While lecture and labs are really helpful, I don’t think you really understand what you’re working with until you have a patient.”

Finance major Jordan Hilliard, who worked on Wall Street and in Boston, said that co-op “taught me how to work under pressure, how to meet deadlines, how to interact across other teams. I feel a lot more prepared to enter the real world.”

Also honored was Dr. Roy L. Wooldridge, a former dean of cooperative education and a 1945 graduate of the College of Engineering, who was instrumental in developing the co-op program from 1949 until 1989.

Full List of Awards

Alison Coll, a health science major in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, won the Thomas E. McMahon Award, given to the student who clearly displays outstanding integrity and character combined with a high degree of devotion and commitment to serving the needs of others throughout his or her co-op experiences.

Josh Trautwein, a sociology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, won the Paul M. Pratt Award, conferred on the student who best demonstrates exceptional personal and professional growth as a result of his or her co-op experiences.

Robert Uvanović, an international affairs major in the College of Arts and Sciences, won the William Jefferson Alcott, Jr. Award, given to the student who best utilizes his or her academic training in a creative way to make a positive contribution to society; who demonstrates exceptional achievement in cooperative education; and who accomplishes goals beyond the requirements of the university curriculum.

The following seniors were recognized with Outstanding Co-Op Education Awards: Laura Carey, Channing Conger, Megan Ekberg, Kareem Ghobrial, Maggie Goldberg, Jennifer Hardy, Jordan Hilliard, Kathryn Jerdee, Danielle McDonough, Jessica Nicholas, Christa Rocco, and Caitlyn Shabshelowitz.

Lisa Worsh in the College of Arts and Sciences was honored with the Outstanding Co-op Coordinator Award, which was created to recognize excellence for a coordinator’s contribution to the success and growth of the co-op program.

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