ULethbridge alumna and former Dhillon School of Business Co-op Coordinator, Doreen Kooy (BEd '88) had a passion for helping others and gave her all to help students live to their full potential. Though she is no longer with us, her love of education and student success lives on through the Doreen Kooy Memorial Prize for Co-op Student Excellence, established by the Dhillon School of Business and supported by donations on behalf of Doreen. Each year, one deserving Dhillon student completing their degree, who demonstrates exceptional initiative and accomplishment in their co-op work term, will receive a $500 prize in Doreen's name.

 The 2023/24 recipient is Dhillon School of Business, accounting major, Mike Sears. Mike began his co-op journey with Pembina Pipeline Corporation in January 2022. What started out as an eight-month contract with the Calgary based company quickly doubled due to his exceptional performance at work. Co-op Coordinator and Applied Studies Instructor, Erin Kennett says Mike's dedication and exceptional performance in the niche field of U.S. income tax set him apart as a remarkable asset. “What truly distinguishes Mike is not only his technical proficiency but also his exemplary engagement with peers in the co-op program and his employer,” says Erin. “His enthusiasm, collaborative spirit and proactive approach to connecting with others made him one of the most engaged students in our Co-op program.”

Doreen's sister, Julie Klok says Mike is a wonderful recipient for the prize. "Mike’s qualities are so resonate with what Doreen valued, especially in working to connect well with others," says Julie. "His attributes are necessary in our world today."

Humbled by the acknowledgement, Mike says he was surprised by his nomination. “I don't know if I was any better than any of the other students in the co-op program in my conduct,” says Mike, “but evidently, I made a good impression.”

While he never had the opportunity to meet Doreen, Mike says he's honored to receive this prize in her name and says she is someone he would have liked to have met in person. “She seemed like a very inspiring person; she didn't let anything get her down and she focused on helping others to do the same,” says Mike. “The university is all the poorer for her absence."

To learn more about the Doreen Kooy Memorial Prize and numerous other scholarships and awards available through Dhillon and ULethbridge, click here.