March 2021
Written by: Raina DeBrouwer, Co-op Coordinator, Co-operative Education

For over 40 years, Mount co-op students have contributed to the success of organizations in corporate, government and non-profit sectors across the country and internationally. The Mount Co-op Student of the Year Award was established in 1999 to recognize the achievements of co-op students. The selection criteria includes academic achievement, community involvement, contribution to the employer, and the impact co-op has had on the student’s personal and professional development.

Each year, many deserving students are nominated by esteemed co-op employers for this prestigious award. This year, the following three nominees were ultimately selected as the 2020 Mount Co-op Students of the Year for their respective academic programs.


Sarah Brining - BBA Co-op Student of the Year Headshot
Sarah Brining, BBA Mount Co-op Student of the Year (2020)

Sarah Brining – 2020 Mount Co-op Student of the Year – Business Administration
Nominated by Emera, Halifax, NS

Sarah Brining, nominated by employer Emera, has proved herself to be a standout co-op student. She credits the Mount’s co-op program with giving her the ability to “test drive” different career paths before graduating.

“Sarah contributed to the organization’s goals by providing accurate, easy to read information to stakeholders to ensure they are able to make business decisions based on financial performance. Her work was always accurate and she found better, more efficient ways of using our systems to pull data and provide accurate information. In addition to her main responsibilities, Sarah volunteered on our work co-op committee and was an active participant in our virtual career fair, promoting the business to potential future employees and other businesses across the province.” – Mike Johnson, Senior Corporate Accountant, Emera

Sarah’s extra-curricular involvement as Mount Mentor, Orientation Leader, member of the MSVU Business & Tourism Society, and MSVU Students’ Union volunteer – paired with her consistent Dean’s List standing – solidified her as the 2020 Business Administration Mount Co-op Student of the Year.


Raf Mikhael Peligro – 2020 Mount Co-op Student of the Year – Public Relations
Nominated by Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Halifax, NS

Raf Peligro - BPR Co-op student of the year Headshot
Raf Mikhael Peligro, BPR Mount Co-op Student of the Year (2020)

Raf Mikhael Peligro, 2020 Public Relations Mount Co-op Student of the Year, said that the co-op program allowed him to gain skills and knowledge in areas he didn’t know he enjoyed or excelled in. When it came to helping Downtown

Halifax Business Commission support their members through the COVID-19 pandemic, he applied these skills.


“Raf was able to jump right in and take over the planning, scheduling, posting and research on each of the social media platforms before and during the pandemic to support our members. He also created content for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission website and was instrumental in creating and maintaining the ‘What’s Open’ page during the first wave of the pandemic to help businesses that were open for take-out, curbside pick-up or online shopping. The adjustment to online would have been much more stressful and much less productive if it hadn’t been for our co-op student!” – Ivy Ho, Director of Communications and Allana MacDonald Mills, Director of Marketing, Downtown Halifax Business Commission

Raf’s involvement with the MSVU Students’ Union and volunteer efforts as MSVU Student Ambassador and Orientation Leader made him the ultimate candidate for 2020 Public Relations Mount Co-op Student of the Year.


Ji In Yoo- 2020 Mount Co-op Student of the Year – Tourism & Hospitality Management
Nominated by Fox Harb’r Golf Resort and Spa, Fox Harbour, NS

Ji In Yoo - BTHM Co-op student of the year Headshot
Ji In Yoo, BTHM Mount Co-op Student of the Year (2020)

Ji In Yoo has felt the Mount co-op program’s biggest impact has been her own personal development. Prior to co-op, she never imagined she would find herself interacting with hundreds of people daily. At Fox Harb’r Golf Resort and Spa, she proved she was up to the task.

“Ji In grew more and more confident with her role as her work term progressed. As she continued to tap into this confidence, her progress within our resort flourished. Ji In was always warm, welcoming, calm and respectful with team members, guests and members. She was a natural leader who took charge of situations, and was always the first to admit any faults. Ji In began fixing problems before they had the chance to escalate, and her hard work did not go unnoticed. As her direct supervisor, I have full confidence in her success in the hospitality industry. While I would be honoured to have her on my team again, I know she is destined to do wonderfully with anyone who is lucky enough to have her as their employee.” –  Georgia Toth, Guest Service Supervisor, Fox Harb’r Golf Resort and Spa

Ji In’s involvement with the Mount’s Learning Passport program, in addition to her volunteer work with the university’s Shinerama and Caritas Day initiatives, have made her a worthy candidate for the 2020 Tourism & Hospitality Management Mount Co-op Student of the Year.


Congratulations to Sarah, Raf, Ji In, and the other 15 co-op student nominees. Thank you for the immense value you bring to the Mount community and to businesses around the world.