Tara Sottile, a second-year student in the Durham College (DC) Journalism – Mass Media program, has been named a Work-integrated Learning (WIL) Student of the Year at both the provincial and national level.
On March 11, Education at Work Ontario (EWO) announced Sottile as their 2019 WIL Student of the Year. EWO awards the honour to students “who have showcased exceptional job accomplishment, extra-curricular involvement, academic achievement and a strong contribution to work-integrated learning.”
On March 16, Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) announced Sottile as the WIL Student of the Year in the category of Other Forms of WIL – College. She was one of only four students to be honoured by CEWIL Canada out of more than 40 competitive nominations.
Sottile was put forward by DC’s Experiential Learning team with the support of partner organization Students Offering Support (SOS). Among the highlights flagged by the college were her leadership skills, professional expertise, initiative and creativity, which she demonstrated in particular while participating in an education abroad opportunity in Guatemala, where she worked on a digital storytelling project with local youth.
“Tara has demonstrated the transformative influence that work-integrated learning can have on students,” said Amanda Brown, manager, Experiential Learning, with the college’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Through service learning experience, she has transformed from a passive-observer to an engaged learner and confident student journalist. She now takes advantage of every opportunity to try new experiences and expand her skills.”
Sottile was also commended for being a champion of WIL at DC, especially international service learning, through her advocacy for expanded WIL opportunities and mentorship of first-year students.
“Tara’s support of work-integrated learning is now contributing to the expansion of similar experiential-learning opportunities between SOS and DC in other areas of study,” said Jamie Arron, executive director of SOS.
In each of their announcements, EWO and CEWIL Canada highlighted Sottile’s passion for writing, broadcast and video production. In addition to her regular studies, she is a radio tech at the student-run campus radio station, Riot Radio, as well as a regular contributor to DC’s campus newspaper, The Chronicle.
Inspired by her WIL experiences gained through her academic program, Sottile is focused on pursuing a career in radio broadcasting after graduating.