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WACE 2023 Awards Recipients

WACE is delighted to announce the recipients of our WACE 2023 Awards were granted at the WACE World Conference Gala on June 29th, 2023 in Waterloo, Canada. Congratulations to our recipients and thank you to all those who submitted nominations. 


Recipient: Dr Nancy Johnston

Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University, Canada; President of NJ Consulting.


Recipient: Dr Judene Pretti

Director, Business Services, University of Waterloo, Canada


Recipients:  Robert Douglas and Brian Train

Organisation: Strategic Policy and Initiatives Branch, BC Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

WACE 2023 Conference Best Paper Award

Title of the paper: Neuro-typical inclusion through Work-integrated Learning: How to manage neuro-typical individuals through WIL for an inclusive future of work?

Author: Antoine Pennaforte

Conservatoire National des Arts et M├ętiers – CNAM

Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire en Sciences de l’Action – LIRSA


WACE Outstanding Professional Contribution Award

In recognition of outstanding and significant contributions to cooperative and work-integrated education (CWIE).


The recipient will have:

  • made a significant contribution to the advancement of CWIE, nationally and internationally
  • evidence of active involvement in related associations or internationally

The award is in memory of Donald MacLaren Jr., the former Public Affairs Manager of Air Canada, who was an avid supporter of closer working relationships between all cooperative education institutions throughout the world.

Since the inception of this prestigious WACE Award in 1983, the following individuals have been honored:

  • 1983 Malcom Brewer, UK
  • 1985 Robert Vozzella, USA
  • 1987 Robert Laslett, Australia
  • 1989 Patricia Rowe, Canada
  • 1991 Thomas Lloyd Inglis, Scotland
  • 1993 James Wilson, USA
  • 1995 Ron Schulz, UK
  • 1997 Gerald Murphy, Australia
  • 1999 Rick Reeve, Canada
  • 2001 Louis Engelbrecht, South Africa
  • 2003 Richard Coll, New Zealand
  • 2005 Christopher Pratt, USA
  • 2007 Neil Ward, UK
  • 2009 Olof Blomqvist, Sweden
  • 2011 Ian Goulter, Australia
  • 2013 Wichit Srisa-an, Thailand
  • 2015 Dr. Karsten Zegwaard, New Zealand
  • 2017 Dr. Norah McRae, Canada
  • 2019 Professor Gayle Elliott, United States
  • 2023 Dr. Judene Pretti, Canada

WACE Leadership and Innovation Award

In recognition of a significant and sustained contribution to executive leadership during which innovative strides were undertaken to produce transformational results.


The recipient will have:

    • been innovative in the leadership of CWIE within an academic institution
    • significant and sustained strategic contributions to advancing research and/or practice of CWIE
    • been regarded as an effective leader and advocate for CWIE within the institution and within the global community.

    This award is in memory of Dr. Constantine “Taki” Papadakis. Taki, who was highly respected, internationally, as a passionate leader and advocate for high quality CWIE. Taki was Chair of the National Commission for Cooperative Education (which has recently joined WACE) for five years and served as a trustee for 13 years. During his tenure as trustee, he pioneered many innovative initiatives.

    Since the inception of this prestigious WACE Award in 2011, the following individuals have been honored:

    • 2011 C.R. “Chuck” Pennoni, Pennoni Associates
    • 2013 William Howard, CDM Smith
    • 2015 Ms. Judie Kay, RMIT University (Australia)
    • 2017 Professor Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, Universiti Utara Malaysia (Malaysia)
    • 2019 Dr. Paul J. Stonely WACE Advisor to the President & CEO (Ret.)
    • 2023 Dr. Nancy Johnston, Simon Fraser University, and NJ Consulting.

    WACE Employer/Partner Contribution Award

    In recognition of outstanding and sustained contributions as an employer or partner organisation to the practice of CWIE.


    Significant contribution to international CWIE will be given priority in the selection of the recipient for this award. The recipient will have:
        • been innovative in implementing and managing CWIE within their organisation
        • been active in promoting the concept of CWIE in their region,  country, and/or internationally.

        This award acknowledges the contribution of Dr. John A. Curry for his outstanding leadership of WACE and his lifetime advocacy on behalf of work integrated learning.

        Since the inception of this prestigious WACE Award in 1995, the following individuals have been honored:

        • 1995 Robert C. Marini, CDM
        • 1997 Mark Kilian, Lucent Technologies
        • 1999 A.A. Nasution, P T Telekomunikasi
        • 2001 Kurt W. Liedtke, Robert Bosche Corporation and Allan Rothlind, Saab Automotive AB
        • 2003 John Schwenker, GE Aircraft Engines Corporation
        • 2005 Andrew Scott, Tetley Group
        • 2007 Adrian Jefferies, BP Castro
        • 2009 Jim Watson, Scottish Enterprise
        • 2011 William Finke, LEONI Wiring Systems Inc.
        • 2015 Dr. Sampan Silapanad, Western Digital (Thailand)
        • 2017 Mr. Supant Mongkolsuthree, Chairman, Synnex (Thailand) PCL & V.P., T.K.S. Technologies PCL Thailand
        • 2019 Cincinnati Insurance Companies United States
        • 2023 Robert Douglas and Brian Train, Strategic Policy and Initiatives Branch, BC Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills
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