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Spring 2024 graduate Linh Nguyen stands out for her contributions as a co-op student and advocate for women in STEM

The Concordia engineering student received an honourable mention from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada
May 15, 2024

A group of young women with one middle-aged woman in the centre of the group, all standing together and smiling for the camera Linh Nguyen (pictured here third from right, with Gina Cody in the centre): “This recognition means the world to me as it acknowledges the hard work I have put into supporting and uplifting my colleagues in STEM.”

Undergraduate engineering student Linh Nguyen has received an honourable mention from the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada Students of the Year Awards.

An international student who is graduating from Concordia this spring, Nguyen was recognized by CEWIL for her outstanding contributions as a co-op student and her commitment to empowering women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

CEWIL is a Canadian association with more than 1,600 members from 130 post-secondary institutions that represents 100,000+ co-op and work-integrated learning students.

“Receiving an honourable mention from CEWIL is genuinely humbling and motivating,” Nguyen says. “It is a reminder of the importance of staying dedicated to causes we believe in.”

Originally from Vietnam, Nguyen has been inspired throughout her time in the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science at Concordia, specifically by Cody’s contributions to a field in which women are dramatically underrepresented.

“Growing up in Vietnam, I faced my fair share of societal norms and expectations, including initial discouragement from people around me about pursuing engineering as a woman because it is ‘not suitable for a wife and mother in the future,’ or because it would make me more ‘manly,’” Nguyen shares.

“Figures like Gina Cody inspired me to challenge these stereotypes and push forward with my aspirations. I wanted to prove that your interests and career choices should not be limited by gender stereotypes, and that they have nothing to do with what gender you are, what colour your skin is or even simple things like the clothes you wear.”

‘Incredibly grateful’

In addition to studying industrial engineering, Nguyen has spent her time at Concordia balancing her academics with co-op internships, including her current placement at Pratt & Whitney Canada. She has also held leadership roles as co-president of Concordia’s Women in Engineering student society and vice-president of Pratt & Whitney’s intern committee.

“I have had the opportunity to lead initiatives such as the Success Masterclass workshop series, teaching women how to pitch and negotiate, and organizing conferences for high school students that welcomed more than 100 young girls to Concordia to learn about STEM,” Nguyen says.

“Additionally, during my internship at Pratt & Whitney, I was one of the founders of the intern committee that formed a support group — the first of its kind — to provide assistance and guidance to fellow interns. We represented more than 200 across Canada, providing everyone with a sense of connection and community.”

As she continues to break barriers in her academic work, internships and student leadership, Nguyen says she is grateful for the CEWIL acknowledgment and for the many other opportunities she has had throughout her studies at Concordia.

“This recognition truly means the world to me as it acknowledges the hard work I have put into supporting and uplifting my colleagues and other aspiring women in STEM,” Nguyen notes. “I am incredibly grateful to Concordia’s co-op program and to my mentor, Shahmila Emadian, who has shown me what real leadership looks like.”

As for her post-graduation plans, Nguyen says she will continue her support of women in engineering as a mentor to Concordia students and hopes to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives in her future workplace to empower the next generation of engineers.

“Just as Gina Cody has inspired Linh, I know that Linh will certainly inspire other women to follow in her footsteps,” says Cherine Zananiri, director of experiential learning and co-operative education at Concordia. “We congratulate Linh and are very proud of her many accomplishments; we can’t wait to see where her path will take her.”

Find out more about
Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute for Co-operative Education.


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