CEWIL Canada Student of the Year 2020: CiQuinya Morton

CiQuinya Morton

“I strive to build pathways for other students of colour. I have done this by leading the change.”

– CiQuinya Morton, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Co-op Specialist in Accounting Candidate 2021, University of Toronto Scarborough
 
 
Hailing from Saint Kitts and Nevis, CiQuinya has not only achieved highest honours for her performance in U of T's Management Co-op program and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), but she has also devoted herself to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and throughout our community. With a sterling track record of mentorship and volunteerism, CiQuinya seeks out and dismantles systemic barriers to engagement across cultures, institutions, and geographies, and will undoubtedly continue to lead change for the better as she flourishes in her professional endeavours.
 
A credit to her numerous accomplishments in the workplace, stellar academic achievements, and ardent support of co-operative education, CiQuinya was named by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada as the national award laureate in the University Co-op category among 27 outstanding students nominated by post-secondary institutions across Canada.
 
“CiQuinya has emerged as one of the strongest student ambassadors at the University of Toronto. She is a global citizen and, by all accounts, an exemplar of integrity and social innovation who inspires inclusive excellence in the lives of others. We couldn't be happier for CiQuinya to earn this prestigious award,” said Prof. April Franco, Chair of Management.
 

WIL (Co-op) Experience

Play videoThrough the Management Co-op program, CiQuinya was recruited into highly competitive finance and accounting roles in the public sector (Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat; Internal Audit Co-op) as well as multinational enterprise (PepsiCo; Finance Intern – Revenue Management), where supervisors agreed that her performance exceeded expectations in all areas.
 
Notably, CiQuinya entered PepsiCo as the organization was navigating the negative outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic on its global operations. Working within the foodservice finance team—the business unit most impacted due to COVID-19—CiQuinya implemented innovative and agile methods to improve operational efficiency, such as streamlining the customer forecasting process to six hours from 18 on average while also improving the overall accuracy of segment analysis. “[CiQuinya’s contribution] allowed our leadership team to speak better on what is driving the results that ultimately improved our forecasting process,” said Prateek Bose, Foodservice Finance Manager at PepsiCo. “She also had an impact through her leadership and commitment to driving a more inclusive culture at PepsiCo.”
 
CiQuinya with her co-op colleagues at PepsiCo CanadaCiQuinya’s learning and success in the workplace reach far beyond profitability metrics. At PepsiCo, she was invited to join Mosaic: an employee engagement group led by the recruitment and retention team with the goal of advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion across the organization globally. Drawing upon her own experience as a candidate, mentor, and motivational leader, CiQuinya presented director-level colleagues with best practices and recommendations to recruit diverse students, enhance communication, and enrich a workplace culture that empowers and retains top talent from diverse backgrounds.
 
As CiQuinya puts it, “I am happy to say that some of my ideas are being implemented into PepsiCo’s strategic plan to increase diversity. The opportunity to combine my passions and work into one unimaginable learning experience is only possible because of co-op and WIL.”
 

Academic Achievement

In 2021, CiQuinya will complete her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Co-op Specialist in Accounting degree from U of T Scarborough Management: one of the most competitive undergraduate programs for admission to the University of Toronto across all disciplines. She is among the few students who achieved a CGPA of 4.0 and 3.5, respectively, over the past two terms of study in a rigorous academic program.
 

Community Impact & Leadership

CiQuinya is deeply committed to eliminating systemic barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout our community. A change agent whose philosophy of life is reflected in U of T Scarborough’s strategic vision, CiQuinya currently serves as co-president of the Black Students in Business (BSB) Association (pictured: CiQuinya with the BSB executive team), where she leads programs and initiatives to connect students of colour with professional networks and interdisciplinary pathways for co-op, WIL, and full-time employment.
 
Black Students in Business executive teamCiQuinya’s team also hosts the annual LEAD conference for Black secondary-school students across the Greater Toronto Area to connect with U of T Scarborough undergraduates, alumni, and faculty and encourage future students to consider pursuing education in fields that they might be interested in but do not necessarily see themselves in due to lack of representation (in 2019, more than 90 high school students attended the LEAD conference). As past co-president of the U of T Scarborough Co-op Students’ Association, CiQuinya further advocated for equity, diversity, and inclusion on behalf of Management Co-op students. 
 
Moreover, CiQuinya serves as a key partner in the University’s Imani Academic Mentorship Program, where she volunteers her time, knowledge, and compassion to support Black elementary and high school students across Scarborough in their academic studies (particularly mathematics) and personal planning for the future.
 

Next Steps

After graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Co-op Specialist in Accounting degree from U of T Scarborough Management, CiQuinya says that she intends to pursue her CPA and start her own business. Keep going, CiQuinya!