Each year, a top graduating student from the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University is awarded the Bergeron Medal by the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) program. The award goes to a student who demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurial achievement.
The 2021 recipient of the Bergeron Medal is electrical engineering graduating student Olga Klushina, who has been involved in entrepreneurial activities throughout her time at Lassonde. Klushina completed the BEST Certificate and acted as a mentor to undergraduate and high school students at various BEST experiential activities. These activities included UNHack, the BEST Startup Experience and the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. She also led various extracurricular activities, including the Lassonde Engineering Society and the York Engineering Competition.
“The BEST program taught me how to see complex problems not only as an engineer, but from many other lenses such as business and law,” said Klushina. “BEST is not just a program, it’s a community with like-minded people – you can create a network there. In fact, I met my future employer at one of the BEST events.”
In 2018, Klushina participated in the international Entrepreneurship Course (York-Technion) for three weeks in Israel, where her team won first place at the final pitch day to potential investors – a tough audience. In 2020, she represented Lassonde and York University at the Global Engineering and Commerce Competition (ENGCOMM), winning first place.
Klushina also took part in Lassonde’s co-op program, working for KPM Power, a Canadian company specializing in customized lithium-ion battery solutions, which inspired her to apply lithium-ion battery technology to power her team’s capstone project, a more environmentally friendly golf cart, which won the BEST Technology Impact Award.
BEST is a unique interdisciplinary program offering in-class and cocurricular experiential opportunities to help develop students’ entrepreneurial mindsets and encourage Canada’s next generation of technology entrepreneurs.