June Lowe, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1978

General Engineering

June Lowe is the first winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award who is a member of staff rather than of the faculty. She joined the University of Waterloo in July 1970 as graphics lab coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering after several years' experience as a researcher with the Government of Canada, and as a high-school teacher. As lab coordinator, June is responsible for the operation of the engineering graphics lab where many courses are taught in the first year of engineering. That might not seem like much until one finds out what June actually does. In the words of the associate dean of engineering: “She is the senior demonstrator for four disparate courses ranging from graphics to mathematics. In each case she is thoroughly conversant with the subject material to the extent (that) she steps in and gives lectures in any of the subjects in the case of illness or absence of the professor. Also, she gives remedial lectures in all subjects to groups of students who are in difficulty.” “She organizes and supervises two demonstrators and up to twelve teaching assistants per term. This part of her work not only consists of arranging schedules, setting test dates, supervising marking, etc., but also [includes] conducting pre-term instructional classes for teaching assistants.” “She effectively manages the physical aspects of the first year laboratory. She gets a maximum of instruction out of a minimum of equipment.” Yet with all these responsibilities, it is what June does for individual students that is most important. Dean Soulis again: “She is very capable in giving individual help and instruction. Amazingly, she knows the names and situations of all 600 first year students.” June Lowe seems to be able to keep track of the students' progress and their problems and to help individual students whenever they seek her assistance. June Lowe makes an invaluable contribution to the transition from high-school to university of first year engineering students - and the students are grateful. Two hundred engineering students signed the nomination of June Lowe for the Distinguished Teacher Award. Many were in first year, but many more were in second, third and fourth year. Their tribute to June is summed up in one simple sentence: “Many graduates of engineering from the University of Waterloo owe their eventual success to June Lowe's efforts in teaching them during their first year.”