Speaking openly about mental health in the classroom is one of the reasons David Brush was recognized as fall 2018's Waterloo Engineering Society (EngSoc) Friend of the Society award recipient.
The civil and environmental engineering lecturer was the first student-voted winner of the award since it was formally approved this past summer.
Brush, also his department’s associate chair of undergraduate studies, is known for finding ways of eliminating unnecessary stress for students and helping them feel represented and empowered.
“He cares and listens to the concerns of his students and tries to better himself and his department,” noted a student in an article about Brush’s award that appeared in the Iron Warrior.
Thomas Dedinsky, the VP academic of EngSoc 'A', says the award was launched earlier this year in response to the sudden death of a mechatronics engineering student.
“Some of the Tron (mechatronics engineering) faculty and staff were really awesome in supporting the students during a time of strained mental well-being,” he said. “So the Tron Class of ‘19 decided to create an award to honour supportive faculty/staff members through EngSoc.”
Now part of EngSoc’s bylaws, the award is voted on once a term.
“We hope to bring more attention to student mental health as it is an important aspect of being a great faculty/staff member that isn't often recognized,” says Dedinsky.
Prior to being formalized, the award was received by David Bell, an electrical and computer engineering lab instructor; Bill Owen, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor and the associate director, first year; and Gordon Stubley, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor and the former associate dean, teaching.