2010 Recipient - John Brunet
Senior Technical Coordinator - Department of Earth Sciences
Video of presentation of The Western Award of Excellence to John Brunet
John Brunet, the senior technical co-ordinator in the Department of Earth Sciences, has provided technical and personal support to students and staff for more than three decades.
“His loyalty to the department, coupled with his unparalleled extensive knowledge of both our individual and collective needs, has been an invaluable resource,” says Earth Sciences associate professor Kristy Tiampo.
“Should any of us need or want something in support of our research or teaching, we go to John first.”
While Brunet’s work might appear to involve inanimate objects such as computers - his main roles include maintaining the computer and electronic equipment, designing and maintaining audio/visual facilities in teaching labs, and renovations and repairs to departmental rooms and hallway displays - his interaction with people sets him apart.
Brunet, who joined the former Geophysics Department in 1975, tends to lead by example. Sitting on several departmental committees and continually upgrading his skills through courses and seminars, he has even published and presented technical talks with researchers, which is rare for a staff member.
“One of the reasons for his success is that he would take a genuine interest in other peoples’ work and made every effort to help that person overcome their difficulties,” says Earth Sciences professor emeritus Robert Mereu. “That was John’s nature.”
Brunet has made his mark off-campus as a volunteer with the London Skating Club, London Cycling Club, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Science Student Council at Fanshawe College.
Postdoctoral fellow Yuzo Toya and a culturally diverse group of students
say Brunet has a way with making anyone - whether student, staff or faculty – feel as if they are important.
“John pulls everyone together and makes the university a better place to work and a better place for students, colleagues and scholars, to have a truly collegial and international experience at Western,” he says.
by Paul Mayne
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