Judy Brown (2007)

brownAffiliation at the time of the award: University of British Columbia, English.

Citation: Every September, Professor Judy Brown advises incoming Arts students at the University of British Columbia to “aim to leave as someone different—stronger, more confident, more independent-minded.” She also helps them to fulfill that goal.

Judy fell in love with teaching thirty years ago in graduate school and, despite the “everests of essays” she encounters as a teacher of literature and writing, the work still exhilarates her.

When current and former colleagues describe Judy as “passionate” and “indefatigable,” they recall—among other things—the honours she has already won at UBC, her oversubscribed English Department classes in Canadian and Children’s Literature, her long association with the University Writing Centre and Arts Co-Op education, her workshops on Academic Integrity, her formal and informal mentorship of colleagues and graduate students. Judy has also co-authored writing handbooks used throughout Canada.

Judy’s students recognize the academic rigour of her classes and the passion and compassion of a dedicated teacher: “There is no corner,” says one, “where mediocrity can lurk.” Judy’s respectful and meticulous evaluation of student work involves countless hours of commenting on papers and seminars. Regardless of the mark, “the student will know that I have taken the argument seriously and be encouraged, I hope, to aim higher with each new effort.”

Aiming high herself, Judy demonstrates the “positive restlessness” of a teacher described by one former student (now colleague) as “brimming with insights, gentleness, quiet authority, and passion for excellence.”

“Teach is a wonderful verb,” says Judy, “sharp-sounding and monosyllabic, it has a ring of integrity about it. I teach and proudly so.”

Obituary: Our colleague and friend Professor Judy Brown, Associate Head, and Senior Instructor, MA (University of British Columbia), died on 1 September 2013. She was a woman of outstanding achievements, fierce integrity, and great modesty — Read More