Professor wins national respiratory therapy award

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: PROVIDED BY JULIE BROWN
Julie Brown, professor and co-ordinator of the respiratory therapy program in the Fanshawe School of Health Sciences, has been awarded the 2019 Robert Merry Award for Excellence in Education by the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT).

Julie Brown, professor and co-ordinator of Fanshawe’s respiratory therapy program in the School of Health Sciences, is a strong leader, an excellent teacher and displays passion for her work both in and out of the school.

“I love the respiratory therapy profession and so I’m always excited to share it with our students,” Brown said.

As such, she has deservedly been awarded the 2019 Robert Merry Award for Excellence in Education by the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT).

According to a Fanshawe corporate communications press release, the award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to education or has influenced others to reach higher levels of achievement in education in the field.

Brown graduated from Fanshawe’s respiratory therapy program in 1999 and has been teaching at the school since 2001.

In addition to teaching, she has been working at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) – University Hospital for 20 years.

According to the press release, CSRT recognized Brown as an innovative educator, a respected collaborator and a generous volunteer in the profession of respiratory therapy, both locally and nationally.

When asked about her volunteer work, Brown explained that she finds it important to volunteer in order to help the profession grow, as it is still relatively small.

“I started with the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) and spent seven years on the board of directors, including a term as president,” Brown said.

In other national volunteer experience, Brown has served on numerous committees with the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. She served 13 years on the board of directors for the national exam with the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care, also spending seven of those years serving as the president/chair.

Locally, she enjoys volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House “Dinner at our House” group. Here, a number of individuals from Fanshawe take part and cook dinner for the families staying at the house in London.

Brown said she finds her career in Respiratory Therapy to be quite humbling.

“It puts your life in perspective when you see what some people are going through,” Brown added.

Brown also said she shares stories of her work experiences in the classroom to spark meaningful discussions and help students gain insight into the profession.

Brown said her favourite part about teaching at Fanshawe is watching her students progress through the program.

“It is so rewarding to see the students graduate, get jobs, keep in touch and possibly even come back to teach with us in our labs or courses,” Brown said.

Brown also said her coworkers make her work at the school enjoyable.

“The other great component is that I work with a fantastic team in the RT program, but also in the Health Sciences school and that makes coming to work everyday fun,” Brown said.

Brown will be presented with the award during the CSRT Annual Education Conference in Niagara Falls in May.

“Thank you to my colleagues and students who nominated me. It really means the world to me and I can’t wait to celebrate in May when I receive the award,” Brown said.