Day in the Life: Brad Buie

- Melanie Groves

Buie and UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers at the 2016 Craigdarroch Research Awards ceremony. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Brad Buie considers himself a lucky man. As the Awards Facilitator for the Office of the Vice-President Research and secretary of the Alumni Association board, his life revolves around the university, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Being a part of the alumni board is an honour and privilege because I’m representing alumni,” he notes. “Our mission is to engage alumni with the university, to keep and grow that connection.” Buie says that addressing graduating students at Convocation is one of his favourite duties. “The connection I make is that every student is a future alum, and it’s really an honour to be able to meet and congratulate them at Convocation.”

During Alumni Week, from Feb. 6-12, Buie will take in as many events as he can, and encourages other alumni to join him. “I’m looking forward to celebrating with my fellow alumni working on campus at the kick-off on Feb. 6 (11:30 a.m., University Centre). He also singles out Distinguished Alumni Awards night as one of his favourite annual events. “The idea that UVic recognizes our alumni and the amazing contributions they’re making in the world is pretty meaningful,” he says.

Buie’s work as awards facilitator for the Office of the VP Research also allows him to contribute to the recognition of UVic community members. “I coordinate and craft nominations for faculty for national and international awards, mainly research awards,” he says.

Victoria-born Buie joined UVic as a writing coach for the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business in 2008 before moving into an international student advisor role a couple of years later. Since becoming Awards Facilitator in 2012, he has worked on nominations for a wide variety of awards, including the Royal Society of Canada, 3M and Order of Canada, plus national student fellowships. “I enjoy working with the nominees and their colleagues. It’s never the same team twice. There’s so much talent—these researchers are at the height of their fields,” he says. “I really like it when we are recognizing people who fly a bit below the radar—and for the university to be recognizing our own people is really important.”

A typical day at the office sees Buie preparing nomination statements or letters, conducting research and communicating with award nominators, referees and candidates. “That takes me to all different corners of campus to talk to people,” he says. He is also the secretary of UVic’s Craigdarroch Research Awards, works with the Learning and Teaching Centre to coordinate workshops for the student 3M fellowship applicants, and assists the Office of the University Secretary on nominations for honorary degree recipients. “I probably enjoy most the teaching and student awards. With the 3M awards, you work very closely with the nominees and the teamwork in the writing is fun and collaborative,” Buie explains.

“As a UVic English major and someone who loves literature and writing, I enjoy the creative and engaging aspect of telling the story,” he says. “Good teaching is also very important to me, especially as an alumnus.”

As busy as Buie is with his work and the alumni board, since 2016 he has also found time to hone his own teaching skills as the instructor of a Business English and Communications course for exchange students in the Gustavson School. “I’m lucky to be able to do that and I love working with my students, and seeing their hope and optimism,” he says. He also contributes articles to the Torch alumni magazine, volunteers with the UVic Speakers Bureau and is the captain of the UVic team for the World Partnership Walk, which raises funds to alleviate global poverty, particularly in Africa and Asia.

In his personal time, Buie is a runner, often spotted out on the chip trails at lunchtime with colleagues. “I’m training for the Vancouver Marathon in May and hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” he says. “We have to remind ourselves how great a place this is to work. I’m kind of an idealist and I’m inspired by good leadership and audacious goals. I’m always thinking about how to create a culture of celebration and appreciation in the midst of our busy lives.“

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Keywords: Day in the Life, alumni, staff

People: Brad Buie


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