This year, the college is excited to present the award to Dave Westbury and Dr. Susan Bens.
Dave Westbury has volunteered with the Huskie women’s hockey team for over 11 years in various roles. In his most recent role, Westbury holds the position of equipment manager.
“I was coaching minor hockey in Saskatoon and Steve Kook asked me to join the team as a video coach,” said Westbury. “A couple days later he asked me if I wanted to learn how to sharpen skates and look after the equipment which led me to meet Peter Herd and I quickly realized that being an equipment manager was what I was meant to be.”
Volunteering is said to be in our Saskatchewan roots and Dave exemplifies what it means to give back. The hours and days are long for Dave, but what inspires him to show up early and stay late, is the players.
“The players work so hard to maintain their grades and then put a tremendous amount of effort on the ice to make themselves better and the team better as we push for a National Championship,” said Westbury.
Dr. Susan Bens has held the position of Education Development Specialist in the Gwenna Moss Centre at the University of Saskatchewan for 11 years. As an Educational Development Specialist, Susan works with faculty who want to improve or create programs. Her additional interests include approaches for Indigenization of courses and curricula, active learning, course design, and educating students for academic integrity. Susan is a member of the Buffalo Circle – a USask grassroots initiative for allies who support reconciliation and Indigenous Peoples.
As an alumna of the college, Susan has stayed connected in a variety of ways since her convocation. Her first role at the University of Saskatchewan, post convocation, was in 1997 as the academic advisor in the College of Kinesiology for three years.
Over the years, she has been part of the KIN LIFE programming, planning retreats for Campus Rec, sessional teaching, speaking at the graduation banquet, various Huskie Athletics activities, facilitating curriculum retreats, and talking with people about their teaching.
“The College has always felt like “homebase” to me. It has been important to me to stay connected and involved here because, simply, it makes me feel good to do so! When I visit the PAC, I am guaranteed to run into someone I really enjoy seeing and to be able to share a story or a laugh,” said Dr. Bens.
With many new initiatives coming from the College of Kinesiology, Susan has always found ways in which she wants to be involved. Her contributions were spoken highly of by her colleagues to numerous initiatives such as; Dr. Leah Ferguson’s design of an important new required course on Indigenous Physical Activity and Wellness; to Dr. Jon Farthing’s development of new approaches for components of the graduate program and to Dr. Kent Kowalski’s support to all the instructors for the rapid shift of an entire curriculum to remote delivery this year.
“It has been a privilege to work with committed educators and leaders in this College who truly care about Kinesiology students’ learning and about all University of Saskatchewan students’ experiences and wellbeing,” said Dr. Bens.
The College of Kinesiology is proud to award the Friend of the College to both of these individuals who continue to be strong ambassadors and contributors to the success of the college.