With great sadness, the department mourns the passing of Robert (Bob) Brustman, 51, who died unexpectedly on March 11 in Ann Arbor.
Bob worked as a marketing and communications specialist in CEE since May, 2016—one of several communications posts he’s held across the University during his career as a writer, editor and strategic communicator. He previously worked as a freelance writer and public information officer at Harvard University.
His unique position allowed him to work with a wide variety of CEE community members – faculty, staff, graduate students, alumni and retirees – as he promoted the department. He was independently responsible for showcasing CEE achievements through newsletters, websites, flyers, social media, videos and photography.
As noted by Kim Hayes, CEE department chair, “Bob’s positive impact on the department was immediately apparent, with his high quality work showing up in various venues from day one.”
His colleagues remember his work ethic, his kindness, and his thoughtful questions about the project at hand. He was the sort of person who asked for extra “Appreciation Pumpkins” to distribute to faculty members last fall during a “positive culture” drive.
“He was humble, kind and genuinely cared for others, especially his family. He appreciated others and did not hesitate to remind them,” said Patricia Brainard, department administrator. “He was very well-liked within CEE and will be missed immensely.”
Bob graduated from Irondale High School in Minnesota and earned a BA in English at the University of Minnesota and an MA in integrated marketing communications at Emerson College.
He was a devoted father, husband, and son. He loved to travel the world with his family, read, listen to loud rock music, watch obscure horror films, and walk his black Labrador, Scooby. Bob had a wonderfully twisted sense of humor that he has passed to his children, his obituary notes.
He is survived by his loving wife Susan Dynarski, a professor of economics, education and public policy at U-M, and his wonderful children Zachary (16) and Eleanor Brustman (13). He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Pamela and Brian Freeman of Oak Grove, Minnesota and his parents Edward and Susan Brustman of Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
A memorial service is being planned for later this spring.