I was deeply troubled by news of the suicide of UW-Madison research student John Brady. I mourn for Brady's family and friends who will never see him again.
John Brady faced a stressful work environment under an engineering professor before taking his own life.
Professor Akbar Sayeed created an untenable work environment at UW-Madison, according to graduate students, and it is tragic that an important life has been lost. Many student researchers were being paid part-time, yet faithfully working 60 to 70 hours per week in a workplace filled with degrading taunts and hostility, according to a university report. Brady persevered until he could take it no longer.
It is an embarrassment that our own university failed to alert the National Science Foundation to the evidence supporting the toxicity of Sayeed’s lab environment. The NSF may have severed ties with the professor, but UW-Madison hasn't.
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I just hope "outing" professor Sayeed’s treatment of those in his employ will help to prevent any such behavior in the future.
Finally, if you or someone you know seems depressed or has expressed thoughts of doing harm, please know help is out there waiting for you. Reach out.
Jane M. Allen-Jauch, Madison