The National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing selected Melissa Keith, director of the Boise State University Writing Center, as the 2021 Ron Maxwell Leadership Award winner.
The conference presents this award annually to a professional within the organization who contributes with distinction to undergraduate student development through promoting collaborative learning among peer tutors in writing. The award recognizes an individual for dedication to and leadership in collaborative learning within writing centers, for aiding students in taking on more responsibility together for their learning, and thus for promoting the work of peer tutors. Its presentation also denotes extraordinary service to the evolution of the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.
Melissa’s nominators expressed great enthusiasm about Melissa’s qualifications for the Ron Maxwell Leadership Award. One former graduate student described how they “witnessed the way Melissa instills leadership skills among undergraduate consultants by cultivating a sense of democracy in our space, and as a graduate student administrator in our center, I was able to learn in-depth her philosophy of ethical leadership.” Another former writing consultant expressed appreciation for how Melissa helped them grow into a confident leader: “From my first day at our writing center, she’s been at work building my confidence and skill set, delegating projects and granting authority. The same can be said for all her student employees; each of us is better prepared for life outside the university because of her diligence in this regard.”
And finally, Melissa’s colleagues who submitted her nomination opened their nomination letter this way:
“Her vast experience gives her a unique perspective on how to best support the students she teaches and mentors. Melissa has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth to the peer tutors who work in the center while maintaining excellent service to the students who utilize it. Melissa’s leadership in the Boise State Writing Center has provided numerous opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate peer tutors to conduct meaningful research and present their findings at local, national, and international writing center conferences. In addition to the support Melissa provides for scholarship in the writing center, she maintains a space that allows peer tutors to participate in administrative tasks that help familiarize them with the fields of writing center studies, writing program administration, and leadership in higher education.”