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Tutor Awards

Every year, we give three awards for excellence in tutoring. We always have great nominees in every category, and the decisions are difficult to make. Each nominated tutor submits one or more recorded tutoring sessions plus a written reflection on how those sessions demonstrate best tutoring practice. These are reviewed by the award committees, to whom we owe special thanks for their service.*


Congratulations to the 2019-20 award winners:


The Jim and Judi Herbert Endowment Award for Excellence as an Undergraduate Tutor: Julia Goncalves

We were impressed with the range of responses Julia is able to employ in her tutoring sessions. In her work with students, she becomes a facilitator for their brainstorming, and, by quickly determining what each student needs, she helps them identify their next step for revision as a specific and manageable goal. On the whole, her active listening and interpersonal skills, her ability to prioritize, and her skill in guiding students through their revisions makes her extremely deserving of this year’s award.

While she’s already completed her undergraduate degree, she’s still working with us for one more semester before she goes to Germany on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.


The John C. Hodges Award for Excellence as a New Tutor (given to a first-year English MA or MFA tutor): Jake Buller-Young

Jake “reads” students well and uses open-ended questions, gentle clarification, and even silence, when needed, to prompt students to work through their ideas. He consistently shows an ability to empathize with the student’s perspective, making use of a key strength—attentiveness–in adapting to students’ needs.

Jake is now a second-year MA and, fortunately, is continuing to work in the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center this year.


John C. Hodges Award for Excellence as an Experienced Tutor (given to an English Graduate Teaching Associate or Lecturer tutor): Allie Johnston

There’s much to admire in Allie’s work, particularly her ability to help students articulate their own ideas in writing. Allie gives students much more than assistance in how to write a paper, as ultimately, each session becomes a broader conversation about learning-at-the-university: knowing how things work, understanding frames and genres, and knowing when and how to use resources. This kind of global discovery is at the heart of the best kind of any type of instruction.

Allie is serving this year as our GTA-level assistant director and will be working as a liaison with our campus partners and serving as a coach to some of our new tutors.



*Special thanks to the members of the three award committees: Melinda Backer, Pax Gutierrez-Neal, Jackie Kerr, Anne Langendorfer, Kristina McCue, Anne Snellen, and Caroline Wilkinson