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Clint Gardner Wins 2012 NCPTW Maxwell Leadership Award

Clint Gardner, Student Writing Center Coordinator for Salt Lake Community College, has won the 2012 Ron Maxwell Award for Distinguished Leadership in Promoting the Collaborative Learning Practices of Peer Tutors in Writing.

The award was presented at the 29th annual National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) in Chicago.

The award recognizes a professional within the NCPTW organization for dedication to and leadership in collaborative learning in writing centers, for aiding students in together taking on more responsibility for their learning, and, thus, for promoting the work of peer tutors. Its presentation also denotes extraordinary service to the evolution of the conference organization.

Gardner received a plaque bearing a quote by educational philosopher Paulo Freire that has informed his career: “There is, in fact, no teaching without learning.”

A selection committee of eleven previous award recipients was “constantly amazed,” as one member put it, by Gardner’s service to NCPTW; by his efforts to help the NCPTW organization collaborate with the International Writing Centers Association(IWCA); and by his contributions to his own peer tutors, to peer tutors around the world, and to the writing center community.

Gardner was IWCA President 2007-2009.

“Gardner has made it his business to take on leadership roles at NCPTW and in the inter/national conversations on peer tutoring in writing,” said a committee member. “He has done more in recent years than anyone I know to promote collaborative learning in the  form of peer tutoring. He is a champion who will continue to be at the forefront of all things peer tutoring in the years to come.”

One organizer of a previous conference appreciated the way Gardner “stepped up early and often” during the preparation stages and at the event. Another conference organizer praised Gardner’s “vital if unheralded” leadership as an “unofficial tech expert and videographer. He has taped many sessions and made them available as podcasts.”

Organizing flash mobs is a frequently cited example of Gardner’s contribution to conferences, “an activity that brings tutors together in a way they can relate to and enjoy.”

One supporter remembered other ways Gardner’s contributions benefited her: “I’ll never forget how he made all the technology arrangements for the Las Vegas [joint 2008 NCPTW/IWCA] conference, or his presentations on how to make a case for the value of writing center work by filming exit videos with tutors.”

Gardner’s blog Peer Centered “provides opportunities beyond conferences for peer tutors to collaborate and learn from each other,” a supporter noted. Another supporter added, “His work on Peer Centered alone is worthy of recognition because it demonstrates his commitment to collaborative learning practices among peer tutors while heightening the profile of the work peer tutors do among professionals in the field.”

As a member of the award committee summed up, “Clint values and fosters cross-institutional communication, not only between tutors, but between directors and members of the community. He typifies the kind of active participation in NCPTW, the writing center field, and the world that the Maxwell Award is designed to recognize and reward.”

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