The Maxwell Award

The NCPTW Ron Maxwell Leadership Award is given annually to a professional in the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing organization who has contributed 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 this conference organization.

Such leadership may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including but not limited to

  • Building a record of bringing peer tutors to present at the conference
  • Giving service to the NCPTW through hosting the Conference, serving as program chair, leading in the search for future sites, etc.
  • Fostering leadership skills among peer tutors
  • Showing evidence of leadership in collaborative learning on the home campus
  • Developing innovative peer tutoring programs in the home community
  • In general, welcoming and meeting new challenges in leading a center guided by a collaborative learning philosophy

While other aspects of a candidate’s professional performance-e.g., work with professional tutors, writing center research and publication-are respected by the NCPTW and are surely interrelated, this award is intended to recognize meritorious work in an area too little acknowledged.

An awards committee consisting of past award recipients reviews nominations and chooses an annual recipient. A plaque and a $200 cash prize are funded by the Maxwell family.

Send nominations to Jon Olson via email, fax (814) 863-9627, or a letter addressed to Maxwell Award, Center for Excellence in Writing, 206 Boucke Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802-5900. Call (814) 865-9243 for more information. Please provide the nominee's name, title, affiliation, postal address, email address, and phone number. This call is to professional colleagues of the nominees and to peer tutors. Support the nomination with as much persuasive evidence as time permits, knowing the importance of helping your nominee stand out among other deserving nominees.

Deadline: August 31 of each year.

Award History

At the 1997 NCPTW in Lexington, KY, Maxwell received a plaque from the conference organizers in recognition of his leadership in the organization. Twila Yates Papay of Rollins College received similar recognition at the 1998 NCPTW in Plattsburgh, NY. Maxwell’s endowment ensured that such recognition would continue, and the NCPTW board insisted that the award bear the Maxwell name.

Past Winners

  • 1999: Molly Wingate of Colorado College
  • 2000: Jean Kiedaisch of University of Vermont
  • 2001: Kevin Davis of East Central University
  • 2002: Ben Rafoth of Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003: Jean Donovan Sanborn of Colby College
  • 2004: Harvey Kail of University of Maine
  • 2005: Kathleen Shine Cain and Michael Rossi of Merrimack College
  • 2006: Michele Eodice of University of Oklahoma
  • 2007: Susan Dinitz of University of Vermont
  • 2008: Jon Olson of the Pennsylvania State University
  • 2009: Leigh Ryan of the University of Maryland
  • 2010: Brian Fallon of the Fashion Institute of Technology
  • 2011: Paula Gillespie of Florida International University
  • 2012: Clint Gardner of Salt Lake Community College