EKU graduate student wins national tutoring award 

She expects to graduate with her master’s in creative writing this fall and hopes to publish her first novel soon

RICHMOND, Ky.(EKU Public Relations) — Chaise Robinson, Course-Embedded Consultant (CEC) Coordinator for the Noel Studio at Eastern Kentucky University and graduate student, recently received the Graduate Tutor Award from the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) in recognition of her leadership, commitment and overall excellence.

She received the award during the virtual SWCA Conference, held February 10-12.

“Receiving the SWCA Graduate Tutor Award has been the highlight of my writing center career,” Robinson said. “I am incredibly honored to have won this award. The work I do with students and with my fellow consultants is incredibly meaningful to me and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to represent the Noel Studio and what our consultants can accomplish.”

Robinson was nominated for the award by Dr. Clint Stivers, assistant director of writing and communication programs for the Noel Center.

“It’s not an easy thing to ask a newly-accepted master’s student in English to develop and train their peers, but Chaise met this task with the same level of preparedness and skills that one would expect from a master craftsman, working steadily and meticulously over every detail to ensure she provides the best possible assistance to her colleagues,” Stivers wrote in the nomination letter.

As a graduate tutor, Robinson is embedded into two sections of a developmental reading/writing class, attending each class session to familiarize herself with the students and with the assignments. She provides eight personal writing consultations for the 36 students enrolled in each one of the sections over the course of the semester.

“Building a relationship is crucial to uncovering a student’s learning styles, preferences and ways of thinking; so that way, explanations can be given in a way that makes the most sense to that individual student,” Robinson said. “Every student comes with a different background and foundational knowledge to work with, and uncovering these details relies on a writing tutor’s ability to foster a comfortable and engaging dynamic within consultations.”

Not only does Robinson spend time with the dozens of students in these English classes, part of her responsibilities include coordinating training for the nearly 40 other course-embedded consultants who also work with undergraduate students. In this role, she spent a year designing a comprehensive online database of writing and communication resources that is used by both consultants and students.

“Her effective training, support and amicable nature have earned her the respect of everyone,” Stivers said.

Robinson has been involved with the Noel Center since her own undergraduate days, utilizing the services herself as a freshman.

“I remember the enthusiasm and compassion in which my consultant at the time showed me,” she said. “The more I learned about the Noel Studio and the impactful work they do, the more I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

The Noel Studio has served an integral part of Robinson’s academic life, both as a student and employer.

“For someone who loves to learn, every day at the Studio is an opportunity for further growth,” she said. “The Noel Studio is a workplace that encourages employees to become independent thinkers, innovators and creators, and that culture has been so special to work in.”

She expects to graduate with her master’s in creative writing this fall and hopes to publish her first novel soon. Whether or not she continues a career in education, Robinson said she hopes she can continue to maintain her values of lifelong learning and expressing creativity.

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