Tech Student Wins Peer Tutor Award
Keely Mruk is a fourth-year student double majoring in history, technology, and society and business administration. Recently, she won the Southeastern Writing Center Undergraduate Peer Tutor of the Year Award for her work at the Naugle Communication Center, or CommLab. Mruk initially heard about the CommLab in her English 1102 class. When she began applying for jobs in the spring of her first year, she figured that working with writing was something she might enjoy. She was right.
According to Mruk, most of a peer tutor’s work comes from fulfilling appointments made by other students. She calls it “the really fun part,” as she gets to work one-on-one with a variety of people and just as many unique projects. When she’s not meeting with students, she spends time on other CommLab projects, including research, workshops, and managing the social media team. That extra effort and dedication is what secured her nomination from the CommLab staff, says Brandy Ball Blake, the Center’s director.
“She is here all the time, and she loves this place,” Blake said.
The award itself came as a surprise to Mruk, who received an email notifying her that she had won before she even knew she’d been nominated. The next day, the CommLab staff explained everything to her.
“It was really nice to have a surprise like that, to know that everyone is conscious of the work you’re putting in,” she said.
The Center nominates peer tutors for this award every year, and this year they wanted to highlight Mruk’s work with its workshops. There are several postdoctoral fellows who are members of the CommLab staff and also serve as Brittain Fellows and English 1101 and 1102 instructors. This is where Mruk does much of her non-tutoring work. She has attended conferences so as to give presentations on workshops organized by the fellows, including one about the benefits of Dungeons and Dragons for educators and another on a storytelling game created by the CommLab staff that makes players come up with anecdotes on the fly.
In describing what makes these workshops special, Mruk says, “It’s related to communication, but it’s not necessarily how it’s traditionally been taught.”
Mruk is not just proud of the work she has done for the Communication Center, but of the work the Center does for the student body as a whole. Located in Suite 447 of Clough Commons, the CommLab offers students help and feedback on anything from visual design projects to academic papers to podcasts. According to Mruk, the best thing students can do is actually show up and take advantage of everything the space has to offer.
“Coming here is the biggest thing [students] can do to benefit the work they turn in,” she says.
All CommLab tutoring is free and anonymous, and appointments can be made online.
Appointments are 30 minutes each, and the Communication Center's staff keeps evening and weekend hours to accommodate student schedules. Hours for Spring 2019 are:
- Monday/Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday/Thursday: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Noon to 8 p.m.
- Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Leah Misemer, a Brittain Fellow and the CommLab’s assistant director, also took home an award from the Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) this year for professional tutor of the year. Misemer and Mruk will present at the SWCA's annual conference later this month.