Graduate writing student wins tutoring award

Cristine Busser, graduate writing student and a member of NSU’s Writing Fellows program, will graduate this semester with an M.A. in writing. But a degree is not her only achievement this year; in March, Busser was awarded the 2013 Graduate Tutor Award by the Southeastern Writing Center Association.

“I felt honored, but surprised. I have met so many impressive graduate tutors, including one with whom I work, so I didn’t really expect to be chosen,” said Busser.

This honor, according to the SWCA, recognizes “leadership, commitment and overall excellence of individuals working in an SWCA writing center.” Busser was chosen by a committee of writing center directors from several colleges.

“This award speaks largely for the work I do and plan on doing in the future,” said Busser. “I want to eventually teach college composition and, possibly, direct a writing center of my own.”

NSU’s Writing Fellows program provides course-based writing assistance to students enrolled in first-year composition and other writing-based undergraduate courses.

According to Kevin Dvorak, NSU Writing Center coordinator and associate professor in the Division of Humanities in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Busser is a valuable member of the program, who has assisted in many tutoring workshops and meetings. Last fall, Busser facilitated a curriculum vita writing workshop for undergraduate students applying to graduate schools.

This summer, Busser will volunteer with another fellow at the International Writing Centers Association’s Summer Institute, hosted in Fort Lauderdale.

“We are a tight-knit group, so we also enjoy doing other fun things like cooking for each other and spending time outside of work,” said Busser.

She is also working with students from the University School, as they prepare to start their own Writing Fellow’s program.

“Watching students grow as writers and thinkers is probably the most rewarding part of this job,” she said.

Busser’s most memorable writing experience at NSU is the research project she completed in her research methods class, taught by Shanti Bruce, associate professor in the Division of Humanities. Busser studied social phenomena, such as cultural movements, and conducted a literature review, interviews and a survey.

“I loved the idea of being so invested in the project and enjoyed drawing conclusions about a certain cultural movement,” said Busser.

Outside of NSU, Busser has also attended and presented her work at several conferences across the country. In Oct. 2012, she presented at the International Writing Centers Association Conference in San Diego, alongside writing fellow Sara Stanley. Busser also presented at SWCA’s 2012 and 2013 conferences.

Busser is grateful to the SWCA for recognizing her work and her commitment to the field of writing.

“I have read about tutoring, spoken with composition professionals, reflected on my practices, and developed my own philosophies,” she said. “I have also conducted research and presented at conferences, all the while working to improve how I work with students.”

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