Ron Maxwell Award for Distinguished Leadership

At the 1997 NCPTW in Lexington, KY, Ron 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. Starting in 1999, Maxwell provided funds for a small honorarium for the recipient of such an award. Maxwell’s funding ensured that such recognition would continue, and the NCPTW board insisted the award bear the Maxwell name. Molly Wingate of Colorado College received the inaugural 1999 NCPTW Ron Maxwell Leadership Award.

Ron Maxwell’s advice for new peer tutors. Video courtesy Jon Olson.

The NCPTW Ron Maxwell Leadership Award is given annually to a professional in the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) 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.

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

  • 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
  • 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.


Nominations should be submitted to by August 15.

Each nomination should include

  1. A cover sheet listing the name of the nominee with contact information and the name of the nominator(s) with contact information
  2. A letter of nomination that clearly indicates why this individual should be so honored and how the individual specifically exemplifies the criteria for this award.  Letter is limited to three pages, but may be up to six pages if no additional letters of support are included.
  3.  Additional letters of support, no more than two and not longer than two pages each, may accompany the nomination.
  4. A short curriculum vitae or resume (two pages maximum) highlighting relevant activities and information. 


1997: Ron Maxwell of Penn State

Ron Maxwell

1999: Molly Wingate of Colorado College

Molly Wingate

2000: Jean Kiedaisch of University of Vermont

Jean Kiedaisch

2001: Kevin Davis of East Central University

Kevin Davis

2002: Ben Rafoth of Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Ben Rafoth

2003: Jean Donovan Sanborn of Colby College

Jean Donovan Sanborn

2004: Harvey Kail of University of Maine

Harvey Kail

2005: Kathleen Shine Cain and Michael Rossi of Merrimack College

Kathleen Shine Cain (l) and Michael Rossi (r)

2006: Michele Eodice of University of Oklahoma

Michele Eodice

2007: Susan Dinitz of University of Vermont

Susan Dinitz

2008: Jon Olson of the Pennsylvania State University

Jon Olson

2009: Leigh Ryan of the University of Maryland

Leigh Ryan (Photo courtesy Kathleen Shine Cain)

2010: Brian Fallon of the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY

Brian Fallon

2011: Paula Gillespie of Florida International University

Brian Fallon (l) presents Maxwell Award to Paula Gillespie (r)

2012: Clint Gardner of Salt Lake Community College

Clint Gardner (Photo courtesy Jon Olson)

2013: Emily Hall of the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Emily Hall

2014: Bob Marrs of Coe College

Bob Mars

2015: Chris Ervin of Oregon State University

Chris Ervin (Photo courtesy Dangling Modifier)

2016: Michael Mattison of Wittenberg University

Mike Mattison (Photo courtesy the Dangling Modifier)

2017: Bobbi Olson of Grandview University

Bobbi Olson (courtesy Viewfinder Media)

2018 Recipient: Laura Greenfield of Hampshire College

Woman standing behind podium.
Laura Greenfield

2019 Recipient: Julie Nelson Christoph, Puget Sound University

Christoph with Maxwell Award
2019 Maxwell Award Recipient, Julie Nelson Christoph

2020: Lauren Fitzgerald of Yeshiva University and Melissa Ianetta of Georgia Tech

One woman standing at podium, the other seated at the dais.
Melissa Ianetta (l) and Lauren Fitzgerald (r)

2021: Melissa Keith of Boise State University

Melissa Keith

2022: Andrea Rosso Efthymiou of Hofstra University

Andrea Rosso Efthymiou

2023: Elizabeth Boquet of Fairfield University

A headshot photograph of Elizabeth Boquet, a woman with dark shoulder-length hair, wearing a large silver necklade.
Elizabeth Boquet