Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney of the English Department is the 2019 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award. This is one of twelve awards in the prestigious Outstanding Faculty Award series given out at the beginning of each academic year. The awards cover variety of topics, such as research, creative work, and diversity. Faculty are nominated by their peers, department chairs, and students, and these nominations are reviewed by a committee in the Academic Affairs office. Announcements were made at the Fall Opening Convocation in August.
Director of the Writing Center
The Writing Center at Ball State University is highly regarded on campus by students as a vast resource that not only provides students with feedback but also with support, confidence, and writing initiatives. Last Fall there were 1,817 student appointments in the writing center, and that semester 93% of those who responded to surveys stated that their sessions were excellent or very good. The success of this center and its high reputation can only be attributed to Dr. Grutsch McKinney, who has served as Director of the Writing Center from 2003 to present (with a short break in 2011 to 2015 where she served as Director of the Writing Program).
In her time as Director, Dr. Grutsch McKinney has implemented an online system for scheduling and tutoring, created writing programs (such as the Digital Writing Studio and Thesis Boot Camps), and help create undergraduate and graduate level courses about tutoring and writing center leadership. These programs are just the tip of the iceberg of the support that Dr. Grutsch McKinney provides to students. She mentors students in writing and teaching (two of her students have won university teaching awards), assists with conference preparation, and pushes students to achieve their potential.
But Dr. Grutsch McKinney’s influence extends beyond Ball State. She currently serves as the President of the International Writing Center Association (IWCA). She has written three books on the topic of writing centers, and all three have won the Best Book Award by the IWCA, and her latest book has been called, “a study to be admired.” As one her nominators wrote,
“Not only is Jackie a major figure in her field, she is in fact shaping the very future of writing center studies…. When colleagues across the world think ‘writing center,’ they also think ‘Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney”
Her achievements speak for themselves, but the outpouring of praise from her colleagues speaks volumes to Dr. Grutsch McKinney’s impact. In the words of one of her nominators, “Jackie’s professional achievements are nothing short of stellar.” Next time you are in or near the Writing Center, congratulate Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney on her well-deserved award.