Britney Menconi, undergraduate earth science major, has been tutoring students since childhood. Photo courtesy of Debra Clark.
UHCL student Britney Menconi, an undergraduate earth science major, was honored with the Outstanding Tutor of the Year Award at the South Central Writing Centers Association conference hosted at UHCL Feb. 17-19.
Shocked. That is how Menconi felt when she was announced as the winner of the award.
“She is unfailingly positive, enthusiastic and genuine in her interactions with students,” said Chloe Dipenbrock, associate professor of writing and literature and director of the Writing Center, in her nomination essay for Menconi. Dipenbrock is also the conference chair for SCWCA. “[Menconi] can sit down with someone who is frustrated, disgruntled, angry, sad, or even hopeless, and turn what could very likely be a negative encounter into a positive session for both writer and tutor,” Diepenbrock’s essay went on to say.
Menconi felt humbled during the acceptance ceremony.
“Part of [Dipenbrock’s] essay was read at the acceptance ceremony and I almost started crying,” Menconi said. “I feel like there are so many tutors that deserve that award, but I feel so grateful that they picked me. It is really humbling.”
Debra Clark, associate professor of communication and digital media studies, who is also Menconi’s mother, was very excited to hear Menconi had won the award.
“When she won she sent a picture; she texted it to me,” Clark said.
Clark recounted that ever since Menconi was little, she has tutored.
“Since day one she’s been the teacher’s helper, or if the other students weren’t doing so great, she’s always been their helper,” Clark explained.
Menconi is the first recipient of SCWCA’s Outstanding Tutor of the Year Award.
“We are very proud of Britney and the quality work she represents,” said Valerie Balester, vice president of SCWCA.
This was the first year The South Central Writing Centers Association awarded the Outstanding Tutor Award. Photo courtesy of Debra Clark.
Menconi became involved in the Writing Center at UHCL through the pursuit of one of her passions.
“I’ve always loved writing and I enjoy working with people,” Menconi said. “I’ve done tutoring in science, but tutoring in writing had always interested me the most. I thought it would be interesting to have a science-based tutor in the Writing Center; it is nice to have a variety of different perspectives in the Writing Center.”
In addition to a plaque, Menconi was also given a monetary award.
“Britney received $200 as part of the honor,” said Allison Holland, SCWCA treasurer. “Balester selected the plaque that was presented to Britney at the conference luncheon.”
Menconi had no trouble spending her prize money.
“Honestly,” Menconi laughed, “it went to rent. I also bought a meal at Sonic and a journal.”
Balester stated that the prize money came from members’ dues.
Nominations are received from four states including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, which make up the SCWCA.