UF Supervisor of the Year Recipient Takes Home Regional Title
Harley Ferris, Ph.D. assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center was nominated by one of his Writing Center tutors for the title of “Student Employee Supervisor of the Year.” On Friday, Apr. 21 he was surprised with the news that not only did he win University of Findlay’s recognition, he had also been awarded at the regional level.
“You can tell that he’s very passionate about his students and his efforts to educate us,” said Kaylee Furge, University of Findlay student and tutor, who nominated Ferris for the award. “He reminded me that my work is important. For the first time, I felt super compelled to submit a nomination and write a letter. I have never had a supervisor that was more deserving of this award.”
Ferris started at the University in 2016, but in 2020 he began to search for something that fit his gifts and skill sets, while also giving him a sense of fulfillment. Ferris found that in the Writing Center, fully transitioning into the role in 2022. “This kind of work is still teaching, but it’s not a course. I get to teach and tutor the whole person, and not just get them through a 16-week plan to get through the semester,” he said.
At the Writing Center, Ferris and his tutors help students with their writing assignments, from brainstorming and outlining, to revising and citing sources. Students can receive help with literature reviews, essays, posters, and presentations. As Director, Ferris has increased traffic flow into the Writing Center, even making an effort to personally go into classrooms and develop plans to help students.
“It’s really validating for the late nights, late emails I hem and haw over, and for the way I plan all of the training courses,” Ferris said regarding the recognition. “This is the external marker to what I’ve been feeling inside.”
Since COVID, Ferris has placed an emphasis on students’ physical and mental health, well above what is needed on a day-to-day basis. “He reminded me that there is no linear timeline on what to do,” said Furge. “He taught me that it’s ok to take your time, to take breaks, and that it’s ok to fall down. What is important is that you get back up. He’s been a great motivator for tutors and for the students that are coming in for help.”