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Tutors of the Year named

Cassopolis nursing student Jurnee Johnson won the first Dowagiac Tutor of the Year while Lauren Mackey and Malisa Roberts shared the fourth annual Niles Tutor of the Year April 27 at Southwestern Michigan College’s Niles Campus.

Roberts, of Niles, tutors math and accounting.

“The first time I came to school here, my (2003) degree was in CADD — computer-aided design and drafting,” Roberts said. “I went out and actually did it for a while.”

After taking a break to raise her family, “I came back to school as an IT (information technology) student and became a tutor. Being a professional tutor is my job right now,” Roberts said.

Mackey was student presenter alongside faculty members Stephanie Foreman and Cody Miller, Niles Campus 2016 Tutor of the Year, on Writing Center “blitzes” in March when SMC hosted the 39th annual Eastern Central Writers Center Association conference.

“I was very nervous,” she said, “but wanted to push myself to do something I normally wouldn’t, like speaking in front of people. When I came to college I was going to take classes and leave without being involved.”

She played on the winning team in both Tutor House Cup challenges.

“I voted for Malisa (as Tutor of the Year) and certainly did not expect to get it myself,” Mackey said. “I like sharing it with a friend. We work together a lot and have grown close.”

Johnson is mostly a writing consultant, but also tutored science and math since joining The Learning Center last fall.

“I took summer classes last year and my professor asked me to apply for a tutor’s position because she’d seen me working with other students,” said Johnson, who is interested in pediatric nursing.

“I’ve loved writing since I was little,” she said. “I used to want to be an author. I went to Young Authors workshops (at SMC) every year since third grade. I’ve been here (as a student) since I was a junior in high school.”

“Jurnee is a reliable person to send to classrooms for blitzes,” said Louis Noakes, tutor support services coordinator for both campuses.