Roberta Kjesrud is retiring from Western Libraries on June 1, 2021. She began working at Western Washington University in 1988 as an undergraduate peer tutor and has served as an integral part of the Western community for over 32 years. Early in her career, she was an undergraduate writing fellow, and she later held a range of positions, from Curriculum Assistant for the Intensive English Program to Program Supervisor for the Writing Center. During these years, she worked with colleagues on providing evidence to convince the Faculty Senate to eliminate an inequitable barrier test, the Junior Writing Exam. She still considers this one of her greatest equity accomplishments at Western.
Kjesrud served as the Writing Center Director from 1997-2015, before stepping into her role as Director of Writing within the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio. In 2015, she helped create the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio at Western Libraries by developing fresh pedagogical approaches to supporting integrated academic literacies. In addition to attracting external donors, the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio has drawn national attention as an innovative model for libraries and writing centers. Although many individuals contributed to the implementation of the Studio, Kjesrud was a key player in creating and sustaining this unique program, one that has become a model for an array of institutions, (including: Oregon State University, Seattle Pacific University, University of California San Diego, North Carolina State University, and Lansing Community College).
Currently, Kjesrud is leading the Libraries' Writing Instruction Support program where she is developing equity-based approaches for faculty teaching research and writing-rich courses for Western's writing requirement. Kjesrud’s influence in supporting equitable and just writing practices is not limited to Western. From 2007 until 2013, she served in multiple leadership roles for the International Writing Centers Association executive board. Additionally, she was the founder of the Pacific Northwest Centers Association and the Director’s Day Out.
Last year, Kjesrud was granted professional leave to work on a book called Learning Enhanced: Studio Practices for Engaged Inclusivity. The inclusion of students in the composition of the book supported Western’s strategic goal in valuing and highlighting student voices in advancing scholarship. Since returning from leave, Kjesrud has been focused on planning and creating resources for Western Libraries Teaching & Learning Division to use in their efforts to support writing throughout Western, including supporting Western’s Writing Proficiency requirement and writing-intensive courses.
There will be an online Zoom gathering to congratulate Roberta Kjesrud on Friday, June 4, 2021 from 4-6 p.m., and you can join in the celebration via this link: https://wwu-edu.zoom.us/j/95320587329.