Mount St. Mary’s University has a very involved and dedicated Learning Services department. One aspect of that involvement and dedication is the Peer Tutoring Program. The Peer Tutoring Program is where students take upon the leadership role of tutoring their fellow peers in subjects they are excelling in, to help others understand and excel with them. The Peer Tutoring Program also involves higher leadership roles such as Head Tutors. All the Head Tutors are moving forward to their next steps in life by seeking higher education programs and graduating, leaving their fellow tutors to take the torch.
The graduating Head Tutors are Yelena Schmidt (C’23), Julie Rowe (C’23) and Alexis Hobble (C’23). Zita Amadi (C’24), a fellow Head Tutor is not graduating but is leaving her position as Head Tutor to transfer to a partner school of the Mount for the second step of her nursing degree. The Head Tutors have diverse interests, specialize in different subjects and each brings a unique energy to their group. The tutors gave insight into what their experience has been like with such an integral leadership role in helping not only peers they tutor but other tutors as well.
When asked what sparked her interest in assuming the general tutor position, Rowe stated, “Once I saw I was doing well in the Spanish classes (at the Mount), I wanted to give back to people who were struggling.” Helping students is the central point of being a tutor, it is important to not only want to do well for yourself but help uplift others too.
Engaging with students academically on a more than regular basis creates opportunities for special memories to be formed. Schmidt told of one of these special moments when tutoring in theology. She remarked, “With theology, one tutee, in particular, wanted to know about the faith and Catholicism, so that was really beautiful to offer.” Schmidt is highly involved with the spiritual aspects of the Mount, so blending her love for faith with her love of academics was a special moment for her.
Having interactions with students seemed to be a focal point the Head Tutors emphasized in their experience of the job. Regarding what tutoring has aided them with for their next steps Schmidt explained, “We have intentional academic interactions with students. We are learning with those who are struggling in various ways that we wouldn’t have encountered.” Working and struggling with others is not only a student or job experience but a human experience overall.
Associate Director of Learning and Success and overseer of the Peer Tutoring Program, Kristin Sites had many commendatory things to say about her Head Tutors. When noting the accomplishments of the ladies, Sites said, “This group helped started getting Head Tutors into the community more with activities such as Night Against Procrastination and attending the Maryland College Learning Center Association’s conference this year.” Sites appreciates the hard work her Head Tutors put into being community oriented to make help more accessible and known on campus.
The Head Tutors might be leaving the Mount community, but their impression will stay with the school forever with their laboring care to be in service to God and others.
From left to right: Julie Rowe, Alexis Hobble, Kristin Sites, Yelena Schmidt, Zita Amadi