Good Morning Retrievers!
It's National Tutor Appreciation Week and we want to take time to let our tutors, SI PASS leaders, and peer mentors know how much we appreciate who they are and what they do. And what better way to appreciate them than to get to know them? Today, we're profiling Sierra Grey-Coker, an SI PASS leader with the Academic Success Center! Hailing from Takoma Park, MD, Sierra is a new SI PASS leader for MATH 155! Let's get to know more about her.
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Sierra Grey-Coker and I am a sophomore Math major from Takoma Park, Maryland. I enjoy reading, craft projects, playing a good game of Scrabble, and programming for fun. I am in the Honors College and a Sondheim Public Affairs scholar.
How are you involved on campus?
My campus activities are quite varied and each allow me to continuously my many interests. As a Sondheim scholar, I serve as a peer mentor and chairperson of the steering committee. As a peer mentor I am able to assist freshmen students acclimate to UMBC campus life, take advantage of its many opportunities and resources and provide support to help ensure academic success. As the chairperson of the Sondheim Scholars steering committee I am able to collaborate with my fellow committee members to provide growth, learning and service opportunities for both the scholars and the program. I have also volunteered at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA) and College Gardens through service learning practicums with the Shriver Center.
How did you become an SI PASS leader? Why did you want to?
My SI PASS journey started with a nomination from a past math professor. After that nomination, I applied and interviewed for the position. I was offered the position, however, I really chose to be involved as an SI PASS leader once I considered the great experiences in the SI PASS sessions as a freshman. I found them to be very helpful and appreciated all I had learned from my SI PASS leader. Reflecting on those experiences inspired me to want to give to others in the same way.
What is your favorite thing about being an SI PASS leader ?
My favorite thing about being an SI PASS leader is being a part of the moment when a student discovers he or she really “gets it.” The student’s face transforms from a concentrated frown to raised eyebrows and brightened eyes of enlightenment. That is the moment I can tell a student understands a concept with which they were previously struggling.
Why should students utilize SI PASS sessions?
Students should utilize the SI PASS sessions to help them understand a subject for which they are having difficulty or simply want to practice and improve their skills. I make this recommendation based on my own personal experiences. In the spring 2019 semester, I was enrolled in CHEM 102 and it was difficult.--to say the least. However, after regularly attending the CHEM 102 SI PASS sessions, I was able to successfully grasp and understand the material and complete the course (with a nice final grade!).
Now, as a SI PASS leader, I am able to facilitate sessions with the understanding of, first, what it is like to really be a student who really needs academic help; and second, what is like to receive the help I needed from someone who is genuinely committed to my success.
I know there are many SI PASS leaders who are just as committed to student success as my SI PASS leaders were last year and I include myself among them. Students should utilize SI PASS sessions because they will get the support they need from someone who cares.
How should students prepare for a SI PASS session?
The best ways to prepare for a SI PASS session are to come with an open mind and have the belief that learning the material IS possible. It is okay to not have questions when arriving, as sessions are for practicing as much as they are for clarifying confusing areas. Coming to sessions with the mindset of always learning something will help you get the most out of your time in SI PASS.
Sierra holds her MATH 155 SI PASS sessions on Mondays from 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. in SOND 204 and Wednesdays from 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. in Math/Psych 012
Sierra is another one of our great tutors and SI/PASS leaders we are highlighting during National Tutor Appreciation Week, and we appreciate her sharing her passion for SI PASS with us. Remember to follow us on myUMBC to see more in our Get to Know series!