Help is just around the corner

Tiffany Ciesicki

Students offer assistance during tutoring sessions

In only the second week of the semester, the Information Commons in the library is already brimming with students.

Many of the students here are coming to take advantage of the free math tutoring.

Between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, tutors sprawl out between a number of tables in the Information Commons and make themselves accessible to all those in need of assistance.

Senior marketing major Elizabeth Shumaker is one student who definitely takes advantage of this service.

“Math tutors are walking angels here at Kent State,” she said, “and having the tutoring in the library provides easier access for the array of different individuals.”

The library is a central place on campus and Joseph Salem, head of reference and information services at the library, said he believes this is why the program has been so successful.

“The whole point was to start to provide services in the library to help with all aspects of (the students’) research and coursework,” Salem said. “We used to focus on helping people find information but now also focus on working with the information and providing expert help.”

He said he enjoys how the tutoring brings the whole area to life.

“It’s fun to see students help other students and people working hard to understand and succeed,” he said.

Tutors are sent over from the Academic Success Center. The tutoring has been offered for the past three years. Mathematics Program Specialist Mary Romans said last year alone, the tutors logged 13,000 contact hours.

Romans said the tutoring was initially offered in an attempt to increase retention.

“Math is, for many students on our campus, a struggle,” she said.

Senior mathematics major Arthur Neuman has been tutoring math for years. He said offering the free tutoring is important because most times students need more help than they can get in the classroom.

“It is easier to teach because of the time and the ability to work one-on-one,” Neuman said.

Senior mathematics major Beth Anne Bollenbacher is another math tutor at the library. Both tutors encourage students to stop in and take advantage of the tutoring. Bollenbacher said the tutors will do whatever it takes to help the student.

“There are times when people come in and we need to find other tutors to help, sometimes three or four other tutors, and sometimes no one knows the answer,” she said. “But we always do everything we can. If none of us can help, we send them to someone who can.”

Students should be aware that they can find help with more than math in the library. Since last year, students have also had access to writing tutors.

The Writing Center provides tutors between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the library.

Jeanne Smith, director of the Writing Center, believes placing tutors in the library makes them more accessible to students because it allows students to drop in and ask a question at their own convenience.

“People (who are) over there working, if they have a question, can just come over and ask,” Smith said.

Smith encourages students to stop in, ask questions and seek advice. She stressed that no question is too big or too small. The tutors can offer help on writing for any class or any type of project.

She said she hopes to one day be able to place tutors at various locations around campus, but for now the library is a central, accessible place.

“It is a place we hope to find you,” she said.

Contact library reporter Tiffany Ciesicki at [email protected].





Sunday through Thursday,

7 to 10 p.m.

Twin Towers

Monday through Wednesday,

7 to 10 p.m.

Prentice Hall

Monday through Wednesday,

7 to 10 p.m.


Monday through Thursday,

2 to 7 p.m.

Source: Mary Romans, Mathematics Program Specialist, Academic Success Center



Tuesday and Wednesday,

5 to 7 p.m.

Writing Center, Satterfield Hall

by appointment

Source: Jeanne Smith, Director of the Writing Center