Do you need help writing papers, calculating math, or practicing a language? Learn about UAA’s Learning Resources Center on the next Informania radio show, on KRUA, 88.1, Monday at 9am or Thursday at 5pm.

March 25 on Informania, Deb the Librarian interviews Jonell Sauceda, Director of the Learning Resources Center (LRC), Dan Bonin, Math Learning Specialist/Tutor Trainer, and Cameron Nay, MS, Writing Specialist/Tutor Trainer about the services provided for UAA students at the Learning Resources Center.  You can listen to this podcast using QuickTime software at www.kruaradio.org.

The Learning Resources Center is located in the Sally Monserud Hall on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.  The following biographies are from the Learning Resources Center Directory.

Guest Bios

Jonell Sauceda LRC Director Office: SMH 125E Phone: 786-6829                         E-mail: jfsauceda@uaa.alaska.edu                                                                             Jonell Sauceda began working for the University of Alaska Anchorage over 20 years ago, joining the LRC as their Director in 1998. As Director, her focus has been on creating a student-centered environment that assists students in achieving their personal academic goals. Through providing access to educational resources and tutorial services that enhance the college learning experience, Jonell has created a setting where students can gain the help necessary to achieve their personal and educational dreams.

Dan Bonin, Math Learning Specialist/Tutor Trainer                                                  Office: SMH 121A Phone:786-6855 E-Mail: debonin@uaa.alaska.edu                    In 2009, shortly after graduating from New Mexico Tech with dual B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Physics with an Atmospheric Physics option, Dan Bonin began working for the LRC as an athlete tutor in math and physics. In 2010 he began tutoring in the math lab and became the math learning specialist in 2011. As both an adjunct faculty member and math learning specialist, Dan tries to instill his enjoyment of mathematics into his students. His primary goal for the math lab is to help students transition away from anxiety about math towards a genuine interest in it.

Camerson Nay, MS, Writing Specialist/Tutor Trainer Office: SMH 118A Phone: 786-6918 E-Mail: cgnay@uaa.alaska.edu Cameron Nay has been working with the Reading/Writing Center since October of 2010.  He has a Master of Science in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management and earned his Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Restoration Ecology.  Both of Cameron’s degree programs were research-based and focused heavily on scientific writing and analysis.  Aside from working as the writing specialist in the RWC, Cameron also teaches online environmental science classes.  He has lived and worked in various locations including Washington State, Utah, Hawaii and Portugal.  Cameron is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and truly enjoys working with students who are acquiring a new language.

How does tutoring work at the Learning Resources Center?

The Learning Resources Center math and writing tutors are available on a first come, first serve basis each day.  You schedule an appointment online once you arrive at the LRC.  For writing, students can sign up for 20-30 minutes of time with a writing tutor on the same day they come to the LRC.  For math, tutors are available in the math lab to answer questions, which typically take 3-5 minutes per math problem.  In these labs, they may have three tutors available at a time.  The tutors have subject experience, and are coached and mentored to assure they are patient, helpful and are comfortable in the role of coaching students (versus doing the work for them).

Online resources to help

Live Homework Help – a SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) online chat tutoring service, paid for by the State of Alaska.  Live Homework Help, provides access to tutors using computer technology as the mode of communication.  They can help with a range of topics, including writing and math.  If you are an Alaskan, go to sled.alaska.edu, and select Digital Pipeline.  You should stumble across a link to Live Homework Help here.  There is an 800 number to call for the user name and password, if the database doesn’t already recognize your computer IP as Alaskan.

The UAA Learning Resources Center writing tutors get questions about all aspects of writing papers, from the beginning to the bibliography, and some need assistance with learning the computers as well.  They refer students to classes or online lessons for learning the computer.  In exploring this option online, I discovered that Goodwill Community Foundation has a web site with basic tutorials on a range of topics from reading and math to learning about the computer, internet, and Microsoft Office.  Check this source out at http://www.gcflearnfree.org/ .

Also, there are specialized math resources available.  Khan Academy is a popular online math resource, with short videos and practice math problems to help students of all ages learn math.

BrainPop is another resource that the state of Alaska pays for throush SLED.  BrainPop offers short animated videos on a range of topics from history to music to writing to math.  You would need the Alaskan user name and password to access it.  The 800 number to call for this can be found at sled.alaska.edu.

Tips for Students

Will you be taking a test after lunch?  Study for that test after lunch!  Research has shown that it benefits a student to study in the same state of mind and body that you will be in when taking the test.  If you have a test at the end of a long work day, make sure you study the material for the test at the end of your long work day.  Your body and mind may be more likely to remember the material if you are in the same state of mind studying that you will be taking the test.                *Note to self:  find research sources to include here!

It helps to get in the habit of doing 30 minutes (or more) of homework a day instead of waiting until the day before the assignment is due, and then struggling with an abundance of work, and a great deal of stress!

Look at the due date of an assignment, and then the number of steps it will take to complete that assignment, and schedule a timeline including dates when you need to complete each step in the process.  This can help you focus on each step in the process, and assure that assignment gets done on time, without the added stress of procrastination.  There are many online tools that help with this.  One example is the Research Project Calculator, created by Minitext, An Information and Resource Sharing Program of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries.  The University of California Los Angeles has also created an Assignment Calculator  that includes recommendations for resources on your subject as it defines and sets the steps needed for project completion.  By doing an internet search for assignment calculator, or homework calculator, you will see a wide range of options.  Those that are affiliated with a college (have .edu in the website address) would likely be more credible sources.

I recall learning from an author, if you write a bit everyday, your body and mind get used to writing.  Working on a paper may not be as painful if you write a little bit everyday as when you attempt to write a paper all at once the day (or night) before it is due.

Reflections on this interview

When a student has questions about writing a paper, figuring out a math problem, or needs support in learning English or another language, I will be referring them to the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Learning Resources Center with confidence.  People like Jonell Sauceda, Dan Bonin and Cameron Nay are examples of why the University of Alaska Anchorage is a great place to work and study.  They care, they know their subjects, and they assure that others in their department treat students with the dignity, patience, and support they deserve.  To me, this is an equation for success.

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