Math Skills Center

Russ Petricka, Supervisor

For more information on the Math Skills Center, visit our website.

For a student's view of the Math Skills Center, visit the Admissions page of student video blogs.

The Math Skills Center continues to provide a hub for students to work on math and math-related homework, alone, in groups, and, most importantly, with the assistance and tutoring of Russ Petricka, Math Skills Center Supervisor, and a staff of approximately 30 peer student tutors each term. The role of the Center continues to grow as services extend beyond the primary focus of open tutoring.

This report contains a detailed summary of the Math Skills Center activities for the 2010-2011 academic year and is organized as follows: Section I outlines the students serviced this past year in open tutoring; Section II outlines One-on-One Tutoring; Section III outlines additional services offered during the year.

Section I: Students Served in Open Tutoring

This year the Center was open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and on Sundays from 2:00 to 11:00 p.m.  Monday through Thursday the Center was staffed by Russ and one student tutor from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Russ and two students from 1:45 to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.; Russ and four students from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., and Russ and two student tutors from 10:00 to 11:00p.m. to finish out the night.  On Fridays, the Center was staffed by Russ and one student from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.  On Saturdays the Center was staffed by two students from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Sundays the Center was staffed by three tutors from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., and from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Russ being one of those three night time tutors), Russ and four tutors staffed the Center Sunday nights from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. This provided 75.5 hours per week of open tutoring and an additional 12 hours per week when the Center was open yet unstaffed.  During fall and winter terms, we had a "floating time spot" on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, when a tutor could come in during our busiest hours to help out with the "night before a-day" rush.

Table 1 lists the average number of students serviced each day of the week, with standard deviations in parentheses. It should be noted at the start that students are not required to sign in and that we therefore get about a 2/3 sign-in ratio in the fall, with that dropping during the school year to less that ½; during spring term.  Separated by term, Table 1 first lists the total number of times students came to the Center for assistance during the term followed by daily averages in attendance; first a general daily average and then an average for each day of the week. Notable in this table is a trend in daily attendance. Attendance is highest on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as most mathematics classes for which students are completing homework assignments are offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

By separating the data from Table 1 at a per course level, we can see the type of student who seeks assistance at the MSC. This is represented in Table 2, which shows the number of sections offered for each of the core Mathematics courses each term along with, for each course and section, the percentage of visits to the Center by students enrolled. The last column represents attendance from all other courses in which students identified as being enrolled. These courses are identified below the table.

Note that students signing into the Center often do not specify in which statistics course (Math 115 and 215) or Calculus I course (Math 101 and 111) they are enrolled; consequently, the data cannot sufficiently inform us of the level of assistance to students in each specific course. Because we are only able to observe the aggregate sums, the two statistics courses are counted together and the two Calculus I courses are counted together. Furthermore, the sign-in sheet is voluntary and hence underestimates the real level of traffic in the Center, especially during Spring term.

Students continue to visit the Math Skills Center primarily to receive open tutoring assistance for their math courses. Often tutors help students with difficult homework problems. Test preparation remains a principal component of the help offered. This is reflected by an increase in visits during the third, seventh, and eighth weeks of each term, when students are preparing for midterms, and a decrease fifth and sixth weeks, when exams have recently been administered (see Figure 1). This trend is similar to last year's, in which upswings came during the third, seventh, and tenth weeks of the term. Although the data are unavailable, many past annual reports (06-07, 07-08, 08-09) have reported upswings in attendance during the fifth, ninth, and tenth weeks.

One salient feature of the data is the decline in attendance from Fall Term to Winter to Spring (a trend that has occurred in, at a minimum, the past four academic years).  We propose two explanations for this trend.  First, the number of mathematics courses offered decreases from Fall to Winter to Spring Term (17, 13, and 9, respectively). Second, the type of course offered naturally changes as the academic year progresses, shifting from a large concentration of 100-level and Calculus principles courses in the fall to primarily 200- and 300-level courses in the spring. (Recall from Table 1 that over 30% of Center visits during Fall and Winter terms were by students enrolled in Calculus II (Math 121), and over 60% of Spring term visits were by students enrolled in Calculus III (Math 211) and Linear Algebra (Math 232).  Students tutored Fall Term are more numerous because of the higher number of students enrolled in mathematics classes and because those students are, on average, less experienced with mathematics than those who continue to enroll in courses through Spring Term. This will naturally lead to more tutorial assistance being sought at the beginning of the academic year than at the end.

Section II: One-on-One Tutoring

This year we continued to offer one-on-one peer tutoring to students. Sessions were self-scheduled by the tutor and tutee, generally occurring once or twice per week. Table 3 details, for each course in which a student sought one-on-one tutoring assistance, the course's number of one-on-one tutees accompanied by the course instructor's name. Again, the data are separated by term. Unlike previous years in which one-on-one tutoring was requested for all mathematics course levels, this year's one-on-one tutoring was requested only for Calculus classes. We offer no explanation for this.

Section III: Additional Services Offered

We continued to offer the following services:

  1. A freshman diagnostic exam and the subsequent placement of freshmen into Math 101 (Calculus I with Review) or Math 111 (Calculus I without Review). The exam is now conducted online, but we continue to monitor and oversee the placement process.
  2. Equipment for viewing course-related films and slides along with statistics and math related videos and computer software.
  3. A lending library containing course-related texts, workbooks, and CDs designed to prepare students for their graduate entrance exams.
  4. A magazine rack containing  professional journals in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science as well as popular Math and Computer Science magazines.
  5. An area of the magazine rack where professors can keep course-related materials such as binders containing worked solutions to homework problems.
  6. A closed reserve section containing copies of the textbooks currently being used in classes and other course-related readings that professors want to make available to students.
  7. A four-hour Tutor Training Program (introduced three years ago) offered the day before Fall Term classes begin. This workshop was supervised by Dr. Sam Patterson and Russ.

This year, in addition to Russ and his student worker staff, the MSC was joined by David Runkle, whose partner was a visiting professor at Carleton.  David volunteered several hours per week in the MSC.

Russ also continues to assist Kathy Evertz in the coordination and supervision of the Prefect Program.  Russ assists Kathy with two three-hour Prefect Training Workshops at the beginning of each term and then supervises the Math and Computer Science prefects during the term.  Kathy and Russ also coordinate two prefect lunches throughout the term, designed to supplement the training workshops and to provide intern-type training. This year we trained the first prefects to be requested by the Math Department.  Specifically, Helen Wong requested them for her winter term Linear Algebra classes.  We also continued to coordinate the Prefect Program for the Computer Science classes 111 (Intro to Computer Science) and 201 (Data Structures) throughout the year.  Prefects met two to three times per week with students in groups and provided individual help when needed. Table 4 lists this year's Math and Computer Science prefects and their respective courses and instructors.

Service to the College: Committees, etc.

Academic Support Center hosted an "Internet Cafe" during Family Weekend, October 15, 2010.

Academic Support Center hosted first-year football players, September 2, 2010.

Academic Support Center hosted NSW Leader resource rotations, September 3, 2010.

Gene Bauer and Kathy Evertz, TRIO Resource Fair, January 12, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, panelist during New Faculty Orientation, September 2, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, trained Chemistry Dept. tutors, September 21, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, trained Chemistry Dept. tutors, January 6, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, Portfolio Reader, June 14-16, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, Idea Lab Planning Committee:  member.

Kathy Evertz, Curriculum and Research Support (CARS) Committee: member.

Kathy Evertz, Coordinated Support Committee: member.

Kathy Evertz, M. Leith Shackel Scholarship: selection committee member.Kathy Evertz, Dean of Students Office: Prizes and Awards: selection committee member.

Kathy Evertz, TRIO Search Committee:  member.

Kathy Evertz, Hall Director Candidate Interviews, April 2011: participant.

Kathy Evertz, ACE/ACT Committee: visitor.

Robbie Groth, Staff at Carleton (SAC): member.

  • SAC Special Events Committee.
  • SAC Executive Board.

Robbie Groth, Safety Committee, member.

Russ Petricka, attended all weekly Math Department Staff Meetings, and all weekly Computer Science (CS) Staff Meetings.

Melissa Stauffer, Committee on Student Life (CSL): member.

Conference Presentations

Kathy Evertz, Khant Khant Kyaw, and Julie McCormick, presenters, "Beyond the Harbor to Whitewater Rapids:  ELL Students, American Academic Discourse, and Writing Centers,"  International Writing Centers Association, Baltimore, MD, November 4, 2010.Melissa Stauffer, co-led, with Isaiah Thomas and Chris Remley from Carleton College, "Grad School 101," MCPA Undergraduates in Student Affairs, Minneapolis, MN, November 6, 2010. Melissa Stauffer, co-led, with Isaiah Thomas and Chris Remley from Carleton College, "Grad School 202," MCPA Undergraduates in Student Affairs, Minneapolis, MN, November 6, 2010. Melissa Stauffer, co-led, with Sarah Tetley from Webster University and Alisha Scaggs from University of Northern Iowa, "UMR 101," UMR-ACUHO conference, Minneapolis, MN, November 10, 2010.

Workshops and Presentations Attended on Campus (Selected)

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event: Digital Nation, September 21, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event: Panoramic Images and Panoramic Consciousness, October 5, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event:  Why Very Good is No Longer Good Enough: Remaking Liberal Learning for a Diverse, Global Society, October 12, 2010.

Kathy Evertz and Russ Petricka, attended Math/Science Winter Workshop, December 2-3, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event: A&I 1.0: The 2010 Experience and Beyond, January 11, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event: Creating Confident, Independent Learners and Leaders, February 1, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, attended LTC event:  Ensuring Health Classrooms: Exploring the Impact of Sensitive Material on Students, April 28, 2011.

Robbie Groth, HR: Paymentnet Informational Meeting, September 21, 2010.

Robbie Groth, HR: Managing Student Workers.

Robbie Groth, HR:  Express Yourself, "The Art of Being Understood" presentation.

Robbie Groth, Carleton Staff Retreat, September 8, 2010.

Russ Petricka, attended the L.I.F.E. Workshop, October 19, 2011.

Melissa Stauffer, LTC: Showing and Knowing: How Exhibits, Displays, and Posters Teach, December 6-7, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, LTC: Beyond Trans 101, May 11, 2011.

Outreach: On-Campus Workshops and Presentations

Kathy Evertz and Gene Bauer, "Introduction to American Academic Writing," a half-day workshop during new international student orientation, September 3, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, worked with the Program Coordinator and a SOAN major to create time-management inspirational messages for SOAN majors to accompany emails regarding COMPS information.

Melissa Stauffer, "Time to Make Time," Resident Assistant Staff Development Workshop, September 15, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer and Kathy Evertz, FOCUS presentation, September 29, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, "Manage Your Time, Manage Your Life," POSSE 2014, October 5, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, "Time Management, Sleep and Concentration," OIIL Intercultural Peer Leaders mentors and mentees, Carleton College, October 20, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, "Time Management to Relieve Stress," Myers Hall residents, November 3, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, "Time Management to Relieve Stress," Nourse/Myers Hall residents, January 13, 2011.

Melissa Stauffer, collaboration with Student Wellness Advisors, "Effective Study Techniques," Burton Hall residents, February 3, 2011.

Melissa Stauffer, collaboration with Student Wellness Advisors, "Time Management for Stress Reduction," Musser Hall residents, April 18, 2011.

Student Staff Training, Development, and Workshops

Gene Bauer led workshops on October 6, 2010 and on January 19, 2011 for all Writing Consultants on working with second language writers.

Cindy Blaha, Sarah Deel, and Carol Rutz, "Writing With and About Numbers" workshop for Writing Consultants, organized by Kathy Evertz, February 28, 2011.

Kathy Evertz and Gene Bauer,  New Writing Consultant Training, September 9-10, 2011. Dennis Cass (English), led workshop, "Creativity and Writing," for Writing Consultants, organized by Kathy Evertz, April 26, 2011. Kathy Evertz and Russ Petricka, co-planners and co-leaders, New-Prefect Training, September 12-13, 2010; January 2-3, 2011; March 27-28, 2011. Doug Foxgrover (ITS) and Matt Ryan (Web Services), co-led two workshops for Writing Consultants on how to effectively design and coach other students to design posters, organized by Kathy Evertz, April 13 and 20, 2011. Russ Petricka, planner and co-leader (with Sam Patterson), New Math Tutor Training, September 12, 2010.

Professional Activities and Professional Development

Gene Bauer, Kathy Evertz, Russ Petricka, and Melissa Stauffer, attended the Fourth Tutoring Summit at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN, October 8, 2010.

Gene Bauer, Kathy Evertz, Robbie Groth, Russ Petricka, and Melissa Stauffer, participants, St. Olaf Roundtable on Academic Support, St. Olaf, February 25, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, attended and presented at the International Writing Centers Association conference, Baltimore, MD, November 4-6, 2010.

Kathy Evertz, attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, GA, April 6-10, 2011, including pre-conference workshop, "The Web of Meaning: Incorporating Multi-Media Technology into Writing-Intensive Courses."

Kathy Evertz, attended the Learning & the Brain conference, "iGeneration:  How the Digital Age is Altering Student Brains, Learning & Teaching," San Francisco, CA, February 17-19, 2011.

Kathy Evertz, reviewer for the Journal for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Kathy Evertz, reviewer for the Writing Lab Newsletter.

Kathy Evertz, external review team, Kenyon College's Math and Science Skills Center,

Kathy Evertz and Russ Petricka, hosted Macalester Academic Excellence Center staff on site visit, January 10, 2011.

Robbie Groth, attended monthly meetings of International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), MN-ND-SD Division; attended board meetings once per month before regular meetings.

  • Officer duties: Treasure Elect and Committee Chair of Membership; Treasurer and Bylaws Committee Member (beginning July 2011)               

Robbie Groth, attended "Passion and Purpose," IAAP 2010 Annual Meeting Conference (MN-ND-SD Division) Brainerd, MN, May 19-21,  2011.

Russ Petricka, attended MathFest 2010 (sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America), Philadelphia, PA, August 5-8, 2010.

Russ Petricka, attended the National College Learning Center Association (NCLCA) Conference,  Charlotte, NC, September 30-October 2, 2010.

Russ Petricka, attended the CEDI Open House, February 17, 2011.

Russ Petricka, attended Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Spring Conference, Duluth, MN, April 29-30, 2011.

Melissa Stauffer  attended The Basics on BASICS: Motivational Interviewing Strategies presentation at St. Olaf College, September 15, 2010.Melissa Stauffer, attended Minnesota College Personnel Association Conference, October 14-15, 2010.

Melissa Stauffer, attended Upper Midwest Region - Association of College and University Housing Officers Regional Conference, Minneapolis, MN, November 8-12, 2010.

Other Outreach Activities

Gene Bauer, Kathy Evertz, and Russ Petricka, staffed the Welcome Tent, New Student Week, September 7, 2011.

Gene Bauer, Kathy Evertz, and Russ Petricka, staffed the Academic Fair, New Student Week, September 10, 2011.

Gene Bauer presented a program for the Arb staff on the natural history, field marks and calls of owls that inhabit the ARB.  This was followed by a field trip to locate vocalizing owls.

Gene Bauer led a birding walk for the Arb student naturalists in the Arb on May 20, 2011, to introduce them to field marks and songs of migratory birds. 

Gene Bauer led a birding walk for Arb staff in the Cannon River Wilderness Park on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 to locate and identify migrating birds.

Robbie Groth organized Meals on Wheels delivery for one week with SAC and Forum volunteers.

Robbie Groth served Late Night Breakfast to the students at the end of Spring Term.

Mel Stauffer participated in Student Life events, including Halloween Concert, MidWinter Ball, Spring Concert, Late Night Breakfasts.

Melissa Stauffer, Study Tips/Study quotations continued to be a valued part of the Noon News Bulletin (NNB).

The Speakeasy

For more on the Speakeasy, visit our website.

Diana Fraser ('14), Sarah Price ('13), and Shavera Seneviratne ('13) offered  a total of 215 office hours throughout the academic year:

  • 4.5 hours/week during Fall Term 2011
  • 5 hours/week during Winter Term 2011
  • 12 hours/week during Spring Term 2011

Speakeasy coaches also consulted with faculty and staff--including Liz Ciner, Andrea Nixon (Curricular and Research Support), Martha Paas (Economics), Jessica Mueller (Career Center), and Jay Beck (CAMS), Larry Archbold (Music)--about their services and potential collaborations.

Department Assessment Activities

End-of-term evaluations of Writing Assistants (Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011)Writing Center evaluations (written by clients at the conclusion of every Writing Center conference throughout the year)  The complete set of responses is here.

Writing Center conference reports (written by consultants at conclusion of every Writing Center conference throughout the year)

End-of-term evaluations of Prefects (Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011)

Evaluations of new-prefect training (Fall 2010)End-of-term evaluations of Second-Language Writing consultant and client one-to-one tutoring effectiveness (Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011)Writing Consultant Alumni Research Project, conducted Winter-Spring 2011 

Prefect Program Alumni Research Project, conducted Winter-Spring 2011

  • Rachel Zucker ('11) conducted an analysis of open-ended responses, which is posted on our Prefect Program website

Professional Memberships

American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Melissa Stauffer

American Mathematical Society, Russ Petricka

Associated Twin Cities College Housing Administrators (ATCCHA), Mel Stauffer

Association for Tutoring Professionals (ATP), Mel Stauffer

Association of College and University Housing Officers (UMR-ACUHO), Upper Midwest Region, Melissa Stauffer

International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Robbie Groth

  • Membership chair, local chapter (ends June 2011)
  • Treasurer-Elect, local chapter
  • Treasurer, local chapter (beginning June 2011)
  • Bylaws Committee, local chapter (beginning June 2011)

International Writing Centers Association, Kathy Evertz

Mathematical Association of America, Russ Petricka

Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Russ Petricka

Minnesota Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Gene Bauer

National College Learning Centers Association, Russ Petricka

National Communication Association, Kathy Evertz

National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kathy Evertz

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Russ Petricka

Symposium on Second Language Writing, Gene Bauer

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Gene Bauer

Writing Center Professionals of Minnesota, Kathy Evertz

Goals and Objectives for 2010-2011

  1. Continue longitudinal study of second-language-writing consultant effectiveness. In February 2011, through the office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Gene Bauer worked with Cherry Danielson to assess our work with second language student writers. A complete copy of IRA's summary is attached to this report.  See the Second Language Writing section of this report for a summary.
  2. Submit documentation for NCLCA tutor program certification for writing consultants and, possibly, prefects and math tutors.  This goal was placed on the back burner for several reasons, primary among them these:  (1) NCLCA does not accept web-based applications (e.g., the use of as a venue for centralizing all documentation), which are much greener than paper-based applications, (2) Gene Bauer announced his retirement at the end of the academic year, requiring a significant time commitment to hiring his replacement, and (3) Kathy Evertz was able to hire Rachel Zucker ('11), a student worker (and former prefect in Psychology) with experience in obtaining IRB approval and data analysis of questionnaires, which opened the door to conducting surveys of Prefect Program and Writing Center alumni.  The latter project was inspired by the National Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project; Carleton's findings are now on the NPWTARP website.  For more information, see the Prefect Program, Writing Center, and Assessment sections of this report.
  3. Strive for greater efficiencies in supporting Robbie Groth's position as Program Assistant.  A determination was made to ensure that program-related room reservations should go through and be made by Robbie Groth, with very few exceptions.

Goals and Objectives for 2011-2012

  1. Conduct a needs assessment with respect to oral communication, presentations, and the Speakeasy.
  2. Identify an effective, accurate method of tracking usage of the Speakeasy.
  3. Initiate conversations regarding a needs assessment of the Writing Assistant program.

Prefect Program

During Winter-Spring 2011, we conducted a survey of Prefect Program "alumni" to find out what students holding the position learned about learning, what skills they developed, and how they continue to use these skills in graduate school and/or careers. Click here for the results of that survey.

By the Numbers

  • The total number of students the Academic Support Center hired to work 10 hours per week as prefects:  43 (as compared to 38 during 2009-10)
  • The total number of courses supported by a prefect this year: 62 (as compared to 60 during 2009-10 and 55 during 2008-09)
  • The number of departments and programs participating in the Prefect Program this year:  7 (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Math, Political Science, and Psychology)
  • The number of faculty who worked with prefects this year:  34

Who Attends Prefect Sessions? The Data from the 2010-11 Academic YearJason Weischedel '11 (Economics), Data Analyst

A substantial portion of Carleton students attended a prefect session

  • Prefects facilitated 1,025 study/review sessions.
  • Approximately 1,070 students attended a prefect session.
  • More than 60% of students enrolled in a course with a prefect attended at least one prefect session.  Over 20% of students attended at least half of the offered sessions.
  • The average student enrolled in a course with a prefect attends just over three sessions per term. For students who attended at least one session, the average is around five.
  • The average prefect session drew 6.3 students, approximately 20% of the class.

Students of all course years worked with prefects, though first-year students worked especially closely with them
  •  48% of all students attending a prefect session were first-year students, 33% were sophomores, 12% were juniors, and 7% were seniors.
  • First-year students were the most likely to attend prefect sessions, with 67% of all first-year students enrolled in a prefect course attending at least one session.  This compares to an attendance rate of 55% among sophomores, 48% among juniors, and 38% among seniors.
  • Students met with prefects for introductory and advanced math, science and social science courses.

  • 72% of students taking a course in the sciences, 63% of students taking a math course and 56% of students taking a course in the social sciences attended at least one prefect session.
  • Students taking a course in the social sciences attended at least one prefect session.  In sciences courses, the average prefect session had 22% of the class in attendance. For the social sciences, the average prefect session drew 13% of the class.  In mathematics courses, the average session drew 20% of the class.
  • Forty-eight percent of students taking an introductory (100-level) course with a prefect attended at least one session, compared to 78% of students taking an advanced (200- or 300-level) course.  A prefect session for an introductory course drew 15% of the class on average, whereas a session for an advanced course drew 26%.
  • More than 20% of students who attended a prefect session in science courses attended at least half of the sessions, while 16% of those in social science courses did.

  • Students who attended the first prefect session were more likely to attend future session.
  • Students who attended the first prefect session attended 6.5 sessions on average. Students who did not attend the first session attended 4 sessions on average.  Twenty percent of students attended their prefect's first session.

Female students were more likely to attend sessions and attended more frequently
  • 76% of female students attended at least one prefect session, compared to 65% of males
  • The average female attended 4.8 sessions, while the average male attended 4.0

Student Feedback

When asked, "What did the prefect do that was particularly effective?" students who attended sessions this year responded with comments like these:

  • Awesome explanation + problems.
  • Went over big picture concepts.
  • Taught, and created targeted worksheets. Utilized the entire time, and opened the floor for any and all questions. Posted solutions to every session & practice exams & detailed commentary online. Practice problems, encouraged collaborative learning.
  • Had us work through the sheets first and work through them as groups, then we went through as a class.
  • Practice problems and going over answers as class.
  • Practice w/both mechanisms & synthesis.
  • Patience & clear explanations.
  • Charts that organized ideas from class. And snacks and positivity/encouragement.
  • Patiently answered questions and explained difficult concepts in new ways.
  • He made his own practice problems and answered them, but the best part is that he posted them on Moodle so we could do them if we didn't have time to go to the sessions.
  • Had us do small group work.
  • Sat down with us and went through stuff step by step.
  • Have us talk through things on our own + struggle with the material.
  • Did whatever it took to make sure students understood material.
  • Asked relevant questions
  • Gave good explanations.

Second-Language Writing Support

Gene Bauer, Coordinator

For more information, visit our website.

Gene Bauer's Regular Activities

  • Staff participant in Writing Consultant training, September 8, 9 and 10, 2010
  • Mentor group facilitator for new tutors/writing assistants, Fall Term
  • Introduction/orientation/information sessions with each new ESL consultant and client
  • Identified and assigned 1-to-1 writing consultants for L2 students: Fall Term - 10; Winter  Term - 15;  Spring Term - 13
  • Worked regularly/weekly with 6 to 9 individual second language students on academic writing
  • Met with faculty on individual L2 student concerns
  • Consultant for senior students writing comps, Winter and Spring Terms
  • New Tutor Interview process, interviewer
  • Portfolio consulting with L2 students, Winter and Spring Terms
  • ASC Professional Development Workshops: Grammar/punctuation; Writing in the Sciences; Poster workshop;
  • International student breakfasts, dinners and banquets

ESL Consulting Hours

Writing Consultant One-to-One Work

The ESL portion of ASC provides one-to-one tutoring services to international and American non-native speakers of English.   We experienced a 60% increase in the number of students with whom we worked from 2007-8 to 2008-09.  Since 2008, the number has stayed fairly consistent, although we experienced a 5% increase over last year.  Here is a comparison to last year by term for the number of clients with whom our one-to-one consultants worked:

                        2008-9            2009-10            2010-11

Fall Term              8                    14                      10

Winter Term        14                    11                      15

Spring Term        16                     11                    13 

TOTAL                38                    36                      38

Most consultants met regularly for 2 one-hour sessions per week, others for 1 hour per week.  Below is a list of the number of hours committed to second language students by term for the years the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11:

                        2008-9            2009-10            2010-11

Fall Term            150                  240                  170

Winter Term        210                180                    280

Spring Term        220                 150                    240

TOTAL              580                  590                    621

Gene Bauer's One-to-One Work Gene had regularly scheduled weekly meetings with the following number of second language students each term.  Depending on need, writers met with Gene one, two, or three hours per week. 

Fall Term            9

Winter Term        5

Spring Term        6

Gene also met with second language students on a drop-in basis, consulted with seniors on comps, worked with writers on applications for internships, graduate schools and jobs.  All together, this work amounted to a 470-hour commitment to second language students for the school year 2010-11.

Our Clients

Eighty-seven percent of our clients were international students and thirteen percent American.  Two clients were non-native-speaking faculty spouses, one the Chinese Language Associate, and one was an international exchange student.

Consultants Working One-to-One By Term, 2010-2011

Note:  Most consultants hold two one-hour meetings with their clients each week.  A few clients prefer to meet for one hour per week.  One consultant worked with two clients.

Fall Term '10

Gabriel Silberblatt '11

Michelle Hesterberg '1

Rebecca Huffman '11

Emily Schikli '11     

Samantha Ellerbeck '11

Francesca Garcia '13

Elicia Cousins '13     

Debbie Wong '13     

Emily Schikli '11     

Tony Daza '14

Winter Term '11

Rebecca Huffman '11

Emily Schikli '11

Francesca Garcia '13

Debbie Wong '13

Andrew Chael '13

Jabir Yusoff '11

Fadi Hakim '13

Robin Reich '12

Katarina Lazo '12

Samantha Ellerbeck '11

Nick Welna '12

Michelle Hesterberg '11

Gabe Silberblatt '11

Iosif Sorokin '11

Spring Term '11

Emily Schikli '11

Jabir Yusoff '11

Robin Reich '12

Katarina Lazo '12

Samantha Ellerbeck '11

Nick Welna '12

Michelle Hesterberg '11

Gabe Silberblatt '11

Rebecca Huffman '11

Francesca Garcia '13

Debbie Wong '13

Jake Reznick '12

Feedback from ESL Clients

At the end of each term, we ask clients to evaluate their work with writing consultants.  The following comments from clients were in response to this prompt sent during week 9 of Spring Term:

Would you please take a moment to evaluate your work with your writing consultant during Spring Term?  Here are some questions to consider:

a) What was the most effective thing that your consultant did in the conferences with you?

b) What else could your consultant have done to make your meetings more effective?

  • As you have asked, I would like to evaluate my work with Michelle Hesterberg during Spring Term. I think Michelle was a fantastic and a fabulous writing consultant. In the beginning, I and I am sure Michelle as well needed adjustment time. However, as we met weekly, our meetings became very smooth. The most effective thing that Michelle did in the conferences with me was to suggest alternative ways of phrasing sentences that she felt that I could not concisely and adequately express. It really helped me to learn new and better ways of writing sentences that were more to the point. In addition, it really helped me that she went over grammars when reading over my essays. Sometimes, I really have hard time figuring out when to put "a" or "the" in front of certain nouns and I also have difficult time getting used to some of the idiomatic English sayings. Thanks to Michelle that I learned more of these aspects of English language. I would also like to mention that it really helped me when Michelle asked me questions like "so, how do you think you can make this sentence better" or "what word can you use instead of ___?". Her questions really challenged me to think and figure out first by myself. In fact, I often did. However, at times that I could not figure out on my own, Michelle would suggest words or better phrases that would capture more succinctly what I was trying to convey in my essays. I am so grateful that I got to know Michelle and have her as my writing consultant.
  • Here's my evaluation of the time I and Debbie worked together: a) Most effective: + Time flexibility: I and Debbie don't have a fixed schedule but we work out the meeting time really well. b) What else can be worked on: I think Debbie is a very good writing tutor. As of now, there's nothing I can think of for Debbie to improve.
  • (a) Sam helps me to understand the basic and most classic way of use of vocabulary and grammar, as well as structure of the whole paper. (b) Sam is perfect and I am happy to work with her. I think so far I cannot think of anything that she needs to improve.
  • This term, my writing assignment mostly included lab report. I think the most effective thing I learned from Francesca was how to write a good figure caption. I think she did a great job as pointing out my common mistakes and explaining them. After few times, when she saw those mistakes again, she would stop me while I would read aloud my paper and asked me if I see any problem with what I just read. I think it was very helpful.
  • a) Work on the papers for classes together and answer my specific questions about word usage. b) Work through some classical English writing pieces together.
  • My consultant is absolutely amazing! I'm talking about her here because I believe that half success of the one-to-one tutoring session really depends on the tutor. She is extremely responsible and considerate. Her help allowed us to improve some of my writing habits (i.e. being aware of these habits, and tackle them by asking "How do you feel about this? Could it be better?...) and issues that have been repeatedly discovered in my writing. Personally, my writing has been improved in almost all possible aspects, even though the magnitude of each aspect may be very different:). Specifically, after getting grammatical problems out of my way, I've become more critical of my own writing, and have been able to organize my ideas better that used to be a big challenge for me. Additionally, working with the same consultant has helped me with my non-academic writing due to greater flexibility of time management and a higher comfort level of sharing my writing with the same person.
  • a). ESL usage problem, mistake in tenses, change the sentence structure to a better way. b) give more comments on the logic flow of the paper.
  • Yes sure I would evaluate my work with Rebecca: a) The most effective thing we've done is to brainstorm and put together my arguments into very clearly organized essays. Also she helped me a lot on the grammar aspect. b) As in what else she could probably help me with, maybe she could help me better balance my time arrangements on writing and help me set up schedules for writing? Sometimes we meet but we don't have that much to talk about since I don't start writing ahead enough. But this has been a really minor point because for my current research project it has been really hard for me to start writing until I've done lots of reading. Also this is my own responsibility too. Rebecca has been an awesome tutor and we've also developed very good and tight friendship. I rate her one hundred points!
  • Francesca was a great help for my Winter term, Writing Science course. She helped me through helping to brainstorm the idea and organize them into logical order. What really helped me was to talk the matter out.
  • I think that one of the most important writing tips I learned from Sam is structure of the essay. Her analogy of reconstructing the essay was like moving these puzzle pieces really worked for me, and helped my essay's logic flow more fluently. She also always encouraged me to speak aloud what I want to express in essay, which also helped me to see about whether I conveyed my ideas clearly in my essay because I tend to present my argument in a less explicit way.
  • a) Talking though my ideas to gain a better idea of what my thesis and body paragraphs would be the most helpful part of the conferences. Without her help, I would have had a difficult time getting out what I wanted to say in the papers. In addition, going through the papers with Robin helped me notice grammatical errors I was continuously making. Although writing in English still is not the most easiest thing for me, the conferences helped me build confidence in my writing compared to the time I started having meetings. b) She was always helpful and there is nothing I can think of immediately that needs improvement.
  • I strongly feel the efficiency of our academic program. I have also benefited from the Writing Center's dedication to assist students' study at Carleton. My consultant is too great for me to think of any improvement:) I'm just hoping that more and more tutors who are so good at communication and writing will become one of our tutors. Moreover, one thing that I greatly appreciated was that she showed her interest in the stuff that I wrote about and her willingness to really understand my topics, which may be a great challenge for some people.
  • This is my last term with Gabe at Carleton (makes me a little bit sad : ( He continued his strength of being clear, organized, and the ability to see clearly what the problem the tutee really has. For example, the constructive feedback that Gabe provides always effectively makes the tune of my paper flows more smoothly.
  • I am happy that I can help: My experiences with Jake Reznick have been very positive: he has not only helped me with my grammar and organization, but also some more advanced wording techniques. Overall, I think that he is an excellent tutor.

Assessment of Our Work by Institutional Research and Assessment

In February 2011, through the office of Institutional Research and Assessment, we conducted a rather thorough assessment our work with second language student writers. A complete copy of IRA's summary is attached, but below is a recap of our clients' responses to this prompt:

What was the most effective thing that your consultant did in his/her conferences with you?

  • He took time to go over verbs and tenses with me.
  • Work closely on papers for my classes and conversations on interesting topics.
  • Talking through my ideas was definitely the most effective part of tutoring.
  • I think I have improved in proof reading and I can figure out many grammatical errors by myself.
  • Organization
  • He was very knowledgeable and friendly. I did not feel uncomfortable at all.
  • Help me organize my ideas in a good structure.
  • To make me think further, to organize my essays more logically to display my argument clearly.
  • General idea of writing, constructing
  • Grammar and challenging me to think.
  • How the usage of words can make a writing better. Flow of arguments in papers.
  • He made me read out loud my essays and by doing this, I came to understand my own mistakes.
  • Building up overall structure, correcting word choices and grammar. How to approach the main questions or
  • Debbie is really good at grammar and organizing essay ideas.
  • Multiple suggestions regarding a single, simple problem.
  • Talk through the plan
  • Carried open conversation (to have me talk about the subject whenever I was stuck)
  • Meticulous. She could always identify the mistakes and tries to make my essay perfect.
  • He gave me some insight into analyzing literary texts, essays, etc.
  • She helps me a lot with my brainstorming and organizing my arguments into essays.

Writing Center and Writing Assistants Program

During Winter-Spring 2011, we conducted a survey of Writing Consultant "alumni" to find out what students holding the position learned about learning, what skills they developed, and how they continue to use these skills in graduate school and/or careers. Here are the results of that survey.


Jason Weischedel ('11, Economics), Data Analyst

Carleton students make frequent use of the Writing Center  

  • The Writing Center staff conducted over 1,224 sessions this year
    • 73% of visits were return visits
  • 48% of students using the writing center were freshmen, 33% were sophomores, 8% were juniors and 11% were seniors 

 Students bring a variety of projects to the Writing Center  

  • Students came with projects from all departments, even foreign languages and sciences
  • Students with declared majors represented 28 departments and programs
  • 82% of projects were essays
  • 49% of projects were 3-5 pages, 21% were 6-10 pages, 21% were 1-2 pages and 5% were over 20 pages 
  • 6% of visits were to work on applications while another 4% of visits were to work on comps
  • 8% of students focused on other projects, such as the writing portfolio

 Students visit the Writing Center to make substantive improvements to their work  

  • Students mostly focused on issues of clarity (64%), organization (63%), and thesis (52%)
  • 29% of students made an appointment with the goal of incorporating evidence in their papers
  • 23% visited for proofreading, 14% visited for help with citations and 7% visited with a focus on brainstorming

Students visited the Writing Center throughout the writing process  

  • 51% of students had completed a first draft, 25% of students had written a second draft, 17% had written a partial draft and 8% came to start brainstorming 
  • The Writing Center is available even for last minute help: 36% of students visited the day before their project was due, 20% visited two days before their project was due and 16% of students visited the day their project was due
  • Other students planned well in advance: 18% of students visited 3-5 days in advance, while 10% of students visited at least a week before their project was due 

What Students Said About Their Writing Center Consultants This Year

At the end of every Writing Center conference, clients are asked to complete a short survey that asks, "What did you learn today?" and "Would you return to work with the same consultant on your writing?  Why or why not?" Click here for the complete Excel spreadsheet for 10-11.

The following is a sample of responses students to the question "What did you learn today?"

  • How to create a conclusion that succinctly summed up my essay well, but wasn't exactly the same as my introduction
  • I learned how to rework different elements in my paper
  • Making the thesis clear in the first paragraph
  • How to strengthen my thesis and cite an entire website
  • Worked one structure and flow
  • How to create a clear/easily understandable introductory paragraph and to lay out a map of what you will be talking about in the essay
  • Checked over my paper for style and clarity
  • I learned to focus more on organization while writing a paper
  • The beginning of my paragraphs need to link more to the central point
  • I learned how to relate the topic sentences of my body paragraphs to my thesis
  • How to edit my paper
  • Organization, thesis, expanding
  • How to condense non-essential material and focus more on my main point
  • I learned that I don't completely believe in that I'm arguing in my paper but I'm not changing my topic at this stage. Also, I should not only try to persuade the reader of why my argument is right, but also why the other points of view are wrong
  • How to reformulate my intro and conclusion such that I don't merely summarize the plot
  • Good new perspective of my paper
  • Brainstorming and organization
  • Parallelism and run-on sentences
  • That I need to restructure my paper and that reading it helps me understand it
  • The writing center is certainly a helpful resource. I worked on weeding out unnecessary information and connecting arguments more closely to the thesis
  • Outside of MLA formatting rules, to remain consistent with my thesis throughout the paper
  • I learned today about connecting my topic sentences more clearly with the thesis. I also learned to take the time in the essay to fully explain my point.
  • I learned that the evidence I have for my thesis isn't as strong as it could be, and there is always room for improvement in my writing
  • How to add to a conclusion and avoid apologetic phrases
  • How to better structure a series of sentences so a reader can understand them
  • How to effectively address the ideas in my paper without going over the assigned page content
  • That I need to explain the phrases I am using in my essay better
  • An outside perspective is always useful
  • Many things... grammar and many corrections in starting a new paragraph
  • How to structure my thesis and organize my thoughts
  • To provide a more specific roadmap in my intro
  • How to create a basic outline for my paper
  • How to improve on my proof-reading
  • I learned to look past me initial thought and dig deeper to examine stereotypes. Also that I shouldn't be so hard on myself.
  • Punctuation, clarifying examples
  • Writing portfolio help and organization
  • Organizing my paper and how to bring out my thesis
  • I was able to talk out my paper
  • The correct way to cite repeated reference in footnotes in Chicago style
  • Organization and restructuring of my paper
  • I learned I have to be more direct in addressing the solutions to the problems that I bring up.
  • More about organizing
  • Worked on flow and comma usage
  • Much... how to do a topic sentence
The following is a sample of responses students wrote when asked for comments about the writing consultant with whom they worked

  • She rules xoxoxoxox heart icon
  • yes, she was great
  • Yes, Aside from being awesome? Knowledgeable, plenty of Pierre Hecker experience
  • yes, vey clear and organized
  • yes, he was very helpful
  • yes, she is very clear and direct when explaining
  • yes. Very nice, helpful, enthusiastic
  • yes, just went over the paper. Helpful comments
  • not really. Seemed a bit behind. Not terrible but not great
  • yes, he was helpful
  • yes, she is helpful and nice
  • yes, she knew what she was talking about
  • yes, he was helpful
  • yes, she was very helpful in terms of sentence structure and organization and very kind and reassuring
  • yes, she was very nice/friendly and good at asking questions that made me think about my ideas in a different way
  • very helpful and engaging
  • he was very helpful with working on restructuring my introductions and helped me start to think of ideas for my conclusion. So yes, I would return
  • absolutely: Julie is fervent in the methods she uses in her approaches to writing and improving writing.
  • yes, very competent, intelligent, helpful
  • Yes, it was overall very helpful. If I don't return, it will be because of time (or lack there of)
  • yes, absolutely knowledgeable about the subject material; effective blend of listening/offering advice; very calming in a chill, respectful way!
  • I would, she was extremely helpful and friendly, and she had a genuine interest in my work
  • yes. Critical and friendly in a constructive way
  • Absolutely, her advice was very relevant and specific, as well as useful as an outside viewpoint
  • Yep! She was very helpful in processing my complicated topic
  • yes because he helped me formulate my opinions in a more cohesive way
  • sure, why not?
  • yes, she was really helpful and kind. I was comfortable
  • yes, it was helpful.
  • Yes, she was very patient and answered all my questions.
  • Yes, he was very effective in helping me create a simple outline
  • yes because he gave me many ideas and was nice
  • yes because she is thoughtful and helped me figure out more about what I really think
  • yes, she was engaged, very helpful, and has the same professor I currently have
  • Yes because his questions about what I was trying to say made me think more critically about what I was actually saying
  • yes, the advice was not only helpful for this paper, but for my writing in general
  • Yes. She really took time to go through minute details and I felt my eaasy really improved within 30 minutes
  • yes-she was straightforward and helped me work through my essay
  • yes helpful- asked me good questions about my paper/purpose, but 25 mins was really short!!
  • Yes. He is very responsible and great!
  • yes because he is very friendly and skilled
  • Yes, she knew what she was talking about
  • yes, she helped me with maintaining the focus of my thesis throughout my essay
  • yes! Super helpful and not condescending or belittling
  • yes helpful with bigger picture
  • Yes, very clear and accurate
  • Definitely! He was extremely and seemed genuinely interested in what I was writing
  • Yes! He was very helpful
  • Yes, she was very helpful. She was positive and made me feel good about my ideas, yet game me constructive criticism

Writing Assistants (WAs) support students in specific courses in becoming independent writers who employ mature writing processes within the context of those courses.  WAs enhance communication between professors and students.  The same students who are hired to consult with writers in the Writing Center also function as WAs attached to specific courses with the WR designation.  In that capacity, they use their training as tutors as well as their own savvy about college writing to function as informed peers.  Detailed responsibilities for WAs vary from course to course and professor to professor.

By the numbers

  • The total number of classes supported by a WA this year: 51 (Fall: 28; Winter: 12; Spring 11)
  • The total number of departments that offered A&I seminars and writing-rich courses that were supported by WAs:  20 (American Studies, Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Classics, Cross-Cultural Studies, Economics, Eduational Studies, English, Geology, German, Hebrew, History, IDSC, Linguistics, Music, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, and Theater)
    • 20 English classes had WAs
    • 6 History classes had WAs
    • all other departments listed above had 1 or 2 WAs
  • The total number of hours that WAs were available for meetings with students in writing-rich courses and writing seminars: 1,530

What Students Said About Their Writing Assistants

When we asked them at the end of the term what their WA did that was "particularly effective," students made comments like these:

  • Talked through the process & allowed me to present ideas.
  • Helped me to work on the flow of my paper.
  • Asked what I wanted to focus on.
  • Listened to my concerns.
  • Helped with organization.
  • Discussing my topic and what I could do with it.
  • Read essay out loud.
  • Organization.  She didn't know too much about Classics, but she knew how to write a good paper.
  • We read over my paper.
  • General advice on narrowing focus.
  • Wrote down ideas as she went or wrote down what I was saying to help me visualize organization.


The mission of the Academic Support Center (ASC) is to support and guide all Carleton students in their pursuit of academic excellence. ASC programs and services provided students with individual and group opportunities to develop as active learners. ASC professional and student staff challenge students to explore their own ideas through critical thinking and problem-solving.

We engage in this process by acting as listeners, collaborators, guides, and facilitators. The ASC provides assistance through the Carleton Writing Center, individual second-language writing support, the Prefect Program, and the Math Skills Center. We also offer individualized academic tutoring and study skills coaching by request.

Student Staff

Academic Tutors

Hibo Beileh ‘12 (French)

Ethan Bernstein ’11 (Spanish)

Benjamin Cotts ‘11 (Chemistry)

Ivan Duong  ‘14 (Spanish and French)

Jenny Goetz ’11 (Physics)

Bobbi Greenfield ‘11 (Spanish)

Rose Hyson ‘ 11 (Chinese)

Sam Keller ’12 (Physics)

Peter Rose ‘11 (Physics)

Hillary Rosenheim ‘11 (Chemistry)

Advait  Sinha  ‘12 (Economics)

Ryan Skinner ‘13 (Physics)

Shoe Min Tan ‘12 (Physics)

Kat Walton ‘14 (Spanish)

Carly Wordelman ‘12 (Arabic)

Data Analyst

Jason Weischedel ('11)

Math Tutors

Matt Adams   (‘13)       

Dustin Anderson  (‘12)             

Samir Bhala  (‘12)             

Mary Bushman  (‘11)       

Sophie Bushwick  (‘11)       

Xin Chen  (‘13)       

Simone Childs-Walker  (‘12)       

Becca Cordes  (‘12)       

Prasit Dhakal  (‘12)       

Scotty Dossa  (’14)   

Vishal Elijah  (‘13)       

Saewon Eum  (‘13)       

Frank Firke   (‘12)       

Trevor Fisher  (‘13)             

Rebecca Gelles (‘13)           

Aman Gupta  (‘12)       

Jon Hahn  (‘12)       

Collin Hazlett  (‘12)       

Isaac Hodes  (‘12)             

Gracie Jaffe 2014       

Erin Jones (‘12)       

Abram Jopp  (‘12)       

Chas Karch  (‘13)       

Tommy Keller (‘13)       

Michael Knudson (‘11)         

Josh Kunstler 2014       

Shunji Li  (‘13)       

Tommy McCauley  (‘11)       

Julie Michelman (‘11)       

David Miller  (‘13)       

Hang Nguyen  (‘11)       

Samir Rashid ('14)      

Peter Rose  (‘11)     

Rachel Sams  (‘13)       

Daniel Schroeder (‘12)       

Paromita Sen  (‘11)       

Cole Stephan  (‘13)       

Katie Storey  (‘12)       

Ben Strasser  (‘13)       

Granger Titcomb  (‘11)       

Justin Troyka  (‘13)       

Sam Whitman  (‘11)       

David W. Williams  (‘12)       

Xinxin Xie (‘12)          


Dave Abel ('13)

Kate Adkins ('11)

Sameena Ahmed ('12)

Erika Anderson ('13)

Cory Barnes ('11)

Aaron Bernhardt ('11)

Eric Brenner ('11)

Emily Cogsdill ('11)

Sara Doyle ('11)

Daniel Ehrenberg ('11)

Lief Esbenshade ('12)

Katie France ('12)

Jonathan Garnaas-Holmes ('12)

Galen Gorski ('13)

Michael Groeneman ('12)

Andrew Hooker ('11)

Daoji Huang ('13)

Galen Kast ('11)

Djem Kissiov ('12)

Gnagna Lam ('12)

Maddy Lenhard ('11)

Liz Llanes ('13)

Kelly Lovett ('11)

Liz Low ('11)

Kenneth Lum ('13)

John-Michael McGrath ('12)

Sarah Meller ('11)

Anna Newman ('11)

Alexandra Price ('13)

Emily Riggall ('11)

Nicholas Roberts ('13)

Amanda Savitt ('11)

Daniel Schroeder ('12)

Elizabeth Silverstein ('11)

Kaz Skubi ('11)

Marika Xydes Smith ('13)

Colleen Tjosvold ('11)

Elliot Vaughan ('

Erika Warrick ('12)

Jason Weischedel ('11)

Alfred Yeung ('12)

Anna Zink ('11)

Rachel Zucker ('11)

Speakeasy Coaches

Diana Fraser ('14)

Sarah Price ('13)

Shavera Seneviratna ('13)

Student Office Workers

Nicholas Bellos ('12)

Madeleine Koski ('13)

Lily Ferris ('13)

Hang Nguyen ('11)

David Williams ('12)

Writing Consultants

Daniel Antoszyk  ‘13

Nicholas Bellos ‘12

Jabir Bin Mohd Yusoff ‘11

Peter Bonamici ‘11

Andrew Chael ‘13

Elicia Cousins ‘13

Samantha Ellerbeck ‘11

Rachel Feinberg  ‘13

Lily Ferris ‘13

Monica Fleisher  ‘13

Francesca Garcia  ‘13

Rafadi Hakim  ‘13

Michelle Hesterberg ’11

Rebecca Huffman ’11 

Will Ladner  ‘12

Sally Larkins ’11

Katarina Lazo  ‘12

Julie McCormick ‘11

Annie Metcalf ’12 

Emily Miller ‘12

Andrew Peters ‘13

Robin Reich ’12 

Jacob Reznick ’12 

Emily Schickli ’11 

Gabriel Silberblatt ’11

Iosif Sorokin ’11

Jacob Styburski  ‘13

Hannah Trees  ‘12

Jolene Walter ’12

Nicholas Welna ‘12

Deborah Wong  ‘13

Roger Yarett ‘11

Professional Staff

  • Gene Bauer, Coordinator, Second-Language Writing
  • Kathy Evertz, Director
  • Robbie Groth, Program Assistant
  • Russ Petricka, Supervisor, Math Skills Center
  • Melissa Stauffer, Academic Skills Coach

Academic Skills Coaching

Melissa Stauffer, Academic Skills Coach

For more information on these services, visit our website.

The Academic Skills Coaching portion of the ASC focuses mainly on one-to-one services to students seeking assistance in understanding and maximizing their time management skills, learning styles, study and test preparation, and minimizing their anxiety about homework, tests, and general academic performance.  The Academic Skills Coach also reaches out to the campus community by providing workshops to student groups and residence hall floors, and through advertisements and study tips in the Noon News Bulletin. Additionally, this year Melissa Stauffer collaborated with the Student Wellness Advisors to create a "How do you manage stress?" quilt as an outreach opportunity to open the campus to a conversation about healthy (and not so healthy) stress management during final times and other times of stress.

Individual one-to-one meetings:

  • Fall 2010: 43 (comparisons: Fall 2009: 15; Fall 2008: 10)
  • Winter 2011: 31 (comparisons: Winter 2010: 27; Winter 2009: 11)
  • Spring 2011: 31 (comparisons: Spring 2010: 12; Spring 2009: 4)

Total one-to-one clients during 2010-2011: 44

Total number of one-to-one visits during 2010-2011: 105

Student Staff: Honors, Internships, Jobs, and Grad School

Kate Adkins ('11, Biology; Biology Prefect).  Phi Beta Kappa; admitted to University of Chicago Medical School and will begin studies in fall 2011.

Dustin Anderson ('12, Physics; Math Tutor).  Awarded REU in nonlinear dynamics at the University of Maryland (summer 2011).

Cory Barnes ('11, Mathematics; Mathematics Prefect).  Eric Lasley '66 Scholarship for Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Steve Galovich Prize in Mathematics.  Cory will attend the University of Washington to begin work on a Ph.D. in pure math. 

Nicholas Bellos ('12, History; Writing Consultant).  "Exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio; received a QuIRK summer fellowship for independent research (summer 2011).

Andrew Chael ('13, History; Writing Consultant).  Philip Niles Essay Prize in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Carleton.

Xin Chen ('13, Mathematics; Math Tutor).  Awarded support from the Carleton Kolenkow Reitz fund to do research in mathematics at Brigham Young University (summer 2011).

Sara Doyle ('11, Chemistry; Chemistry Prefect).  Mortar Board; Sigma Xi.

Samantha Ellerbeck ('11, Sociology/Anthropology; Writing Consultant).  Selected to workas a Oakland Teaching Fellow (beginning fall 2011).

Monica Fleisher ('13, English; Writing Consultant).  Awarded an internship with College Bound, a St. Louis nonprofit organization (summer 2011).

Katie France ('12, Chemistry; Chemistry Prefect).  Mortar Board; "exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio; summer research internship with Carleton Chemistry Department.

Michael Groeneman ('12, Computer Science; Computer Science Prefect).  "Exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio.

Fadi Hakim ('13, Sociology/Anthropology; Writing Consultant).  Awarded an internship with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution (summer 2011).

Michelle Hesterberg ('11, Political Science; Writing Consultant).  Mortar Board.

Nick Holschuh ('11, Economics; Economics Tutor).  Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi; A. M. Harrison Prize in Economics.

Djem Kissiov ('12, Biology; Biology Prefect).  "Exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio; academic all-conference in swimming.

Michael Knudson ('11, Mathematics and Physics; Math Tutor).  Awarded a research Fulbright Fellowship to study silicon crystallization for solar cells in Norway; Phi Beta Kappa.

Will Ladner ('12, Biology; Writing Consultant).  Awarded Initiative for Service Internship in International Development to work with an NGO, Child Family Health International, in their Ecuador program called "Infectious Disease Eradication in Highland and Amazonian Ecuador" (summer 2011).

Sally Larkins ('11, English; Writing Consultant).  Phi Beta Kappa.

Maddy Lenhard ('11, Biology; Biology Prefect).  Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board; Sigma Xi.

Kelly Lovett ('11, Political Science; Political Science Prefect).  The Pat Lamb Award.

Julie McCormick ('11, English; Writing Consultant).  Phi Beta Kappa; Carleton Toni Award in the Arts.

Emily Miller ('12, English; Writing Consultant).  Internship with the New York Racing Association's Marketing Department (summer 2011).

Anna Newman ('11, Biology; Biology Prefect).  Sigma Xi; distinction on comps; Honors in Independent Study.  Anna will attend Ohio State University in the fall, where she will pursue a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; she is receiving support from the Plant Molecular Biology Fellowship.

Jake Reznick ('12, ENTS; Writing Consultant).  "Exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio.

Emily Riggall ('11, Chemistry; Chemistry Prefect).  Research assistant at the University of Iowa in Joshua Weiner's biology lab for 2011-2012.

Peter Rose ('11, Physics; Math Tutor).  Graduated Summa Cum Laude; distinction in the major; Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi.

Gabe Silberblatt ('11, Art History and English; Writing Consultant). The Margaret Dalton Curran prize for best academic essay; distinction in comps in both Art History and English.

Kaz Skubi ('11, Chemistry; Chemistry Prefect).  Graduated Summa Cum Laude; distinction in the major; distinction in comps; American Chemical Society (ACS) Certified Degree in Chemistry; Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Xi; member in American Institute of Chemists; Noyes Prize; Scott Tyler Bergner Prize; Richard Ramette Teaching Award; Biscotti Award for Outstanding Seminar Attendance.  Kaz will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall to begin working on a Ph.D. in organic/organometallic chemistry.

Hannah Trees ('12, Special Major; Writing Consultant).  "Exemplary" rating on the writing portfolio; Dale and Elizabeth Hanson Fellowship in Ethics.

Jolene Walter ('12, Psychology; Writing Consultant).  Paid internship with the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency and unpaid internship with the Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency (summer 2011; both agencies are located in New York City); interned at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. in New York during December 2010.

Jason Weischedel ('11, Economics; Economics Prefect and Academic Support Center Data Analyst).  Robert E. Will Economics Prize.  Jason will work for Teach For America this fall, teaching middle-school mathematics in Kansas City, MO.

Nick Welna ('12, History; Writing Consultant).  Carleton Social Justice Internship; Project Pericles Debating for Democracy.

Xinxin Xie ('12, Economics; Math Tutor).  Mortar Board; MCAN Scholarship; Kolenkow and Reitz Undergraduate Research Fellowship; Patricia V. Damon Scholarship; SEG General Scholarship; Grace and Yonghe Sun Scholarship.

Roger Yarett ('11, History; Writing Consultant).  Phi Beta Kappa; distinction on comps.

Alfred Yeung ('12, Art History and Chemistry; Chemistry Prefect).  Larson International Fellowship.

Jabir Bin Mohd Yusoff ('11, Philosophy and Psychology; Writing Consultant).  Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board; distinction in majors (Philosophy & Psychology); the Dave Okada Memorial Prize for the Social Sciences.  Jabir will attend the Duke University Law School in the fall.

Rachel Zucker ('11, Psychology; Psychology Prefect).  Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board.

Academic Tutoring

Robbie Groth, Program Assistant

For more information, visit our website.

Courses for Which Students Requested One-to-One Academic Tutors*



Chemistry 301, 343


Computer Science 202

Econ 331


French 101,102,204


Physics 132, 142, 151, 161, 162

Spanish 101, 102, 103, 204, 205

Academic Tutors

Hibo Beileh ‘12 (French)

Ethan Bernstein ’11 (Spanish)

Benjamin Cotts ‘11 (Chemistry)

Ivan Duong  ‘14 (Spanish and French)

Jenny Goetz ’11 (Physics)

Bobbi Greenfield ‘11 (Spanish)

Rose Hyson ‘ 11 (Chinese)

Sam Keller ’12 (Physics)

Peter Rose ‘11 (Physics)

Hillary Rosenheim ‘11 (Chemistry)

Advait  Sinha  ‘12 (Economics)

Ryan Skinner ‘13 (Physics)

Shoe Min Tan ‘12 (Physics)

Kat Walton ‘14 (Spanish)

Carly Wordelman ‘12 (Arabic)

Number of Students Requesting One-to-One Tutoring44

Number of Reported One-to-One Tutoring Hours Provided to Students**180

*Please note that Prefects and Course-Specific Writing Consultants also provide one-to-one tutoring as part of their positions, but we do not report these hours because of the difficulty of tracking.

**We believe the actual number is higher because of underreporting by academic tutors.