Our members are our greatest asset at ACTP and we love to highlighting the work that they do and the resources they are proud of on a weekly basis. On ACTP Thursdays, we put the spotlight on a member of the week, a resource of the week, or a best practice of the week. We’re a community of learning. We work best when we share our passions and practices.
Today, we bring you the work of ACTP Board Member, Justine Chasmar. Justine is an Assistant Professor and Director of Goucher College’s Quantitative Reasoning Center. She’s been in the world of learning centers for almost ten years, working at both Clemson University and Georgia Tech. Here’s Justine!
ACTP: What drove you to the field of academic support and tutoring?
Justine: When I began my job hunt after my master’s program, I realized all of my extracurricular activities and jobs dealt with education. I was a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader and tutor as an undergraduate. So, my first job after my master’s program was a coordinator position in the learning center at Georgia Tech running the one-on-one tutoring program.
ACTP: What do you love the most about your job?
Justine: I love my student leaders and hosting training sessions. I love watching students learn professional skills and build community. In particular, I really enjoy and support Goucher’s new curriculum, which requires two data-focused courses for all students. I teach the first data course and love when students transition to being scared of their “math class” at Goucher to the excitement that the data-driven skills they learning will heavily translate to their profession and future.
ACTP: What’s a big challenge that you are facing at your center?
Justine: My center is brand new and I was hired to develop programming to support the new data curriculum. I am currently creating a diagnostic that faculty can use in their classes at the beginning of the semester to diagnose quantitative skills deficits and then creating programming to support skill development in those areas.
ACTP: What’s one piece of advice you would give to your colleagues?
Justine: Build strong relationships with your colleagues. Provide autonomy to student staff to support deep, professional learning. Deliver comprehensive training to all peer leaders.
Justine: The best practice currently in my center is the comprehensive tutor training that my student tutors complete. The training has been recently approved as a course which will begin this Fall. All tutors on my staff are required to attend a one-day orientation before classes begin and complete a course focused on best practices and pedagogy in quantitative-focused tutoring.
ACTP: Can you share your training resources with us?
Justine: I have a slew of tutor training resources and lesson plans created and am happy to share anything! Please cite my colleagues if I have a citation. Please contact me for resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACTP: What’s a fun fact (not related to tutoring) that we should know about you?
Justine: I have three cats. One of them is polydactyl (has extra toes). I also love and collect wine, primarily red. I have a BS and MS in Mathematical Sciences and a PhD in Engineering and Science Education, so my current position and my research are very interdisciplinary. I am a huge Clemson fan. Go Tigers!
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