The thought of falling behind in her studies motivates Eshiemhiado Omodibo to seek help from tutors routinely.
Omodibo is a health sciences student at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College and a regular in the school’s Learning and Tutoring Center (LTC). That’s where she gets extra help understanding class assignments and lectures.
“I don’t like to be confused,” the 20-year-old said. “I don’t like to go home thinking about a concept I didn’t really understand in class.”
So, Omodibo is doggedly intentional about visiting the LTC after each of her Decatur Campus classes.
She’s not alone. Georgia State data from spring 2018 shows that 3,200 Perimeter students visited LTCs on Perimeter College’s five campuses more than 21,000 times. Students can receive tutoring in 145 subjects, including accounting, English, engineering, math and sciences.
“They’re going to guide you; they’re going to help you,” Omodibo said of tutors. “And, you can get A’s in your classes.”
This semester, Omodibo is getting help with microbiology from veteran tutor Jean Donald, a retired Perimeter science instructor and lab coordinator who returned to the college part time to assist students such as Omodibo.
Donald is one of about 200 professional and peer tutors available to Perimeter students through the college’s Learning and Tutoring centers, which earlier this month celebrated National Tutor Week.
Below, we take a closer look at three other tutors — a race car engineer, an aspiring astrophysicist and a grandmother of 11 — who are committed to ensuring that Perimeter students succeed in their studies.
Wayne Yawn spends lots of time zipping across the country, traveling to sports car races as part of his job.
He’s a race car engineer and responsible for creating the car configuration and race strategy for BimmerWorld motorists James Clay and Tyler Cook.
“I prescribe the setup for the car,” he said, noting that the role includes adjusting the car’s wing angle and alignment and checking fuel mileage and other design features to ensure the automobile runs at optimal efficiency.
When Yawn is away from the high-octane, fast-paced world of professional race car driving, however, he spends time in the Learning Tutoring Center (LTC) at Georgia State University in Dunwoody.
That’s where he carves out three days a week to serve as a tutor, mostly helping Perimeter College engineering students better understand subjects such as statics and dynamics.
“I don’t want to sit at home watching TV, getting fat and dumb,” Yawn joked about his decision to stay active by tutoring.
A Georgia Tech engineering graduate who lives near Georgia State’s Dunwoody Campus, Yawn became a tutor at Perimeter four years ago.
“I just came to the campus, and I walked around and found the math department and knocked on some doors, and I said ‘Hey, I’m an engineer, and I have some free time. Do you guys need some tutors?’.”
As a tutor, Yawn often draws on his experiences as a race car engineer to help students understand math and science lessons.
“There’s a lot of strategy in determining your pit stop, which involves a lot of math,” he said. “It’s just all math, all day.”
And, tutoring is something that brings Yawn great joy. This — and winning on the track. The BimmerWorld Clay-Cook team currently is ranked third in the Road Race Series. On Oct. 12, the team’s #82 race car won the final GS (Grand Sport) race of the season at Road Atlanta, and its #81 won the season points championship in the ST (Street Tuner) class.
Check it out: BimmerWorld car #82, which Yawn engineers, can be seen barreling to a second place finish at about 3:27 into the video.
Vickie Frazier’s high school counselor insisted that Frazier didn’t have the chops for math.
“[He] told me that I was too dumb to take algebra,” she recalled. “What I discovered was that I was not dumb at all.”
In fact, Frazier later learned that she had attention deficit disorder, as well as a passion for math. Today, she enjoys teaching students how to figure out complex math equations at Georgia State University, where she is the math supervisor at the Newton Campus Learning and Tutoring Center (LTC).
“Math is fun,” she said. “I’ve only had maybe a handful of students who have not realized how fun math can be.”
Frazier took a circuitous route to tutoring. Now 64, the mother of three and grandmother of 11 once worked as a computer programmer while waiting her turn to go to college.
“That third child came along, so I had promised myself that when he got out of school, I’d go back to school,” she said.
She graduated with two associate degrees (Business Administration and Teacher Education pathways) from Perimeter College and, a few years later, earned her bachelor’s degree in math from the University of Georgia at age 58.
As a tutor, Frazier enjoys being able to help students understand that they are capable of doing math. “I really love what I do with the students here in tutoring,” she said.
Braven Lyall is set on becoming an astrophysicist. Right now, though, he’s getting valuable experience as a tutor at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.
“He’s my superstar” Lizann Gibson, said of Lyall’s popularity as a tutor at the Alpharetta Campus Learning and Tutoring Center (LTC) where she is a supervisor. “Students — they flock to him.”
“He has a great way of explaining calculus and physics and all those awful things,” Gibson added lightheartedly.
Lyall began tutoring at Perimeter while a student on the Alpharetta Campus. He earned two associate of science degrees from Perimeter College, one in math and another in physics — and also won several math awards while here. He now studies physics and astronomy at Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus.
“Math and science were always my favorite subjects,” he said.
Lyall balances his college load with being the math and science supervisor for the Alpharetta Campus LTC.
In an effort to show the effectiveness of tutoring and support the need for expanded tutoring space on the campus, Lyall recently surveyed a statistics course consisting of 24 students.
He said five of the 24 visited the LTC between six and 15 times that semester. The remaining came infrequently or not at all. According to Lyall’s report, the averages of the grades for the five students who frequented the LTC and those who didn’t were 91 and 78, respectively.
Tutoring works, he insists.
Lyall enjoys tutoring so much that he’s now also considering teaching.
“I would like to get my Ph.D. in astrophysics and continue on as a professor doing research,” he said.
TOP PHOTO: Wayne Yawn celebrates after one of his team’s cars came in first in an October Road Atlanta race. MotorSportMedia | Rich Sainato – All Rights Reserved.