Chu Yu, Economics and Math major, class of 2014
Upon entering college, I spent most of my time with other Chinese students who are within my comfort zone. Joining GSW (the Gateway Science Workshop program), and becoming a GSW mentor, though, “forced” me to reach out to experience the diversity of the campus. GSW is a vibrant community with peers who are passionate about learning and teaching. I made a lot of friends through GSW mentor meetings and through my own workshops. Last quarter I had a student from Bulgaria. Other than talking about math problems and solutions, we also talked about family values in different cultures, life as international students, and economics problems, etc. in our spare time. In this sense, GSW is definitely more than just a workshop that trains my teaching and communication skills.
This is my third year as a Gateway Science Workshop Program math mentor. In the past three years, not only have I helped dozens of students become more confident and perform better in their calculus classes, but personally, GSW also allowed me to build a more solid foundation in math and get to know more people.
GSW allows me to get to know the faculty members in the Math Department and work on worksheet problems. This enables me to understand the basic math concepts at a deeper level, which helps me to be better equipped for higher-level math classes. Although I have facilitated Math 230 for six quarters so far, I still get some new sparkles every time I facilitate a new group of students. The faculty member who works with us this quarter is very patient with us and makes sure we understand each concept completely. His instructions are closely related to the higher-level math classes I am taking, and I feel that I can understand my own lectures better after I review the basic concepts with him in the weekly meetings. In short, mentoring other students with their learning offers a real benefit for the mentor, too!
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