Details of My Capstone Experience

This experience strives to help undergraduate students learn across disciplines. What do you hope to learn? How does your project serve as a culminating body of work of your academic and co-curricular experiences?

Through this project, I hope to learn how to communicate more confidently- whether it be when sharing my scientific findings or conveying my opinions during a discussion. As a woman pursuing a career in STEM, I sometimes struggle to find my voice among primarily male peers. Despite these struggles, I know that tutoring requires clear, direct communication to provide conducive instruction. Moreover, kids are notoriously tough critics (or at least brutally honest). Therefore, I feel strongly that this project will encourage me to be confident when communicating information with others.

In addition to building confidence, this project will allow me to both utilize and share a wealth of knowledge that I have gained through my undergraduate studies. For example, I had the opportunity to be an undergraduate teaching assistant for both Dr. Tamika Madison and Dr. Sean Garrett-Roe in the Chemistry Department. As an UTA, I was tasked with facilitating the supplemental instruction of difficult coursework to fellow undergraduate students. I had to not only rely on the knowledge that I had gained through my own studies of the material, but be able to effectively teach it to others. The skills that I gained through these experiential learning opportunities were definitely transferable to tutoring for the Buddy Team Tutoring. In addition, my involvement with various student organizations, including: Director of Academic Affairs in Alpha Delta Pi and Assistant to the Vice Chair of the Judicial Affairs Committee of Student Government Board), has helped me to develop the skills necessary to think critically, problem-solve, and be organized, which is also essential when facilitating tutoring lessons.

How does your project encourage active reflection of and contribution to your academics, your professional life, your public life, and your personal identity?

I believe that creating a website for the Buddy Team Tutoring encourages active reflection, because it gave me the opportunity to reflect and recognize that not all students have the same access to resources as I. For example, many Pitt students (myself included!) take for granted that we have access to a plethora of technological resources, including: computer laboratories, printers, and a 24/7 technological helpline to facilitate learning. By providing a tutoring service that is accessible on any device with internet access, my co-founder and I sought to mitigate the implications of resource disparity in education. Our goal is to continue to provide support and assistance through both our website and synchronous tutoring as a resource for families in navigating their student’s curriculum.

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