Cayuga Community College Biology Professor Sue Gilmore remembers lifting her head away from the student’s microscope to find 30 other students with their hands raised, hoping to get one-on-one help with the lab as well. So when she was approached by Tutorial Coordinator Teresa Hoercher about working with an intern who could assist her in the labs, Gilmore was intrigued.
“Can I trust the student intern to be a help in my lab?” Gilmore asked. “And the answer was , ‘Yes, I can.’ In fact, the student interns have not only been helpful in getting through labs, but also in generating new teaching methods.”
Gilmore and microbiology student intern Jen Wilson ’11 shared their experiences about working together during a May 5 Faculty Sponsor Reception of the College’s Internship Program in the lower level of the Bourke Memorial Library on the Auburn Campus.
Hoercher opened the event with a welcome and a description of the College Reading and Learning Association Tutor Internship program, which the College initially piloted in Spring 2009. Students interested in becoming an intern must first enroll in a 3-credit course, ASC 101 Foundations in Tutoring, which provides them with training on how to be an effective peer tutor. They must also complete 25 hours of tutoring their peers at the math, writing, and individual tables within the Academic Support Center. Then they can enroll in ASC 102/103 Tutor Internship course and work as a teaching assistant to a faculty member.
“The interns assist with courses that students tend to struggle with and help improve retention,” Hoercher said. She also played a video produced by Broadcasting and Electronic Media (Telcom) students that depicted student interns in action as well as interviews with faculty sponsors and the interns.
Tutor and SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Christina Kosier ’11 served as the master of ceremonies, and introduced each faculty and intern pair who presented on their experiences together. The following teams were recognized:
- Pre-Calculus Professor Paul Richardson and Adam Leonello ’11, who will study mathematics at SUNY Geneseo
- Psychology Professor James Hamilton and Kayla Ramsden ’11, who will attend Crouse Hospital School of Nursing
- Early Childhood Education Professor Patricia Gridley and Jade Hotchkiss ’11, who hopes to open her own childcare center
- Biology Professor Sue Gilmore and Jennie Wilson ’11, who will enroll in the medical technology program at SUNY Upstate
- Chemistry Professor Sharon Coolican and Amy Lewis ’11, who will study adolescent education with a concentration in chemistry at SUNY Fredonia
- English Professor Maryanne Felter and Wynter Phillips ’11, who is majoring in English at Wells College
- Geography Professor Walter Aikman and Eric Conklin ’11, who will study computer science and applied mathematics at SUNY Albany
- Criminal Justice Professor Theresa Misiaszek and Kara Kinney ’11, who will enroll in Columbia College’s master’s program in criminal justice
The students described a range of projects and duties they performed as interns, including analyzing crime statistics for the Auburn Police Department, re-invigorating a student study wiki, developing a manual on how to make an iBook, leading study groups, creating study guides, and setting up science labs.
Intern Kayla Ramsden has always considered herself a strong student academically and expected that the internship course would be similar to her other experiences. “The internship forced me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “It made me think outside of the box to find ways to work with other people— which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.”
For Amy Lewis and Adam Leonello, their internship experiences set them on a new career path, as teachers of chemistry and mathematics, respectively.
“I want to be a math teacher mostly because of Prf. Richardson and his teaching methods,” Leonello said.
“I’m better at chemistry because of this internship and it made me realize that I want to teach high school chemistry,” Lewis said.
Prof. Sharon Coolican who worked with Lewis joked that she started to feel a bit jealous to hear her students call out “Amy, Amy” as they sought help from the intern rather than from the professor.
“But seriously, the internship program is absolutely invaluable to us as faculty members, to the students, and the entire College,” Coolican said.