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Beth Sorensen
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Reed College receives Arthur Vining Davis grant to support Quantitative Skills

PORTLAND, OR (March 11, 2005) – Reed College recently received an Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant of $200,000 to support Reed’s Levine Quantitative Skills Center, which provides students with math-based skillbuilding.

Founded in 2002 through the generosity of Michael E. ('62) and Carol Levine and the Levine Family Fund, the Quantitative Skills Center supports Reed’s rigorous academic program by offering tutoring in a variety of subjects that require quantitative and/or analytical skills. Through its afternoon tutoring program, resource library, and workshop series, the center promotes skills development for all students, especially those taking courses in the quantitative natural and social sciences.

John Huss, the director of the Quantitative Skills Center, believes the center to be essential to the college’s academic program. "Reed offers very challenging courses in math, science, economics, and political science," Huss notes, "that require a strong support system. With Reed’s academics existing at a high level, there needs to be a welcoming and easily-accessible way for students to develop their quantitative skills."

Huss believes that Reed’s commitment to academic rigor is key in both his involvement with the center and the center’s existence. He also believes that quantitative skills should not hinder students in their course selection. "Without the center," Huss explains, "Reed might have to water down its course difficulty and selection. Our high level of academic rigor makes the existence of the center extremely important. People who do not have a strong math background need a place to hone their quantitative skills. These students shouldn’t be hindered by the difficulty of the courses or the fact that their last math class may have been in high school. We focus on developing skills, providing essentials."

Amory Schlender, a sophomore physics major who tutors in math and physics, agrees that the center is an invaluable resource to students. He also feels, however, that the center’s relaxed, welcoming atmosphere is essential in attracting students who might otherwise feel shy about seeking help. "My experience with the center has been rather good," Schlender states. "It has a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, and people will come openly either to work or to get that extra push they need to succeed. There is a really high demand for the center; it’s extremely valuable as a community resource."

Sophomore Devin Bambrick also uses the center regularly, citing its comfort as a primary reason for his visits. "I spend at least three hours a week there," he says. "It's immensely helpful, and I always feel comfortable there."

Senior Jessica Hoel, a math/economics major who has worked for the center since its inception, also notes how the center has grown in popularity in its nearly three years of existence. "Far more students use the center now than they did when it first opened," Hoel says. "Sometimes, even tutors can’t find seats because it’s so busy."

Additionally, Hoel finds that students don’t rely on the center’s tutors alone. "Often, groups of students will come to the center with difficulties," Hoel relates. "After a little help, however, they begin working together, answering their own questions, and acquiring skills in a group."

About the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, based in Jacksonville, Florida, are a national philanthropic organization established through the generosity of the late American Industrialist, Arthur Vining Davis. The purpose of the Foundations is to provide financial assistance "within the limits of their budgets and the discretion of their Trustees, to certain educational, cultural, scientific and religious institutions" within the United States and its possessions. The present practice of the Board of Trustees is to award these annual grants-in-aid primarily in the areas of private higher education, secondary education, graduate theological education, health care (caring attitudes), and public television.


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit .