News of the College May 2005

Reed receives Arthur Vining Davis grant
to support Quantitative Skills Center

  Huss image
John Huss

Reed recently received a $200,000 grant to help students with math-based skillbuilding.

Founded in 2002, with a gift from Michael Levine '62, the Quantitative Skills Center, which received the grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, supports Reed's rigorous academic program by offering tutoring in a variety of subjects that require quantitative 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 contributes 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."

Huss says that Reed's commitment to academic rigor explains both his involvement with the center and the center's existence. He also believes that inadequate 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. We focus on developing skills, providing essentials."

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, based in Jacksonville, Florida, are national philanthropic organizations 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."

Q center imageAmory Schlender, a sophomore physics major who tutors in math and physics, believes 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.

"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 as a group." End of Article

next page next page

Reed Magazine May 2005
next page next page