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Smarthinking Online Tutoring

Meet the Tutors

Nicole Routh 

Nicole Routh

  • Subject: Writing
  • Education: M.Ed. in English Education, University of Georgia
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2006
  • Student Sessions: 3,932
Concepts and Purposefulness Strengthen Student Writing
Smarthinking supports the work of classroom teachers by reinforcing important writing concepts and helping students interpret assignments and expectations more effectively. We also help students take control of their own learning because we do not change or edit student writing in any way. The individualized instruction saves teachers the time of grading multiple drafts and re-teaching concepts during valuable class time. Students who take advantage of Smarthinking are typically more engaged because they are more prepared for the material and more focused on specific writing goals.
Kim Seward

Kim Seward

  • Subjects: Mathematics and Education
  • Education: M.S. in Mathematics, West Texas A&M University
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2007
  • Student Sessions: 4,145

Probing Questions Enhance Students' Problem-Solving Skills
I like being able to help students from all over the country, when they need the help. At Smarthinking, we never just give out answers. We help the students think through the process by asking probing questions and/or giving them similar examples and illustrations. During that process, the student starts to fill in the blanks of their original problem. This shows they are developing an understanding of the problem.

Lyn Newbrander

Lyn Newbrander

  • Subjects: Writing, ESL
  • Education: M.A.T. in English, Calvin College
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2007
  • Student Sessions: 1,931

Strong Writing Begins with Bridging Students from Theory to Practice
We are the bridge between theory and praxis. While students know that they are meant to write strong theses, good topic sentences, provide evidence, and support their ideas with citations, they often do not know how this knowledge applies to the writing task at hand. As I click on other essays students have submitted to see what the previous tutors worked on before starting my own response, I often see a pattern of stronger writing from submission to submission. Instead of no thesis, the student now is writing rudimentary theses. Instead of dropping quotes, she is now introducing them and commenting on them. In Live sessions, students often say, "Oh, I see what you mean! Now I finally understand what I'm doing wrong here." They begin to understand that writing rules are not arbitrary laws, but are tools which, applied correctly, give the reader clues to understand the writer's ideas.  

Jay Wagner

Jay Wagner

  • Subjects: Business, Accounting, Finance
  • Education: M.B.A., University of Montana
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2000
  • Student Sessions: 7,216

Focus on Fundamentals Strengthens Students' Grasp of Accounting
Accounting and finance build one concept on another, and to some extent finance builds on knowledge brought over from accounting and economics. When a student grasps one concept, it often opens the door for them to understand others. I take great pleasure in helping students understand concepts and integrate their various areas of knowledge. Before joining Smarthinking, I had tutored a variety of subjects during graduate school and had discovered that feeling of pride or accomplishment that comes when a student grasps a new concept or reports improved performance that they credit to your help.

Kaylene Sihotang

Kaylene Sihotang

  • Subjects: Nursing
  • Education: B.S.N., Cal State Dominguez Hills
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2009
  • Student Sessions: 80

Practical Experience Strengthens Tutoring Value
Here at Smarthinking, we are a team of experienced Registered Nurse tutors. All of the nursing tutors have worked out in the nursing profession, whether it has been as a staff nurse, a nurse educator, or even a professor. We all have different specialties, and communicate with one another when we have questions. We will often help the students understand the professor's rationale on the subject in question. I want them to know that nursing isn't an easy profession, but with the right tools they can succeed.

Kassandra Watson

Kassandra Watson

  • Subjects: Accounting
  • Education: M.B.A. and M.M., Goldey Beacom College
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2010
  • Student Sessions: 1,388

Adapting to Individual Learning Styles is Essential for Students
Accounting students need to have a solid understanding of the most basic accounting concepts first in order to be able to prosper. I often find that even thought students may be beyond it in their course work, they often struggle with the accounting equation and understanding debits as credits. So if I sense that a student may be struggling with these concepts, I will take them back to the basics to give them a better understanding of the foundation that they need. Being able to help a student have a better understanding of a concept that will prove critical in their course work is very rewarding. I continually try to adapt my interaction to best read the students in terms of their understanding of the material.

Ashlie Hershberger

Ashlie Hershberger

  • Subjects: Nursing
  • Education: B.S.N., Malone University
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2009
  • Student Sessions: 241

One-on-One Tutoring Model Allows for a Tailored Approach
Because we are able to tutor in a one-on-one situation at Smarthinking, I find that the students are able to ask very specific questions about the things that they need help with. This one-on-one environment also allows the tutor to tailor his or her approach to best meet the needs of the student. I love the moment when you are working with a student, and you can tell that the information has really clicked, and they understand the concept. It is really a privilege to be able to a part of the learning process for these students.

Rita Hays

Rita Hays

  • Subjects: Accounting
  • Education: M.Acc., University of Oklahoma
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2004
  • Student Sessions: 6,886

Real-World Experience Translates to Real-World Examples
In addition to my accounting degree, I also hold a Masters of Education with a concentration on educational diagnostics, working with student disabilities and providing educational plans. I am also a practicing Certified Public Accountant in Oklahoma. As a result, I try to use everyday illustrations to help the students understand -- such as using their workplace as an example of how their business would record a transaction.

Dale Johanson

Dale Johanson

  • Subjects: Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus
  • Education: M.A. in Mathematics, University of South Dakota
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2002
  • Student Sessions: 7,877

Comparing Properties and Processes Helps with Problem-Solving
I enjoy working one-on-one with students and helping them to understand a particular concept or process needed to solve a problem. It is important that students take the time needed to carefully compare their given problem to all of the properties or processes that may be used to solve that problem, and by comparison they can see how the values in their problem correspond to the values in a particular property. Smarthinking's greatest value to the student is that it gives them the tools to be successful and to be active thinkers.

Leticia McGrath

Leticia McGrath

  • Subjects: Spanish
  • Education: Ph.D., University of Kentucky
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2007
  • Student Sessions: 2,255

Online Experience Strengthens the Language Learning Process
Online tutoring provides students with a new perspective on learning a foreign language with the possibility of one-to-one interaction in real time with visual explanations. Students who are learning a language in an online environment may find that they are better able to understand the material when it is presented to them in a live tutoring session at Smarthinking rather than relying simply on information from a static textbook.

Enid Schwartz

Enid Schwartz

  • Subjects: Nursing 
  • Education: M.S. in Nursing, University of Arizona 
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2010 
  • Student Sessions: 45 

Tutoring Process Leads Students to Reason Out Solutions
The process we use at Smarthinking to help students discover the answer to their questions improves their ability to think critically. Being able to reason out the answer to their question should also help them on their nursing exams since they have to be able to reason out the answers to many of the questions. In addition to my nursing degrees, I also hold a Ph.D. in Health Psychology, and from that experience I emphasize with students that it is one thing to know the facts; it is another to see how the facts fit the patient's situation.

Judy Mills

Judy Mills

  • Subjects: Nursing, Allied Health
  • Education: B.S.N., Penn State University
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2009
  • Student Sessions: 304

Concept Review and Reinforcement Empowers Students
I find it exciting that the students I come across have their own points of view on problems. The flow of information for the students helps to transform their perspective on the topic of discussion. Students like Smarthinking, because we provide a service that can work for them and complete the learning process while reinforcing ideas and thoughts they can utilize in their nursing practice. This also can provide encouragement to the students to use their critical thinking skills to discuss subjects further with their instructors, faculty, and other health care professionals.

Pam Lord

Pam Lord

  • Subjects: Chemistry
  • Education: Ph.D., University of California
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2008
  • Student Sessions: 2,406

Problem-Solving Methods Strengthen Student Confidence
Teaching is a passion for me, especially when I can help the students understand a concept and then they become confident in their ability to explain that concept to another student. I am often reviewing and learning new methods to teach topics in both general and organic chemistry, and this supports my tutoring. The students are provided with a variety of solving methods, and we strive to help the student understand the concepts. In the process of tutoring, the student can explore and discover to improve their understanding of the material.

Mark Bryon

Mark Byron

  • Subjects: Finance
  • Education: Ph.D., Kent State University
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2007
  • Student Sessions: 3,462

Flexible Tutoring and Clear Wording Help Finance Students
In financial math, some classes like Excel, others like to use financial calculators, and others use present value tables. I have to be fluent in all three and also know how to use more than one calculator, since some students will have TIs and others HPs. Getting a second way of looking at things also helps students. One thing that I try to do is to present formulas in English rather than in symbols. Return=Risk Free Rate + Beta * Market Risk Premium will sink in more than Ri=Rf+β*MRP. Also, the human touch can help students tremendously. Being able to interact with someone in real time rather than via e-mail or in-boxes makes the difference for a lot of students.

Christine Thompson-Sanxter

Christine Thompson-Sanxter

  • Subjects: Nursing
  • Education: M.S.N., University of Phoenix
  • Smarthinking Tutor Since: 2009
  • Student Sessions: 377

Holistic Focus Encourages Student Self-Assessment
As a registered nurse with 27 years of clinical experience, one thing I truly enjoy is the variety of questions that students present. My work is more interesting because of the constant variety of research that I am doing. As I help the students learn, I also keep up-to-date with the latest trends in practice. I also try to encourage students to analyze their actions and decisions. I have found that when the students know why they should practice in a certain way, they are more satisfied with their performance.