Marisha Ash, a junior Mathematics major from Madison, has just returned from Madison West High School, where she is in her third year working with students – sixty at time - as an AVID/TOPS tutor.
On campus, she has a lot going on; she works at the Campus Assistance Center, she’s a Resident Assistant in Dominican Hall, and she works in the Math Lab as a tutor for her fellow college students.
“Most people seem to hate math,” she says with a laugh. “But for them to come work with me, I can tell them, ‘No, you really do understand this, you just need to look at it from a different angle,’ or have someone explain it in a different way.”
She can help in any mathematics course she’s already taken, including pre-calculus and calculus. “Those are my strongest areas,” she says. “I feel like I’m most effective working with students who have questions in those areas. I love tutoring.”
“I feel like it’s not that people hate math, it’s that they just don’t understand it,” she says. “And once they understand it, then it becomes something you love. The most rewarding part is working with someone who has a negative attitude, and then bringing them through that process, and helping them realize it is something they can do.”
Marisha is in the Community Scholars program, which requires service and giving back to the community, both on campus and beyond. She has a lot of people counting on her, but she makes it look easy.
As an RA, she says, it’s her job to get to know all 30 students on her floor, and help them in their college experience. “That’s not a job,” she says, again laughing. “That’s just something you do as a good person. You get to know people and you help them see their highest potential, and help them figure out where they fit in. It’s very rewarding.”
“I wasn’t always this involved,” she says. “Connecting with people on campus builds your network. Learning about other people and their experiences helps you define who you are.”
You get the feeling that network will see her go very far indeed. After graduation, she plans to go into education, beginning with a teaching assignment. That’s only the first step in her career plan, however. “My end goal is to be superintendent of a school district. Starting as a teacher, and then working my way up,” she says. “I’m a people-person. I love working with people, obviously that’s why I’m all over the place with all kinds of people.”