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Friday, August 18, 2006

Chemistry and math tutor named Volunteer of the Year

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To better understand a topic he tutors, this year’s Volunteer of the Year sometimes attends the same classes in which his students are enrolled. He’s amassed 7,150 volunteer hours over a 10-year period, a modest estimate that in reality reaches a higher hour count. An administrator calls him a humble man who does not seek recognition for his invaluable contributions to student learning.

Dana Brooke is the 2006 Volunteer of the Year. He is recognized for the amount of hours he’s contributed and for the impact he has had on student learning and achievement. The award was presented during the Volunteer USI recognition dinner held in August. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the University-wide volunteer management program.

During his first year of tutoring, Dr. Brooke aided 28 USI chemistry students in 60 tutoring sessions. Over the following year the number of chemistry students jumped to 50 in 160 sessions, and math students were added to the tutoring schedule.

This Academic Skills tutor now has students calling him to make appointments.

In a nominating letter, Nancy Myers, math specialist in Academic Skills, wrote, “Dana’s hours have increased to the point that there are some days that Dana seems to get here when the staff shows up and is still here when we leave.”

An engineering student who accepted tutoring told of Brooke’s tenacious efforts to help students through the rough spots in academic work. David Yohe wrote, “Dr. Brooke has provided in-depth assistance to students struggling with advanced science classes. I’m not sure I would have ever passed Calculus II if he had not gone out of his way to teach me the math skills I lacked.”

Brooke volunteered as a tutor after taking early retirement from his research position at Mead Johnson/Bristol Myers Squibb. He wanted to continue to be useful.

He joins nine other Volunteer of the Year award winners who generously give their time and talents away to benefit others.

President H. Ray Hoops said, “The University is appreciative of all volunteers who have spent their time to improve USI. Over 3,600 volunteers have given 812,235 hours of service to USI. Calculated at the national volunteer wage, a $13.4 million cost has been covered by USI volunteers.”

The Volunteer of the Year award is presented by the Volunteer USI Council and the USI Office of Alumni and Volunteer Services.

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