Bulletproof resources to kickstart academic success

Sep 07, 2017
Kickstart the academic year at Newman

The academic year has begun and you’ve bought planners, folders and books. You’ve taken notes and are attending all of your classes so far. But what else can you do to prepare for success?

We spoke with some of the most knowledgeable folks at Newman to get you the inside scoop on academic success.

Librarians Jeanette Parker and Steve Hamersky

Dugan Library

Libraries have always been the epicenter for research and resources on college campuses. The role of a library has stayed the same over time but the tools they have available have changed immensely. We spoke with Jeanette Parker, assistant librarian, to get the details on what the library has to offer.

If you’re striving for academic success, Parker would first suggest using LibGuides. “LibGuides are how we connect students with the resources they need to complete their research projects,” she explained.

If you’ve ever sledged through hours of internet-scrolling, finding only costly articles that barely apply to your project, then you’ll appreciate LibGuides. They are organized, easy to access and best of all, free! The library boasts 50-plus databases through the program with millions of articles that are available 24/7 — on and off campus.

Diana Stanley, recent Newman graduate and winner of the Ablah Award, let us know how useful interlibrary loans can be. An interlibrary loan is a library-to-library borrowing system. If Dugan Library doesn’t have the book you need, there’s a good chance the book can be found at a nearby library and delivered just for you. Stanley said, “It’s a surefire way to boost a lackluster research project. If getting obscure books and articles via interlibrary loan was a superpower, Jeanette Parker would be Wonder Woman.”

If you need help with a personal touch, you can always look to your librarians. Parker and Steve Hamersky, director of library services, are research gurus and available to consult with students one-on-one or in small groups.

Parker added, “I also encourage students to take advantage of the writing coach and tutoring services that are available from the Academic Resource Center. The peer tutors are excellent and meeting with them is beneficial for all students, but especially for any who might be struggling in a class or two.”

Tutoring Services

Case Bell
Director of the Academic Resource Center Case Bell

This led us to Case Bell, director of the Academic Resource Center. Bell oversees free peer tutoring, writing coaches and the study space known as The Hangar. Students can use any of these free resources for any reason. Remember, you don’t have to be failing to ask for help.

Free peer tutors are available in most subjects but must be booked. Tutors are upperclassmen and tutor in their particular field of study.

If you’re living off campus, tight on time or just plain horrible at directions, we have good news. A writing coach can look over your paper without you ever stepping foot in their office. Send your papers to [email protected] and have them checked for spelling, grammar, word flow, etc., all for free! Your paper will be returned in three to five business days depending on size.

The Hangar is a computer lab located on the third floor of Sacred Heart Hall. Students are encouraged to come study, lounge or have a study group, you can even bring your lunch.

The Hangar
The Hangar study space

Additional Tips

We also stopped in the student life office for tips and found graduate assistants Jordan Frederking and Devin Smith. Frederking agreed that The Hangar is a great resource but both found that getting involved is a major key to success. For freshman, Frederking highlighted that staying in touch with your T&T (Traditions and Transitions) facilitator can be helpful.

Smith pointed out that students at Newman are academically focused so finding friends on the same path as you could be beneficial to your study habits.

Stanley also noted that building a network of people to give her constructive feedback helped her achieve success at Newman. She said to start small. “Ask your roommate to look for grammar errors in your paper,” she suggested. “Form a study group for the test and look for people in your major and minor classes that share similar research interests. Now go make yourself a cheer squad!”

There are great study spaces all across campus but more importantly, there are staff, faculty and students eager to help you succeed. If you need help, just ask!