Meet the Dedicated Student Tutors Who Support Athletes' Academic Success at SDSU

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SAN DIEGO - Meet the behind-the-scenes heroes of the Student-Athlete Support Services team. Most weekdays these academically-minded student workers can be found up on the third floor of the Fowler Athletics Center helping our student-athletes nail down difficult concepts in subjects ranging from writing to math to the sciences as well as business preparation courses, among many others. 
 
This qualified team of undergraduate and graduate-level peer tutors provide one-on-one, group, and drop-in instructional support. They come from a wide variety of majors and areas of study, but demonstrate a shared dedication to academic excellence. 
 
Athletic tutors assist student-athletes in understanding course material while promoting independent learning and maintaining a high level of knowledge in multiple academic content areas. They also ensure the confidentiality of student-athletes' information all while adhering to strict ethical and academic integrity standards. 
 
"Under the inspired leadership of Hannah Friesen, SASS Tutor Coordinator, our exceptional team of tutors have become an integral part of our Academic Support Services unit. Their collective accomplishments is a testament to their commitment to student-athletes' success.  This group of graduating seniors have ensured every student-athlete has had the support they need to reach their full-potential.  We are grateful for their commitment, dedication, and passion," said Danielle Kelly, Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Support Services.
 
When asked to reflect on what their favorite part of being an athletic tutor, the responses shared a similar theme: helping others succeed. Maxwell Lee, a graduating senior, stated he loved "seeing a student's eyes light up when they finally grasp a challenging concept." Another tutor, Matthew Meier, mentioned that it was incredible to watch "the athletes gain confidence and improve in not only the course material, but their study habits for all classes throughout the semester." 
 
Another element that the graduating tutors considered was how their experience with SASS prepared them for a job after graduation. "Not only have I enhanced my knowledge for my future profession, but I have contributed to the ongoing education and success of my peers!" Alexandra Guzzardo stated. Tutors have communicated that they feel more confident in their own courses because teaching someone else cements their own understanding. 
 
It is clear that strong leadership and communication skills are fostered in the SASS work environment. One of the math tutors, Katie Quis, felt that "working as a SASS tutor has taught me how to effectively communicate difficult topics and work to understand others which will benefit me in my career after graduation." 
 
This semester has a graduating tutor class of fifteen. Though SASS is sad to see so many familiar faces leave the third floor to pursue their postgraduate career goals, Danielle Kelly and her team take comfort in the fact that their experiences with SDSU Athletics has played a part in preparing them for a fulfilling career outside of collegiate athletics. 
 
Hannah Friesen, SASS's tutor coordinator, expressed her gratitude declaring "every semester I am blown away by the skill and compassion demonstrated by our tutors. Speaking on behalf of myself, Danielle, the advisors, learning specialists, and mentors, thank you to all of our tutors for the time and effort you have put into our student-athletes' academic success." 
 
For more information on our tutoring services and what we offer as a program, please visit our website.  
 
The 2024 Graduating Class of SASS Tutors:
 
Levi Dafferner - Earning a Bachelor's in Anthropology, Minor in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience

  • Tutors American Sign Language and more and has been a SASS tutor for 2 semesters

 
Mikaela Garcia - Earning a Bachelor's in Kinesiology

  • Tutors biology, exercise and nutrition sciences and more and has been a SASS tutor for 3 semesters

 
Alexandra Guzzardo - Earning a Bachelor's in Kinesiology

  • Tutors biology, chemistry, and more and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters


Nicole Gutierrez - Earning a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering

  • Tutors civil engineering, math, and physics and has been a SASS tutor for 3 semesters

 
Amy Hickman - Earning a Bachelor's in Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • Tutors biology and chemistry and has been a SASS tutor for 1 semester

 
Shannon Johnson Guthrie - Earning a Bachelor's in General Biology

  • Tutors biology and chemistry and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters

 
Maxwell Lee - Earning a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering

  • Tutors math, physics, writing, and more and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters

 
Roman McCree - Earning a Master's in Accounting Information Systems

  • Tutors accounting, economics, MIS, and more and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters

 
Matthew Meier - Earning a Bachelor's in Computer Science

  • Tutors math and computer science and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters

 
Maya Nasrawi - Earning a Bachelor's in Economics

  • Tutors economics, MIS, and more and has been a SASS tutor for 1 semester

 
Katelyn Quis - Earning a Bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering

  • Tutors math and physics and has been a SASS tutor for 3 semesters

 
Summer Sanchez - Earning a Bachelor's in General Biology

  • Tutors biology and chemistry and has been a SASS tutor for 4 semesters

 
Christiana Welsh - Earning a Bachelor's in Social Work

  • Tutors psychology, sociology, and more and has been a SASS tutor for 2 semesters