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At the Student Success Center, students help students achieve their academic goals. Supplemental instruction sessions allow students who have mastered a class before to share their knowledge of the subject with students who are currently enrolled in the class. This semester, the Student Success Center is offering supplemental instruction sessions in Math 115, 119, and 130 as well as Chemistry 110, 120, 130, and 350.

Check out what Barrett Thompson has to say about the program in this week’s SI Leader Spotlight.

SI Leader: Barrett Thompson, Senior, Chemistry Major

SI Sessions & Office Hours: Chem 130 / Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

BarrettAbout Barrett: Originally from Cleveland, Tennessee, Barrett came to UT with the intention of eventually attending medical school. He majors in chemistry and became interested in research, completing undergraduate research work with Associate Professor Michael Best to track proteins involved in cell proliferation. Barrett has worked as a supplemental instruction leader since spring 2013 and is also a teaching assistant for the chemistry department, an undergraduate assistant in the Neil Stuart lab, and an activity therapy volunteer for Peninsula Psychiatric Hospital.

What Barrett’s SI sessions are like: Barrett utilizes worksheets and covers difficult concepts from class to help students prepare for quizzes and tests. He often gives tips based on his previous experience both in class and in the lab. He always begins the session fielding questions from the week’s classes, and uses real-world application to make complex concepts clear.

Why he works for the SSC: Barrett attended supplemental instruction sessions when he was a freshman and wanted to give back to current students. He enjoys the team environment and positive people at the Student Success Center. He also likes that the job is flexible in that it allows for his own academic responsibilities to be a priority while still allowing the opportunity to be in a service role for other students.

Barrett enjoys seeing students leave a supplemental instruction session no longer confused, and he feels rewarded when he runs into students years later who report doing well in the class he led sessions for.

Barrett’s advice to you: “Come give supplemental instruction a try. It’s one hour—most people waste at least one hour a week on video games or TV anyway—and that one hour will be really beneficial to your studies. Even if you are doing well in class, SI will help you do even better.”