This article originally appeared in the Winter 2003 Contact
Meet Barry Minai, the new Director for the Instructional Center
(IC). Barry may be new to the position, but he is not new to
the Instructional Center.
As a graduate student, in what he calls "the early years"
(but let's just say that the 1980's hadn't begun yet), Barry
was hired by his long-time mentor, Ferd Dario, as a work-study
student to tutor IC students in Economics.
Due to his dedication to the students and his conscientiousness
toward his job, Barry was hired in 1980 as a full-time Math instructor
for Student Support Services (SSS). This position lasted until
1987 when he became Lead Math Instructor for EOP and the IC.
In 1988, Barry became Assistant Director to the IC when the
current Director, Sandra Madrid, left her position, and Emile
Pitre who was serving as Assistant Director filled her position.
And now in 2002, twenty-something years later (or as Barry states, "a
LONG time" after arriving at the IC's doors), Barry became
the IC's Director due to Emile Pitre's promotion to Assistant
Vice President for OMA.
Barry intends to pursue Emile's already established pathway
in research that examines the IC's effect upon students who use
its services. Barry believes it is imperative to continue the
quantitative research that Emile began, but he also wants to
be sure to incorporate needed qualitative research as well. Barry
believes that both are important to reveal a comprehensive study
on the IC's methods and results.
Since Barry believes that "to teach is to learn," he
would also like to begin new research, using a longitudinal study,
which examines peer tutors and the effects of tutoring in their
own academic successes. Through his observations as an instructor,
peer tutors benefit from the tutoring experience in that they
become better role models and develop better communication skills.
He hopes to use this future study to see if there is a correlation
between peer tutoring and personal academic/career success.
Although research is important to Barry, he also has a personal
vision for the IC. Part of this vision is to obtain more classroom
space for the IC. The IC's current space cannot meet the need
of the students. Another part of the vision is to partner with
the School of Education and to create an accredited program for
potential teachers to fulfill their student teaching requirements
at the IC. This would no doubt provide needed classes and workshops
for EOP and SSS students, as well as provide the required teaching
practicum for future teachers.
All in all, the IC is very lucky to acquire Barry as the new
Director. His long-term knowledge of OMA/D and Instructional
Center services will no doubt aid the IC's future success in
its quest to serve students in award winning style.