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attaway lutes Peer tutors O n any given weekday afternoon you will find James Crosetto and Lexie Miller engrossed in athletic endeavors. Look for Crosetto on the tennis courts hitting reaction volleys or working up a sweat while playing a challenge match against a men’s tennis teammate. Nearby, Lexie Miller puts in countless practice laps, aimed at preparing her for the track and field season and her specialty, the 3000meter steeplechase. For Crosetto and Miller, participating in intercollegiate athletics at PLU means living out a passion, and it is as important a part of their lives as their academic pursuits. And make no mistake, academics is a major part of both of their lives. Crosetto and Miller are two of approximately 32 peer tutors who work for the Academic Assistance Center. Additionally, they are two of five current tutors who also participate in intercollegiate athletics. (The others are Dan Hibbard, track and field, who tutors in biology; Kat Jenkins, women’s crew, who tutors in math and physics; and Luke Weinbrecht, track and field, who tutors in geoscience.) For 35 years PLU’s peer tutoring program has aimed to “provide academic support for students at all academic 20 PLU SCENE SPRING 2009 > ATTAWAY LUTES JAMES CROSETTO JAMES CROSETTO levels, from those striving for an ‘A,’ to those hoping to get through a class with a passing mark, and everywhere in between,” says director Leslie Foley ’88. All tutors must first be approved by the department in which they tutor, and then they are trained by Foley in a one-credit course that meets College Reading and Learning Association guidelines. For Crosetto and Miller, both CRLA certified, training to become a tutor has similarities to training for athletic success. MEN’S TENNIS JAMES CROSETTO A smile comes easily to the face of James Crosetto, a senior from Eatonville, Wash., who is majoring in computer science and computer engineering. The tall, blond-headed Crosetto is justifiably proud of the classroom acumen that has led to a 3.88 grade point average. His natural propensity for all-things computer is buoyed by a strong work ethic. “I really enjoy it, so that probably helps,” Crosetto said. “But I like to think that I put in a lot of hard work.” He’s just as proud, however, of his success on the tennis court as a fouryear varsity performer for the men’s tennis team. That success, he would admit, is due more to hard work and passion than to natural athletic ability. In his first three years on the tennis team, James has been on the cusp of establishing his place among the top six singles players. He has compiled a career 14-3 singles record at PLU, including an 8-2 record in 2007. He is 9-9 in doubles play. His senior season figures to be much like the first three – intermittent appearances in singles and doubles play depending on the competition. After all, it’s tough work breaking into the top six of the regionally ranked team. For Crosetto, the pursuits of academic and athletic excellence are a normal part of life, and his role as a peer tutor fits into that lifestyle. Crosetto started as a peer tutor in the fall of 2007. Leslie Foley was looking for a new computer science tutor and Crosetto was recommended by the department. For the last year and a half he has tutored students taking introduction to computer science and data structures . Those students can find Crosetto in the computer science lab five hours during the week. “It’s not a huge time commitment and it makes it easier to work it in with tennis,” Crosetto admits. “(Being a peer tutor) creates more pressure and takes more of my time, but it fits really well with my major,” he

Scene Magazine - Spring 2009

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