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October 11, 2019

For empowering peers, SVSU student named statewide ‘Tutor of the Year’

BiswasDedicated tutors enhance a student’s experience in the classroom, and Aranya “Ron” Biswas is making sure Saginaw Valley State University students are given every chance to succeed, say professionals in the tutoring industry.

Biswas, an SVSU economics major from Dhaka, Bangladesh, recently was selected as the recipient of the Michigan Tutorial Association "Tutor of the Year" award.

Biswas has served as a tutor at SVSU's Center for Academic Achievement for three years. There, he helps students enrolled in accounting, economics and statistics courses.

“I wanted to be a tutor to improve my skill as an effective communicator as well as to build my interpersonal skills,” Biswas said.

Elaine Hunyadi, director of Social Sciences & Business Tutoring Services in SVSU’s Center for Academic Achievement, nominated Biswas in part because of his leadership during tutor training meetings, she said. With the help of faculty and fellow student-tutors specializing in economics, Biswas devised and shared specific strategies for tutoring an especially-challenging economics course.

“His outreach to faculty in the economics department helped us to create an online learning space for all of our tutors who tutor this course, which we have now been using successfully for over two years,” Hunyadi said.

Biswas also takes the time to connect and mentor less-experienced tutors at the Center for Academic Achievement, Hunyadi said.

“His calm and patient persona draws people to him,” she said. “They openly seek his advice and expertise.”

With plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in either economics or data sciences, Biswas said serving as a tutor helped him gain skills that are useful when pursuing such academic degrees.

“Tutoring is a great résumé builder for someone who wants to go to grad school and potentially would search for teaching assistantships,” he said.

Biswas will be recognized Friday, Nov. 1 at Michigan State University during the annual Michigan Tutorial Association conference. He will receive $500 and a plaque.

Along with his work in the Center for Academic Achievement, Biswas serves as treasurer for the SVSU Economics Club. He also has been involved in SVSU’s student government, cricket club, Bangladeshi Student Association, International Student Club, and the university's chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. He was selected for two of SVSU's most prestigious student leadership development initiatives: The Vitito Global Leadership Institute in 2017 and the Roberts Fellowship Program in 2018.