Spring 2009 Issue

Living and Learning

Since the Glenn Hubert Learning Center officially opened on January 29, the renovated facility has had an additional 750 student visits compared to this time last year.

Learning Center staff present Glenn Hubert with a gift at the official opening of the Glenn Hubert Learning Center January 29. The event was an old-fashioned ice cream social. Front row (left to right): Dr. Phyllis Sandals, Jill Merlano, Carol Clothier, Glenn Hubert, Olena Drozd, Shirley Gil and Esther Sampol. Back row (left to right): Dr. Mark Rokhfeld and Jim Poulos.

More than a mere statistic, this number represents students who might find it hard to excel academically without the Center’s services. The additional services are offered across the board, with the center increasing the number of students enrolled in the Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) from 35 to 50, increasing the number of visits to the Writing Center by 460 and increasing the number of visits to the Math Lab by 250.

“I see the students enter with a very confused look on their face and leave with an understanding of the material that seemed so foreign [to them] only an hour ago,” said Barry student and tutor Samantha Isaac in her remarks during the center’s opening.

The nine-month project, which began in fall 2007, was the result of a $370,000 gift from benefactor Glenn Hubert. His gift allowed the Learning Center to completely renovate its Center for Advanced Learning, Writing and Math Labs; adding new furniture, equipment and cutting-edge software. All three spaces, located on the first floor of Garner Hall, doubled in size. More than 35 computer stations were added throughout the facility, all with software that will better assist students with reading, writing and math comprehension skills. In addition, directors of all three centers will now have access to LOGITECH hardware that enables them to conduct virtual workshops.

Barry students, faculty and staff came out to celebrate the opening, and Hubert’s birthday, January 29. Learning Center students and staff gave remarks during the program and led attendees on tours of the new facility.

“All of this is due to Glenn Hubert and his very sincere and generous donation to Barry University,” said Carol Clothier, assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The two little words ‘thank you’ are so simple and short. But, sometimes, simple is better. Glenn, please know that these words come from the hearts of truly grateful people – the staff, the tutors and especially the students who need our services in order to excel academically. You have provided a wonderful, spacious learning environment for them.”

Hubert noted that he was inspired to help Barry students excel academically by his time as an educator in the Miami-Dade County Public School system.

“I believe in providence and feel my attention was directed to Barry for a reason,” he said. “As an educator, I knew that improvements to the Learning Center, a place where students can enhance academic skills, would be essential to their success in higher education. I wanted the Learning Center to be a place where the most students would receive the benefits of my gift. I am happy knowing that my gift will continue to grow and bear fruit in the lives of many Barry students.”

Barry University’s Learning Center offers tutorial services, test preparation, developmental and supplemental instruction through its Writing Center, Reading and Math Labs. CAL, also housed in the Learning Center, is designed to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. The mission of the Learning Center is to develop independent, successful learners through its academic support services. With first-generation college students making up more than 40 percent of Barry’s freshman class, these services are especially vital to those students who may not have the family background or tradition to support study skills needed for the college environment.