Kaytlyn Harms
Farson, Wyoming
Kaytlyn Harms

Giving back

A biology-health professions major with a minor in chemistry, Kaytlyn desires to serve as a missionary doctor overseas. Because of her experience as a certified nursing assistant, she had the opportunity to treat patients in Haiti during a Summer of Service. She tutors students in general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and writing while also serving as a speech fellow for a first-year seminar. Kaytlyn also is an Honors Program member, ambassador for the admissions office, manager of the women’s basketball team, lab assistant, and mentor for students with intellectual or development disabilities in the NEXT program.

Faith + learning
I chose Northwestern for several reasons. I knew I wanted to keep growing in my faith after high school, and a Christian college seemed like a good place to do that. Secondly, Northwestern has a phenomenal science department, and I knew I would be well prepared for whatever field I ended up in. Lastly, I wanted to attend a college that was out of my comfort zone. Northwestern is more than 12 hours away from my home. The culture of the Midwest is something I’ve really enjoyed getting to experience.

I love helping people. It’s fun to watch people grow and mature throughout the school year in the classes I tutor. At first everyone is a little stressed and nervous, but the more they meet with tutors and begin to get a handle on the material, they become confident in their ability to understand and master the content. I love the moment when things start to click.

In the beginning
When I meet with a student for the first time, I usually start by introducing myself and asking them some questions about the class they are meeting with me for: Why are they taking it? How is it going so far? These help me get a sense of how the student is feeling about the class. I then ask what their expectations are for the meeting and what they feel would be most helpful for us to cover.

Tutoring tactics
I try to make the meeting specific to the student I’m tutoring, covering whatever material they need to review. I often will go over content with the student and then have them teach it back to me. Depending on the type of content, I will help them find practice problems or other resources to look at on their own after we meet.

A place for everyone
The Peer Learning Center is for absolutely anyone at any time. The center is full of all types of students. The tutors are welcoming and will honestly do their best to help however they can. If the tutor on duty is unable to help a student, there’s a good chance an off-duty tutor is around who can help, not to mention Randy Van Peursem, science support services professional. He is one of the biggest resources for any student in the PLC. Even when I’m not working, I spend a lot of time studying in the center because I know if I come across a question, there is likely going to be someone nearby who will be able to help.

I don’t know if I can put into words everything I’ve gained since coming to Northwestern. In my freshman year alone I grew so much, not only in my academic abilities but in my perspective and understanding of the world. I have gained relationships that are deeper than any I developed in high school, as well as a community I can truly call home. My faith has also grown exponentially. I have a better understanding of my own beliefs, but also the beliefs of people who think differently than I do. My confidence, independence and time-management skills have grown from the environment that Northwestern fosters. I have truly been blessed by this school, and that’s one of the reasons I like tutoring. I feel like I’m giving back, and hopefully helping people love it here as much as I do.