Welcome to the Math & Science Center!
The Math & Science Center is a great resource that can make the difference between success and failure in your math and science courses. Math & Science Center assistants are available to help you with all 000- and 100-level science and math courses. There are no appointments beginning this year. Simply come to SET 156 and check the schedule to find a session covering your class. Come alone, come with a friend or two, or organize a whole study group. One of our assistants will be waiting to help you with whatever you need to be successful in your class, sharing his or her hard-earned knowledge, study skills and savvy.
Phone:  244-4202
Location:  Within the Learning Center (156 Seton Center)
Hours:  Monday through Friday during the regular academic year, with evening math support available Tuesday and Thursday.

Success in Biology

College biology classes are among the most popular science classes at the college level. They’re required for many majors, and many college students find biology to be a more interesting field than other science classes. Hhere are some tips for success in your college biology class.

  • Look it up. Keep a search engine handy or bookmark the glossary of your textbook. Even if you took high school biology, you will encounter terminology that is new. If you can’t catch the meaning from context, take a moment to look up the term in your glossary or with a search engine. It is also helpful to write down definitions because the act of putting words on paper reinforces what you have read.
  • Keep up. Don’t fall behind on your reading assignments. If nothing else, skim the reading and take note of topic headings, so you can take some of the concepts to your class meeting. Getting behind on assignments is a sure path to a lower grade.
  • “Read” the pictures. Remember that the graphics in your textbook are important too. These graphics are very important for reinforcing the concepts you learn through reading. Give them the attention they deserve, and you will find your course work easier.
  • Get help. Ask for help if you need it. You’re certainly not alone if you have trouble with one or more concepts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in online or traditional class sessions. Chances are there are several other students with the same questions. If this isn’t enough, contact your instructor during office hours or visit the Math & Science Center. Getting help before you get behind is the best way to ensure you overcome your difficulties.
  • Give it time. In general, count on spending two hours reading and studying for every one hour of classroom time. If you devote sufficient time to your biology assignments, you will almost certainly earn a higher grade, and you will avoid having to “cram” the night before tests.

Success in Chemistry

Chemistry may be challenging, but there are many things you can do to help yourself succeed. Here are some tips to help you pass chemistry.

Traps to avoid. Let's start out with a list of common mistakes students make which can sabotage their success with chemistry. Engaging in one or two of these may not break you, but these are dangerous practices. Avoid them if you want to pass chemistry!

  • Thinking you can learn the math prerequisites at the same time as chemistry.
  • Procrastinating! Putting off studying for a test until the night before, writing up labs the night before they are due, working problems the same day they are due.
  • Skipping class.
  • Only attending class on quiz days or leaving early.
  • Relying on someone else to take notes.
  • Expecting the instructor to offer extra credit or to drop a low grade.
  • Copying the answers to the problems from someone else or from the text (for books that give the answers).
  • Thinking a good grade early on means the class will remain the same level of dofficulty or that you won't need to study later.

Be prepared. Chemistry is a lot harder than it needs to be if you're learning essential math skills at the same time. You should be familiar with the following concepts before setting foot in the chemistry classroom.

  • writing and solving algebraic equations
  • exponents
  • scientific notation
  • negative numbers
  • logarithms
  • fractions

Get your head on straight. Some people psych themselves out of doing well in chemistry. It's not impossible—you can do this! However, you need to set reasonable expectations for yourself. This involves keeping up with class and building bit by bit on what you learned the previous day. Chemistry is not a class you cram for on the last day. Be prepared to study.

  • Take responsibility for your learning. If you are confused, let your instructor know this. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Get help from the Math & Science center or from your prof during office hours.
  • View chemistry class as an opportunity rather than a chore. Find something you like about chemistry and focus on that. Having a positive attitude can be a key to your success.

Attend class. Attendance is related to success. It's partly a matter of more exposure to the subject and it's partly about getting on your instructor's good side. Being there is a start, but there is more to attendance than simply showing up.

  • Arrive on time. Many instructors review concepts at the beginning of class, often indicating likely test questions and going over problems that were difficult for most of the class.
  • Take notes. If it's written on the board, copy it down. If your instructor says it, write it down. Examples given on the board often show a method of solving a chemistry problem that is different from what you have in your textbook.
  • Sit near the front. It's a matter of attitude. Sitting near the front engages you with the lecture, which can enhance your learning. It's easier to slack if you sit in the back.

Work the problems. Working problems is the surest route to passing chemistry.

  • Don't copy someone else's work. Do the problems yourself.
  • Don't look at the answers to problems (if available) until you've gotten an answer yourself.
  • You may understand how a problem is worked, but don't make the mistake of assuming that is a substitute for working through the problem on your own. Consult the worked problem if you get stuck.
  • Write down what you are trying to answer in a problem. Write down all the facts that you are given. Sometimes seeing what you know written down this way will help you recall the method for obtaining the solution.
  • If you get the opportunity, help someone else work problems. If you can explain the problem to someone else, there's a good chance you truly understand it.

Read the text. The easiest way to master chemistry concepts and problems is to see examples of those problems. You'll use the text for example and most likely will have problem assignments in the book. The text will contain a periodic table, glossary, and helpful information regarding lab techniques and units. Have a text, read it, and bring it with you to class.

Be smart on tests. You need to know the information covered by tests, but it's also important to study for tests and take them the right way.

  • Don't cram for a test. Don't put yourself in a position where you have to stay up all night studying. Keep up in class and study a little every day.
  • Get sleep before a test. Eat breakfast. You'll perform better if you are energized.
  • Read through the test before answering any questions. This will help you know what to expect and will allow you to identify the questions worth the most points.
  • Be sure to answer the high-point questions. You may end up working the test backwards, but that's okay. This is especially important if you are afraid you might run out of time taking the test.
  • Review returned tests. Make sure you understand what you did wrong and how to do it right. Expect to see these questions on the final exam! Even if you never see the questions again, understanding how to get the right answer will help you master the next section of the class.

Success in Math

  • ATTEND CLASS!  Students who miss class generally receive lower grades. 
  • Take detailed class notes. Review the notes after class (before the next class period) to be sure you are ready for any new material. If there are questions on the material covered in class, get help from your prof during office hours, the Math & Science Center, or someone else. 
  • A solution manual (or other help source) can be a crutch. A person cannot learn to play the piano by watching! If you find you needed help to solve a problem, mark the problem and return to it in a day or two. See if you can now work the problem on your own. If you find you need help again, get the help. However, mark the problem and return to it again. Continue this until you have mastered the concept.
  • For every hour spent in class, three hours outside class should be spent working problems and studying. This is key.
  • Practice positive self-talk about math. A positive attitude about the subject helps studying, which helps grades.
  • Outside help is available through the Math & Science Center, help sessions, weekly reviews and office hours. Use these resources!
  • Don't get behind! Classes often move at a fast pace, and today's lecture will likely build on the previous lecture. Even if you miss class you should try to look at the material that was covered during the class you missed.
  • Students often take homework and quiz points less seriously than exam points. However, they are all added up at the end of the semester and can make quite a difference in your final grade.
  • Test taking is a skill. You should look through your entire exam and work the questions you think are the easiest first. Then go back and work the more difficult ones and skip those that you can't do. You don’t want to run out of time when you have not had a chance to look at all the problems.
  • Wishing that a bad test will go away doesn't work. If you do badly on an exam you should not throw it away (tempting as that may be). You should rework the exam and then go to your instructor's office and discuss the test and what went wrong. Simply hoping that the next test will be better is rarely effective.
  • Miracles rarely happen on the final. Be sure your grade going into the final is strong enough to withstand a lower than usual performance. But do study! A student who studies hard enough for the final can still raise the grade.

Meet the Assistants

Rachel Barnes is a biomedical science major here at Mount St. Joseph University, and with this degree she plans on furthering her education by attending medical school. She is on the women’s volleyball team and enjoys kayaking and hiking in her free time.

Caroline Briggs is a sophomore nursing major.  She is from Loveland, Ohio and chose the Mount because it is where her mom received her bachelor’s in the Dietetics program.  Besides tutoring anatomy and physiology, she is president of the Group Fitness club, which keeps her very busy.  Caroline enjoys being a go-getter, organizing things, drinking coffee, working out, and helping people.  She is not sure what branch of nursing she wants to pursue upon graduation, but hopes to get an idea from her clinical work.  Caroline is excited to help nursing and health and wellness majors master anatomy and physiology. 

Lauren Casey is a sophomore here at the Mount. She is majoring in biology with the hopes of becoming a physical therapist. Lauren was a competitive Irish dancer for thirteen years. Even though she does not compete anymore, she is currently an assistant teacher and loves to see her students achieve their goals. Lauren is really looking forward to being a part of the Learning Center staff and being a resource to her fellow students.

Annalise Eckhoff is a junior here at the Mount. She is a biology major and a forensic science minor, aspiring to become a forensic scientist, which has been her goal since the 5th grade! This is her second full year as a Math & Science Center assistant, and she loves being able to help other students learn about biology. She is involved in the Tri Beta Biological Honor Society, works as a lab assistant in the Biology Department, and is also a member of the MSJ Dance Team. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music, and of course, dancing!

Majoring in chemistry and minoring in English and communications, Sarah Gravunder is returning to the Math & Science Center for a second year. She is active with the Student Government Association as a senator and she is the Public Relations Committee chair. Besides SGA, she is also involved with Campus Ministry Club, working to develop the spiritual life on campus. Even though she is a fan of the sciences, she enjoys letting her creative side flow through paintings, drawings, singing, and playing the flute. Sarah also finds enjoyment playing Frisbee, tennis, and running.

Kara Marshall is a junior at Mount St. Joseph University.  She is majoring in business and sports management, hoping to be an events manager for a sports organization.  Kara is a member of the MSJ women's lacrosse team and the president of the Mount’s Campus Activities Board.  She was also a member of the USAAI lacrosse team that played in Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic.  She is new to the Math & Science Center but hopes to be able to help students get a better understanding of statistics.

Hannah Nartker is currently a junior at Mount St. Joseph University, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in sustainability studies. She hopes to one day work at Walt Disney World in Animal Kingdom. Hannah is a member of the T.O.P program here at the Mount and last year was secretary of Mount St. Joseph’s Birding Club. She currently works as the front desk secretary at Bayley Nursing Home. Hannah enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. She also enjoys traveling and would like to travel across the United States one day. Hannah decided to attend the Mount because of the long history it has within her family. Her uncles, aunts, and dad attended the Mount, and her grandfather was even an art professor. 

Ethan Perry is a mathematics/chemistry dual major with the hopes of going into mechanical engineering. Ethan enjoys helping people through problems, either in school or everyday life. He enjoys spending time reading and painting figures for table top games. Occasionally Ethan takes long walks on the Motherhouse trail to think. Maybe ask to join him sometime!

Simon Schaefer is a sophomore at the Mount.  He is an education major with a focus in math and science.  While he is not studying or tutoring he plays on the baseball team here at MSJU.  He is a graduate of St. Xavier high school here in Cincinnati, and it is his first year as a tutor here at the Mount.

Allyssa Schmidt is a sophomore at the Mount. She is majoring in mathematics and financial economics. She hopes to one day be an actuary or have an exciting job that involves crunching numbers. Alley is a member of the women’s soccer team at the Mount. She is an active member in the Mount’s Math Club. She likes spending free time relaxing with her family and hanging out with her friends. She is an animal lover and has several cats. Alley has a sincere desire to help others. She loves learning about other people’s cultures and interests. She especially enjoys helping people do math work.

Katie Taylor is a senior in the biology program.  After she graduates from the Mount, Katie hopes to continue her education at The Ohio State University in their veterinary program.  She is currently involved in TriBeta and Student Alumni Association.  Katie is also the Vice-President of Campus Activities Board.  When not busy with school and work, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family and being outdoors. Katie is very excited to be a part of the Learning Center and to help out her fellow students.

Tyler Throckmorton is a senior and Web and mobile informatics major. He loves playing video games, programming, and tinkering with computer hardware. When he’s not working on his computer, playing a game, or programming, talk with him because this is a rare occurrence. Tyler is always open to talk about his experiences and projects. He hopes that by helping peers better understand their studies, they can extend the favor to another peer thus continuing a chain of generosity.


Title Description


Title Description
YouTube videos on beginning ideas in Chemistry.


Title Description
YouTube videos on beginning ideas in Biology.


Title Description
YouTube videos developed by Blizter, the book publisher


Title Description
YouTube videos on beginning statistics ideas.
More YouTube videos on basic statistics.


Title Description