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Get to Know New QSR Center Director Jessica Kelly


Just like the Writing and Oral Communication centers help students hone their writing and speaking skills, Hamilton’s Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) Center focuses on another aspect of the College’s curriculum by assisting students taking courses with a mathematics/quantitative component or who need statistical support for theses, research, and projects. 

This summer, Jessica Kelly joined the QSR Center as director, a position that appealed to her because it allows for creative cooperation with faculty members and opportunities to work with students. Kelly spent the last nine years teaching in several STEM fields at nearby Herkimer College, before which she taught at the high school level and worked as an engineer. “I really enjoyed teaching,” she said, “but I was interested in a new opportunity.”

Kelly also feels at home in a small-college environment. “I did attend [Hobart and William Smith colleges], which is similar to Hamilton in some ways,” she said. “There is a really nice campus feel here, and I was attracted to that.”

Christian A. Johnson Hall
The QSR Center is located on the third floor of Christian A. Johnson Hall. Photo: Bob Handelman

Hamilton’s QSR Center offers a number of support services, including rapid or drop-in tutoring that allows students to drop in for help with mathematics, chemistry, physics, and economics courses during open hours. Additionally, students can make individual appointments with a QSR tutor to focus on specific topics. For Hamilton faculty, Kelly said the center provides support in the way of course development. 

Though she has only been at Hamilton for a little over a month, Kelly is already considering ways to keep the center moving forward — along with working to restore its normal operations. “Last year the center only offered virtual tutoring, so we’re excited to have in-person tutoring again,” she explained. “We’re going to explore some new tutoring ideas, one of which is called embedded tutoring where tutors are in class with students and then can also help them outside of class.”

Two QSR tutors, Crystal Lin ’22 and Samantha Wilkerson ’22, expressed optimism for the coming semester and positivity about Kelly’s appointment. “I’m excited to work with our new director; I am confident that she can guide the QSR center to a better place,” Lin said.

“[Kelly] is very organized, friendly, engaging, and funny,” Wilkerson added. “I can tell that she cares a lot about us as students and really wants us to succeed, and it’s really nice to work for someone who makes me feel supported in that way.”

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