Andrew Steele has a passion for learning and helping others.
Every day at the Academic Resource Center at the Puyallup campus, he not only assists struggling students persevere through their classes, but he also helps them develop better study habits.
Steele, 20, has been tutoring students at Pierce College for more than 1½ years. His initial interest in working at the tutoring center was to expand his knowledge and challenge his own understanding in the various math and physics classes offered at the college.
Then over time, Steele realized he really enjoys being able to help other students, which has kept him committed to his job.
Plenty of difficult situations arise in such a stressful situation for students, but Steele uses his training and experience to positively influence students who strive to be successful.
“One thing I have learned from my trainings and experience is that although I have been able to progress through the classes offered at Pierce College, being able to confidently help other students requires a much greater understanding of the material, and I learn something new every day, maybe even something I have never seen from when I was taking the classes,” Steele said.
He enjoys his job at the tutoring center because not only does he practice his math skills and gets paid, but the job also has other perks.
“A good dose of social interactions every day, being able to help other people and a nice paycheck when all is said and done makes this a job I am very thankful for,” Steele said.
“I learn something new every quarter,” Steele said. “Trying to explain a concept to someone is so many times more difficult than replicating homework problems on an exam, but is so much more rewarding.”
Outside the tutoring center Steele loves to relax, spend time with friends and play video games. One could say Steele is a video game enthusiast. Playing everything from big name titles such as League of Legends to little known independently developed games such as I Want to be the Boshy, he’s open to giving even the strangest games a chance.
His love for indie titles runs deep and is reflected through the hundreds of recorded hours played in various indie games such as The Binding of Isaac, Terraria and Limbo.
“I do my best to support indie games,” Steele said. “I have a few developers, such as Edmund McMillen, the creator of The Binding of Isaac, who I have no problem supporting by buying other games or game related merchandise from them.”
Steele plans to earn his associates of science degree at Pierce College and then transfer to a four-year university.
He plans to attend either attend Washington State University or the University of Washington to pursue a bachelor’s degree with a major in electrical engineering.
“I find math extremely fascinating, especially differential equations and their real-life applications and I could see myself making a full-time career out of applied mathematics,” Steele said.
He hopes to one day work with The Boeing Co. but is willing to be flexible if another opportunity came his way. He thinks it might be interesting to become a math professor but not right away.
He would like to gain as much knowledge as possible from working in the electrical engineering field and then use that first-hand experience to teach students.
“Electrical engineering is a foot in the door to the world of professional mathematics. You’ve gotta start somewhere,” Steele said.
Steele has had a love for math since a young age when he discovered that math is like a puzzle game for him. He loves it because there is always a reasonable answer to every problem and math is logical.
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