Here to Help: Sue DelRaso helps students who are balancing college, health, work and family

Sue DelRaso smiling.

Always remember, at GRCC, you are surrounded by people who want you to be successful and are ready to walk with you on your educational pathway. We are here to help!

Meet Sue DelRaso. You will find Sue tutoring students in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center Tutorial and Open Computer Lab, in the Mechanical and Architectural Design / CAD Lab, or in the Sneden Computer Lab.

Sue is the coordinator for those labs, and develops subject specific training and works alongside the professional tutors and student employees she supervises.

In two of the labs, the ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Lab and the Mechanical and Architectural Design/CAD lab, Sue helps students who are taking Computer Information Sciences and Mechanical and Architectural design courses.

Both of these labs offer drop-in tutoring. The ATC Tutorial and Open Computer Labs offer drop-in and appointment-based tutoring. And the Sneden Computer Lab is a drop-in lab where students can go to work on their assignments.

Sue came to GRCC as an adult student focused on changing careers. She was leaving a high-pressure job as an executive assistant to a hotel general manager. She had medical related barriers, and the challenge of balancing the demands of attending classes and doing homework with being a mom, to overcome.

“I suffered from severe migraines that were caused by a stressful work environment and other factors,” she said. “During my first semester as a student at GRCC I was only allowed to take classes. After that semester my doctors would only allow me to work 10 hours per week and gradually increase my work schedule.”

Sue persisted, worked in campus labs in roles with increasing responsibility, and reached her goals. Now she can relate to current students who are balancing college, their health, work and family. She can also understand how it feels to struggle in the classroom and need tutoring — because she took advantage of tutoring labs when she was a student.

“I started working as a student tutor, getting help and helping others in their classes,” Sue said. “After a semester, I was hired to work at the Student Help Desk. I gradually worked my way up to a position as a professional tutor — which I worked in for many years. Then I became the assistant lab coordinator and finally the tutorial coordinator.”

This was all while Sue worked another part-time job and completed her associate degree in Computer Applications and then Bachelor of Science in Business.

Sue’s career and educational journey has given her the insight to focus the services of tutorial labs around student needs. And she is now showing students how to find their own success in the classroom and with their homework.

“I love to see when a student finally understands something that they have been struggling to understand,” she said. “It’s like watching a lightbulb over their head gradually getting brighter and brighter until it just turns right on. I want to help students to become independent leaners, to learn to ask themselves the right questions to lead to understanding or problem solving.”

Sue does not regret the path she took, from stepping into the workforce after high school, to attending GRCC as an adult student, to balancing a busy life to complete her bachelor’s degree. And as a GRCC staff member Sue values most the friendships she has made with students, and what she has learned from them.

“I have gone to help a student who is asking, and I’m the one who ends up learning something new,” she said. “I believe that you can learn something new every day if you look for it, are open to it. Learning is a journey, part of everyone’s everyday life.”

Students interested in academic support and tutoring can reach out through email at tutoring@grcc.edu and by phone at (616) 234-4145.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s