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Math Center at Seton Hill Helps Students of all Ages, Everywhere

The Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center is an on-campus resource with an unlimited online reach. An airy glass-walled room within Seton Hill’s Reeves Learning Commons, the Center provides students with support for everything from entry-level placement exams to high-level math and science courses.

Since the Center supports traditional on-campus students in addition to working adults, its resources have to be effective no matter where the students - or the tutors - are located. To this end, the Center provides tutors with an array of Apple products. 

“Blending the use of iPad, Apple Pencil, MacBook and Apple TV devices (sometimes with the inclusion of a student’s personal iPhone) has allowed everyone to collaborate effortlessly,” says Math Center Director Amy Beninati. “The importance of the technology became even more evident during the pandemic. Students were able to engage with each other virtually, in-person yet socially-distant, and in a hybrid format.” 

Student tutor Alexandra Zorzi, a senior accounting major, uses Apple products “all the time” when helping students.  

“I pull up examples and Powerpoint on my laptop or an Apple TV,” she says. “That type of usage occurs every single time I tutor.  When we were doing virtual drop-ins, and when I occasionally have a virtual appointment, I use my iPad and an Apple Pencil as a whiteboard when using Zoom. I would Zoom in on my laptop and then use Airplay to connect my iPad to the meeting. It is so nice, especially for math courses, so I could do all the steps virtually.  The Apple products really aided me when tutoring the past few semesters!”

“The importance of the technology became even more evident during the pandemic. Students were able to engage with each other virtually, in-person yet socially-distant, and in a hybrid format.” 

Vinayak Prataap, a junior computer science major who is also a tutor in the Center, agrees. 

“The iPad allows for amazing note-taking for tutors and students,” he says. “It also provides seamless integration with our MacBook laptops, which makes it much easier for us to share notes. The ability to connect the iPad to the MacBook and share screens over Zoom is also incredibly useful for online tutoring sessions.”

“Apple Pencil is my personal favorite because it provides an extremely smooth writing interface on the iPad,” Vinayak adds. “I've worked with various drawing tablets and writing software and not many of them compare to the Pencil. The Pencil is also very ergonomic to use and has a very sleek design. Overall, Apple products provide a smooth and hassle-free platform for students to work and collaborate with each other. The technology is also very easy to use for beginners.”

Entrepreneur Robert M. “Bob” Brownlee made an extraordinary leadership commitment of $1,018,000 to Seton Hill University to create the Mathematics Enrichment Center, as well as to establish The Robert M. Brownlee Endowed Scholarship. Robert Brownlee is the nephew of the late Sr. Francesca Brownlee, a Sister of Charity of Seton Hill who was instrumental in helping Seton Hill achieve its charter to become a college in 1918 and who served as the institution’s first Dean. Robert M. Brownlee made the gift as Seton Hill celebrated its centennial year in 2018.

“My sincere hope is that this gift will provide the necessary support for academic initiatives and scholarships that will allow Seton Hill students to succeed as the university moves forward into the next 100 years of its history,”  he said.