Peer Tutor Spotlight – Elliott Gee

Photo source: Elliott Gee

Elliott is a 3rd year student in the Biology program with hopes to add a second major in the Microbiology & Immunology program. Elliott is a lower mainland local, originally from Burnaby, BC and his favourite thing to do is explore the Vancouver food scene. As a biology student with a passion for life at a small scale, it was natural that Elliott peer tutored for BIOL 200 Fundamentals of Cell Biology, in both the 2019W2 and current 2020W2 semesters.

What do you most enjoy about being a peer tutor?

What I enjoy most about being a peer tutor is forming close connections with students and being able to provide unique support as a non-intimidating resource. Being a student myself, I understand the struggles of the student experience as a whole. I also understand common areas within the course where students get confused. Taking this understanding and using it to guide students away from common mistakes is one of the best parts of the job.

What has being a peer tutor brought to your undergraduate experience?

Being a peer tutor has allowed me to gain leadership experience, develop my interpersonal skills, and become more involved in the UBC community. There are so many parts to the job that have challenged me in new ways, one being the opportunity to host exam review sessions for the midterm and final exams of BIOL 200. Here I was able to work on my public speaking skills as well as ability to develop effective study tools for my peers. In addition to this, I’ve been able to meet many other UBC students, staff, and faculty which has been an enriching experience and given me a better sense of belonging here at UBC.

What opportunities relating to teaching and learning have you been a part of?

Currently I am a Tutoring Team Lead for AMS Tutoring and the Dialogue Team Lead for AMS Peer Support. With AMS Tutoring, I lead team meetings for tutors and directly aid students in subjects including biology, microbiology, physics, and psychology! With AMS Peer Support, I lead a team of seven volunteers in creating workshops and peer discussion groups surrounding topics of substance use, mental health, and supporting one another. Previously, I have been an education and outreach volunteer for UBC’s First Aid Student Team, where I would both provide first aid at UBC events and educate student groups on topics such as overdose first aid and alcohol first aid. Some of you may have seen me at your local engineering party or sporting event helping out!

What is something you are currently doing at UBC that you are excited about?

Currently, my team on AMS Peer Support is developing a series of “Dialogue Nights” where UBC students can come discuss their thoughts, experiences, and insight on issues that we face in our day to day lives. The topics will range from experiences with racial identity to disability to COVID-19 anxiety and many more! After a successful pilot in November 2020 with the topic of Dating and Sex during COVID-19, I am more than excited to see how this project goes in this second semester!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Elliott stunting on the UBC Cheer team

Pre-COVID-19, one of my favourite activities was stunting on the UBC Cheer team! Stunting is the act of tossing other people up in the air, holding them up in various positions, and having them flip down to the ground. Contrary to popular belief, cheerleading is actually a sport! What we do is much more than shouting and pom-poms. There’s gymnastics-like tumbling, tossing flyers 20 feet in the air, humans standing on top of other humans, and much more! Now with COVID-19, my pandemic-friendly pastimes mainly include experimenting with making various coffee drinks and bingeing the TV series Bones.

What are your plans following graduation?

For me, I’ve loved learning all about the different aspects of the human body in my coursework and I‘m interested in learning more about the real life applications, so I plan to pursue medicine! I plan to apply to medical schools in my 4th year, so fingers crossed! What this will look like for me, I’m not entirely sure yet. I would love to stay local and attend UBC’s medical school; however, the call to a new adventure out east also sounds exciting. I guess I’ll see what the future has in store for me!

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