Peer Tutor Spotlight – Keylyn Filewich

Photo source: Keylyn Filewich

My name is Keylyn Filewich and I am from Winnipeg, MB. I am currently finishing the last semester of my Biology degree here at UBC. I am a Peer tutor for BIOL 112 this term and enjoying every second of it! I am also a student athlete at UBC. I play on the women’s basketball team and am a member of the Thunderbird Athletic Council (TAC).

What do you most enjoy about being a peer tutor?

I really enjoy teaching. Not necessarily in a teacher-learner type role, but rather I like being a friend who can help with the little things. I enjoy walking people through their thinking, seeing where they went wrong or where they’re having trouble, and then trying to teach it to them in a way that sticks and works for them. This problem solving with students is something I have always loved. Growing up I had two younger siblings who I would always help with homework and both my parents are teachers, so I guess I was almost destined to like teaching. (LOL)

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

Being a peer tutor has given me a broader perspective on teaching at the university level. Seeing all the background work going on by the professors and TAs really is incredible. You don’t know just how much goes on behind the scenes of coordinating a class until you are part of it. Kathryn and Karen have been amazing to me, not only in the teaching process, but also as female role models. It is honestly so important to me, and I am sure to many others, to see these strong and smart women in leadership roles, as we don’t see enough of it. For girls like me coming into the real world I am so lucky to look up to and learn from them.

Being a peer tutor has also made me appreciate office hours more. As a peer tutor, I most of the time sit alone in my office hours waiting for someone to talk to. I previously thought that if I went to office hours I had to be super prepared and have all questions ready, but now I go to office hours all the time just for someone to help me talk through concepts.

How has your unique background influenced your peer tutoring experience?

I am the type of learner that needs the content presented differently depending on what it is. I fluctuate between needing visual, auditory or hands-on learning depending on what I am doing. Therefore, I think I have a good grasp on what ways presenting content to learners is best. I try especially in our pre-midterm workshops to incorporate a bunch of different ways for the students to grasp the content. It has allowed me to make a lot of connections with students, who often tell me “I never thought of this like that before.” I love hearing that because I know I am providing a meaningful learning experience for them.

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

I am currently on the Women’s Basketball team at UBC. This is my 5th year on the team and I have been a 4-year starter with a leadership role. I got to represent Canada at the FISU Summer Games (which is like the Olympics for university students) in 2019. I am also a two time All-Canadian, and last year in the 2019/2020 season I won Player of the Year for our conference. I also am in the works of planning to play professionally in Europe when I have graduated from UBC.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation and hopefully a successful career playing professionally in Europe, I plan to come back to Canada to pursue a career in Medical or Pharmaceutical Sales. I previously contemplated going to law school, but my career path has changed multiple times since coming to UBC a couple years ago, and as of right now this is my most up-to-date career choice. I like travelling and building connections with people, and have wanted to pursue a job somewhere in the healthcare field since I was a little girl, so it feels like a good fit.

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