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Helping Others Solve Problems

Marsha LyonsMarsha Lyons can be seen on most days at the Math Center on the second floor of Kopp Hall, where she volunteers her time to help MCTC students master math concepts and problems..

Marsha was previously a computer programmer for 27 years. Towards the end of those years, she realized that working for owners and shareholders wasn’t fulfilling in the way that she would have liked She wanted to help others on a more personal level, and as a lover of math, she knew what channel she would use to do that.

“I’ve always enjoyed math,” she said. “I feel more comfortable working out something with one answer. You know right away if it’s right or wrong.”

A tutoring position at the Hennepin County Library in Hopkins led her to MCTC. Because it was her first job after years of computer programming, she needed to brush up on her math skills. She sat in on classes at MCTC, which gave her the confidence she needed to tutor students.

“We’d be going through the woods together if I didn’t know the material,” she said.

While sitting in on those classes, Marsha realized MCTC was another platform where she could help others outside of her library tutoring. She discovered the Math Center in Kopp Hall and began tutoring there in 2010. Since then, she’s become a familiar face to the College’s Mathematics faculty and students. When her purse was stolen last spring, students who knew her helped her retrieve it.

“Everyone has always been really appreciative, supportive and encouraging,” she said.

Marsha’s math expertise has improved over the years, but she knows it can be better. She plans to sit in on more college math courses so she can increase the number of students she’s able to help.

“It’s tremendously rewarding to help people,” she said. “In a tiny way, I’m hoping I make a few peoples’ lives better and easier.”

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