Modry new academic skills advisor


Rose Modry

TRiO has a new academic skills advisor, Rose Modry, filling a position left vacant last semester with the departure of Jeanette Damato. Modry’s specialty area is working with students on their college survival skills, such as time management, study strategies, test taking, note taking and writing habits along with general organization, and as with every position at the TRiO office, Modry is an academic advisor. She works with and transitions students who have been accepted to the college, but might need extra support. She is also a mentor to TRiO students and a resource for students.

Modry’s position is funded partly by JSC and a federal TRiO grant, a federal program that provides money to colleges to serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These students come from low income families, first generation college students or students with disabilities. According to the Assistant Director Academic Services Clyde Stats, TRiO provides services to 235 students at the college.

Modry is not new to the Johnson campus. She started in the TRiO department as a writing tutor in January 2008. Later, she began working as a part-time faculty member in the Writing and Literature Department teaching College Writing and Expo and Analysis.

She is always on the lookout for jobs that might interest her friends and actually found her position in a Seven Days newspaper ad. “I wasn’t thinking that I was looking for a job and I saw this position and said, ‘You know what, I think that I would be really well suited to that,’” she said. Having worked here as a tutor before, she knew she really liked the office and the people in the office environment.

Stats agreed. “We know her, she knows us, we know the quality of her work, and she was able to really slip into the position and hit the ground running without any sort of lag to familiarize herself with the environment, because she knows it really well,” he said.

Coming from the dual perspective of being a tutor and a part-time professor, she can see the struggling student’s side of things and she can also see the professor’s side of things; the expectations and the requirements and what the professor wants the student to garner out of the course and what the student faces in terms of trying to meet those expectations.

One of Modry’s strengths is her personality. “She has a very warm, very welcoming personality, very upbeat, optimistic,” Stats said. “That is really important because you need to create a climate where students want to come in and see you. I think she does that very well.”

Working in a public school teaching seventh-grade English, Modry was used to her students’ aversion to asking for help. They were very uncomfortable with saying they had a need for someone to help them learn the material. “When I learned that students had a different approach here I was really excited to see that,” she said.

Modry believes it is important to teach students how to be students, or how to be stronger students. She is a big fan of the public school system, but realizes that not all students learn how to be students, sometimes they can pass through high school struggling and get the education, but because it is so regimented and so prescribed, they don’t know how to do it on their own. “College is really about doing it on your own and being a student and being a whole adult person,” she said. “I think a real true education is teaching people how to think and how to problem solve and how to think analytically and how to apply ideas across the curriculum, rather than just what the material for this course is.”

In addition to working with students her other passions are writing and running. She has been working on a coming-of-age novel that takes place in Vermont in a fictionalized town. It is about relationships in a small town, class divides, about the back-to-the-land folks and native Vermonters and the coming together of those two cultures; the connectedness and also the clashes at times.

She lives with her husband and black lab in Wolcott, a 25 minute commute when the roads are good, which she states is a nice ride. She is an avid listener to National Public Radio and Vermont Public Radio and is very interested in the economy.