Explore the Impact of Academic Mentorship
“My Mentor…” posts are short pieces written by members of the Trilogy community to highlight their passion and the mentors that had an impact in their lives. This post is written by Sabatino C. He received his B.A in Mathematics from the University of Colorado where he also played NCAA Division 1 basketball. After graduating, he played and coached professional basketball overseas for 4 years. He’s also worked with numerous youth basketball camps. In addition to mentoring online with Trilogy, Sabatino is currently studying Data Science at the Flatiron School to expand his knowledge in mathematics.
Why is education important to you?
Education is extremely important to me because it allows us to continuously grow and evolve in a way that nothing else can. For me, education is much more than just learning about something new, it is about the different perspectives that are developed when you learn something new. The process and experience gained from education shows us how there are many different ways to look at the same thing.
Education also fuels a sense of community and brings many different groups of individuals together to teach and learn from one another. I truly believe that this has led to all of the incredible innovation that has taken place in the world thus far and will continue to do so in the future.
What do you enjoy most about being an academic mentor?
What I enjoy most about being an academic mentor is seeing that lightbulb moment when working with a student and how they go from being lost and not getting a certain problem, to suddenly something clicks and they understand everything more clearly. Everyone learns in a different way, and although math can be very black and white in the sense that usually there is a right or wrong answer, there are still many ways of thinking in order to reach that correct answer.
My favorite teachers in school were always the ones who had different ways of teaching the same thing. Everyone has different experiences and a different perspective on the world. I believe that is also true when it comes to learning. Figuring out which way of teaching and explaining a certain concept to a student is such a crucial part of being a mentor and makes the learning experience that much more impactful for the student. Going through that process with my students is what I enjoy the most about being an academic mentor.
Who was an influential mentor that impacted your life? How did they help you grow?
Growing up I was very fortunate to have many mentors who greatly impacted my life. My basketball coach from college, Tad Boyle, was extremely influential in my development as a collegiate athlete on and off the basketball court. He always made it very clear the importance of education and being a student athlete. Every morning before practice he would have a “Thought of the Day.” He would bring this thought to the team for us to discuss and explore - encouraging us to find greater meaning in the thought and what it meant to us as a basketball team. More often than not, these thoughts of the day would be meant for us to learn and take with us outside of basketball. For example, one thought that I remember well was “Don’t count the time on a clock, but make the time count.” He explained to us that this meant we shouldn’t waste our practice time on waiting for practice to be over. Instead, we should make that time count in order to get better as an individual and as a team. He emphasized how this is important in any aspect of life whether it be school, your job, or your marriage, etc. It’s these little lessons that I have taken from the basketball court and implemented into the real world that have had a strong impact on my life and helped me grow.
If you are looking for an academic mentor in Mathematics, ask for Sabatino!
For more on Trilogy's Mentors, follow our "My Mentor..." series.
Here is our last post from Pooja N. - The Impact of Academic Mentorship