Tutor Spotlight: Haley Spiess


Haley Spiess is from Douglasville, Georgia, and has been with the tutoring center for about two years. She says she showed an interest in science and math from a young age. As a child, she was very curious about the outdoors, and her love for science developed when she realized that science was the fastest way to get her questions answered. As for math, she says she liked it because it was straightforward, unlike English. In middle school and high school, she began helping other students with these subjects and found that she enjoyed the extra time to “play around with the subject more.”

In college she discovered tutoring through flyers she’d seen around, and it seemed like a good fit, especially since it was a job on campus. She tutors on Mondays (1 pm-8 pm) and Thursdays (1 pm-5 pm).  In the past, she’s said that usually only one person a day would come see her but now she gets at least 3 people a day. Haley feels like this might be because students struggle more with online classes and need an extra resource.

When it comes to tutoring, she likes to know how much of the vernacular students know (especially with topics like chemistry) and she prefers students to ‘teach her’ what they already know so that she can fill in the gaps. Haley also likes to use her own notes from class and the textbook because even if the student she’s tutoring thinks she’s hesitating with her answer, she’d rather have complete confidence in the answer she gives them.

When asked what her advice would be if a student was feeling shy about coming to tutoring, she talks about how the tutoring center offers online tutoring. She says students have the option to not even show their face or even talk if they don’t want to. Through TutorOcean students can pick a tutor and select “online” when choosing how the meeting will take place.

Haley herself is a biology major working towards a career in plant pathology. Growing up, her grandmother’s garden already had her interested in plants, but in high school, her interest only grew when she learned about phytohormones. These are hormones that defend the plant or signal it to grow. After graduating from ABAC and getting her master’s at UGA she is interested in working in plant pathology research, hopefully for the CDC or possibly working at a botanical garden.

Her love for biology spills over into her personal life as well. She describes how plants have taken over her whole kitchen. She grows aloe, succulents, an angel wing begonia, and she plans to grow herbs and vegetables in the spring. She is the secretary of the Horticulture Club and a member of Tri-Beta, an honors biology group.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading original stories by upcoming artists, and watching rom-com animes like Fruits Basket and My Little Monster. She also spends her time volunteering with Circle K, an on-campus club devoted to volunteer projects like making dog toys for shelters or collecting clothes to donate.

Despite describing herself as an introvert, Haley also describes herself as a shoulder to cry on and a person that likes to listen. Haley says her favorite thing about tutoring is being able to take away some of the stress that student is feeling. She hopes that she can make a student’s day just at least a little bit better through tutoring.

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