Manuel Baez, Jr. was selected as Merced College's Student of the Year for 2015. He was nominated by Professor Patrick Mitchell who writes:
I have known Manuel (also known as “Tony”) since he was a student in my MATH 80 class during his first semester at Merced College, Spring 2012. Subsequently, he took my MATH 81 and MATH C classes in fall 2012 and spring 2013. Tony was always a favorite student of mine because of his strong work ethic and his positive, friendly, and often humorous personality – I recall one incident in fall 2012 where Tony’s Beginning Algebra class met immediately after and in the same room as my Calculus II class. When the students entered class one day, there was often Calculus II work still on the board waiting to be erased. Many Beginning Algebra students would be intimidated by looking at a board full of Calculus equations, but on this occasion Tony looked at the board, got a big smile on his face, and said “I bet that’s telling a beautiful story.”
In spring 2013, he began working as an SI leader, working in Prof. John Montoya’s MATH 81 class that semester and his MATH C class in fall 2013. I am very fortunate this semester to have him as my SI leader in my new “flipped class” MATH C, which involves the students watching lecture videos outside class and doing a lot of group work in class. It has been extremely helpful having Tony in class to help me assist students while they are working in groups. Tony’s SI sessions are the best attended out of the 6 SI leaders I have worked with; I suspect this is because Tony has a magnetic, positive, enthusiastic personality – the students just naturally want to attend his sessions.
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