Letter from LA Paige Rhein

Hello Dr. Rahming

I hope all is well. I know this is a busy time, but I wanted to quickly send an email about the LA program and my experience these past few years. It is becoming surreal that next semester will be my last semester as an LA. Beginning fall 2019, I have had the pleasure of working each semester and the skills and confidence I have gained from it I will use in all future endeavors. My ability to speak and present in front of large crowds, the way I carry myself, and the confidence I bring are all noticeable skills curated throughout this program. With working multiple jobs through “zoom university” and the pandemic, my role of an LA became increasingly important and I was excited to step up to the challenge. I was challenged to find alternative approaches to explaining material and working practice problems through a computer screen. Remote learning has been hard on many, and hopefully now the students who came to FSU during the pandemic are seeing the benefits of LAs in a live classroom setting.

Another rewarding experience I have had through the program are seeing my former students enroll in the upper division courses I teach. Notably, in fall 2019 and spring 2020 I LA’d for CHM1045, and then this past spring, summer, and current fall (2021) I have LA’d for BCH4053. In each biochemistry course I have taught there have been students from general chemistry who have made it through and are now in their final stem centered course. Many have come back to me thanking me for their experience in general chemistry. My role goes past “holding office hours” to these students. My role as a mentor is the most rewarding as many have reported the study, note-taking, and time management skills gained throughout the years were piloted in their first few classes as freshman with learning assistants.

On another note, post graduation I have decided to attend pharmacy school. I have received acceptances from the [top five university], and [another top rated university]. I am interviewing with the [#5 university] on Friday and [#1 university] later this month, which are ranked 5th and 1st in the nation respectively. In both of my interviews I have already taken part of, they have specifically asked for clarification about the LA program and my role. After describing the job and what I have learned from it they both have been extremely receptive to the program and its aims. I was sent to a breakout room with the dean of [top five university] who then again asked me follow up questions and expressed interest in working to implement something similar for the undergraduate students at their university.

As I prepare for graduation, I have reflected on what this program has done for me and how it has shaped me as an individual. With one semester left, I am exceedingly confident that the person I will be walking away from this program will be more than ready to succeed in the “real world”.

All the best,
Paige Rhein