Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

For an EXCEL project this summer, Marquis Scholar Tana Zerr ’02 (Hamburg, Pa.) is researching ways to improve learning techniques, particularly for language students. She is assisting Yoshihiko Ariizumi, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures.

Says Zerr, “Basically, we’re taking a look at lesson plans for introductory Japanese and revamping some of the teaching methods and curriculum to make learning more enjoyable and rewarding for students. In particular, we’re trying to incorporate some motivational methods and principles that I’ve learned as a psychology major.”

The project aims to integrate technology and methodology to enhance the leaning process. Through the use of computers and a process termed Personalized System of Instruction, students can break down large blocks of information into manageable pieces.

Zerr finds the work interesting for a number of reasons.

“This project allows me to use skills I learned in my major,” she says, “but I think more importantly, I am learning how to budget my time, take charge, and really create my own structure. I’m planning on attending graduate school and perhaps getting into the field of counseling psychology, and I’m sure I can apply what I’ve learned. I also am considering teaching English in Japan for a year.”

She adds, “Professor Ariizumi has been a fantastic mentor who has really offered me freedom yet guided the work, too.”

Says Ariizumi, “I found out many interesting things through the dialogue with her. I see her not just an as assistant, but as a research partner. We see the same problems that we research from very different angles, which is the greatest strength for me to do this kind of collaborative research.”

Though Zerr concedes coming to Lafayette was “my mom’s idea,” she is happy with the choice.

“I really couldn’t envision myself anywhere else,” she says. “I’ve had so many opportunities; I’ve gone to Africa, I’m doing a thesis, I’m doing this EXCEL research. It’s been a great experience.”

Zerr is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and the psychology honor society. She is a teaching assistant for psychology and a member of Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection. She also is

Categorized in: Academic News