Jennifer Hansen

Perseverance is defined as steadfastness in achieving success despite difficulty or delay. At the SALT Center, this trait can be found in our students, who work hard to achieve success in their studies, as well as in our dedicated tutoring staff, who strive to help students reach their academic potential.

Perhaps no one better exemplifies this trait than Alexander Offord, a SALT Center tutor and UA graduate.

Alexander began his career at the University of Arizona as an Electrical Engineering major, but soon realized that it wasn’t for him. Unfortunately, as his priorities moved farther away from his studies, his grades suffered, and he eventually dropped out of school.

The next nine years proved difficult. Alexander bounced between odd jobs, such as the graveyard shift in a print shop, warehouse work, and even a cigar shop. His life was rarely stable, and, for a brief period, he was homeless. “My belongings were in a storage shed. I had by choice, not by chance. nowhere to live,” he recalls.

Through perseverance and becoming great when you determination, Alexander are ready to be great. overcame these hardships and ultimately returned to the University of Arizona to continue his academic journey. This time, Alexander chose an area of study for which he had passion. As a child, he read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which piqued his interest in philosophy, but it was a general philosophy course that really pushed him toward a Philosophy major. He added sociology as a second major to round out his interest in social and behavioral sciences. “Social theory draws a great deal from philosophical theory,” he says.

Alexander’s passion was met with immense success. He had the opportunity to work as a preceptor in the philosophy department and, while there, discovered his talent for helping others. When a position for a Philosophy Tutor at the SALT Center became available, both an instructor and a teaching assistant recommended that Alexander apply. He got the position and quickly progressed through each level of tutor certification. He is now a Master Tutor and a Tutor Lead for the Writer’s Lab.

His dedication to each student is truly remarkable. Alexander knows the importance of building relationships with students, and always underscores the value of asking questions: “The easiest, most straight forward approach to any problem is – just ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” Alexander is a great resource – students know they can go to him for a confidence boost or a little push when they need it. It is often this relationship that helps students gain the motivation they need to persevere.

Alexander graduated in May of 2013, with Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Philosophy and Sociology. He is the recipient of the Kathryn Anne Governal Perseverance Award, conferred by the UA Philosophy Department in recognition of distinguished achievement by a student in overcoming personal, economic, or physical obstacles in completing a degree at the UA. We are so proud that Alexander is a part of our SALT Center team, and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.

Principle 2: Individuals become great by choice, not by chance. We can assist you in becoming great when you are ready to be great.