Professional Tutoring Services at Brenau Learning Center


Hours of Operation: 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday

Please Note:  The Learning Center is now closed daily for lunch from 12noon-1pm. No testing or tutoring appointments are available during the lunch hour.

Please contact Crystal Ball at or 770-534-6133 to schedule tutoring appointments.

Tutoring is a service offered at the Learning Center for all Brenau University students at no cost to the student. There are a few basic things you need to know before signing up for tutoring:

  • At this time, tutoring is NOT available during the summer at the Learning Center.
  • Sessions take place either at the Learning Center which is located at 530 Washington St. SE on the main Gainesville campus OR sessions can take place virtually online (using a webcam and Zoom or GoToMeeting) for students who are unable to come in person. Tutoring is available to all Brenau students, including those who are enrolled in our Online or Evening/Weekend Programs and students who attend classes at our regional campuses.
  • Please note that our tutors are only available during our hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday, 9am until 5pm. Your tutor cannot assist you after hours.
  • Tutoring is by appointment onlyat the Learning Center. Unlike the Math SPA and the Writing Center, tutoring here is by appointment only.
  • First come, first served! Tutoring is provided based on tutor availability. If you ask about tutoring at the beginning of the semester or just prior to the beginning, you will have a greater chance of getting tutoring at your preferred time due to availability issues. The longer you wait to schedule appointments, the less likely you are to get your preferred tutor or time slot. We keep an ongoing wait list.
  • The scheduling of tutoring sessions is prioritized by needwith the order being as follows: 1st Priority: Students with documented disabilities (letters of academic accommodation), 2nd Priority: International Students/ESOL students and 3rd Priority: All other currently enrolled undergraduate Brenau University students
  • Tutoring is limited to 2 hours maximum per subject matter per student weekly. We operate on a strict budget and must have limits in place in order to remain within the parameters of our operating budget.
  • Tutoring is free to you, but the Learning Center does pay our tutors for their time. Tutoring, in many ways, is equivalent to an unofficial scholarship. Please be responsible and show up on time for your appointments. Failure to give advanced notice of multiple (3) missed appointments can result in a suspension of tutoring services for the rest of the semester.
  • Email your tutor and Crystal Ball (who handles the scheduling of all appointments) as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.This is respectful of your tutor’s time and allows other students who are on our wait list to be offered the cancellation spot.
  • Try to pick dates and times that consistently work for you each week. Changing your schedule frequently often leads to confusion and you accidentally forgetting about your appointments.
  • Make tutoring a priority! Please set alerts on your phone, write down your appointments in your day planner and hold yourself accountable for attending regularly unless you are sick or have an emergency. Please do not expect your tutor or Ms. Ball to remind you weekly of your standing appointments. Instead, you can work with an academic coach on how to set reminders on your phone, calendar or whatever system works best for you to stay on track. This is an important life skill that your academic coach can assist you in developing.
  • Students should come prepared for their tutoring sessions and should treat their tutors with respect. You need to bring your textbook, course syllabus and any other materials you may need during your session. Using your time wisely during tutoring appointments and coming prepared to sessions can help you get your assignments completed much more quickly and then you can enjoy more free time during your weekends!
  • Tutoring is provided by professionals at the Learning Center, not by peers. We hire degreed professionals who have experience in the subject matter. Many of our tutors are former or current professors, former teachers, or experts in their fields. Please see below for information on each of our tutors. Let Ms. Ball know for which subject(s) you would like help and she will match you with a tutor.


Current Learning Center Tutors (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

  • René Alvarez provides spanish and mathematics tutoring. René was born in México and has lived in Georgia for over 17 years. He studied at the University of North Georgia and graduated with a degree in Education. He enjoys being outdoors doing activities such as camping, biking and hiking.


  • Shimi Barry is a graduate of Brenau University’s Nursing Program and now provides tutoring services specifically for nursing students. Shimi also works as a registered nurse in the hospital setting and teaches nursing courses as an adjunct professor for Brenau University. She is currently in the process of earning her doctoral degree.


  • Jeanine Blachly serves as Associate Professor of Biology for the University of North Georgia in addition to offering tutoring services for the Brenau Learning Center in the subjects of French foreign language and science including biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry courses. Jeanine enjoys traveling both domestically and internationally as well as spending time with her family and shopping at IKEA.


  • Dana Bryan provides specialized tutoring services to assist students with study skills, organization and time management, as well as test taking strategies. In addition to tutoring, Dana volunteers her time speaking at high schools educating teens on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


  • Dudley Davis has provided tutoring services in the subjects of history, art, and interior design. Dudley actively volunteers with the Brenau Golden Tigers tennis team and frequently chaperones team trips. She enjoys spending time with her family. Ms. Davis is one of the original tutors who started tutoring at the Learning Center in 1985.


  • Jessica Drexler provides tutoring services for international students learning English as a second language, as well as tutoring for literature, business management, marketing, and art courses. An artist, Jessica is the owner of J. Drexler Designs which specializes in the creation of one-of-a-kind redesigned vintage jewelry. Jessica previously taught English abroad in Japan. She also has a background in retail management and marketing. Jessica enjoys photographing historic places and learning about local history.


  • Joye Fuller earned her Ed.D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas and her Master’s in Counseling and Guidance from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and crafts. Joy provides tutoring in psychology, study skills, organization and time management.


  • Amy Hernandez provides Spanish language tutoring. In addition to providing tutoring services for Brenau’s Learning Center, Amy teaches Spanish courses at the University of North Georgia. She enjoys reading and spending time with her husband.


  • Dwight Jones provides mathematics tutoring including advanced mathematics courses such as statistics, college algebra, chemistry, and assistance with math-related assignments for health sciences courses. In addition to tutoring at Brenau University, Dwight provides tutoring for students at the Academy of Innovation in Gainesville, GA (formerly Ava White Academy). His hobbies include reading science fiction novels and enjoying time outdoors.


  • Melissa van Epps has expertise in the subjects of writing, literature, history, philosophy, education, communications, and ESOL, as well as other subjects under the humanities umbrella. Originally from Upstate New York, Melissa has traveled, lived, studied and worked all over the USA and Central Europe. She currently lives in Cumming, Georgia. Melissa received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Elmira College, a Master of Humanities in English from Tiffin University, and a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin.  She spent three years living and teaching English in Budapest, Hungary and was able to travel throughout Europe during that time. Melissa has over 25 years of training and educational experience in both academic institutions and corporate organizations; including corporate/business training, K-12  curriculum design and classroom teaching, college/university instruction, adult education, ESOL curriculum planning and instruction, and freelance writing. In addition to tutoring students at Brenau University’s Learning Center, Melissa also teaches ESl, Civics, and Freshman Writing courses at Lanier Technical College. In her free time, she enjoys playing PC games, writing, taking classes, and spending time with her two cats.