Tutoring center renamed to honor former student

SF State Metro Academies Initiative dedicated their student resource center Feb. 3 in honor of an alumnus of the program who was killed last fall.

The Mark Madden Student Resource Center, located in HSS Room 247, was renamed after an SF State student who was shot and killed in East Palo Alto Oct 3. Madden utilized and later worked as a math and writing tutor at Metro Academies, an academic success program on campus.

“He wanted to be a doctor, but he started having some trouble with difficult classes, so I told him to look for tutoring,” Madden’s mother Margo Holley said. “I really feel like the Metro program helped him get focused. He had a plan, he knew what schools he wanted to go to and when.”

Students, staff and family members came together for the opening ceremony to celebrate the life of their friend and peer. Holley said the event would have been right up her son’s alley.

“My son lives on in this community.” Holley said.

The center provides support for underrepresented, low-income and first-generation college students of the SF State Metro Academies Initiative. The program is for first- and second-year students and typically tutors between 10 and 20 students at a time during peak hours.

Metro Academies serves more than 800 students, 500 of which are first-year students and plans to expand enrollment next year, according to Rama Ali Kased, project manager for Metro Health Academy at SF State. Students in the program are encouraged to drop in any time they need help.

The academy tutors students in science subjects, math and English, according to Arianna Wood, a new tutor in the program.

“(We) help them make sure they stay on the right path in terms of their GPA,” Wood said.

Kased said the program discovered it was getting a new resource center during Madden’s last semester at the University. Madden was a sophomore majoring in biology at the time he was killed and was remembered as an active member of his church.

“Mark was part of the process of planning what the resource center would look like, and tragically we lost him,” Kased said. “We wanted to continue remembering him, and how much he cared about tutoring students, and how it was a passion for him to increase the persistence, retention rates and success rates of low income, underrepresented students.”