SI Leader hopes to be an inspiration for his younger brother

tim manase sits in front of a dark blue background
photos courtesy of Tim Manase (above)

As Tim Manase enters his final semester as an undergraduate at Fresno State, he’s focused on passing his classes and getting to Commencement, as well as helping his peers along their own academic journeys. 

For the past year, Manase has served as a Supplemental Instruction Leader at Fresno State’s Learning Center. One of the most effective and highly valued academic support resources on campus, the Learning Center promotes student success by improving content understanding and course grades through: Academic Success Coaching, Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI).

SI study sessions are an opportunity for students of the same course to work together to develop study strategies, exchange ideas and practice course material. In the 2021-2022 academic year, students who attended SI sessions at least once a week, on average, earned a 97 percent course-passing rate. 

As an SI Leader for Accounting 4A, Manase sits-in on lectures three times a week, takes notes and prepares content to help students get more comfortable with course material and study for quizzes and exams. He also hosts office hours, where students can meet with him one-on-one to work together on specific assignments. 

Manase said, “SI sessions are the perfect opportunity for students to prepare and get more practice. We usually have different activities…and all of the activities have a purpose…If [we’re] doing a flip cup activity—where [a student] flips the cup and has to match its term to the correct definition—and [they] get it wrong, we’re going to go through the thought process of why [they] matched the two and what the correct is. Little things like that could be the difference between [them] passing an exam.”

“I think both group sessions and office hours benefit the student, because it’s different to go over something with another student than the professor. It’s less intimidating to learn from a peer who has been in your seat.”

Born in South Africa, Manase moved to southern California with his family when he was five years old. When it was time for college, he visited multiple schools and ultimately chose Fresno State because he thought “it was the program that could best set him up for the long run,” and Fresno was so much different than the Los Angeles area. 

tim and his family stand in front of the dorms on move in day
Manase (center) with his family on move in day

“I lived an hour away from the beach…and the agricultural environment here was shocking,” he said. “There’s cows…I’d never seen a rodeo as big as the ones here before…A lot of people here, their families own farms and they help with the family farm. Growing up, I’d never seen that. It’s completely different.”

When he got to Fresno State, Manase decided to pursue a degree in accounting, because he’d developed a love for math and wanted to find a career path related to the subject. He said, “When I first got into [accounting], I thought you help people do their taxes and [that’s it], but [it’s much more than that]…I’m [learning] government and nonprofit accounting…the litigation portion…payroll, being a witness in court, doing people’s taxes…Every single day is different.”

Throughout his time at Fresno State, Manase has been invited to speak at his church about the importance of education. While being a role model for community members is important to Manase, he said it’s especially important that he is a good role model for his younger brother. 

“One of the things that really motivates me to finish school is my little brother. I want to set a good example, showing him it’s possible to finish school. Especially being African American, there’s a stereotype there…and it’s really encouraging to know I’m going to graduate this semester. That I made it through those nights of staying up until two or three in the morning and waking up early to study.”

After graduating this spring, Manase’s goal is to pass his CPA exams and eventually become a partner at an accounting firm.


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