New Academic Success Center brings academic resources into new academic resource center

Students and faculty now have a "one-stop shop" for academic resources in the newly developed Academic Success Center (ASC).

The ASC combines academic support and enrichment functions from across campus into one location that is designed specifically to enhance learning and collaboration. Located in newly renovated facilities in the lower level of Beaman Library, the ASC is home of the math lab, writing studio, academic advising, tutoring and student advocacy among other programs.

“The Academic Success Center is a state-of-the-art facility which is centrally located and is designed with a collaborative approach to learning,” said Brian Mast, senior director of ASC. “The furniture is mobile so the students are able to move everything from tables to white boards to make the environment meet specific learning styles. This center gives Lipscomb University students one location on campus to go when they have writing needs, math questions or want to meet with an academic coach. If we do not have what they need within the ASC, we will guide them to the appropriate resources on campus.”

The center is equipped with a conference/presentation room, computers and iPads to use while studying, a software program for English language learners and students with disabilities and walls that can be written on like dry-erase boards, in addition to other features.

“It’s a place on campus that students can come to study in groups or individually. We have a 70” TV monitor they can project to from iPads and have collaborative discussions or practice presentations for a class. We are open extended hours in order to be available when students may need help with homework or simply want to work together when studying,” said Mast. “Studies show that people learn much better when they collaborate. This center provides the Lipscomb community opportunities and facilities in which to do just that.”

In addition to being a facility for students to study and access academic services, Mast said the center will also offer academic “Bisons Succeed” workshops focusing on a variety of topics including tips for a successful freshman year, effective note taking, time management and test taking strategies among others.

“The environment in a university setting is very different from high school. Our freshmen are stepping out into a new world. We want to wrap our arms around them and walk through this process with them and give them every tool they may need to be successful,” said Mast.

A 1994 Lipscomb graduate, Mast was hired this summer to lead the new center. Prior to coming to Lipscomb, Mast was executive principal of Antioch High School in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS).  The education veteran also served MNPS as assistant principal at Hillwood and Antioch High Schools, as coordinator of High School Instruction and Secondary Transition for the MNPS Department of Exceptional Education and as a special education teacher. He has also served as a member of the State of Tennessee’s Secondary Transition planning team and was co-chair of Secondary Transition to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s advisory council on special education. He has a master’s degree in special education from Tennessee State University and is pursuing a doctoral degree in leadership and professional practice at Trevecca Nazarene University.

“Brian brings valuable teaching and administrative experience in the design, development and implementation of learning programs and support services,” said Provost Craig Bledsoe. “By having our academic enhancement resources available in one location, students will be able to more easily access services designed to support and promote academic success. These centralized resources will also increase our ability to assess and manage the services we make available to our students, enabling us to better meet their needs and expectations.”

While a student at Lipscomb, Mast was a pitcher for the Bison baseball team from 1989-93. He compiled 30 wins during his career and was drafted by the New York Mets organization in the 24th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball (MBL) draft. He played professional baseball for the organization before a shoulder injury ended his career.

“I am honored to return to Lipscomb University and be a part of the amazing work that is taking place across the campus, the city of Nashville and the world” he said. “Lipscomb is a remarkable university and it is so good to return and work in the area of academic success.”

Mast and his wife, Lorri, a seventh-grade language arts/reading teacher at Croft Middle School in Nashville, have two children.  Ella, whom they adopted from China, is in third-grade at Lipscomb Academy, and Elias, whom they adopted from Ethiopia, is three.

For more information about the Academic Success Center, contact Mast at 615.966.1400 or brian.mast@lipscomb.edu.