I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the State University of New York College at Geneseo and a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the Rochester Institute of Technology. After receiving my master's degree, I entered into a Ph. D. program in Chemistry at Syracuse University where I completed a year of classes and research. While pursuing my graduate studies at RIT at Syracuse, I instructed undergraduate organic chemistry labs as well as tutored students. I have three years of extensive experience teaching, tutoring, and researching in the field of organic chemistry, but I am also well versed in biochemistry, general chemistry, and biology. As an instructor I have always tried to get my students to appreciate the sciences, since the STEM subjects are the key to a better future. In my spare time, I enjoy watching football and basketball, and I especially enjoy watching and playing soccer.
SUNY at Geneseo - BS, Biochemistry
Rochester Institute of Technology - MS, Chemistry
What is your teaching philosophy?
I try to get my students to not only understand the material they are learning but to also enjoy it. I find that this makes learning a subject a lot easier.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session with a student, I like to learn their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning new material. I will ask how they did on a previous test in the class, and see how they studied for it. If they did well, I will try to keep their technique the same. If they did poorly, I'll try to give them different ways of working on the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way to get a student to become an independent learner is to get them engaged in the material. If they enjoy what they are learning, they are more likely to study and do work on their own time.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty learning something, I would attempt to explain it in multiple different ways. Most times, lack of understand just comes from misinterpretation.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
When I begin tutoring a student after they have already been in a class for a while, I like to start out by assessing their level of understanding. This usually begins by having them attempt some practice problems and trying to work through and explain what they did right/wrong.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I ask a student what works best for them. Usually people learn using different techniques, but a professor can only teach one way. By teaching in a way that helps them understand, they will learn the material more quickly and thoroughly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I generally use my laptop and the student's textbook during a session. This allows me to look up quick facts and know that I am teaching them exactly what they should be learning. I don't generally encourage the use of flashcards for studying, since memorization isn't a way to truly learn a concept.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Most students see the subject they are learning as just one more barrier between them and a good grade. I try to show students how important the material is in the real world, so it doesn't seem like they are studying something just because their teacher/professor tells them to.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Positive encouragement is always helpful in getting a student to stay motivated.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice. By practicing several problems, it ensures the student will understand the material after enough tries.