Being raised on a farm in Missouri, I've always had a strong interest in math and science. I especially liked the applied side of things. The "bean in a cup" experiment in elementary school grew into a hobby greenhouse as a teenager providing my family with vegetables for the table. It went on to grow into a full time family business which helped put me through college. The practical experience I got with all of this was invaluable. With more of a hands on approach, applied science and math allows you to take what you think you learned in class and see it in action in real life experiences. The experiences allow better integration of abstract concepts into reality, concreting what you know and leaving you with a desire to find out more.
I attended college at Northwest Missouri State University and received a B.S. in ACS-accredited Chemistry in 2008. I have therefore had a lot of chemistry, including organic and p-chem as well as algebra, trig, geometry and multi-variate calculus. While I was a tutor for the Chemistry/Physics department (and asked to tutor College Lit and Bio labs) I actually had several classes in biology and agribusiness that led me to my graduate work at Arizona State. I am currently finishing up my PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology with emphasis on microalgal cultivation. I have a wide array of interests and enjoy spending time outdoor hiking and mountain biking.
Overall, I'd say I'm a natural born problem solver. I love solving problems, especially abstract ones requiring creativity and imagination. I think it is the challenge of pulling from all of your life experiences and knowledge to come up with a solution that works. I think the key for success is having enough patience to keep ones imagination at work long enough to come up with a solution. I believe every problem has a solution, sometimes many.
‘It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.’
— Walter Bagehot
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Northwest Missouri State University - Bachelor of Science, A.C.S Chemistry
Graduate Degree: Arizona State University - PHD, Molecular and Cellular Biology
mountain biking, hiking, outdoors, gardening/plants/algae, dance
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Physics
Middle School Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I always like to get input on what students are thinking, challenge them by making them think in different ways, and above all communicate in a way that clicks with each student, because we are all different.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Assess where the student is currently at, ask what they want help with the most/want out of sessions, and develop a strategy to accomplish their goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Always ask what they are thinking, then ask what they would do next, then guide them, but don't hold their hand.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Remind them of their goals and the implications of those goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Try to illustrate the concept, act it out, or communicate it in a new way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Break it down into smaller pieces. Once they can see all the pieces, they can start to build the puzzle into a clear picture.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Ask what the student thinks. Challenge them to see it in a different light. Try different practice problems, minimizing input.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show them the fundamentals. Keep changing the way you present the material until it clicks with them.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice, practice, practice makes perfect. Practice, then review and fix mistakes until they have the concept down.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Keep asking questions they have mastered (reminds them of their accomplishment and reiterates the concept).
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask them. Have them do practice problems. Evaluate and repeat occasionally to identify problem areas.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Ask what they are want out of the sessions. Spend extra time on challenge areas.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Paper/pencil, books, laptop, models (if applicable).