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I am a pharmaceutical chemist by trade and illustrate chemistry textbooks for fun. My specialty is working with students who learn visually. As a graduate from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) with a Master's in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a Bachelors from the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!) in Biomedical Sciences, I have the experiences and mastery of topics related to Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Biochemistry. I am a highly-qualified, professionally certified teacher with the Florida Department of Education and have published a Chemistry textbook for visual, modern learners.

Here is what I offer my students on Varsity:
- Priority scheduling
- Convenient online tutoring
- Lessons customized to your learning style
- Hand-illustrated topic reviews
- Tons of free resources

Together, we WILL master any topic you need in order to be successful in your science course-work.

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Vanessa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of South Florida-Main Campus - Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences

Graduate Degree: University of Florida - Masters, Pharmaceutical Chemistry


I'm a coastal girl who surfs and SUPs. A pharmaceutical chemist, illustrator, and mom.

Tutoring Subjects

AP Biology

AP Chemistry



Cell Biology


College Biology

College Chemistry

General Biology

General Chemistry

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Honors Chemistry



Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Personally, I am a visual learner and love to illustrate concepts to students who learn visually. My goal is not to teach but to reveal how incredible these systems are in their purpose, function, and balance.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

We'd introduce ourselves, go over a course syllabus or your goals for a session, and hit the ground running!

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Science is all about how you think. Although it is important to learn the skills required to balance an equation, draw a Punnet square, and calculate forces on an object; it is essential to allow your curiosity to be the driving force in your studies.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I am motivated by the "why" of things. I don't just want to know the answer to a single question but why that answer IS the answer.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Let's start at square one, talk about why the concept matters to begin with and build upon a new foundation.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I feel those students big time, I am 100% a visual learner and will work with them to illustrate and maximize learning opportunity with visualization.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Leveling with a student is a nature consequence of interacting with them. It's important to connect with your students and relate to them on their level. Trying to hard or "trying to sound intelligent" is not my style.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Often my less motivated students are very intelligent and have grown weary of memorizing things to jump through the hoops of earning a certain grade. I find it more helpful to go over WHY rather than WHAT with them.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I create assessment questions that span a variety of topics and ensure the student is able to ... 1) articulate the meaning of principles needed to answer the question 2) solve the question correctly 3) are able to apply various scenarios and numerical values to the same types of questions

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

The usual way! With encouragement and practice.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I prefer to form a dialogue about what they enjoy in a topic, what they believe causes them to struggle, and how we can ensure their success in the course.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

As a visual learner, I tend to explain things using visuals. Sometimes there can be a disconnect between what I am hoping to translate and what they receive. To ensure this doesn't happen, I pay attention to a student's cues and offer the same concept in a variety of explanations until they seem comfortable.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Hand-written illustrations, online worksheets, and apps are my go to's.

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