I'm a passionate and curious scientist who believes that a fundamental understanding of science subjects is crucial to better know the world around us. Subjects like biology and chemistry can be portals to seeing the way things work every second of every day. As a teacher, I am excited to share this passion and curiosity, and more importantly, translate that understanding into better grades for my students.
I grew up in Indiana and double majored in Biology and Chemistry at Purdue University, before coming to San Diego and earning my M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at UC San Diego. I'm a hard worker, and I will be happy to help you learning science subjects. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Purdue University-Main Campus - Bachelors, Chemistry and Biology
Graduate Degree: University of California-San Diego - PHD, Chemistry
GRE Quantitative: 800
Enjoys hiking, reading science fiction books and watching science fiction shows
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
A good teacher is a good listener. By understanding the student's perspective, I can lead them to the right understanding and the correct answers about fundamental concepts.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
A first session will certainly involve a conversation about what a student's hopes to accomplish with my tutoring. With those goals in mind, we can start reviewing what concepts are troubling, and review how we can accomplish that through practice problems, homework review, and test prep.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Becoming an independent learner is about asking the right questions. Frequently, in science, this means understanding the relationships between fundamental concepts, and translating that into mathematics. Producing independent learners is my overall goal in teaching.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Student motivation can be difficult with frustrating subjects as in the sciences. I hope to motivate students by relating chemical and biological concepts to what we see in the world every day. Ultimately, I hope that academic achievement is a strong motivator for most students.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Concepts in the sciences can be difficult and frustrating to learn. For me, it helps to tie these concepts and skills into real-world examples where they demonstrate their utility or importance.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension can be important for understanding word problems in chemistry; however, recognizing key words and details from a problem can usually lead to translation into the language of mathematics. I help these students by teaching them the mathematical meanings of the words in the problems, and then translating that into equations and values.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Getting to know a student is a very important strategy. Any good tutor-student relationship is built on trust and empathy. By building that personal understanding, I can get a better understanding of where a student needs help.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I have a passion for understanding chemistry and biology, because I find that they explain so much of the real world. Whether you're interested in high technology, nature, or anything in between, chemistry and biology can teach you so much about how the world works.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Inter-session quizzes and practice problems help me learn what a student knows. I don't just want to hear the right answer, I want to check a student's work to make sure the logic and understanding is right.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
There are multiple ways to build confidence. By starting from the right level and building up concepts in short order, I know that a student can understand and engage with the material in a way that will make them feel that confidence. Science can seem intimidating, but I hope to help humanize the subjects for my students.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
This is where listening becomes so important. By listening to a student work through a problem, I can identify where understanding fails or comprehension is lacking.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
This requires an empathy and connection between the tutor and student. I believe that by listening to a student, the tutor can help identify the concept which needs clarification.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I am flexible and am happy to start with the textbook used by the student's course. I am also experienced in constructing quizzes and problem sets that are designed to help probe the understanding of fundamental concepts.