In my professional life I am devoted to discovering and developing cures for both common and uncommon human diseases. My main focus is various types of cancers. The field is very challenging but extremely rewarding. It is a field that requires a great deal of knowledge about a wide variety of subjects including biology, biochemistry, chemistry, math, and the details of diseases.
I have also always been very interested in teaching others. In fact I have been involved in some sort of teaching since I was in middle school. When I was in eighth grade, with the help of my faculty mentor, I started a tutoring program for underprivileged students in the neighborhood of the school. After graduating from school, I went back and taught at my alma mater. In college I tutored other students in math and science classes. While I was getting my doctorate, I tutored college athletes mainly math and chemistry. Most recently I have been teaching a master's level class at Johns Hopkins University every fall for the last 5 years. I have also tutored my own two boys, who are now in high school, ever since they were in elementary school
There have been periods when I have not had time to teach but I find myself coming back repeatedly to teaching because I love to help students who want to learn. I think what I love is the challenge of finding that unique angle that is required to clarify a concept to each student. I have been told by many students that I explain difficult concepts very simply making it very easy for them to understand. I often tell my boys that they don't truly understand something until they can explain it in a way to make it understandable to their little cousin.
It is occasionally frustrating if a student appears to not want to learn. I have often found the reason for that kind of attitude is a lack of understanding of some simpler concept and the fear the student has of appearing to look bad in front of the teacher because of that deficit. Once the simpler problem is taken care of, the attitude improves considerably.
I have been lucky to have had some great teachers who have helped to open up the world for me and who helped to bestow a life long passion for learning. I hope to do the same to the students I come across.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Brandeis University - Bachelors, Biochemistry
Graduate Degree: Florida State University - PHD, Molecular Biophysics
SAT Math: 700
Reading, Hiking, Movies, Get togethers
High School Chemistry
SAT Subject Tests Prep
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I firmly believe that every concept, regardless of the difficulty, is understandable by any student. It is a teacher's responsibility to find a way to make that happen for any student interesting in mastering that concept.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know them, reassure them that I am there to help and not to worry about looking bad in front of me, and make an assessment of their deficiencies.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Assist them to solve many problems with my help, followed by allowing them to solve even more on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Once they see that they have the ability to master concepts that challenge them, it will help to keep them motivated. At that point they will enjoy the challenges.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I am very patient and creative in terms of different ways to explain the concept. I have often found that I can hit upon an explanation that works for the student.