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Throughout my educational experiences I have come to appreciate how variable learning can be. There are good days, hard days, fun subjects and tough ones too. Regardless of the circumstance there is something to be gleaned and applied that can benefit us in the long term. As an undergraduate at Brigham Young University and a medical student at Penn State University I feel I have gained a great deal of experience with different learning environments and circumstances. Along the way I have developed a sincere interest in learning and helping others do the same! I'm excited to be a part of Varsity tutors and hope to be a great listener and resource for you as you grow throughout your own educational journey.

I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah but have spent about 6 years out East. My time away from my medical training is spent mostly with my wife and two little boys. We enjoy the outdoors and being rowdy! I enjoy collegiate and professional sports, running and reading about most anything.

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Mark’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Brigham Young University-Provo - Bachelors, Latin American Studies

Graduate Degree: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine - Current Grad Student, Medicine


Running, reading, watching sports of all kinds, camping and hiking! I also love food and trying new things.

Tutoring Subjects


Anatomy & Physiology

AP Spanish Language & Culture

AP Spanish Literature and Culture


CLEP Spanish

Conversational Spanish

Homework Support







Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

For us to succeed, we need to understand one another. By obtaining a clear picture of your goals, your strengths and the obstacles you have, we can work together to make a plan that will help you get where you want to be. I'll encourage you to push yourself to grow, but be patient and supportive above all.

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

Before diving into material or assignments some time will be spent getting to know each other. Who are you? Who am I? What are you wanting to accomplish? What do you want and expect from me? Etc. Then we will make the plan that fits your vision so that we can get moving.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

To learn on our own, we need to have a set of habits and principles in place that will keep us moving in the right direction. By not only focusing on concepts of the material we are studying but also providing the next steps and study skills, you will be able to learn the material while we are together, but even more so after we are finished!

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Two things here: support and reward. We all need someone to encourage us, hold us accountable and be there when we need it. I'll be there for that! Rewards? Yeah, we will figure out ways for you to reward yourself so that you are looking forward to the next step.

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

It depends. If this is a new concept that is difficult to grasp for the student, I feel it is important to understand from their perspective what they are having a hard time with. Then, using their strengths, try to find a new way to tackle the concept. From there it’s a matter of us practicing together to help build confidence. If the concept is a familiar one that the student is struggling with and getting frustrated by, there comes a point where a break may be needed. We will move on to a concept that will bring success and confidence back into the picture. Then we will go back and try the approach mentioned above.

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

A discussion of any topic will include an explanation (brief is better), working problems or questions together, then supervising and reviewing some questions. This gives the students 3 different opportunities and situations in which to learn, ask questions and demonstrate comprehension. At any point we can go "back to the drawing board." However, including these steps and allowing the student to be engaged in the lessons will allow for assessment of comprehension and learning so that, when needed, we can readdress anything that hasn't been understood.

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