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My personal academic journey started with an aptitude for mathematics which blossomed into many avenues of STEM courses. My particular fields of interest include not only mathematics, but biology and chemistry as well. These branches of science started as early as elementary school and strengthened in middle school and high school as my curiosity and passion grew. I remember taking as many classes as I could because I was highly invested in learning. This gift and passion lead me to teach others, and soon I found a new gift in teaching. This gift has been easily paired with my desire to learn in my most favorite subject, medicine.

In the course of my school work, I have taken numerous biology courses such as genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, and physiology. Additionally, I have advanced in chemistry and in mathematics, taking all three calculus classes, linear algebra, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry.

In the future I aspire to pursue a career in the medical field to combine the best of Chinese medicine and Western medicine to revolutionize the health industry. By integrating the two forms of medicine, it opens up a broader spectrum for patients to learn about their individual health in numerous ways. I hope to share my knowledge of both forms of medicine and change the world. Along the way I will always strive to teach as many as I can with a desire to learn, because knowledge should always be shared.

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Melissa’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Augustana College - Bachelors, Biology, General


Track & Field, Watercolor & Oil Painting, Drawing, Hiking, Swimming, and reading science fiction & fantasy novels

Tutoring Subjects


AP Biology


College Biology

College Chemistry

General Biology


Middle School Math




Social Sciences

Q & A

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

I greatly empathize with this problem because when I was younger I also struggled with this. However, working through a passage of text or book piece by piece, talking through what we know, answering questions that predict where the text is going, and answering basic questions that help us deeply think about what we've read, instead of skimming, has proved useful for me personally.

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

I've found that demonstrating the skills we are learning in context of something larger that is applicable to them and their personal interests helps tremendously. For example, if a student is struggling with graphing, then doing a science experiment and utilizing this technique really helps.

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

To peek a student's excitement, you must make the subject correlate with their own interests. You must help them see the importance, and of course have fun and make silly problems that can help them remember. Additionally, by answering questions they have about a subject gets them to think critically or differently about the subject they aren't very engaged with.

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

Typically when they are reaching the end of their understanding, and I want to check to see if they really know it, I have them teach it back to me. This helps me see where they struggle, and if they have missed any instruction I, or their teacher, has given them.

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

I help build confidence by always focusing on what they are good at. Even in hard problems there is a portion they can really grasp or have a great handle on. From there, you can build and work on the other things surrounding it to complete the problem. By offering constructive criticism and focusing on their strengths, they can find the strength to attack the next problem. Just be patient, never give up, and keep working.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

This comes gradually, sometimes the student is an eager learner, but struggles in a category. Typically, when you first meet it is helpful to ask what they don't like and what their favorite thing is and why. This helps evaluate needs of what they struggle with, but also what to pair it with so that they never feel overwhelmed or dread coming to learn.

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

Obviously every student is different. When I teach I make sure to use visual aids, demonstrations, and readings to cover all bases for what type of learner they are. Whichever they gravitate toward in the first few sections is what I will end up using most of the time. If one type doesn't work, then you keep trying to explain things differently until you can finally see when they light up and understand.

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

My favorite item to use is my whiteboard because it doesn't waste paper and that way both the student and I can draw on it together to complete problems, draw pictures to explain, or write vital concepts down.

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