I am a graduate of the Yale Law School and a licensed attorney of the New York State Bar.
I took the ACT when I was 12 and scored a 30 (97th percentile). I started college at 14, and later received a full ride to the University of Pittsburgh. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with two honors bachelors degrees in mathematics and classics, and was also a Rhodes Scholar finalist. After taking the LSAT, I was accepted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Columbia law schools.
After graduating from Yale law school, I worked for several top Fortune 500 Companies - including Goldman Sachs Group, McKinsey & Co., and Bain & Co. - as well as the American Cancer Society.
I have also lectured at Harvard, Yale, and MIT; and most recently gave a TED talk as the closing speaker at the 2015 TEDMED conference.
Helping students to achieve their academic goals has been my lifelong passion. I have over 25 years of experience tutoring students of all ages, from elementary school to graduate school. I have also been a standardized test prep tutor for several organizations, including most recently Kaplan. Finally, I started my tutoring nonprofit in college and law school that helps high school juniors and seniors in low-income communities apply to college.
I look forward to working with you!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Bachelors, Mathematics and Classics
Graduate Degree: Yale University - PHD, Law
ACT Composite: 30
ACT English: 31
ACT Math: 27
ACT Reading: 33
ACT Science: 29
SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1520
SAT Math: 720
SAT Verbal: 800
What is your teaching philosophy?
After 25 years of tutoring students of all ages, I've found that every student has his or her unique learning style. It's my job to make their academic material interesting, accessible, and fun! I believe the best way to do this is through an interactive style. I help guide the student to the correct answer using prompts, rather than lecturing the student. This builds the student's self-confidence and makes the tutorial much more lively and engaging.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first session is all about getting to know the student as a person, as well as his or her academic goals. What does she want to achieve with her tutorial sessions, and what are her short and long term academic goals?
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Interactive sessions are much better for building independence than lectures. I've found that students grasp difficult concept much more easily when they can be actively involved in the solution, rather than a passive listener.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
The key to staying motivated is to understand the student's goals, not just academically but holistically. How will succeeding academically help the student succeed in life?
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Practice, practice, practice! Reading comprehension is about being able to draw the "gist" out of a mass of details, in other words, seeing the forest not the trees. I help students to do this by asking them to summarize passages in their own words. This helps them to zero in on the key elements of the passage.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I've found that individualized sessions that are based on a diagnostic exam are the most efficient way of addressing a student's weaknesses.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Nothing excites a student more than discovering that they can actually do well in a subject that they previously struggled with. As they develop confidence, they begin to enjoy the same classes that they used to dread!
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I believe very strongly in repetition, especially on standardized tests where managing time is a critical skill. Being able to feel comfortable with material comes from familiarity, thus repetition builds comfort.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Nothing builds confidence like hard work and success!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
It varies. Often a student has a clear idea of their needs - an upcoming exam, homework, etc. If not, I ask about their goals, and then work with a student to develop a game plan. Our sessions will be tailored to help the student achieve her goals.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Every student has a unique learning style. I encourage all students to be active learners, to ask questions often, and not to be afraid of getting a question wrong. Wrong answers are not failures, but opportunities to improve!
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I vary my materials based on the student's needs. For academic tutoring, they will usually have a textbook they are using. For standardized testing, they might have a test prep book already. If not, I can recommend one.