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I grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma, where I was homeschooled for the majority of my high school education. During my many long days at home, I filled the time reading, writing fiction, and contributing articles to local publications. When it came time to attend college, I went to a small school, Cameron University, where many of my family members had already attended. It was there that I first started working as a writing tutor. Though I originally took the job for the utilitarian purpose of paying my tuition, I soon realized I had not only a knack for it, but also a deep investment in watching my students improve and grow in their confidence over time. Many of my students at Cameron struggled to bridge the gap between high school writing and college writing, and it became my personal goal to help them not only understand academic writing, but also be able to approach it in a way that felt natural and allowed their individual voice to shine through.
It wasn’t until a year into my degree that I realized that I was looking for a more expansive English program. I transferred to Wesleyan University, where I studied English and creative writing, and after graduating with my bachelor’s in English, I went directly into the English PhD program at Stanford.
At Wesleyan, I both mentored and tutored students in writing, typically working with underserved student populations. Wesleyan provided me opportunities from working with thesis writers over the course of a year to helping students polish last minute papers. By far, my favorite style of tutoring was mentoring students over the course of a semester and helping them find confidence in their voice even as they adjusted to a new styles of writing. My philosophy during my mentoring sessions was not only to work with my students on the mechanics of writing, but also to make sure their writing practice was serving as an edifying part of their whole educational experience and helping them explore their own interests. During our sessions, we frequently worked on time management, classroom communication skills, and staying emotionally grounded as key parts of the writing process.
I’m passionate about working with students for the long term and helping them understand how writing can be not only a functional tool for excelling in academics, but also a medium for self expression and a means of interrogating and exploring one’s own ideas and interests. I’m a firm believer that good writing is good thinking and good thinking is not only the occasion for advancing one’s education, but also a tool for personal growth.
When I’m not teaching or studying, I enjoy playing with my cats, hiking, and boldering.