A bookworm from birth, I’ve had my head buried in a book for as long as I can remember. My nanny had the keen eye to nurture this desire and fueled my appetite to read every holiday season with books. My favorite as a kid was the Nancy Drew series (she even had the same name as my nanny—mind blowing, I must say, to a child!). Along the way, the books evolved to include scientific and test-prep texts.
I hail from a pink hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, but my time on the island of Oahu was short-lived; we moved to the mainland when I was three. I grew up amid the humidity of the South and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an undergraduate. An initial interest in sports lead me to study the human form and double major in Exercise and Sport Science (with a concentration in athletic training) and African and Afro-American studies. The rigor of my alma mater inspired me to further my scholarship at Temple University, which culminated with the successful defense of a Doctorate of Philosophy in Kinesiology. In hindsight, the toughest, though most rewarding, skill I learned as a student was to identify my current shortcomings as a means of prioritizing my studies.
During my schooling, I trained to teach and acquired skills such as how to apply theories of learning and development to teaching, use a variety of research-based teaching methods to address different learners effectively, and develop a reflective and purposeful approach to teaching. After graduate school, I worked as a teaching assistant and then adjunct professor in allied-health courses such as anatomy and physiology and injury assessment. During these ten years, I learned the value of a hands-on experience and cultivated universal teaching techniques geared towards the success of a diverse student body. Before coming to AJ, I also worked as a Science Learning Specialist (science tutor) for over five years for high school and college students.
I’ve found that the skills I learned tutoring science also carry over to standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, as well as coaching students on the development of their writing in their college application essays. As a teacher and a tutor, my goal is to equip students with successful skills and encourage them to take educational ownership. I think of tutoring, and subsequent learning, as a never-ending, intellectually engaging conversation. Therefore, I approach each tutoring session with a mission to foster active input from students. Together we can tackle confusing problems, practice testing techniques, and prepare for the future. The 1-on-1 nature of tutoring helps me to build an immediate rapport with students and gives me the chance to both tailor each session and demonstrate connections.