Rosie Sowers

Biology Co-Department Head & Academic Tutor

I was born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania, home of the Nittany Lions. My interest in math and science started early, in part due to my parents who are both environmental researchers. I stayed local for college, going to Penn State University, where I studied biochemistry and computer science. After finishing my undergraduate degrees, I decided to attend a graduate program in biomedical informatics at Stanford University, where I conducted research on healthcare disparities.

My interest in teaching started when I was an undergrad at Penn State. I taught and tutored for multiple departments during my time there. I was a math tutor for four years, an organic chemistry teaching assistant for one year, and a computer science teaching assistant for one year. I also spent a summer as a counselor and teaching assistant for a residential program for high school students interested in STEM. At Stanford, I was a teaching assistant for biomedical informatics and I also volunteered as a curriculum lead for Stanford FAST, a science mentorship program that works with under-resourced high schools. Through these experiences, I have worked with students with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, goals, and learning styles. I have learned to hone my teaching style to listen to students to understand where they are at so that we can then work together to decide on the best approach to help them achieve their goals.

Although I have always enjoyed learning, the most impactful educational experiences for me were when teachers put aside memorization of facts and formulas and instead prioritized understanding basic principles and patterns. Being able to reason through the ‘why’ and ‘how’ has served me well across many environments, so I make sure to focus on that kind of learning now as a teacher, myself. I find that students can most easily develop these problem-solving and synthesis skills in small group and individual settings, which is why I prefer 1-on-1 tutoring. These skills are particularly important for subjects like biology and chemistry because students new to these subjects can understandably feel quite overwhelmed if they feel like they have to memorize endless lists of formulas, reactions, and structures. I like working with students to help them develop a less burdensome approach to learning these subjects that improves both their competency and their enjoyment.

Outside of work, you can find me baking, playing music, and reading science fiction novels.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Algebra 1
Academic Algebra 2
Academic Biology
Academic Calculus
Academic Chemistry
Academic Computer Science
Academic Environmental Science
Academic Geometry
Academic Physics
Academic Pre-Calculus
Academic Statistics
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Environmental Science
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Statistics




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