Roxanne Jacobs

Academic Tutor

I grew up in Long Beach, CA, and graduated from Millikan High School before attending California State University, Long Beach, on their full-ride President’s Scholarship. I was initially indecisive about my major, but I ultimately majored in chemistry and biochemistry after my general chemistry professor became an incredible mentor for me and encouraged me to join his research group. My experiences with research opened an entire world of scientific inquiry and piqued my curiosity, and after graduating summa cum laude from CSULB, I received my master’s in chemistry from Stanford University.

I was attracted to the natural sciences because I have always been fascinated by how the world works, and I knew that having a strong background in chemistry and biology could be applied towards tackling many of the world’s most pressing issues. For example, I have personally worked on research projects ranging from the chemical synthesis of sustainable materials for wastewater treatment to isolating polysaccharides from bacteria with potential uses in biofuels, cosmetics, and medical treatments.

However, throughout my education I always gravitated towards working directly with people, rather than tinkering in the laboratory. At CSULB, I became a supplemental instruction leader for a semester-long course in general chemistry. In this role, I led an optional companion course in which I independently developed lesson plans to provide additional support for students taking general chemistry, tailoring each class section in order to review the most challenging course concepts. I enjoyed leading this class of 25 students, but I found it even more rewarding when I was able to provide more in-depth support to students during office hours. It was evident to me that every student had different approaches to learning, unique obstacles, and distinct driving forces, and I realized that I loved adjusting my teaching methods for each person.

This led me to become a chemistry tutor at CSULB’s Learning Assistance Center. There, I worked with students to not only improve understanding of subject matter, but also address test anxiety, building confidence in the material, time management, and organizational skills. At Stanford, I worked as a teaching assistant for biochemistry lab and general chemistry courses as well as leading hands-on laboratory sections, writing exam questions, and grading assignments. In order to continue working with people one-on-one, I volunteered for tutor and mentor organizations such as Step Up Tutoring, Stanford Science Pen Pals, Virtual Mentorship for Students Abroad, and Friends for Youth, working with students from elementary school to graduate school. These mentoring experiences fueled my passion for guiding students from diverse backgrounds.

Overall, I am passionate about making education more accessible, and I work to target areas of growth with the student. As a tutor and mentor, I ask students thought-provoking questions to encourage critical thinking and empower individuals to problem-solve more independently. I build motivation in students by discovering their definition of success and collaborating with them to set and achieve their goals.

Outside of tutoring, I love playing board games, learning Spanish, and hiking through national parks!

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Chemistry
Academic Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Biology


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