A journey from growing up in academia to teaching in Tucson …
Academics has always been a central part of my life. I grew up in small university town — West Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University. Nearly everyone that lived there was involved with the university in some way — either as a student, or as staff, or as part of the faculty.
The West Lafayette school system was excellent, and I was surrounded by classmates whose fathers were Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, Math, Computer Science, and Engineering professors. My own father was in the History Department.
It was a rich academic environment. Both of my parents were published authors, and everybody read books. Going over to a friend’s house often meant walking in on several professors having a philosophical discussion over coffee. And despite being best known as an engineering school, the university brought in a rich array of well known dance, theater, and music groups.
My classmates were bright, and there was lots of support for doing well in school, and a fair amount of stiff competition. Academic excellence mattered.
Initially I focused on the humanities, and got a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Purdue, followed by a Master’s in Comparative Religion from the University of Windsor (in Canada).
Later I pursued the sciences, and lived in another wonderful college town, Ann Arbor, where I got my Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Michigan.
From there I moved to Boulder CO, home of the University of Colorado. At one point I was lucky enough to spend a year in Cambridge England imbibing the feel of the town (though I was not enrolled in any of the colleges there).
Hand in hand with the academics went teaching. I came from a long line of teachers, and I always seemed to have taught. In high school I assisted in summer school math classes. In college I helped with instruction at a folk dance group. In Computer Science grad school I was a teaching assistant and did private tutoring. Later I taught assorted software classes for a variety of businesses and beginning programming courses for the University of Colorado Continuing Education.
Most recently in Tucson I’ve tutored math (fundamentals through Calculus), worked with students prepping for the SATs and ACTs, and taught my programming logic courses to small groups and one-on-one.
I have always been driven by intellectual curiosity and the desire to learn new things, and to understand known facts from a different perspective. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the humanities, and another master’s degree was in the sciences, I enjoy thinking from both sides of my brain. SAT Prep is the perfect niche for me because I get to do the analytical work of math, but I also get to have the fun of reading and considering what I’ve read.
I love working with students to deepen and hone their intellectual curiosity, and to help them learn the process of digging deeply into a topic and pursuing different trains of thought.
Currently I’m focusing on working with college bound students. I want my students to improve their SAT scores, and I want them to improve their skill base so that they will be better set up for success in the math and humanities courses that they will take once they get to college.
I hope that some of my academic enthusiasm rubs off on them so that they are instilled with a greater sense of the enjoyment and fulfillment that can come with employing and embracing skill sets of the mind.
I appreciate Tucson because I love the outdoors and enjoy hiking. Every year I look forward to “Tucson Meet Yourself” and the “Tucson Festival of Books”.
I am an avid international folk dancer, and also an enthusiastic reader. I loved working my way through George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones” series, (and wish he would finish it)!
I have always loved teaching, and I love working with students!
B.A. Religious Studies, Purdue University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society
M.A. Religious Studies, University of Windsor
M.S. Computer Science, University of Michigan
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