MEET OUR TUTOrS

Our team is constantly growing! Our amazing tutors and academic coaches are excited to help students excel! Take a look at some of their bios below.

Michelle Porjes

Master’s Degree in School Psychology, University of South Florida
Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, University of Denver
Executive Function Coaching

Michelle received her Bachelors in Psychology from UCLA California and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Denver. Michelle finished her formal education at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida where she earned a Masters and Specialist degree in School Psychology. While there, she gained valuable experience in working with students on assessing learning, emotional and behavioral difficulties as well as facilitating social skills and anger management groups.
Michelle is a licensed educational psychologist and a credentialed school psychologist in the state of California. She also is a member of the Association of Educational Therapists. She has worked in the private school world for over 23 years where she specialized in consulting, case management, supervision, leadership and program development.

Adam Roufberg

MS Physics, Drexel University
Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and SAT/ACT/AP exams

Adam holds an MS in Physics from Drexel University, a MAS in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation and dual undergraduate degrees in Biology and Physics, as well as an AA in Classical Guitar and Composition. His professional experience includes 20 years of teaching college physics and 15 years teaching for standardized test preparation (SAT/ACT/AP including subject tests in Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology). For the past few years, Adam has been working as an editor for cutting-edge science research published in leading, peer-reviewed journals and as a science writer for educational science videos and online lessons. Adam also lived abroad in Spain for several years as he pursued formal studies in flamenco guitar. In his free time, he enjoys writing short stories and poetry, cooking, running, biking, hiking, and exploring different cultures.

Odonna Bass

Candidate for Doctor of Education in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University
English/Language Arts and History

Odonna is a passionate, curious, and loving educator with three years of teaching experience in Special Education. She has worked in the public and public charter school settings as a lead teacher, inclusion co-teacher, resource room teacher, and case manager. Her content specialties are in English/Language Arts and History.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University where she majored in English with a focus in Rhetoric and minor in Communications. She also holds a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Management from Webster University and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University.

Prior to becoming an educator, Odonna served nine years in the United States Army as a Chemical Officer. These years of leadership experience in the military have greatly shaped her views on organizational leadership, teamwork, and commitment.

Her desire to become an educator comes from the core belief that every child is entitled to a high-quality and equitable education that is accessible to all learners, meaningful, and bridges academics and the real world.

Tina Pagura

Bachelor of Science in Social Science and Bachelor of Arts in Education, Southern Cross University Australia
Writing

Tina Pagura is a passionate writer and educator who seeks to change the world through creating awareness, education and mentoring.

Originally from Australia, Tina has dedicated multiple decades to acquiring and maintaining the specialist skills and techniques, necessary for being a committed educator (and writer).

As a qualified Educator, she holds university degrees in Education and the Social Sciences (Human Relations & Communication, Counselling & Mediation and Human Services). In Australia, Tina established IFE (International Foundation Of Excellence) for educating and mentoring as a way of combating those challenges, which no individual should ever have to encounter.

Mukti Patel

Candidate for MS in Business Analytics, BS Operations Management and Business Analytics, Accounting Major, University of Maryland
Algebra, AP Statistics and Economics

Mukti is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Business Analytics at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Accounting, Operations Management and Business Analytics. Along with working towards her master’s, she’s currently working at Fiserv as a Business Analyst. Her passion for helping others comes from both her personal and professional experience. Over the years, aside from tutoring college students, she has assisted her younger sister and other family members tremendously with their studies and school work. During her free time, she likes to watch tv, read, spend time with family, and go to coffee shops!

Shaakirah Lee

BS Industrial and Systems Engineering, Morgan State University
Middle and High School Math

Shaakirah holds an Associate Degree in Engineering Science from the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD . She is currently working as a Technology Analyst at Accenture Federal Services in the DMW Metropolitan Area. Shaakirah’ s professional experience includes tutoring elementary, middle, high, and college level students. She also has extensive research experience as a Thurgood Marshall College Fund Student Research recipient and a Mid-Atlantic nanotechnology Research hub recipient. Shaakirah is very passionate about tutoring mathematics as well as getting students exposed to STEM careers at early ages. In her free time, Shaakirah enjoys cooking, baking, and playing basketball.

Julianna Smith

Pursuing Bachelor of Music in Voice with Minors in Spanish and German and a Certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, University of Maryland
Spanish

Julianna is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in voice as well as minors in Spanish and German. She is also currently pursuing a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification. Julianna loves teaching languages and has studied abroad in both Salamanca, Spain and Vienna, Austria. She interned with the Esperanza Center in Baltimore as a classroom assistant through their summer English program. Last year, she interned with the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, where she helped organize field trips to cultural organizations for D.C. public and charter school students. Julianna has taught piano and voice lessons, and even worked as a jump rope instructor for four years. Whatever the subject may be, Julianna is committed to sharing her knowledge through teaching!

Sonu Patel

BS Family Science, University of Maryland
Elementary Reading and Writing

Sonu is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Family Science at University of Maryland. She plans to become a teacher and work with young minds in the future. She would also like to work in underdeveloped countries assisting children in need. Sonu has had the opportunity to gain classroom experience working with students through internships at various elementary schools and enjoys tutoring reading for early learners. Along with that, she volunteers at Shri BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir on Sundays where she educates young children about her culture and traditions. After working with different types of learners over the years, she realized that she especially enjoys working with children with special needs.

Helen Rossmiller

Pursuing BS Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
High School Math and Science

Helen is especially passionate about math and science, although she loves all the subjects she tutors. She is able to use her experience working in a research lab to bring these subjects to life. She also enjoys helping students do well on standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT. Having scored a nearly perfect 35 out of 36 on the ACT, Helen knows what strategies work. Through one-on-one tutoring, she helps students prepare academically for college. She shares her experience navigating test prep and advanced classes as well as how she got into her dream school–Johns Hopkins University. She hopes to allow her experience and passion for knowledge to help students excel in school and all forms of learning.

Neetika Rastogi

Pursuing BS in Neuroscience and Philosophy, John Hopkins University
English, History, Writing and High School Math

Neetika, interested in the intersection between the humanities and science, studies both philosophy and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. She is interested in a concentration in the philosophy of science and logic, along with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. She currently works at a lab that explores the role of olfaction in neuropsychiatric disorders. Neetika is passionate about sharing her knowledge in subjects like english, history, and writing with her students. Having tutored extensively in the past, she knows what strategies work on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. She is very passionate about academics and hopes that she can impart that appreciation on any student that she tutors.

Ali Bhatti

Pursuing BS and BA in Information Science and French Literature, University of Maryland
French and Math

Ali is currently pursuing his BS and BA in Information Science and French Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also minoring in Statistics and Survey Methodology. Ali’s professional experience includes an internship with the Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) Office at UMD, mentoring students in reading at the primary and secondary grade levels, and being on the executive board for Asian American Student Union (AASU) at UMD. Ali enjoys teaching the subjects of mathematics, AP Calculus I and II, AP Statistics, writing, AP psychology, AP French, AP Economics (Micro and Macro), reading comprehension, geography, social science, and reading. In his free time, Ali enjoys writing poetry, listening to Sufi music, attending concerts, and biking!

Ileana Blustein

Bachelors of Arts in both Physics and Theatre Performance, American University
Math and Science (Elementary, Middle and High School)

Ileana is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. where she was a double major, receiving her Bachelors of Arts in both Physics and Theatre Performance. Ileana began pursuing these two passions at a young age after falling in love with the TV show, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Over the years, she’s shared her love of learning about science and math, helping other students build confidence and deepen their understanding.

Megan Hastie

Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production and Musical Theatre, American University
Math, Physics and SAT Math

Megan Hastie graduated from American University summa cum laude with dual degrees in Audio Production and Musical Theatre. She is originally from the Seattle area where she graduated high school with an IB Diploma and perfect SAT math score. She has 5 years of experience teaching math, physics, grammar, piano, and performing arts and enjoys working with students to improve their SAT math scores. She loves listening to podcasts and spending time with her cats!

Krina Patel

Bachelors in Biology, University of Maryland
Elementary ELA and Math

Krina Patel received her Bachelors in Biology from University of Maryland and is currently pursuing her master’s degree. In the past, she taught early learners at Kumon and has held the position of an intern at several dental offices, especially pediatric dental offices. On Sundays, she spends the day at a local temple teaching and mentoring middle schoolers about worldly skills, leadership, and spirituality. She has a lot of experience in teaching kids from all ages, backgrounds and values building a genuine connection with all her students to make learning more fun. She enjoys teaching reading, writing, math, and science. In her free time you’ll either find her spending time with friends and family or binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Priyanka Bangalore

Studying Computational Cognition, Statistics and Mathematics, University of Toronto
Math, Psychology, Computer Science, Reading and Writing

Priyanka is a student at the University of Toronto who is currently studying Computational Cognition, Statistics and Mathematics. As a student, she understands the difficulties of grasping daunting concepts, thus she strives to deliver personalized lesson plans and sessions to help her students get the most of their learning experience. Priyanka is experienced in tutoring math, psychology, computer science, reading, and writing for students of all ages and grade levels, including first-year university-level students.

Naimani Staley

Bachelors in Early Childhood Education
Elementary ELA and Study Skills

Naimani holds a BS degree in Early Childhood Education and has been teaching, coaching, and working with students in various capacities for more than 6 years. She’s experienced in working with students of all ages, including those with special needs and learning challenges. Her experience includes working one to one with students both inside and outside of schools. She is passionate about helping students reach their highest potential.

Simone John-Vanderpool

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French, Wesleyan University
Reading, Writing, Government

Simone John-Vanderpool is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French. Currently she is a Master of Arts Candidate for Psychology as a part of Wesleyan University’s BA/MA program. She has worked with students from ages 5 to 23 in a variety of positions throughout the years, including as a camp-counselor, a peer health educator, a psycho-educator, and a French tutor. These positions have endowed her with a strong capacity for adapting educational material for different populations, as well as with an attunement for identifying student needs and addressing them accordingly. In her experience, enthusiasm, flexibility, and individualized attention have been critical for developing passionate learners, and it is her objective as a tutor to not only facilitate quantifiable improvement in students’ chosen subject areas but to foster an excitement towards the learning itself. Outside of her academic pursuits, Simone also enjoys running, creative writing, and roller skating.

JianFeng Huang

Master’s Degree in Chemistry (2015), Missouri Western
State University
Chemistry

Jianfeng Huang received his master’s degree in Chemistry at Missouri Western State University in 2015, where he also worked as a Teaching Assistant in the chemistry lab, training students in the use of lab instruments and results analysis. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering at Guangdong Pharmaceutical University in China, where academics and education are very challenging. With a positive attitude towards life and studies, he excelled in mathematics and science. Throughout his college years, he worked as a part-time math tutor where developed a passion for teaching. Jianfeng works as a Chemist and enjoys helping students develop their own way to master their courses. He loves sports and always tries to learn new things around him.

Mist Yancey

Bachelors in Elementary/Exceptional Student Education
Masters in Educational Leadership
Elementary and Middle School ELA and Math

Mist is an extremely passionate teacher and reading specialist. She is a lifelong learner who holds several degrees and certifications, including a Bachelors in Elementary/Exceptional Student Education and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. She also holds a certification in K-12 reading and ESOL and is currently pursuing a certification in Gifted Education. For more than a decade, she’s been working with students to help them achieve their highest potential in reading and other core subjects. Her experience includes teaching students with a wide range of special needs in the classroom, in groups and one on one.

Miranda Hoyt

Bachelor of Arts in English and Film, Wesleyan University
Writing, History and Government

Miranda Hoyt is a proud tutor and writer who graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in English and Film, for which she received honors. Next year, she will be matriculating at Columbia University and working towards her MFA in screenwriting and directing. In addition to tutoring, Miranda’s interests extend to pirates, superheroes, and aliens. She can, to the chagrin of everyone around her, debate the merits of Captain America versus Ironman for hours.

Brittany Bronson

Bachelor of Art in Sociology Science and a concentration in Criminology,
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Preschool and Elementary Reading and Math

Brittany is compassionate, detail-oriented, and a motivated educator with five years of teaching experience in kindergarten through second grade. She has served as a kindergarten grade chair for a public charter school, inclusive K-1st grade teacher, case manager, and beginning teacher coach. Her content specialties are in literacy, phonics,and phonemic awareness. Brittany has spent her years after undergrad serving the children of her community become strong, confident readers.