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Background and Qualifications of Selected KTS Tutors
KTS takes special care to match each student with the tutor who is best prepared to satisfy his or her educational needs. A decided advantage of one-on-one tutoring is the ability of the tutor to individualize the instruction. All KTS tutors are dedicated to providing knowledge and guidance while helping their students reach their full potential.
KTS tutors share many attributes. They are all experts in their fields, having received Phi Beta Kappa and/or other honors during or upon graduation from college. They are personable and know how to engage students and encourage them to persevere and strive for excellence. Even though they come from all over the U. S., they share many common interests, such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, martial arts, travel adventures, and creative arts (such as woodworking, painting, playing musical instruments, and writing). Several became Eagle Scouts, participated in the Teach for America program, and/or underwent EMT training, and many are actively involved in social justice activities. Their individual backgrounds and areas of expertise are provided below. Please note that all of the tutors have tutored for KTS in the past, but some of them are not currently available; their resumes indicate their inactive status.
Cindy Kaplan received her B. A. degree (with honors) in Mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Texas at Austin, completing a double major in Mathematics and English, as well as all of the required secondary education/teacher training classes. After an initial career in computer programming and systems analysis, Ms. Kaplan turned to a career in teaching.
For twenty years, Ms. Kaplan was a classroom teacher of Algebra I and II, pre-algebra, and other mathematical topics, as well as Social Studies. She also provided math resource for students who were struggling with the subject, and she won two creativity awards from the Bureau of Jewish Education of RI for programs that she developed that integrated mathematics with Judaic studies. For many years, she also served as advisor to the school newspaper. Since 2005, she has tutored students from the middle school through college levels in mathematics. She has also helped students with writing, history, and Spanish, and she has prepared and implemented private summer school curricula. She often runs a summer Algebra Readiness Workshop for incoming high school freshmen.
A major area of expertise for Ms. Kaplan is standardized test preparation. She tutors students privately and in small groups when preparing them to take the SAT, ACT, GRE, SSAT, HSPT, NECAP, PRAXIS, and GED. In the past, she has run ACT prep classes at a Catholic high school. She also assists high school seniors prepare their Senior Projects and college essays and aids families as they negotiate the entire college application process.
Ms. Kaplan is technical editor of the Wiley publications, Catholic High School Entrance Examination for Dummies, SAT for Dummies (premier edition), 2016/2017 (new) SAT for Dummies, SAT for Dummies Quick Prep, English Grammar for Dummies, 1001 SAT Questions for Dummies, 1001 ACT Questions for Dummies, and 1001 GED Questions for Dummies. In addition, she has authored several articles for math teacher publications, edited mathematics textbooks, and prepared state standardized test questions. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association (RIMTA), as well as a trustee of the Barrington Public Library and vice president of the Barrington Public Library Corporation. An avid reader, she is a member of the Sinclair Lewis Society, and she presented a paper at the Sinclair Lewis Conference held in Sauk Centre, MN, during July of 2017.
JOSEPH KOFI ACQUAH
Joseph (Kofi) Acquah is a research economist at an international health institution. He graduated from Brown University with a PhD in economics after receiving a Masters in Health Economics from Duke University. Prior to that, he received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Washington.
During his college days, Dr. Acquah amassed numerous honors and awards, including the following: Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Duke Economics Master’s Program Award 2010 for Leadership and Academic Excellence, Omicron Delta Honor Society, Outstanding Scholar of the Year 2008, and Certificate of Recognition from the University of Washington Economics Tutoring Program.
As a health research associate in the Sloan Research Group at Duke University, he managed numerous research projects, assisted in grant writing, and published several articles in various health journals. As President of the Economics Undergraduate Board at the University of Washington, he oversaw the publication of the “Economizer,” a quarterly economics newsletter, and created and presented a survey which unearthed problems and resulted in beneficial changes for economics students. He served as a Teaching Assistant for four years at both Duke University and the University of Washington .
Dr. Acquah currently resides in North Carolina, from which he successfully tutors students via Skype. He is available to tutor students in Economics, Math (including Calculus), Statistics, and Math for the SAT, ACT, and GRE, as well as Math I and II Subject Tests.
After graduating with a B.A. in History and Environmental Science from Brandeis University, Tyler completed a two-year teaching fellowship with the nonprofit organization Citizen Schools in Dorchester, MA. He led the 8th Grade Writing Program and guided several classes through the process of selecting and applying to Boston high schools. Tyler then taught English abroad at a private boarding school in Thailand before returning to the U.S. to attend graduate school at Stanford University.
While at Stanford, Tyler focused his studies on effective school leadership and the intersection between federal and state education policy. His thesis examined the levers for effective parent engagement in small charter schools in the San Francisco area. During his time at Stanford, Tyler worked as a judge for the XQ Institute’s Super Schools Project in its inaugural year and served as a liaison for Stanford EdCareers. For the last five years, Tyler has taught English, Social Studies, and Science at Harlem Village Academies East Middle School in New York City. He has served as a tutor of Chinese students through a U.S.-based tutoring service for the past several years as well.
Tyler is available to guide students and their parents through the college or private high school application process, including help with all aspects of the Common Application and guidance concerning financial aid and scholarships. He can also tutor students in creative and academic writing, public speaking, AP Human Geography, AP English Language & Composition, AP U.S History, and AP World History. Tyler can help students prepare for the SAT, SSAT, TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, exams for the AP classes listed, and admissions interviews. He is a certified IB Middle Years Program educator and is thus able to offer support with International Baccalaureate coursework as well.
In his free time, Tyler enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories (he’s working on a novel, too!), hiking, traveling, and spending time with his dog, Sochi.
ROSS BRENDLE (Inactive)
After graduating with a B.A. in History of Art from Berkeley, Ross Brendle received two fellowships which allowed him to study for two years in Athens at the American School of Classical Studies. He returned to the United States and completed his PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, writing his dissertation on “The Function and Significance of Late Attic Black-figure Vase-painting.”
While at JHU, Dr. Brendle was the instructor or teaching assistant for a number of classes, including the following: “Greek Mythology;” “Past is Present: Cultural Heritage and Global Interactions;” “Ancient Greek Civilization: Society, Archaeology, Literature, Philosophy;” and “The Roman Republic: History, Culture, and Afterlife.” While in Greece, he served as Trench Supervisor for his archaeological fieldwork in Corinth. Since 2011, he has presented his research at several academic conferences in the US and Europe.
Dr. Brendle is available to tutor students in the following subjects: all levels of Latin (including AP Latin), ancient Greek, and art history; English literature and composition; German and French; and ESL. He can also prepare students for the national Latin exam.
He is a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for Classical Studies, and the College Art Association. Away from academia, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and visiting museums.
Born and raised in Syria, Mary Briden received her B.A. degree in French Literature from the University of Damascus. After moving to the United States, she completed the RITE (Rhode Island Teaching Education) program at Rhode Island College in 1997. Since 2000, she has taught French to 6th to 8th graders and Honors French III to high school students at a private school in Rhode Island. In 2008, she established the school’s Arabic curriculum for the high school.
Ms. Briden is available to tutor all levels of French and Arabic from middle school through college. She can tutor students for the SAT subject tests in these areas, as well as AP French. A native speaker of Arabic, she is also fluent in English and French.
Along with teaching, she enjoys reading and gardening. She can also be found swimming and biking.
LAUREN BRIGNAC-HUBER (Inactive)
Lauren Brignac-Huber received her B. S. degree from Loyola University (New Orleans) with a major in biology. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Brignac-Huber is currently a biology and chemistry teacher at a private school in Providence. She was part of the adjunct faculty of Johnson and Wales University, where she taught life sciences and neuropharmacology. Before moving to Rhode Island, she taught chemistry and biology at a high school in Metairie, Louisiana. While at the LSU Health Sciences Center, she was a graduate fellow and also a research associate.
A former Louisiana Board of Regents Scholar, Dr. Brignac-Huber also received the Exceptional Volunteer Award for Science Partnership Program and had two professional articles published. She can teach all levels of chemistry and biology, and she specializes in tailoring her tutoring and teaching to each individual student’s learning style. A high school cross country coach, she continues to train for marathons in her spare time.
SAM CALDIS (Inactive)
After receiving his Master of Arts degree in History from Brown University, Sam Caldis is continuing his graduate studies at Brown University, working toward his PhD in Ancient History with major fields of study in Ancient Greek and Roman History. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin, Greek, and Classical Civilizations and was also selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa.
His dissertation focuses on the brotherhood, statehood, and violence in the Roman Empire from the 2nd to the 5th centuries, C.E. He has received numerous research fellowships, an international travel award, and professional development training, including methods for teaching to different learning styles. He was selected to be an S4 (Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences) Senior Fellow at Brown, and he serves as Graduate Teaching Liaison for both the Department of History and the Department of Classics.
He has taught a variety of classes, ranging from Greek and Roman History, and Greek and Latin Languages, to the History of Prisons, and the Viking Age. A certified ESL instructor, Mr. Caldis is also familiar with several modern foreign languages, including Spanish, Russian, French, and German.
Mr. Caldis is available to tutor students in all levels (including preparation for AP and subject tests) of Latin, Greek, and history. He can also help to prepare students for the annual national Latin exams.
He is a member of the Association of Ancient Historians and the Society for Classical Studies, as well as several other professional organizations. When not researching, teaching, or tutoring, Mr. Caldis enjoys hiking, camping, video gaming, cooking, and running 5Ks.
VALE COFER-SHABICA (inactive)
Vale Cofer-Shabica earned his PhD in physical chemistry at Brown University, and he currently holds a Post Doc position at the University of Pennsylvania in the Chemistry Department. In the fall of 2014, he was selected to be one of eight graduate students (out of 50 who were nominated) to make a presentation about his research at the program entitled “Research Matters!” He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Physics from Brown University as well. During his junior year, he studied history, literature and quantum physics at two universities in France, and following graduation he spent a summer in Mexico, learning Spanish. As the math specialist at a Rhode Island high school, he helped students to better understand mathematical concepts, while assisting teachers to improve their mathematical pedagogy. He also taught courses in calculus and statistics at a Rhode Island charter high school. As part of his PhD program, Dr. Cofer-Shabica worked as a research associate at Brown University, where he was involved in experimental and theoretical research concerned with chemical dynamics and the computational modeling of chemical reactions.
In the spring of 2018, Dr. Cofer-Shabica earned the highest award given by the Brown University Department of Chemistry: the William R. Potter Prize for Doctoral Thesis of Outstanding Merit. Earlier awards he received from the Department of Chemistry include the Elaine Chase Award for Leadership and Service and the William T. King Prize for Teaching.
Heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America in his youth, Dr. Cofer-Shabica attained the rank of Eagle Scout and also held various positions during the summers of 2001 through 2006 at a Boy Scout camp. As Ecology Director, Program Director, and Assistant Camp Director, he planned and implemented a variety of programs for the campers and staff.
As a tutor for KTS since 2009, Dr. Cofer-Shabica is available to tutor students in all levels of math from pre-algebra through calculus and statistics (middle school through college). He also tutors at the high school and collegiate levels in chemistry and physics, and he can assist high school students with French and conversational Spanish. In all of his academic tutoring, he supplements classroom instruction and teaches missing or misunderstood concepts, while catering to each student’s individual needs and learning style.
Dr. Cofer-Shabica is also available to work with students privately and in small groups to successfully prepare them for the SAT, AP, GRE, GMAT, and GED exams and for SAT Subject Tests in Math, Chemistry, and Physics.
MICHAEL DA CRUZ
Michael da Cruz received his law degree from Roger Williams University’s School of Law in the spring of 2014. At the end of his first year of law school, he was selected for Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree (with a Concentration in History) from Brown University. Prior to his years at Brown University, Mr. da Cruz spent two years in the honors program of McGill University (in Montreal), majoring in history and classics. He also spent a summer at Georgetown University, where he studied political theory and economics. As a high school student, Mr. da Cruz received recognition as an AP Scholar and a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student.
He has served as editor of the following publications: “Brown Journal of History,” “Hirundo: McGill Journal of Classics,” and “Historical Discourses: McGill Journal of History.” In addition to his studies, he clerks part-time at a law office in Rhode Island. A wine expert, Mr. da Cruz also shares his expertise as a wine consultant in various capacities.
Having tutored students for a number of years, Mr. da Cruz is available to tutor in a variety of subjects. He specializes in private tutoring for the LSAT exam (having personally scored in the 97 percentile on the exam). His other areas of expertise include the following subjects: English, history, government, physics, and economics. He also enjoys helping students improve their study, reading, and writing skills in order to work more efficiently. Mr. da Cruz can assist students to prepare for their SAT and GRE exams and their SAT subject tests in Literature and U. S. and world history, as well as AP exams in history, English, and government.
Christopher (“Chris”) Ell graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.S. in Physics and Classics. He is currently working toward his PhD degree in Ancient History from Brown University.
Throughout his years as an undergraduate, Mr. Ell won numerous prizes from the Classics Department for his outstanding Latin and Greek translations and for the best undergraduate essay. For his work in the sciences, he won the prize for senior research in experimental physics and was also awarded fellowships for independent summer research and for international research in the sciences.
During his years as a graduate student at Brown, Mr. Ell has taught a course in Ancient Greek and has served as a Teaching Assistant for several history classes. He is available to tutor students in Latin, Greek, physics, chemistry, math, and history. He can prepare students for the national Latin exams, as well as the AP and SAT subject tests in Latin.
Some high schools allow students to take independent courses of study for credits on their transcript. Mr. Ell is prepared to create and teach such courses in Greek or Ancient History.
In his free time, he can be found going for walks, lifting weights, and cooking/grilling.
Jennifer (“Jen”) Ellis received her B.S. degree in Business Administration from Stonehill College with a major in management and a minor in human biology. She subsequently changed her focus and career to education, graduating “with distinction” (GPA of 3.91) with a M.A. degree in Foundations of Education from Hofstra University. After teaching for a number of years, Ms. Ellis obtained another master’s degree—Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education—from Rhode Island College, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
Since 2017, Ms. Ellis has taught grades 3 and 5 at a Catholic elementary school in Cranston, RI, developing and implementing curricula based on Common Core Standards. By utilizing hands-on learning techniques, award-winning children’s literature, and the Eureka Math program, Ms. Ellis engages her classes of 20 to 22 students. She is also adept at working with students of various abilities who need alternate ways of learning.
In prior years, Ms. Ellis planned lessons and taught students based on the Rhode Island College Mathematics Practicum (grade 5), Science Practicum (grade 2), and Reading Practicum (grade 5), which included Social Studies (history and world geography). She also developed and implemented a health education unit in a K-6 afterschool YMCA program.
Moreover, she has tutored students at the elementary level in reading comprehension, English language arts (handwriting, grammar, and writing process), and mathematics. She is available to tutor elementary aged children one-on-one throughout the year—after school or during the summer.
In her free time, Ms. Ellis enjoys cooking, reading, crafting, and yoga.
ANNA FISHEL (inactive)
Anna Fishel, a Columbia University student, participated in an internship as a research assistant in the laboratory of Brown University’s Cognitive, Linguistics, and Psychological Sciences Department during the 2011-2012 school year. She also took classes at Brown University, but she will be completing her undergraduate (pre-med) studies at Columbia.
While in high school, Ms. Fishel received Commendation on the National Merit Scholarship exam and was named a National AP Scholar for receiving a score of 4 or higher on eight (!) or more AP exams. She received a score of 5 on the exams for Biology, Chemistry, Calculus BC, and Literature, as well as a score of 4 on the exams for Language and Composition, European History, Spanish, and U. S. History. Having received a combined SAT total score of 2170, she also received a perfect (800) score on the SAT Biology subject test.
Ms. Fishel is available to tutor students via Skype in math, English, and Spanish I and II, as well as all levels (through AP) of biology and chemistry. In addition, she can help students with SAT prep and SAT subject test prep in biology.
Her outside interests include participating in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, composing and performing music (bass guitar), and writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. One of her poems was published in a national teen literary magazine.
BENJAMIN (“BEN”) FREIMAN
Benjamin “Ben” Freiman, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is currently working on his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. Throughout his coursework in such classes as Advanced Calculus, Quantum Physics, Differential Equations, Computer Science, Physics Honors, Economics, and others, Mr. Freiman has maintained a GPA of 3.6. His hard work has earned him a place on the RPI Dean’s Honors List every semester.
During one summer between college semesters, he participated in an independent study physics program with a physics professor at Brown University. In his last semester in high school, he took part in an independent astronomy program with an MIT alumnus at Munkacy Telescope in Portsmouth, RI. While at RPI, he co-founded a business to utilize statistics and computing for sports betting, creating regression models to predict NFL game winners. An entrepreneur, Mr. Freiman developed a lawn care business during his high school years, thereby acquiring fundamental business skills.
Mr. Freiman intends to complete a graduate degree in Quantum Computing. He enjoys working on problems in the intersection of computer science and physics. He is available to tutor all levels of Math and Physics, Computer Science (Python and C++ computer languages, Microsoft Excel, and others), and Economics.
During his high school years, he played varsity soccer and hockey. In his free time at college, he continues to enjoy playing these sports on intramural teams.
GRACE GALLETTI (Inactive)
Grace Galletti is majoring in Environmental Engineering at Brown University. A native of Paris, France, Ms. Galletti is fluent in both English and French. Even though just an undergraduate, she has worked as a French Teaching Assistant in beginner through high level French classes at Brown.
She earned a score of 2330 on the SAT (Math 800, Critical Reading 800, Writing 730), and her SAT subject test scores of 780 (Math Level 2) and 800 (French) were equally impressive. During her high school years, she tutored several students in a variety of subjects, and she has recently given online tutoring lessons for the SAT in English and French.
Ms. Galletti is available to tutor students either in person or via Skype for the SAT and SAT subject tests in math (both levels) and French and for a wide variety academic subjects. Her academic expertise covers a broad range of topics, including math (all levels), physics, French, English, ESL, college essays, and foreign language translation.
When not studying or tutoring, Ms. Galletti can be found biking or participating in the activities of Brown’s Outdoor Club.
ELLYN “ELLIE” GOLDBERG (inactive)
Ellyn “Ellie” Goldberg majored in mathematics and psychology at the University of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors, having attained a place on the Dean’s List every semester. Subsequently, she received a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Education (School Leadership) degree from Harvard University as a Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow. She is a participant in the Leadership Rhode Island Core Program.
Ms. Goldberg is currently an adjunct instructor at Brown University and an adjunct faculty member at Regis College. For several years she was Quantitative Reasoning Specialist at a Rhode Island high school, teaching various math subjects to high school students and facilitating student peer teaching of mathematics. She also led professional development to help staff improve and implement math lessons.
Her past experience in education in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston has included curriculum development, strategic planning to improve learning, mentoring student teachers, and student advocacy. She has led professional development sessions for Teach for America novice teachers. As a Lead Algebra Teacher, she helped students achieve the highest standardized test scores in their school’s history. In Baltimore, she was nominated for the 2005 Sue Lehman Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Ms. Goldberg has been involved in tutoring for many years. While specializing in all levels of math, she can tutor most other subjects as well. She is also available to assist students to prepare for standardized tests and high school and college entrance examinations.
As a pre-med student at Brown University, Reed Jaworski received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. He earned a very high score when he took the MCAT (medical school entrance exam), and he is currently working in the medical technology field while applying to medical school.
Mr. Jaworski was designated a National AP Scholar by attaining a score of “5” on five AP exams (English Language, Statistics, Calculus AB, U.S. History, and World History) and a score of “4” on four additional AP exams (English Literature, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry). His ACT score of 34 and SAT score of 2110 (out of 2400), as well as his SAT subject test scores of 800 on Math Level 2 and 770 on Molecular Biology, were equally impressive.
While in high school, Mr. Jaworski received the Cornell Book Award, which is presented annually to the ten most outstanding juniors in several upstate New York counties.
Having studied French and Swedish in the past, Mr. Jaworski also learned to speak Spanish while spending a semester abroad at the University of Granada in Spain. During one summer, he interned with a heart surgery team. This experience has particularly piqued his interest in becoming a future heart surgeon.
Throughout his senior year in high school, Mr. Jaworski worked as a teacher of special needs children. He was involved in an on-campus organization, the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program, which assists students in their elementary school programs. In addition, he can tutor students (middle school, high school, and college) in the following subjects: all levels of math through Calculus 3, physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and statistics. He is also adept at preparing students for both the SAT and the ACT exams. In addition, he can tutor students for the MCAT (medical school entrance exam).
When not working, studying or tutoring, Mr. Jaworski enjoys playing basketball, playing volleyball, and hiking.
Marshall Jiang received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. He received his B.A. in Mathematics and Economics, with a minor in Computer Science, from Cornell University. He achieved an overall GPA of 3.877 and graduated with Magna Cum Laude distinction in mathematics. During one semester of his senior year, Mr. Jiang studied mathematical subjects in Budapest, Hungary.
He has served as a scientific computing intern in Washington, D.C., and as a computer researcher at the University of Maryland. Mr. Jiang was a member of Cornell University’s math team that placed very well in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, at one point ranking 21st in the nation. For the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) competitions, he was the winner of Cornell’s MCM and achieved Honorable Mention in the international contest. For these competitions, his topics included “Feasibility of a Hurricane Barrier in NYC,” “Taxi Routing Strategies,” and “Develop a Water Strategy for Saudi Arabia.”
His tutoring and teaching experiences are extensive. He has served as a Teaching Assistant (TA) at Brown University for courses in partial differential equations and computational linear algebra. During his four years at Cornell, he constantly tutored students in Calculus 1.
Many of Mr. Jiang’s standardized test scores are perfect, while the remaining ones are almost so: ACT 33, SAT subject tests in Math II 800 and in Physics 800, and a score of 5 on 12 AP exams (Biology, Chemistry, Physics B, Physics C, CSA [computer science], Statistics, Calculus BC, US History, World History, Government, Macro Economics, and English Language & Composition), as well as a score of 4 on two AP exams (Micro Economics and English Literature). He achieved scores of 166 and 170 on the GRE verbal and quantitative tests, respectively, and a score of 870 on the math GRE. In addition, he is conversant in Chinese and in a variety of computer languages.
Mr. Jiang is available to tutor students in all levels (including preparation for AP and subject tests) of math, physics, and economics (no subject test available). He can also prepare students for the ACT and GRE exams.
In his free time, Mr. Jiang plays tennis, the clarinet, and the occasional indie videogame.
CARA KAPLAN (inactive)
In the spring of 2018, Cara Kaplan attained her J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Fordham School of Law in New York City. She graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University with a major in Political Science and a minor in Jewish Studies. While at JHU, she studied Hebrew, and she spent her junior year in Israel at Hebrew University after completing a 5-week intensive Hebrew language course.
During her college years, Ms. Kaplan taught Hebrew at two synagogue Sunday schools in Baltimore (one Conservative and one Reform). For three summers, she was a counselor at Camp Ramah, where she provided programming for over 80 campers and helped campers study for their upcoming Bar or Bat Mitzvahs (B’nei Mitzvot). She was also a volunteer Torah tutor at her synagogue in Providence, RI, throughout her high school years.
Ms. Kaplan is available to tutor students privately in all aspects of Hebrew language study–chanting Torah and/or Haftarah, leading prayers, learning to read Hebrew, or preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. She can teach any age student from beginner through adult, and she has significant experience working with children with special needs, such as ADD and ADHD. As many synagogues have their own versions of trope, Ms. Kaplan can consult with the individual clergy to determine the appropriate program for each student.
Ms. Kaplan is also available to help students with all forms of English writing–from short essays to major research papers–and with political science and history, including the AP exam and SAT subject test.
Students in the New York City area can meet with Ms. Kaplan one-on-one in person, while students located elsewhere can study with Ms. Kaplan via Skype.
JOSEPH (“JOEY”) KURZ
Joseph (“Joey”) Kurz received his Ph.D. in Ancient History (History and Classics) from Brown University in the spring of 2016. He received an M.A. in History from Brown University in 2010 and a B.A. in History and Latin, with a minor in Greek, from the University of Washington in 2008. His dissertation topic was “The Barcid Empire: Imperial Interactions between Carthaginians and Locals in Southern Spain.” His chief areas of interest include the following topics: Ancient Greek and Roman History; Ancient China; Classical Archaeology; Latin Language and Literature; and Greek Language and Literature.
During the summer of 2016, Dr. Kurz taught a Latin class at Brown University, and during 2016-2017 he will taught a Latin class at Connecticut College. For several years, Dr. Kurz taught a variety of courses as a Teaching Assistant in the History Department at Brown University. He also led pedagogical workshops for new TAs. As a Graduate Writing Associate at Brown for several years, he critiqued students’ written work, ranging from term papers and cover letters to senior theses and dissertations. During the summers of 2010-2014, he taught classes, conducted research, and delivered lectures on Latin at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program in Los Angeles. Dr. Kurz has presented papers at numerous conferences and has received teaching and research fellowships from Brown University and the Johns Hopkins Center.
For several years, he has tutored students privately in Latin and World History. He can also work with ESL students, as he completed ELL (English Language Learners) Certification Training. Besides the ancient languages of Latin and Greek, he is also knowledgeable in German, Spanish, Italian, and French. When he took the GRE exam, he scored a total of 1460 (750 in Math and 710 in Verbal).
Dr. Kurz is available to tutor students in all levels (high school through college) of Latin, Greek, and World History, and he can prepare students for the SAT subject tests in Latin and World History. He has created a Greek Language curriculum, which can be used as an Independent Study high school course. He can also assist students studying for the TOEFL and GRE exams, as well as tutor students in beginner and intermediate Spanish and German. In addition, he can provide invaluable assistance in writing essays, term papers, and senior project presentations. Dr. Kurz has accepted a position to teach in a private school in San Diego and is thus only available for Skype tutoring.
ALEXANDRA K. (“KAT”) LEE STEPHAN (Inactive)
Alexandra (“Kat”) Lee Stephan graduated from Brown University with her PhD in Chemistry. She received her Bachelor of Science with Honors degree from the University of Chicago, where she majored in chemistry.
She was a graduate researcher in the Brown University Rose-Petruck Research Group, and she was an undergraduate research assistant in the University of Chicago Institute for Molecular Engineering. A member of the American Chemical Society, she was also a teaching assistant in Brown University’s Department of Chemistry, where she enjoyed working with students and also helping to train and prepare undergraduate facilitators.
In the fall of 2016, she was selected to be one of ten Brown University graduate students (out of many graduate students who were nominated) to make a presentation about her research at the program entitled “Research Matters!”
During her undergraduate years, she spent a semester studying the civilization and culture of Spain at the University of Granada. During her stay in Granada, Spain, she became fluent in Spanish and also volunteered as an English teacher for senior citizens who were learning intermediate level English.
Multi-talented, Ms. Stephan performs with and designs costumes for the University Ballet, teaches violin, and designs jewelry.
Ms. Stephan is available to tutor students in all levels of chemistry, math, and Spanish, and she can prepare students for the subject tests in chemistry and both levels of math.
SIMON LIEBLING (inactive)
Simon Liebling received his B. A. in history (magna cum laude) from Brown University, having maintained a 4.0 average all four years. His academic versatility is particularly impressive. In high school, he was a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction, having achieved a score of “5” on the following six AP tests: Calculus BC, Comparative Government and Politics, English Literature, European History, Physics C, and Spanish. During his junior year in college, he studied history at the University of Bologna in Italy, where he also gained fluency in Italian.
Mr. Liebling has many years of experience as a tutor, instructor, and leader in a variety of settings. He has tutored students privately in mathematics and physics. As a BOLT (Brown Outdoor Leadership Training) leader and Brown Leadership Institute instructor, he led workshops, classes and outdoor trips for Brown undergraduates and for high school students attending Brown’s summer programs. As a BELL (Brown Environmental Leadership Lab) Intern, he was involved in organizing and running various academic and recreational programs for students. An expert rock climber himself, he teaches climbing skills and facilitates group ropes course outings.
In the past, he ran an AP Workshop for high school juniors and seniors to teach them important strategies for taking their AP exams.
Having an SAT combined total of 2320 (out of 2400), Mr. Liebling is well qualified to tutor students for the SAT. His combined scores for the Math Level 2, Literature, and Spanish SAT Subject Tests of 2310 (out of 2400) demonstrate his ability to tutor students for many SAT Subject Tests. He is also available to tutor students in all levels of math, history, English, and Italian. As a full-time, professional tutor now living in the New York City area, Mr. Liebling offers very effective long distance learning via Skype.
EVA LYUBICH (inactive)
Eva Lyubich is pursuing a B.S. in physics at Brown University. She performs research in the Biological Physics Lab. During the summer of 2013, she was a research assistant in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics at Oxford University in England, where she performed computational analysis of polar vortex variability. She also received an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award at Brown University for the summer of 2012. In the summer of 2011, she participated in the USAC study abroad program, studying Spanish and history in Spain.
Ms. Lyubich has tutored extensively in subjects ranging from Calculus AB and BC to college Physics. Having received a score of “5” on AP tests in Physics B, Calculus BC, and Chemistry, she is well prepared to tutor in all levels of math, physics, and chemistry and to provide advice on these AP exams. Eva is also available to tutor students in Spanish. With perfect scores on the math and writing sections of the SAT and an overall total of 2290, she is eager to impart her SAT strategies to students. She can also work with students on the SAT subject tests for physics, chemistry, and math levels I and II.
An outdoors enthusiast, Ms. Lyubich is a Leader in the Brown Outdoor Leadership Training (BOLT) program, as well as an Executive Board member and Ski Trip Coordinator of the Brown Outing Club. Her other interests include piano, violin, tennis, snowboarding, backpacking, and traveling. Fluent in Russian, Ms. Lyubich can provide tutoring and translation services in the language.
Shelby Mack began as a nursing student at Rhode Island College working toward her MSN degree to eventually become a nurse practitioner. In early 2019, she decided to change her focus from an advanced degree in nursing to one in another health care field.
In 2014, she received her B.A. degree from Brown University, where she majored in sociology, maintaining a high GPA and additionally concentrating in history and religious studies.
She is currently heading an organization that matches apprentices with master workers. Prior to that, she coordinated a nursing project at a non-profit organization that helps low-income families and children. From 2015 to 2017, she worked in Florida for the Alliance for Fair Food, a human rights organization devoted to advancing basic human rights protections for field workers. Her responsibilities included helping to coordinate the Fair Food Program (which has been recognized by the United Nations and the Obama White House for its unique successes), mentoring and tutoring mothers and their children, organizing educational conferences, interpreting and translating between English and Spanish (becoming fluent in Spanish in the process), fundraising, and creating communications for various media. She has advocated for social justice for many years, including her undergraduate days when she was active in the Student Labor Alliance at Brown University.
Ms. Mack has tutored since 2006 in a wide variety of subjects: English grammar and writing, English literature, math, history and other social sciences, economics, Spanish, various sciences, and SAT preparation. She has worked with students of varying abilities (from conceptual to AP levels), ranging in age from 5 to 20 years old, and her duties have included preparing curricula for small classes and individualized lesson plans for one-on-one tutoring.
Besides dancing (ballet and other forms), performing yoga, playing the piano, and reading, Ms. Mack especially enjoys learning foreign languages. She is currently teaching herself French and Japanese.
Ms. Mack is available to tutor students in English grammar, writing, math, Spanish, American and world history, economics, biology, chemistry, physics, and literature. Having attained a total SAT score of 2340 out of 2400 (800 Reading, 770 Math, 770 Writing), Ms. Mack is well prepared to tutor students for the SAT exam (and ACT exam as well).
Joseph Madour, a pre-med student at Brown University, is currently working on his Bachelor of Science degree with a major concentration in Neuroscience. Throughout his coursework in such classes as Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Organic Chemistry, Healthcare in the U.S., Advanced Spanish, and others, Mr. Madour has maintained a GPA of 4.0.
During his high school years, he received numerous awards, including Rhode Island Foreign Language Student of the Year, Jae S. Lim Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in Science, Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and Arabic, and two-time gold medalist on the National Spanish Exam and the Science Olympiad State Competition.
Fluent in English, Arabic, and Spanish, Mr. Madour has also demonstrated his prowess on standardized tests by attaining an SAT score of 1510 (760 English and 750 Math) and an ACT score of 32. He received a score of 4 or 5 on all of his AP exams, and on his SAT Subject Tests in Chemistry and Biology (E), he received scores of 800 and 720, respectively. He has been a private tutor for many years, tutoring students of all ages. He is available to tutor all levels of math, chemistry, statistics, Spanish, Arabic, and the SAT and ACT.
During his years in high school, he was a co-founder and mentor of the Science Olympiad, Captain of the Math Team, and president of the Melkite Youth Group, which performed various service projects. He also completed the 45-hour volunteering program at the Landmark Medical Center. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing tennis, and studying geography and linguistics.
Armita Manafzadeh is a graduate student at Brown University working toward her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded High Distinction in General Scholarship and Highest Honors in Integrative Biology.
She has received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and a Presidential Fellowship from Brown University to further her research involving the development of limb joints in living birds and their extinct dinosaurian relatives. She has received other numerous grants since 2014 and has written and lectured widely on topics in biology and paleontology.
Her tutoring and teaching experience is extensive. Besides tutoring students privately for many years, she has also been an academic/study skills/test prep tutor for individuals, small groups, and large classes. She was a robotics instructor at UC Berkeley and currently teaches undergraduate courses at Brown. In addition, she is a volunteer science instructor at an elementary school in Providence.
Ms. Manafzadeh’s standardized test scores are literally perfect: ACT 36, SAT Math II 800, Biology E 800, and a score of 5 on all of her AP exams (Biology, Physics C, Environmental Science, Psychology, Statistics, and Calculus BC). She achieved scores of 167 and 169 (out of a possible 170) on the GRE math and verbal tests, respectively, and she is conversational in Spanish and fluent in Farsi.
Ms. Manafzadeh is available to tutor students in all levels (including preparation for AP and subject tests) of math, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, psychology, and statistics. She can also prepare students for the following standardized tests: ACT, SAT, ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, and GRE. In addition, students needing help with science fair prep or study skills/organization can greatly benefit from her tutoring expertise.
She is a member of Sigma Xi and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as several other professional societies. When not researching or tutoring, Ms. Manafzadeh enjoys playing flute and piano, going to museums, swimming, and reading novels.
After having received his B. S. in Specialized Physics at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and his Master of Physics at Brown University, William (Will) Maulbetsch is now pursuing his PhD in physics at Brown. While at the University of Illinois, Mr. Maulbetsch minored in mathematics, and he graduated with high distinction.
He was a research assistant in the physics lab at the University of Illinois. Currently, he is working on developing a new DNA sequencing method in the Brown University biophysics lab.
Mr. Maulbetsch created and taught a course designed for high school students that was part of the Summer@Brown program. This course explained how vision works from the perspectives of physics, biology, and neuroscience. He has tutored college students in math (calculus) and physics. As a high school algebra tutor for the Chicago Lights Tutoring Program, he worked with students from low income families.
He is available to tutor math and physics (at all levels) and the physics and math (levels I and II) SAT subject tests.
An art museum and concert buff, he also enjoys playing soccer and playing with microcontrollers in his spare time.
Dr. Kenneth McPhillips provides an excellent role model for all of the students who demand to know, “When am I ever going to use this [i.e., mathematics]?” As a former Senior Systems Engineer and current Senior Principal Scientist at Raytheon, Dr. McPhillips uses advanced mathematics and statistics on a daily basis, developing mathematical algorithms for undersea research projects. As a mathematician, engineer, and scientist, Dr. McPhillips has published numerous papers and received various awards and patents. He is also a member of Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society.
Dr. McPhillips received his B.A. in mathematics from Providence College and his M.S. in mathematics and PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Rhode Island. He has served as an adjunct professor of mathematics at both Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University. For many years, he has tutored students and is available to tutor all levels of mathematics for middle school through college, as well as physics, economics, computer programming and statistics. In addition, he can prepare students for the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level I and II.
In his community, Dr. McPhillips has volunteered his services in a variety of capacities for many years, serving as a lieutenant in the Warren Fire Department, a Pop Warner football coach, and secretary/coach of the Warren Youth Soccer Association. Besides being a volunteer varsity football coach for Mt. Hope High School, he co-chairs St. Mary’s Bay View Academy’s Manhattan at the Bay Cabaret, Dramafest and its fall theatre productions.
TARA MULDER (Inactive)
Tara Mulder earned her PhD in the Classics at Brown University in the spring of 2015. The title of her dissertation was “Fetal Actors, Female Bodies: Childbirth in the Roman Empire.” In the fall of 2014, she was selected to be one of eight graduate students (out of 50 who were nominated) to make a presentation about her research at the program entitled “Research Matters!” Dr. Mulder graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Classical Literature and Languages and Women’s Studies. While attending the University of Michigan, she received University Honors every semester and was a James B. Angell Scholar for three years. She also received prizes for her Classical Greek translations, as well as the Arthur Miller Creative Arts Award. In addition, she was a National Merit Scholar.
Dr. Mulder has been teaching at Brown University since 2011, first as a Teaching Assistant and more recently as a Teaching Fellow in Latin and Greek. She also holds a part-time position teaching Latin at Wheaton College. In addition, she is the managing editor for Eidolon.com (an online classics journal that explores the ancient world through a modern lens).She is available to tutor Latin, Greek, English Literature and Writing, History, Government, and ESL. In addition, she can assist students with the SAT and TOEFL exams.
During the past several years, Dr. Mulder has volunteered in several capacities. She has been an ESL teacher at the South Providence Public Library and for the Delaware County Literacy Council in Chester, PA. In June of 2011, she participated in the Women’s Health International in Haiti.
When not teaching, editing, tutoring, or volunteering, Dr. Mulder enjoys gardening, biking, running, cooking, and making homemade lotions for friends and family.
Upon his graduation from Brown University, where he majored in history and took many courses in mathematics, Christopher Norris-LeBlanc moved to New York City. While there, he worked for a large university providing computer support. His Rhode Island roots and desire to teach prompted him to return to Rhode Island, where he was quickly engaged by a private school to teach high school mathematics. At the end of the school year in 2018, Mr. Norris-LeBlanc left his teaching position in order to pursue a doctorate in mathematics education at Harvard University.
A tutor for Kaplan Tutoring Services since 2009, Mr. Norris-LeBlanc is available to tutor students in all levels of math from pre-algebra through college calculus, as well as history and Latin I and II. He can prepare eighth graders for the SSAT and high school students for the various college entrance exams and subject tests in mathematics and history. Having received a combined SAT score of 2160, Mr. Norris-LeBlanc can instruct students on strategies, as well as math and English language concepts.
When he is not studying or tutoring, Mr. Norris-LeBlanc enjoys rock climbing, guitar playing, hiking, and organizing for social justice. He is also certified as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Mary Okotiuero is a graduate student at Brown University working toward her Master of Science (ScM) in biotechnology. She received her Bachelor of Science from the CUNY Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY, where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry. During her time at CUNY, she made the Dean’s List and also received the Wilfred Holness SGA Leadership Award.
During her high school years at a private academy in Logos, Nigeria, she was a research assistant, working with two professors to convert food waste and sewage into biofuels using machinery they had created. As an undergraduate at CUNY Medgar Evers College, Ms. Okotiuero was a founder of and coordinator for PBI Prep. She also worked as a researcher with one of her professors. She is currently doing research as a graduate student at Brown University as well.
During her college years, she was active in a variety of organizations. She was a member of the Science Association, founder and president of the Smiles for EVERS Dental Club, and sophomore class representative in the Student Government Association. She has also performed volunteer work for the American Red Cross, a SUNY hospital, and the CCM Americorp Leap program.
She has considerable experience tutoring students in English, math, and science. She is currently available to tutor students in all levels of math, high school and college level biology and chemistry, and economics. Besides academic tutoring, Ms. Okotiuero can prepare students for the biology and chemistry AP exams and SAT subject tests.
In her spare time, she enjoys “reading a nice book, listening to music, and taking long walks.”
DANIEL PATTERSON (inactive)
Daniel Patterson, a graduate of Brown University with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, effectively combines his passion for mathematics and computer science with his experience as a teacher and tutor. Besides helping students with homework assignments and test preparation, Mr. Patterson specializes in providing curricular enrichment to his students. As an undergraduate, he served as a Brown U. teaching assistant for a course on probability, as well as developing curriculum for a linear algebra course.
His perfect scores on the Math SAT, Math Level 2 subject test, and AP Calculus AB test attest to his superior mathematical ability, and his science background is equally impressive. Before graduating cum laude from Phillips Exeter Academy, he won numerous awards in mathematics. He has tutored students in computer science at the university level, and he taught English in Mexico. Mr. Patterson has moved to the New York City area and is available to tutor via Skype all levels of math (middle school through college), as well as computer science, writing, and all scientific subjects. Having participated in Spanish language programs in Mexico and Ecuador, he is qualified to tutor students in Spanish as well.
Mr. Patterson also prepares students for the various college entrance exams, subject tests, and AP exams. His personal combined SAT score was 2270, while his three subject test scores (in Math II, Chemistry, and Biology) totaled 2360 (out of a possible 2400). He improved his computer skills by being an Engineering Intern at Facebook and currently enjoys setting up and supporting computer websites.
As a trained Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (W-EMT), Mr. Patterson spent two weeks aiding the people of Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake. He currently has volunteered his time and computer expertise at a free health clinic in Providence and has taught a computer class at the Providence Free School. Other outside interests include working for social justice and making things by hand.
Mariska Raglow-DeFranco graduated from Brown University in 2015 having attained a B.S. degree in Health and Human Biology and a 4.0 GPA. She is currently a student at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. During a semester of her undergraduate junior year, she was enrolled in the Program in Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College in London. During her high school years, she attained 22 college credits and maintained a 4.0 GPA in the University of Buffalo Gifted Math Program.
Ms. Raglow-DeFranco has been involved in a variety of research projects related to plastic surgery, infectious diseases, and alcohol and addiction. She participated in an internship program at Harvard Medical School’s New England Primate Research Center. One summer she held an internship in advanced computer engineering.
Her teaching and tutoring experience is vast. At Brown University, she was a biology teaching assistant, a teaching assistant in the Genetics Laboratory, and a chemistry tutor. While at King’s College, she coached students in inner-city London schools in math and English. She has also tutored students for SAT preparation.
Ms. Raglow-DeFranco’s scores on standardized tests are impressive: a score of 5 on AP exams in U.S. history, biology, world history, calculus AB, and calculus BC; a score of 4 on the AP physics exam; scores on SAT subject tests of 760 on math level 2 and 740 on physics; and SAT scores of 760 (Reading), 750 (Math), and 800 (Writing) for a total of 2310 out of 2400. She is available to tutor all levels of math, as well as biology, chemistry, physics, SAT, ACT, and GRE.
FRAN SHABICA (Inactive)
After receiving an A.B. degree in zoology from Hunter College (of the City University of New York), Fran Shabica completed her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biological and medical sciences at Brown University. Dr. Shabica was a visiting assistant professor of biology at Wheaton College and Connecticut College, and she subsequently was a science teacher at Lincoln School in Providence for ten years. From 1994 to 1996, she taught biology (part-time) at Rhode Island College, and from 1996 until her retirement in 2012, she was a science teacher at a high school in Massachusetts.
With her many years of experience, Dr. Shabica is exceptionally qualified to tutor high school and college students in the following biological sciences: Biology (AP and regular), Anatomy, and Physiology. She also specializes in preparing students for the SAT Subject Test in Biology.
Barrett Weiss graduated from Brown University with a B.S. in neuroscience and is currently a medical student at Brown University’s medical school. During several of his undergraduate years, he was a researcher in the Lipscombe Neuroscience Lab at Brown U. In 2014, as a researcher at Rhode Island Hospital, he co-authored a chapter on “fractures” in an orthopedics journal.
As a teaching assistant for a psychology class at Brown U., Mr. Weiss worked one-on-one with many students in the class. He also served as Academic Peer Liaison for the Brown Men and Women’s Fencing Team, assisting team members with their academic studies. Mr. Weiss was Captain of the fencing team for two years and also won numerous awards for his fencing prowess (e.g., Northeast Fencing Conference Fencer of the Year and Capital One Regional Athlete of the Year).
With a score of 2140 out of 2400 on the SAT exam, a score of 780 out of 800 on the SAT subject test in biology, and a score of 5 out of 5 on the AP biology exam, Mr. Weiss is well qualified and available to tutor students in math, regular and AP Biology and for the SAT subject test in Biology. He can also tutor students in regular and AP Chemistry and mathematics.
NOTE: All KTS tutors are thoroughly screened and undergo a police background check (which is required by many private schools and public school districts).
CONSULTANTS (available via phone or email/Skype only)NOAH LANGOWITZ (inactive)
Noah Langowitz received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Physics from Brown University in May, 2010. Throughout his undergraduate years at Brown, he maintained a 4.0 average. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Chemistry at Harvard University.
During the summer of 2007, Mr. Langowitz taught physics in the Philadelphia area. In the fall of 2007, he was a teaching assistant in General Chemistry at Brown. He has also served as a tutor for Organic Chemistry I and II. Having received an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award, Mr. Langowitz performed research at Brown during the summer of 2009.
While in Rhode Island, Mr. Langowitz was available to tutor high school and college students in physics, chemistry, biology, and all levels of math through calculus, as well as the SAT subject tests in science and math.
QUALIFICATIONS OF OTHER KTS TUTORS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST