Update: I'm now mostly "retired" from tutoring, after 11 years of tutoring 2003- 2013. I now very occasionally tutor to stay involved in the lives of young people, but am no longer taking long-term clients. I can still help with short-term needs. MY ORIGINAL WYZANT PROFILE, BELOW, FROM YEAR 2011: I'm Cynthia, a tutor-mentor for PSAT, SAT and ACT students, and college applicants. I also tutor adults in writing and editing. Below, I've provided information to help you decide whether I'll ... [more]
I tutor for English conversation, presentation, pronunciation, and writing skills. I would work with the client to find his/her weaknesses, and improve in those areas. English was my second language also when I moved to the United States. But over the years, English reading,writing,vocabulary, and grammar have become my strongest areas. I was an editor-in-chief of my university's national award-winning student media, and currently edit law professors' articles for publication as an editor for my law school's intellectual property journal. I grew up in college towns around the country and consequently have no regional or foreign accent, but am accustomed to--and can easily understand--most foreign accents due to having frequent exposure to immigrant communities and international coworkers.
My SAT scores improved significantly when I was a high school student, and I ended up with a National Merit Scholarship (top 1% of PSAT), an SAT verbal score of 750+, and perfect ACT writing/vocabulary scores. Identifying and focusing on a students' weakest areas results in the quickest and most drastic improvements in test scores. I've retained my verbal skills over the years to serve as an editor-in-chief of my university's award-winning student media, and currently serve on the editorial board for my law school's intellectual property journal, where I edit law professors' articles for publication. If you're also interested in college admissions/scholarship advice and application help, we could also talk about that. While SAT scores & grades are important, students' extracurricular involvement and personal story reflected in college essays can make a bigger impact in admissions decisions than many students and parents realize. I'm on a college scholarship review committee, was accepted to several ivy league universities, and was offered several full-ride scholarships when I was younger, so I have become quite familiar with the criteria colleges use to select applicants, and am happy to help in this area.
I love tutoring elementary age children because of the lasting advantage an effective tutor can give them. Young children are innately curious about their world, and eager to learn if presented with material they can relate to. The corollary, however, is that falling behind early on can have a devastating effect on a child's morale, self-esteem, and future success in school. My goal with children in this age group is to take advantage of their innate curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, find materials they can relate to, and give them the strongest head start that I can to elevate their skill, confidence, and passion for learning and reading. While I am new to WyzAnt, I have 100+ hours experience tutoring K-6th grade students through various volunteer programs, and hope to apply those skills again.
Because today's students often struggle to balance all of their extracurricular activities with multiple classes, strong study skills are critical to ensure students are efficient and effective with their limited study time. While each subject requires unique study tactics and each student is different, new study skills can be learned when students don't already possess strong study skills or need to refine their study skills to improve their grades or focus. Any one can build these skills with the proper guidance and motivation. My goal with students is to help identify their weaknesses, and design both subject-specific and cross-subject study strategies targeted at improving the students weaknesses and sub-optimal study habits. After being a distracted and disorganized student in middle school, I worked to design my study habits around my ADHD and own disruptive tendencies during my first semester of high school. Using those skills, I graduated high school as valedictorian and earned a national merit scholarship while also juggling a full plate of leadership roles and volunteer activities in my community.
I earned my undergraduate degree in zoology with honors, and published the work from my undergraduate zoology thesis in the premier academic journal, Animal Behaviour.
Since completing a full-ride merit scholarship program, I now sit on the committee to evaluate applicants for full-ride college scholarships to my undergraduate institution. This experience, in conjunction with my acceptance into several ivy league institutions when I was younger, give me an inside perspective into the college admissions and scholarship evaluation process. For this tutoring service, I conduct several informational interviews with the student to extract ideas for the application essays, help the student build outlines for essays based on that information, and then complete multiple rounds of edits to perfect the student's college applications as much as we can in the given time frame. If you would like to see before-and-after versions from my previous students, please contact me.
Genetics is an area in which I'm especially passionate. A critical part of my previous career entailed explaining complicated genetics phenomenon to non-geneticists using plain English for both written publications and oral presentations. I believe those skills can also be applied in tutoring students who are struggling to understand genetics concepts. I worked as a genetics research specialist at Emory University, and before that, as an undergraduate genetics researcher at Duke University and NC State. I have a total of six years of genetics research experience, and have co-authored four genetics study publications and manuscripts in premier academic journals. I have worked with six different model organisms and in fields within genetics ranging from virus-induced gene silencing and DNA mismatch repair to heart disease risk and behavioral genetics.