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Meet our Tutors

  • Arpit Patel

    Arpit Patel


    Arpit earned dual B.S. degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry from Rutgers University. He has researched bacterial photosynthesis and was formerly in EMS. He’s currently pursuing teaching degrees in Biological and Physical Sciences.

    Specializes in: ACT Math/Science, SAT Math, GRE/GMAT Math, MCAT: biology, chemistry and physics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Honors Physics, Statistics, Linear Algebra and Calculus I-III

  • Betty Emili

    Betty Emili


    For more than two decades, Betty has been teaching high school mathematics—everything from Pre-Algebra to Calculus and Statistics. She earned her B.S. degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from San Pedro Nolasco University in Argentina, where she also worked for many years developing math curriculum for high school and adult education. Betty enjoys working with a team of smart, respectful, and generous tutors (who also happen to have a great sense of humor). She believes in putting students first, which is why as a Collegewise tutor, the equation just works!

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Math/Science, Math Curriculum including Statistics and Calculus

  • Bob Kupleian

    Bob Kupleian


    When working with students, Bob often returns to the saying, “Chance favors the prepared mind,” as he is dedicated to readying them for their futures and helping them succeed. Bob has been a history teacher, detective, and horse farmer—pretty much in that order. He has an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in literature and a masters in European history—all from Rutgers. He was a member of ROTC during college and then an officer in an elite Army Ranger Paratrooper unit.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Verbal, US History, European History, Study Skills, Writing

  • Branden Galley

    Branden Galley


    Branden has led more than 100 students to success with the SAT and ACT, economics, and math. His approach is to use material outside of the class’s prescribed materials to encourage student interest in the subject, though he is comfortable changing his approach to accomodate all types of learners. He studied Economics at CSU Sacramento and eventually earned his Master’s degree in Economics at CSU Long Beach. Outside of tutoring, Branden works as a data analyst including for non-profits, city governments, and commercial real estate firms. He is a recovering Southern Californian after a three-year attempt at life in the Bay Area.

    Specializes in: SAT and ACT, economics, and math up to Calculus AB

  • Christina Huff

    Christina Huff


    Christina has proudly taught more than a 1,000 students. After graduating with her degree in Computer Science, Christina did what any newly minted CompSci major would do, and went to Taiwan for a year to teach. During that time, she showed an affinity for understanding Mandarin and connecting with students of all types and skill levels. At Collegewise, Christina works with students in the Austin area and online on either the SAT or the ACT. She’s also trying to figure out how to visit (and hike in) all 58 of America’s national parks. Come on—admit it—you didn’t know there were 58 national parks either.

    Specializes in: SAT and ACT

  • Christine Bechtold

    Christine Bechtold


    With a dual undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and American Studies from Rider University (minors in Special Education and Middle School English), and dual CEAS certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education, Christine has helped students at various learning levels discover their strengths—whether they know about them yet or not! She is currently a Special Education teacher in Newark, NJ, where she provides additional support for students in literacy and mathematics, and teaches Wilson’s Just Words program. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, attending professional development events, and volunteering.

    Specializes in: Elementary School Support

  • Delavar Basha

    Delavar Basha


    Delavar’s current job as a program manager has led him to earn various esteemed management and technical credentials, including SCRUM, AWS, and ITIL. But as an academic consultant for the ACT, SAT, GRE, and GMAT exams, he’s helped students rack up credentials as well. With a Master’s from Amberton University and a Bachelor’s from Rutgers, Delavar has gained experience with technical writing, graduate school admissions essays, and AP English classes. He genuinely enjoys helping students get on the right academic track and reach their goals.

    Specializes in: GRE and ACT/SAT Verbal, Writing, ISEE/SSAT

  • Don Gehan

    Don Gehan


    Don teaches test prep for all of the required sections of both the ACT and SAT, and he offers tutoring for all levels of math and statistics. He has a master’s in Statistics from Rutgers and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Boston College. He lives in Bernardsville, where he enjoys biking, skiing, and community theater. He and his wife have two children.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Math and Verbal, SAT Subject Test/Literature, Curriculum Math

  • Erik Brugamyer

    Erik Brugamyer


    Erik is a high school Physics and Math teacher by day, a tutor on nights and weekends and a pool shark, always. Seriously, he’s nationally ranked at pocket billiards so you know he’s deeply intuitive about both geometry and game theory. Erik’s base of operations is in Collegewise’s Austin office. He studied at The University of Texas at Austin, where he double-majored in Physics (B.S.) and Astronomy (B.A., with a minor in German). Erik matriculated into the Astronomy Ph.D. program at UT - Austin, and completed the degree in 2014. He also received a graduate degree in accounting and took a job in Chicago, IL with one of the largest international public accounting firms in the world. Along the way, he was also awarded an M.A. degree, bringing the total number of degrees to five. In addition, Erik has… • Scored in the 99th % on his SAT/ACT math and science portions • Strong experience teaching students with learning difficulties (including dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD and anxiety) • Complete mastery of high school math and physics at any level – including the first couple of years of college courses • A desire to teach students of all skill levels Erik’s passion around academics is pervasive. In addition to all of the above, he’s discovered, or helped discover, more than two dozen extrasolar planets. Since we’re not astrophysicists in our spare time, you’ll have to ask Erik what ‘extrasolar’ means.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT math and science, curriculum math and physics

  • Gustavo Verzbickis

    Gustavo Verzbickis


    Gustavo loves to help his students experience Hispanic language and culture. He is originally from Argentina, where he graduated from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, and was a professor of Hispanic Language and Literature. He currently teaches AP Spanish, Spanish 4, and Spanish as a second language at Abraham Clark High School.

    Specializes in: Spanish curriculum, AP Spanish, and Spanish subject test

  • Jill Stueck

    Jill Stueck

    Essay Specialist

    With a lengthy career in the world of corporate communications, Jill has still managed to retain a passion for storytelling and appreciation for the power of the written word (not an easy feat!). Over the years, she has made sporadic yet gallant attempts to complete the writing of an original two-hour television movie with six accompanying episodes. Now, inches away from completion, she vows to finish it before her kids do it for her!

    Specializes in: College Essays

  • Jon Tarella

    Jon Tarella


    Jon has tutored numerous high school students privately and at learning centers in both group and individual settings. In 2007, he earned his B.S. in Applied Physics from Rutgers University, graduating with highest honors. As a tutor for more than six years, Jon feels his experiences working with students enhances his understanding of pedagogy, the subjects he teaches, and how teens think.

    Specializes in: GRE Math, SAT/ACT Math/Science, Physics, Chemistry, Math

  • Julian Banks

    Julian Banks


    A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Julian also completed his Master’s in Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is currently working on entrepreneurial pursuits in San Antonio, TX.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Math and Science, Chemistry, Physics

  • Kandyss Thomas

    Kandyss Thomas


    Kandyss is a high school counselor and tutor who has helped more than 3,000 students flourish during her career. She worked with one student for four years to stay on track for graduation. He eventually entered the military and his mother still sends her pictures of him. Kandyss earned a Master of Science in Counselor Education from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her special talents include singing, dancing, and playing instruments.

    Specializes in: ACT: Verbal, Math, Science, SAT: Verbal, Math, and Elementary and High School students

  • Katie Avagliano

    Katie Avagliano


    Katie is one of the strongest writing and verbal instructors within Collegewise. She is equally adept at the SAT, ACT, Subject Tests, AP English, and remedial writing instruction. With an MFA in Creative Writing from American University, Katie has the ability to diagnose and fix problems with student essays after a twenty-second skim and a minute-long conversation. She has also served as an adjunct professor at local colleges teaching writing. Not surprisingly, She is truly a woman for all linguistic seasons who readily admits that she is entirely incompetent at mastering the use of chopsticks.

    Specializes in: SAT, ACT, Subject Test, AP English, and remedial writing instruction

  • Kevin Choi

    Kevin Choi


    Kevin is available to work with students in the sciences and math (all levels) along with helping students obtain higher SAT and ACT scores as a math/science specialist. Kevin is yet another Collegewiser who so loved New Jersey that he chose to attend Rutgers and studied chemistry. Along the way, Kevin perfected his tutoring skills in math, chemistry, and physics, and much like LeBron James once proclaimed that he was “taking his talents to South Beach,” Kevin brought his to Collegewise, New Jersey. In his rare spare time (Kevin is also an EMT), he enjoys fine tuning his martial artistry and takes particular pleasure in ‘roundhousing.’ We had to look it up as well.

    Specializes in: Science, Math, Study Skills, SAT, and ACT

  • Kirsten Mattingly

    Kirsten Mattingly


    Kirsten is an experienced tutor who loves a good challenge. One of her former students was identified as gifted in math and science, but needed a safe place and access to materials to excel. Kirsten was able to provide her with support and she ended up getting a full-ride scholarship to ASU. She earned her B.S. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in International Studies and Religious Studies. Outside of tutoring she works at the Kuwait Cultural Office as an Academic Advisor. She will fit right in at Collegewise because she appreciates our nerdy sense of humor.

    Specializes in: Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calc, Calc, Stats, Economics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology

  • Luis Riera

    Luis Riera


    Not only can Luis reach a 40-inch vertical jump, he can get students to leap into their studies. With grounded enthusiasm and degrees in mechanical and biomedical engineering from Rutgers, he has a genuine fascination with the human mind and body performance, believing firmly that balancing work and leisure activity is conducive to learning. Luis loves math, science, and music, and has helped students develop analytical reasoning skills to enhance their lives and increase opportunities for success. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, yoga/meditation, volleyball, computer programming, and video games.

    Specializes in: ACT/SAT Math/Science, Physics, Spanish

  • Masaru (Masa) Nakajima

    Masaru (Masa) Nakajima


    Masa enjoys sharing his love of Physics with one and all, and is an expert on the Math section of the SAT. Masa earned his Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Saskatchewan where he swears that the laws of thermodynamics still applied, even during the frigid Canadian winters. Nowadays, Masa is a full-time PhD student. He does want people to know that when he’s focused, he is focused all the way. This applies to his students’ performances, his accumulation of knowledge, and his commitment to watching the entire Game of Throne series in less than a month.

    Specializes in: Physics, SAT Math

  • Matt Fox

    Matt Fox


    Matt enjoys helping students set goals, challenging and overcoming their anxieties, and achieving their aims through discipline and hard work. Matt has a B.A. in Classics from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton. Prior to being a tutor, he taught for twelve years at St. Peter’s College, Deep Springs College, Rutgers University, and Whitman College. His translation of the Latin epic poem, "Lucan’s Civil War," is published in the Penguin Classics. When he’s not tutoring, he writes poetry and fiction, plays guitar, and daydreams about space travel.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Verbal/Math, Writing, Latin, Greek, Study Skills, Literature, History, Philosophy/Rhetoric, Politics, SSAT/ISEE, GRE/GMAT Verbal

  • Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen


    Michael spends his days in Philadelphia instructing at Temple University, where he earned his master's degree and continues his doctoral studies in Religion. At the undergraduate level, he studied History and Philosophy at the University of Delaware. Michael has seen at least 300 students pass through his classroom and another 30-40 in private tutoring. Life can sometimes be tough for Michael, as a New York Mets and Giants fan. Michael will be teaching the verbal sections of the ACT and SAT, along with study skills in our New Jersey offices.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT verbal and study skills

  • Nancy Ciabattari

    Nancy Ciabattari

    Tutor & Essay Specialist

    As a tutor, Nancy enjoys teaching to each individual student—each of her lessons meets a student’s specific needs. As resident bard, Nancy has published a literary study guide and is currently completing a collection of poetry. At Brown University, she is a Ph.D. candidate, having already earned Master’s degrees in English and Slavic/Comparative Literature. She has a B.A. in Russian from Rutgers, and yet another B.A. in English and Political Science from Boston College.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT/GRE Verbal, Literature, Writing, Reading, College Essays

  • Pam Lobley

    Pam Lobley


    Shakespeare penned the words, “All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players.” Since Pam’s BFA from DePaul is in acting, she’s lived this aphorism more than most and for Pam, teaching now serves as her theatrical muse. Not surprisingly, Pam’s students find her to be interesting, evocative and profoundly good at explaining things. Pam’s teaching specialties sit on the verbal side, whether it be the SAT, ACT, Literature, Essay Writing, Grammar, or Study Skills. And if you play your cards right, and study hard, perhaps she’ll even help you to improve your improvisational skills.

    Specializes in: SAT, ACT, Literature, Essay Writing, Grammar, and Study Skills

  • Paul DiLena

    Paul DiLena


    Paul has tutored students in all levels of math, French, economics, and computer science—from middle school and high school through college. He grew up in Wallonia (the French-speaking southern region of Belgium) and graduated from the University of Mons, also in Belgium. He earned his graduate Business degree from Michigan State University, where he worked as a teaching assistant in French.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT math and science, all curriculum math, economics, statistics, computer science, French and Italian

  • Praveen Satarasinghe

    Praveen Satarasinghe


    While pursuing an MBA and an MD at UT-Austin, Praveen decided he had so much extra time on his hands that he wanted to help students as a tutor. Praveen brings a musical ear with him—sing him a tune and he can probably play it on the piano without any music. Praveen studied at UT for his undergraduate work (Plan II Honors and Bio Honors for those who love UT details) where he helped over 200 students in their studies. While Praveen is not great at grocery lists, he can ad-lib just about any recipe he observes being prepared on TV.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT and study skills

  • Sachin Doddiah

    Sachin Doddiah


    Sachin is a deeply experienced, terrifyingly good-at-tests gentleman who has perfect scores on both the SAT and ACT. With six years of experience teaching the SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests, and AP test, he offers students his complete mastery of content and strategies. He has helped more than 400 students and is adept at teaching students of all skill levels. In addition to his sickeningly good abilities with fill-in-the-bubble exams, Sachin is adept at tutoring in Math (through pre-calculus), English, and all levels of Biology and Chemistry. He’s pretty much a Renaissance Man when it comes to tests and tutoring.

    Specializes in: SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests, and AP tests

  • Sabina Molander

    Sabina Molander


    Sabina speaks, writes, reads, dreams, and cooks in Spanish. A native of Argentina, she graduated from Washington University with a M.S. in Social Work, and, as a native Spanish speaker, she has developed Spanish curriculum and trained Spanish teachers. In her spare time, Sabina enjoys tennis, yoga, and hiking with her family. ¡Hasta pronto mis amigos!

    Specializes in: SAT Subject Test/Spanish, Study Skills

  • Sherri Buchanan

    Sherri Buchanan

    Essay Specialist

    Sherri has always loved writing and especially enjoys helping students find their voices in college essays. She can practice law and play piano—though not at the same time! With a law degree from Northwestern University (where she is an alumni interviewer), and a B.A. in music, urban studies, and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, she has been a healthcare, entertainment, and large firm litigator; a Union County Municipal Court mediator; and a classical pianist with the New York Piano Society. In her spare time, Sherri likes to hike or snowshoe in Vermont.

    Specializes in: College Essays

  • Sidd Prasad

    Sidd Prasad


    Sidd has worked with dozens of students and looks forward to helping kids with the ACT and SAT. Sidd plays the drums, piano, and can make a water droplet sound with his cheek. He attended Rice University, where he studied Biological Sciences. Sidd is currently working on a master's degree in Special Education—specializing in autism—at the University of Texas while he works with young children as a behavior therapist. An avid video game enthusiast, he excels at Super Smash Bros. and Starcraft 2. Sidd's other talents include making impressions of his favorite cartoon characters and cooking up a mean chicken curry.

    Specializes in: SAT and ACT

  • Stefanie Toye

    Stefanie Toye


    As the Director of Instruction (Test Prep & Curriculum), Stefanie truly understands the importance of helping students become more independent in their personal academic journeys. Prior to joining Collegewise, she worked at Rutgers University, where she earned a Master’s degree in Literacy Education. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and then studied at universities in Italy, taking courses in Italian language, literature, and art history. Stefanie also worked at a large test prep and admissions company where she spent several years teaching SAT and TOEFL courses, and managed various high school and graduate classes. She holds a C.E. for English at the secondary level.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Verbal and Math/Science, Writing, Study Skills, ISEE/SSAT

  • Steve Hiel

    Steve Hiel


    Steve’s specialty is helping students with the verbal portions of either the SAT or ACT—he’s scored in the 99th percentile on both. Steve was a double major in History and Spanish from Duke University where he was also one of the very first students to earn a certificate in Markets & Management. Steve’s teaching style is multi-modal as he is comfortable with both visual and auditory approaches. Steve definitely hails from the school of calm, patient instructors who believe that something has not truly been taught until it has been heard and understood.

    Specializes in: SAT & ACT Verbal

  • Susan Ruszala

    Susan Ruszala

    Essay Specialist

    You can’t accuse Susan of being taikutsuna (that’s Japanese for “boring”.) She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an honors degree in International Relations and a minor in Japanese, and has been working in publishing and media for many years. In her spare time, Susan is an avid reader and writer, a long-time alumni interviewer, and a marketing consultant.

    Specializes in: College Essays

  • Tanner Rieve

    Tanner Rieve


    Tanner was our very first full-time SAT/ACT/Academic tutor. Tanner blazed this trail because he has this extraordinary ability to connect with students around almost any subject and his work ethic and commitment are splendiferous (not a real word). Tanner’s students wax rhapsodic about his abilities to a level that many of us find to lie somewhere between remarkable and nauseating. Tanner is a genuine and gifted teacher. When Tanner is not working with students, he spends his time referring to himself in the 3rd person objective voice. The bio above is a paean to that predilection.

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Verbal and Math/Science, GRE, SSAT/ISEE, Study Skills

  • Terence Wesley

    Terence Wesley


    Terence. Loves. Math. He’s taught it for the past seven years—everything from Pre-Algebra to Calculus—and has even written math curriculum and conducted workshops to improve math instruction. Terence earned his B.S. in Applied Science & Engineering from Rutgers, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University. (Did we mention he likes math?)

    Specializes in: SAT/ACT Math & Science, ISEE/SSAT Math, Math Curriculum

  • Thabit Pulak

    Thabit Pulak


    The first thing we learned about Thabit is that his name is pronounced “Sabeet.” And we haven’t stopped learning from him since. Thabit is a Duke graduate with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Clearly, he is superbly overeducated in the sciences and is similarly gifted at both the SAT and the ACT. As a die-hard Blue Devil, any UNC basketball fans should tread carefully. When asked to share one random fact about himself, Thabit dropped this little piece of knowledge on us—he ran for President in the last election, and is currently filing his paperwork with the FEC to run in the upcoming 2020 election as well.

    Specializes in: Biology, Chemistry, SAT and ACT

  • Walter Buhro

    Walter Buhro


    Walter is a master of many trades: he practices martial arts, cooks, studies Japanese and German, and is a self-proclaimed early bird. In addition to his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, Walter possesses serious STEM knowledge as a physics and environmental science teacher at a New Jersey high school. Walter has tutored over 70 students for standardized tests, in addition to the hundreds he's instructed in high school. He was a bass singer in a choir at Washington University in St. Louis, his undergraduate alma mater, where he also minored in English before earning a master's in Physics at Michigan State University (go Spartans!).

    Specializes in: STEM, Physics, Environmental Science, English, SAT, and ACT