Tutors and Staff

Who's Who at the PTC?

John Paul Cleveland, Director, came to the School of Engineering in September 2012. Prior to coming to Poly, John Paul was the Director of the Tutoring Center at Pace University at the lower Manhattan campus. He obtained a bachelors degree in Religion from Florida Southern College, a masters degree in Theology from Duke University, and a second masters degree in Philosophy from the University of South Florida. In addition to directing the activities of the PTC, John Paul spends a lot of time thinking about best practices in tutorial delivery, and in the classroom, he teaches philosophy and ethics courses. In his free time, John Paul is an avid runner and has run the NYC Marathon seven years now and counting.

Dina Cruz-Cadiz, Program Coordinator for Undergraduate Academics, serves four different departments: General Engineering, General Studies, PTC, and Undergraduate Academics in providing assistance with payroll, HR, business office, and other administrative functions. She came from the beautiful islands of the Philippines. She loves interacting with people and enjoys learning about their different cultures. During her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, Broadway shows, and has a passion for cooking and baking. She graduated in 2013 in the Master’s of Science Program in Organizational Behavior.


Farihah Begum, Computer Science Tutor, is an undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering at NYU Poly. She loves dance,food and robots. She also loves to teach others especially at the PTC when she helps people understand how to use MATLAB.

Colby Bennardo, Physics Tutor, is a sophomore persuing a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. He enjoys going to Broadway shows on student discounts and dressing in a suit jacket whenever socially acceptable. He loves watching Seinfeld and his favorite episode is “The Switch.”

Daniel Berkowitz, Physics Tutor and Co-Team Leader, is a junior Physics major and hopes to one day get his Ph.D. in physics. Besides physics, Daniel, likes to play videos games like Rome Total War, and he is an avid snowboarder. One of his favorite places to go to snowboarding is Hunter Mountain.

Jiyuan Cui, Chemistry  and Statics Tutor, is a sophomore majoring Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering as well as minoring in Business. She transferred from San Diego in the fall 2013. Jiyuan is patient enough to help others when they have any problems in chemistry and statics. In her spare time, she likes to watch TV, go to the gym, and travel a lot.

Elvin Feng, Computer Science, Chemisrty, and Physics Tutor, is a senior currently doing a BS/MS major in Chemical Engineering. During his free time, he likes to watch television or go to the gym. Other than that, he is pretty laid back and relaxed, trying to keep a stress-free life.

Vincent Fong, Computer Science Tutor, is an undergraduate studying Computer Science. He has an addiction to watching television shows, and he's not afraid to admit it. If you name a television show on TV right now, it’s more than likely that he has seen it. Not only is Vincent addicted to television shows but also food. He is a big eater, always venturing out to the city and finding new food places. Vincent dreams of one day traveling the world and eating all sorts of foods from different cultures.

James Forbes, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering and planning on minoring in both Computer Science and Aerospace. His hobbies include (but are not limited to) video games, snowboarding, and archery. He's always willing to help out (even if it isn't about MATLAB) and loves working as a tutor. His goals for the future include starting his own business and eventually world domination.

Abe Gellis, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior studying Computer Science, planning to specialize in Game Design and Development. He prefers working through examples for both tutoring and his own studies. Outside of the PTC, he can usually be found online gaming.

Sasha Haran, Chemistry Tutor and Co-Team Leader, is a junior studying biomolecular sciences. She loves to help out wherever and whoever she can, especially if it's for chemistry. When she graduates, she hopes to go to medical school and eventually become a pediatrician.

Niloufar Khavari, Physics Tutor, is a physics major in her senior year. She transferred from Iran in the spring 2012. Niloufar loves physics and art. Her hobby is photography, especially astrophotography.

Chang Lee, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior at majoring in Computer Engineering. He spends his free time watching movies and TV shows, as well as walking and listening to music at the same time.

Stephen Luk, Computer Science Tutor, is currently a junior, majoring in Computer Science. Helping others is one of his passions; if anyone asks for his help, he will try his best to provide assistance. When he's not studying or completing an assignment for a class, Stephen enjoys playing video games and spending time with family.

Jesse Manor, Physics Tutor and Co-Team Leader, is a junior majoring in physics and mathematics as well as minoring in finance. Jesse grew up on Long Island with his two bothers, Jeremy and Jordan, and his two dogs, Jolie and Nutella.

Valmiki Ramroop, Chemistry Tutor, is an approachable sophomore pursuing chemical engineering. A self-imposed question he plans to answer is to why image of the universe looks like the image of a brain cell. He enjoys kayaking, travelling, archery, and sky-gazing (day and night). He hopes to work in the energy industry after graduation. When he’s not soaking up the Caribbean sunshine at the beach, he’s playing piano, tennis or badminton.

Alyssa Niquette, Computer Science and Statics Tutor, is an honors undergraduate student studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Originally from Lake Havasu, Arizona, Alyssa enjoys playing volleyball, flying small airplanes, and traveling. As a General Engineering TA, she stays extremely busy, but will always take the time to help anyone who requests it.

Alex Scott, Computer Science Tutor and Team Leader, is an Honors BS/MS student studying Computer Science. He is always eager to explain concepts to students new to programming, and takes pride in helping them get through difficult problems. Originally from England, he likes to spend his limited free time exploring New York City and the East Coast. Alex is an avid soccer fan, and enjoys cracking jokes.

Lev Shpits, Chemisrty Tutor and Co-Team Leader, is a junior studying Biomolecular Sciences. Lev enjoys playing chess and swimming in his free time. After completing undergraduate studies he hopes to further his education and eventually work in the medical field.

Devon Simmons, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball and managing his own website. At home, he assists his mother in raising two toddlers and preteens -- babysitting, aiding them with homework, and even changing diapers.

Nima Simon, Chemistry Tutor, is an undergraduate studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She plans on minoring in Nuclear Science and hopes to work in the nuclear energy field after graduating. Besides tutoring students in chemistry, she enjoys choreographing and performing Indian dances, travelling, and learning new languages.

Kshitij Sood, Physics Tutor, is an undergraduate Physics major, and plans to pursue a career in theoretical physics. In his free time, he enjoys playing a variety of sports such as basketball, soccer, and badminton. Kshitij is an avid fan of European soccer. He also hopes to earn a Personal Trainer (Health and Fitness) accreditation in the near future

Eugene Stolberg, Computer Science Tutor and Team Leader, is a MatLab tutor and a senior in Civil Engineering. He's willing to help those who are willing to learn and enjoys three dimensional projects and concepts.

Jordan Sutphen, Computer Science Tutor, is an undergraduate studying Chemical Engineering at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.  He enjoys watching Law and Order and playing badminton.  Jordan enjoyes specializing in MATLAB.  He also loves to help his peers realize they are always capable of success

Elizabeth Syso, Computer Science Tutor, is an Honors undergraduate student majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. Originally from Westchester, Elizabeth now lives in Brooklyn, and loves exploring the city. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and reading. In the future, Elizabeth hopes to become involved in the actuarial sciences.

Ripon Talukder, Physics Tutor, is a senior majoring in Electrical Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. Ripon likes to read books and newspapers.

Benson Tsai, Computer Science Tutor, is an honors sophomore majoring in computer science. Born in New Jersey, Benson spent most of his life growing up in Taiwan and China, but spent every summer in New York City prior to attending Poly. Benson is a huge aviation and subway enthusiast, and you will not be able to get him to stop talking about his lifetime hobby.

Anthony Walls, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at Poly. He loves being busy: He is taking an extra class, playing volleyball, and tutoring MATLAB on top of his normal class schedule. Anthony loves music, sports, but most of all, designing and building stuff. Working in prototyping and product design is truly his calling.

Subject Team Leaders

Chemistry - Lev Shpits

Computer Science - Alex Scott and Eugene Stolberg

Physics - Daniel Berkowitz and Jesse Manor

Writing Consultants

Mara Goodman has a background in speech and language pathology, and literacy as well as theater. For the past 5 years she has been teaching ESOL here in New York. She enjoys learning new languages. Mara is also a singer of classical and folk music and songs of peace and justice, both on her own and with her a cappella group, Harmonic Insurgence. Her choice to join us at the School of Engineering reflects her desire to work closely with students to help them express their own opinions and feelings.

Katie Henry is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to New York to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. There, she received a BFA in Dramatic Writing, which isn't the least practical degree in the world, but it's pretty close. In addition to her work in the Writing Center, Katie spends her time editing college application essays and writing plays about teenagers. Her plays have won Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Contest and the California Young Playwrights Award, and have been performed at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater, Playwrights Project San Diego, Moxie Theater, and a surprising number of high schools in western Ohio.

Elliot Markson was born in the Bronx and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, where he majored in biology and loved physics. Elliot got his B.A. from the City College of New York. He then wrote advertising copy for Prentice-Hall Publishers, Paterson & Lawrence, and other agencies, winning awards for his print ads and TV commercials. Elliot went on to earn his M.S. at Brooklyn College and taught science in New York City public schools for 14 years. At the Writing Center, Elliot specializes in EG Lab Reports as well as Humanities assignments. He rides his bicycle daily to and from the School of Engineering and does the 5-Boro Bike Tour, the NY Century, the Tour de Bronx, and Tour de Brooklyn.

Sam Schreiber lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at NYU-Poly as well as other things at other places. He also works as a video editor at the Network News Service and occasionally writes stories.

Fischer Sherin is from a very rural area in Maine, and attended a college in Arizona where he studied history and queer theory. He now lives in Brooklyn where he works both at a cafe in Clinton Hill, and at the Writing Center of the PTC. He very much appreciates the opportunity to be working with people in any kind of educational environment. In Fischer's spare time he tries his hardest to be a part of all the art and political work that happens in this incredible city.

Timothy Sullivan has worked at the Writing Center intermittently over the course the past 7 years. He is a big fan of compound sentences, and enjoys using them whenever possible. When he is not using compound sentences, he can be found out on the town with his best friend, Semicolon; they enjoy watching squirrels in Prospect Park, feeding rats by the Gowanus Canal, and throwing gerunds off the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to his duties at the Writing Center and his exploits with Semicolon, Tim spends a great deal of time driving a large white van from here to there; occasionally, he will stop at a night-club to play some songs.

Office Staff

Timothy Charlton is a junior working towards a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering with a minor in Biomolecular Sciences. He likes spending time outdoors and loves listening to music. He enjoys helping people and hopes to develop medicines after graduation.

Keil Thomas is a sophomore in Biomolecular Science. When he's not busy with school work, Keil enjoys going out and exploring the city. After he finishes his undergraduate degree he hopes to go to medical school and be a doctor.