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 the School of Engineering, 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 ten 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.

Melissa McCoy, Academic Tutor Administrator, grew up in Missouri, got a history degree in Iowa, lived in Washington, DC for 8 years after college, and then drove cross-country to live in California for a year. She followed her husband back across the country to NYU when he took a job with the university recently, and is excited to get to know this big city! She recently completed a teaching program to become a high school Social Studies teacher and loves to learn new things. In her spare time, she loves to explore, go to shows, and travel with her husband. She is always open to suggestions of fun places to go and new things to do.


Kubra Akbas, Physics Tutor, is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. They plan on getting their masters in mechatronics and robotics then pursuing a career in assistive robotics. Kubra also enjoys reading, playing video games, and anime/manga. They like helping people and hope to be very active in the community here at Tandon. Kubra is originally a transfer from NYU's liberal studies program called the Core Program and has studied abroad in London, England.

Mauricio Cabrera, MATLAB Tutor, is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Mexico City, Mau moved to New York City at the start of college. He is very enthusiastic for music, and if you know any magnificent trance or dance-punk or indie album, don’t hesitate to contact him. He also enjoys unicycling and wants to specialize in alternative energy sources in the future.

Rohan Chakraborty, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Engineering and working towards an integrated dual degree in Biomedical Engineering. He believes that the best way to learn and recollect information is by being able to teach and help others. He loves to sketch, run cross-country, play acoustic guitar, parkour and climb free-style. If you’re into building bots and working on mechatronic and automation projects or just like being adventurous and exploring new places past midnight, then you’re his best friend.

Aaron Chu, Chemistry Tutor, has graduated from NYU-Tandon with a bachelor's in Biomolecular Science and is currently striving for a career in health care. In his free time, Aaron enjoys gaming, drawing, and listening to jazz. Tutoring has been a fulfilling activity for Aaron ever since community service in high school. As a PTC tutor, he seeks to continue in helping other aspiring students in overcoming their difficulties.

Kevin Chu, Chemistry Tutor, completed his undergraduate studies in Biomolecular Science. He enjoys listening to soothing music, reading medical related articles, and playing badminton or card-related games during his free time. In the future, Kevin hopes to enhance his education and work in the medical field related to microbiology.

Riccardo Consolo, MATLAB Tutor, is a junior studying chemical and biomolecular engineering, and minoring in bioinformatics. He was born and grew up in Italy, and he completed high school in Boston. During his free time, he loves playing basketball and working out; he is also very passionate about music and loves going to concerts. After college he hopes to pursue master studies in biomedical engineering.

Christina Hak, Chemistry Tutor, is a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular engineering. During her free time, Christina loves to relax, watch movies, play some video games or do origami whenever she can. She is of Cambodian decent and loves learning about other cultures and traditions, which in turn helps Christina to connect to people on a deeper level. Her personality reflects her tutoring style, and that is that sje is always there to lend a hand and will always listen to students and find the best approach in helping their problems in a subject.

Kenneth Huynh, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior studying Computer Science. He is interested in developing mobile applications and other types of software. In his free time, Kenneth enjoys working out, playing basketball, watching anime, and playing video games, namely Super Smash Bros. He loves Japanese culture and plans to visit Japan in the near future. As a new tutor at the PTC, he aspires to make sure that students fully understand concepts and how to approach coding problems.

Natalie Lebedeva, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior majoring in Computer Science with a triple minor in the fields of Music, Computer Engineering, and Cybersecurity. She spent most of her life studying music and mastering the piano and harp, and continued to do so at NYU Steinhardt as a Music Technology major. After taking Analog and Digital Electronics courses, she switched over to the Engineering school to pursue her newfound interests in computer science and engineering. In her free time, Natalie enjoys exploring all kinds of music genres, playing her piano, developing audio plug-ins in C++, and traveling.

Xuanzheng (Skipper) Lin, Computer Science tutor, is a sophomore majoring Computer Science & Economics. He goes by Skipper. He is a huge Lakers fan and enjoys playing basketball. Besides, Skipper loves to spend time in gym. In addition, he is a foodie. As a CS tutor, he is dedicated to help students to understand the concepts rather than to provide the solutions for problems.

Carter Marquette, MATLAB Tutor, is a senior studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and is hoping to go into Automotive Engineering after he graduates. Carter enjoys weightlifting, music and skiing. When he's not in class or at the PTC, you can find him in University Hall where he is an RA.

Rupal Mehta, Chemistry Tutor, is a senior studying Sustainable Urban Environments. She has always had a passion for chemistry since high school and is excited to share that with her students. She grew up in Singapore and loves to go out to explore different food. After graduation, she hopes to work in the Energy industry, focusing on renewable and alternate energy.

Rosaura Ocampo, MATLAB Tutor, was born and raised in Chicago which is partly the reason she chose NYU as she wanted to continue living in a big city. She is a sophomore and mechanical engineering major. Rosaura enjoys rollerblading, listening to music, dancing, singing, and watching Netflix in her free time. She has always loved tutoring and is looking forward to seeing many students take advantage of the PTC.

Alana Padua, Physics Tutor and Physics Team Leader, is a senior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is originally from the Berkeley, California area. She is an avid fan of the internet and greatly appreciates an interdisciplinary approach to science. When Alana isn't reminiscing about the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys walking around, meeting new people, and listening to rock music from the early 2000s."

Carlos Peña Del Valle, MATLAB Tutor and CS 1133 Team Leader, is a MATLAB tutor and a senior studying Civil Engineering. During his free time he enjoys watching movies and doing anything related to sports (including chess). His tutoring style reflects his personality: enthusiastic, but patient. He also likes to use whiteboards for visualization purposes and to show understanding.

Charlie Pigott, Computer Science Tutor and CS Team Leader, is a senior studying computer science born and raised in Chicago. He enjoys playing the piano and runs on occasion in his free time. He specializes in C++ tutoring and hopes to help as much as possible during his first semester at the PTC.

Brian Quinn, Computer Science Tutor and CS 1114 Team Leader, is from just across the Hudson River, graduating high school from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, New Jersey. He is a computer science tutor in Python and Data Structure & Algorithms with an avid interest in the latter. He also enjoys chemistry, fitness, and strategy games, particularly board games. He is also a Super Smash Bros (The Video Game) connoisseur of sorts.

Tana Siboonruang, Chemistry Tutor, is a third-year student who is majoring in Chemical Engineering. He is passionate about the environment and wants to develop sustainable sources of energy through materials science and electrochemistry. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and swimming. Some of his favorite bands are Fall Out Boy, Oasis, and Young the Giant. He looks forward to sharing his love for chemistry with other students during his time at the PTC.

Clay Smith, Physics Tutor, is a senior studying electrical engineering. After growing up in New York City and living in Los Angeles, he returned to New York City for college. He loves sports and competitive atmospheres, he is currently a competing powerlifter. In addition to sports, he enjoys juggling, singing, and eating way too much food. After college, Clay hopes to live rurally, working on electrical engineering in large systems.

Zami Talukder, Computer Science Tutor, is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. When he isn’t learning of the intricacies of the world, Zami relishes the simpler things, like drinking water. Zami loves to drink water. He believes it to be an essential part of life, so much that he practically lives off of it. Even he does not know why he loves drinking water so much. He wishes to figure this out one day.

Arystan Tatishev, MATLAB tutor, is an international student from Kazakhstan, studying Mechanical Engineering. Among some of his impressive skills, Arystan can lick his elbow, hold his breath for a minute and 30 seconds and can almost do a handstand. A fun fact that Arystan found out for himself  when he first left Kazakhstan is that his name actually rhymes with his home country.

Yining Wang, Physics Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in Computer Engineering. He has lived in NYC for a very long time and enjoys working with physics. During his free time, he watches TV, reads books, goes to the gym, plays video games, and works on scale models. His favorite type of books and TV shows are fantasy and action related. He also loves competitive and strategy based games. He is very enthusiastic about helping others out and is looking forward to seeing everyone.

Vic Xie, Computer Science Tutor, is a class of 2020 student who majors in math and is a CS minor. Weiyao thinks it is important for us to learn things from each other, so he really appreciates the chance of being a tutor in the PTC. He hopes we can all learn things from this experience.

Sheila Yalley, Chemistry Tutor, is a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular engineering. She loves interacting with people and helping them find their light bulb moment. In Sheila's free time she likes to read classical literature and make up the sleep times she's lost as a result of being a student.

Sepehr Yazdani, MATLAB Tutor, is a junior studying Electrical Engineering.  Originally from Iran, he moved to Dubai when he was nine years old, and moved to New York City to start college. In his spare time, he enjoys trying new foods around the city, watching shows on Netflix, and reading up on current politics. As a MATLAB tutor, he aims to get his students to fully understand and appreciate the art of problem solving.

Yuhong Zhang, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in computer science. He was born and raised in Beijing, and took quite a long trip to be here. In his spare time, he loves working out in the gym, playing the piano, watching movies and traveling to new places. As a newcomer in New York, he likes wandering around the city. He loves to learn new things from new friends and believes that tutoring is a mutual learning experience. He would like to see you a lot in the PTC.

Angela Zhou, Physics Tutor, is a junior dual majoring in Mathematics and Physics. She has moved around from Shanghai to Vancouver and now to New York. She is good at art but terrible at sports. When she is not busy, she loves going out for food with her friends and watching random TV shows like Suits. After Angela graduates, she wants to travel around the world. She hopes to help loads of people at PTC during the semester.

Subject Team Leaders

Chemistry -

Computer Science - Brian Quinn &  Charlie Pigott (CS 1114 & 1134) and Carlos Peña Del Valle (CS 1133)

Physics - Alana Padua

Writing Consultants

Mara Goodman has a background in speech and language pathology, and literacy as well as theater. Mara has taught 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.

Zef Lisowski is a Southern transplant, pop culture enthusiast, and writer currently enrolled in Hunter College’s MFA Program in Poetry. She’s excited about emergent digital literacies and best practices, and specializes in queer- & trans-centric writing consulting. Talk to her about pre-writing or Kanye West, or bring in your application materials and other works-in-progress!

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.

Lateefah Torrence, Writing Center Administrator, grew up in Silicon Valley where she earned scholarships from IBM and Lockheed. She attended UCLA which was great for friends and film work, but awful for her mental health. After escaping to NYC, she continued working in movies but new stories kept poking her in the brain. Lateefah finally capitulated to their demands and completed her long-delayed BA at The New School. Lateefah spent her honeymoon losing on Jeopardy!, but tries to not let it define her. (It was the buzzer. Really.)

Office Staff

Louise Chen is a junior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Business Studies. She is also a tutor for Math Department and TRIO Scholars Program. She has great enthusiasm for Habitat for Humanity International Program and one of her dream jobs is to travel and build. She loves helping people and oh, she loves smiling too. If you have any questions or concerns at PTC, she will be very happy and patient to help you out.

Alexander Lawson, is a senior with a dual major in Physics and Mathematics. He enjoys playing video games and watching movies. He hopes that after graduation he can work to advance global efforts for outer space exploration.

Bryan So is a senior majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Mechanical. He grew up in Connecticut but prefers life in NYC much more. He loves to collect and sells vintage watches as a hobby. He also has a passion for robotics, mechatronics, and automation and hopes to pursue a career in these fields.