John Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

John Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award

Picture of Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award, Rosaura Ocampo

The Award

Professor John J. Dropkin had a long, rich, and multifaceted association with School of Engineering, first as a graduate student, then as a faculty member, as Chair of the Physics Department, and later as Professor Emeritus. What may not be as well known is that after he retired from the Physics Department in 1978, Professor Dropkin continued his commitment to science education at Polytechnic by founding the Learning Center and directing it for ten years. This was a place where students could go for academic support in physics, chemistry, and calculus. They could speak with Professor Dropkin, or with one of the peer tutors he recruited and trained. Students could ask questions, get help with their homework, and prepare for exams.

Then, as now, engineering students were intelligent, curious, and hardworking young people with dreams of building their futures through careers in science and engineering. Like today’s students, they were often the first in their families to go to college, and many of them were recent immigrants to the United States. They often juggled their educational and professional goals with more immediate financial needs. Professor Dropkin was committed to reaching these talented young people through the sciences and to supporting their efforts to succeed in their chosen fields.

The Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC) is the direct descendent of Professor Dropkin’s program. We are proud to continue the work he began.

In that spirit, The Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award was established in 2007. The PTC gives this award each year in memory of John J. Dropkin, who chaired the physics department from 1947 until 1978, then served the students by establishing mathematics and science tutoring services. This award recognizes peer tutors who continue this tradition by helping their fellow students at the Polytechnic Tutoring Center.

Latest Recipient

This year's John J. Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award goes to:

Rosaura Ocampo

Originally from Chicago, Rosaura chose to study at NYU because she wanted to live in another major city. Rosaura is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She has always been interested in Math and Physics, so her interest in MATLAB was very surprising. She began tutoring MATLAB for the TRIO Scholars Program her second semester of college. She also became a MATLAB tutor for the Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC) her first semester sophomore year. Rosaura became MATLAB Team Lead for both the PTC and TRIO Scholars Program at the end of her sophomore year. During her junior year, she became Vice President for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers NYU Chapter and began working at the MakerSpace as a Teaching Assistant. Working alongside the MakerSpace and National ASME, the NYU ASME Chapter organized and hosted the first ASME Efx in the United States.

After hosting the ASME Efx, she pursued a summer internship with the national ASME office in NYC as an Executive Office Intern. After completing the summer internship, she continued to work at the national ASME NYC office with the Engineering for Change (E4C) and Engineering for Global Development (EGD) Departments. Rosaura supported E4C and EGD by facilitating communication between two pilot programs in India and Panama and ASME and gathering data to improve future pilots.

Her senior year, she has been juggling her schoolwork with working as MATLAB Team Lead for the PTC, a Teaching Assistant for the MakerSpace, and an Intern for E4C and EGD. After college, Rosaura has accepted an offer with The MathWorks as an Associate in the Engineering Development Group. Rosaura is excited to continue working with MATLAB and is looking forward to beginning her career at a place that will allow her to explore her interests. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Master of Science in Law. 

All Recipients

Year Awardee
2020 Rosaura Ocampo
2019 Steven Yang
2018 Kubra Akbas
2017 Tim Charlton
2016 Dylan Steffey
2015 Eugene Stolberg
2014 Aman Ali
2013 Edward Melcer
2012 Jinhui Zhao
2011 Rahul Anthony
2010 Karthik Muthukumar
2009 Shivani Patel
2008 Kartik Arora & Nahida Sultana