Tutors and Staff | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Tutors and Staff

Who's Who at the PTC?

Photo of PTC staff member answering the phone


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 thirteen years.

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.


Krish Agarwal, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in economics. He is extremely passionate about cars and wants to get into the automotive industry. He likes to explore the city and try different restaurants; he regularly plays the synthesiser and enjoys binge watching crime and suspense thrillers. Having used the PTC’s services for his classes in his previous semesters, Krish aims to assist others.

Varun Aravapalli, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Data Science. Varun was born and raised in New Jersey but recently moved to Hopkinton, a small town on the outskirts of Boston. In his free time, he loves playing sports, going to the gym, playing video games and listening to a lot of music. Varun has always loved teaching and helping others out, so he is excited to join the PTC and help out students where he can.

Phin Ariyaphuttarat, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and looking to minor in Environmental Engineering. Phin grew up in Bangkok, Thailand where he used to tutor fellow classmates; he enjoys all sorts of physical activities including volleyball and basketball. He likes to adventure and explore the city to try interesting things, especially food; he is an avid fan of crime-thriller dramas. As a chemistry tutor, he hopes to simplify the grueling subject of chemistry.

Shivang Bhargava, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior studying Physics and Mathematics. He has previous tutoring experience at non-profits in India, where he focused on mathematics, English, and science for underprivileged high school students. He enjoys exploring new places and is always interested in exotic foods; he regularly plays chess and enjoys reading books and watching movies in the comedy and suspense genres. Having used the PTC’s services in his first year, Shivang looks forward to assisting students in understanding the content of their classes better.

Progga Bhuiyan, Physics Tutor, is a junior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and minoring in Environmental Engineering. She wants to pursue a career in sustainability focused on developing eco-friendly methods and technology. Progga was born in Bangladesh and came to the US in 2014. She loves any type of physical activity ranging from dancing, playing sports, and exercising. Recently, she got into taking care of indoor plants and as of now, they are all still alive. As a physics tutor, she hopes to make physics a less daunting subject for others to be confident as a fellow engineer. Progga is excited to be part of PTC and learn from fellow tutors. 

Emilia Bianchini, Chemistry and Biology Tutor and CM Team Leader, is a MS student majoring in Biomolecular Science in Engineering. Emilia was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Emilia’s favorite pastimes are face-timing her beloved puppy, Edie, and trying out new restaurants. In the future, she hopes to peruse a career in medicine. Emilia utilized the PTC frequently during her first two years at NYU and hopes to provide similar support to other students. 

Zhiquan Cao, Computer Science tutor, is a senior majoring in Computer Science. ZQ grew up in Beijing, China, and is excited to have a college life in New York City. He enjoys clay sculpturing and in the future, he hopes to contribute to the development of humanoid robots actuated by soft artificial muscles. His interest in CS stems from his learning in science subjects but more importantly, regardless of any subject, he loves to share his thinking and spend time with others to tackle problems and conquer challenges.

Ata Cetin, Physics Tutor, is a junior studying Civil Engineering and minoring in Mathematics and Structural Engineering. Ata was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey and he came to New York City for his college education. In his free time, he goes out to try new food, hang out with friends, play tennis, and watch shows and movies. As a music enthusiast, Ata likes listening to many genres of music.  Adjusting to classes and a tight schedule can be challenging but Ata is there to make life easier for you with the PTC.

Marc Chiu, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business and Mathematics. Marc is from Seattle and loves to play soccer, ski, bike and be outdoors. Marc also enjoys exploring the city, playing soccer at the piers, and going out and trying new places to eat. Marc believes the PTC is a great place for both students and tutors to develop a better understanding of import material and is looking forward to working with many students. 

Noah LaPoint, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Mathematics and Physics while pursuing a minor in Computer Science. Noah has lived in Princeton New Jersey all his life but loves exploring New York cuisine and other attractions. When he isn't working, Noah enjoys running, playing soccer and basketball, as well as going to live sporting events. Noah is a former user of the PTC for computer science and physics classes and is looking forward to helping new students learn code and how to efficiently problem solve.

Jason Li,  Physics Tutor and Team Leader, is a senior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Jason is from and grew up in New York City where he developed a passion for science and problem-solving. As a New Yorker, he is an avid enjoyer of deli sandwiches and a daily complainer of the Subway. He believes that with a strong foundation in chemistry and physics, the world around us can be better understood and the problems we face can be solved. He looks forward to being part of the PTC team where he hopes to help other students to gain a better understanding of these subjects.

Leo Li, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Math. He was born in Rome, Italy and grew up in Shanghai, China. He likes playing online games, going to the gym, and snowboarding. His favorite food is udon noodles. In the future, Leo wishes to become a well-rounded engineer that is capable of building all sorts projects from the ground up. Leo taught programming to his peers in high school and is looking forward to tutoring students at the PTC.

Xiangchen Li, Computer Science tutor, is a junior majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Xiangchen grew up in Shanghai, China. He has many hobbies including basketball, dancing, and the game of GO. Besides, he is the project leader of the Board Game Night of the Tandon CSSA. Xiangchen is an outgoing person who likes making friends. Being a part of PTC, he is happy to help students with problems in regard to computer science.

Christine Lu, Physics Tutor, is a senior majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Business Studies. Christine is from Guangzhou, China and she came to the US at the age of 15. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and to cook. She also likes to watch dog grooming videos. Her favorite sport is swimming and her favorite season of the year is Spring. She loves math and hopes to pursue a career in finance. Christine is thrilled to be part of PTC, and she looks forward to helping students at the PTC to learn physics.

Kevin Ng, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Math. Kevin grew up in New York City, and his favorite pastimes are playing chess, reading manga, and exploring new activities within the city. He hopes to contribute to the productivity software industry and looks forward to helping students at PTC establish a strong foundation in their classes! 

Andrew Sosunov, Physics Tutor, is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering. Andrew was born and raised in New York City, and went to high school in the Bronx. He loves aircrafts and wishes to design aircrafts as a career. He loves origami and enjoys completing challenging designs. Andrew is excited to be a part of the PTC and help students excel on difficult topics.

Thu Vu, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Math and Biomolecular Science. Thu was a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major before she found interest in Computer Science and changed her major. Thu was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and came to New York for college. Adapting to college life and familiarizing youself with a whole new environment can be overwhelming. That’s why the PTC tutors are here: to share our experiences and help students get through their classes more easily.

Elijah Whittle, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Game Engineering. He was born and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but he loves the vibrant city life that New York provides. Elijah found his love for computer science in high school, and is happy to help others learning the subject. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends, watching cartoons, and playing tabletop games like D&D. He is happy to be a part of the PTC and to share his excitement for computer science.

Sicheng Xie, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sicheng was born in China and grew up in Shanghai. At the age of 13, he moved to New York where he finished middle school and high school. Indeed, his high school is only twenty minutes walk away from the Tandon campus. Sicheng enjoys anime a lot. Watching EVANGELION:3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME is probably one of the most fulling moments of his life since he has awaited this movie for eight years already. The PTC provided him a smooth transition into the study of computer science at the college level so Sicheng wishes to provide this smooth transition to other students in NYU as well.

Fei Xiong, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior majoring in Computer Science at Tandon. Fei was born in Shaoyang but mainly grew up in Shenzhen, China. In his leisure time, he prefers to play computer games, watch anime and exercise. Fei was introduced to PTC and received sufficient support from PTC tutor in his freshman year. He hopes to contribute to the PTC community as well as provide the support for all the students in need using his learning experience. He is looking forward to helping students at PTC with their coursework.

Orion Yang, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Math and Computer Science. She majored in Math when she was a freshman, but later she also finds her passion in Computer Science and decides to pursue both fields in college. As a CS tutor, she is glad to help students explore the mechanism behind each problem and enjoy the process of learning. Except for math and CS, Orion is interested in poetry and photography. Her dream is to finish a portfolio of her own photos.

Helga Ye, Physics Tutor, is a junior majoring in Math. She was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and came to NY in her sophomore year. Besides Math, Helga is also pursuing a CS minor and a Finance minor. As a physics tutor, she is glad to lead students in solving questions and for herself, this is also a way to prove her abilities and values. In extracurricular time, Helga is interested in playing the piano and photography. She also writes articles weekly about her favourite sports team, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. She looks forward to joining the PTC tutors team to help others and gain self-improvement. 

Tom Zhang, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science. Tom grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is thrilled to be studying in New York City. He loves to play music and is an avid fan of ONE OK ROCK, a Japanese rock band. Alongside his passion for music, Tom loves eating dim sum and pho. In the future. he seeks to become a full stack developer or graduate student concentrated on machine learning. Tom regularly visited the PTC during his first semester at NYU and looks forward to guide other students at the PTC.

Subject Team Leaders

Computer Science - Jorge Velasquez

Physics - Jason Li

Chemistry - Emilia Bianchini

Office Staff

Jada Forrester is a junior majoring in Computer Science and triple minoring in Mathematics, Integrated Design & Media, and Cybersecurity. Born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, NYC, Jada has been immersed into the world of STEM by her family and from participation in various diversity STEAM programs offered throughout the city. Previously, she has worked with Microsoft and TIAA as a software engineer and is setting her sights higher for more opportunities to grow into the ambitious engineer she has always hoped to be. Apart from academia, Jada is always with friends watching various movies, TV shows, anime like her favorites, One Piece and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, or playing video games like Super Smash Ultimate and Breath of the Wild. Jada also loves shopping, thrifting, or listening to music like R&B, Neo soul, EDM, K-POP, dancehall, and alternative rock. As a Black woman in STEM, she recognizes that empowerment is crucial in the development of self-confidence and growth, and hopes to empower those that need help at the PTC office with the resources they need to succeed. 

Baelul Haile is a senior at Tandon pursuing a major in Computer Science and double minors in Integrated Design & Media and Game Engineering. Baelul was born and raised in Maryland. Baelul loves traveling, gaming, thrifting, and watching anime. She has been exposed to computer science since early high school, and has always been fond of pursuing the more creative and modern side of the field, such as web development or mobile app development. Baelul has worked at Google in the past through internships, and hopes to continue working with them or another big company in the future.

Lauren Lim is a junior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and is pursuing a minor in Business Studies. Born and raised in Queens, NY, Lauren spends most of her free time discovering places to eat and admiring New York City's fashion scene as she hopes to one day start a clothing brand that intertwines principles of chemical engineering with fashion. Lauren firmly believes that it's okay to ask for help and intends to encourage others to not be shy to ask for academic help as a front desk aide. She is also ready to welcome students to the PTC and provide any help she can.

Chris Park is a junior studying Psychology at CAS with intent on going to law school. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts but lived in Irvine, California for most of his life. Chris enjoys playing volleyball, shopping for clothes in the city, and hanging out with friends. He is a big proponent of the focus on student mental health during school. He is excited to be of assistance for those engaging with the PTC community.

Tanvi Saini is a junior studying computer science at Tandon. She hopes to pursue a career on the creative side of computer science such as in web design or game development. Tutoring has always been a big part of Tanvi’s life and she is excited to become a part of the Polytechnic Tutoring Center. As a woman in STEM, she is proud to be empowering young women by working for GirlsWhoCode in the summer. Tanvi was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Other than studying for class, Tanvi usually spends most of her time crocheting, knitting or drawing on random pieces of paper. Tanvi also loves listen to music. 90’s r&b, drill, and hip hop are the main genres she listens to. Tanvi believes there should a proper balance between mental health and school and hopes students feel stress-free and cared-for at PTC! Happy studying :)

Sharmishtha Shinde, Administrative Assistant, is a second-year master’s student in Health Policy and Management from the NYU School of Global Public Health. She is a dentist by profession and obtained her undergraduate degree from Bharati Vidya Peeth University, Pune. She worked with a non- profit organization, which focused on educating children, where she conducted various dental camps across her state.
She is a budding entrepreneur in India and is focused to build her businesses by acquiring a keen skill set in healthcare management.  She is excited for all the opportunities offered to her by NYU and is looking forward to work at the front desk to welcome the PTC community.

Michal Urban is a junior at Tandon studying computer science. Michal was born in Poland and moved to the United States, growing up in Connecticut. He began to study computer science in high school, and hopes to pursue a career creating web applications and maintaining computer architecture. He plays guitar and enjoys listening to many different genres of music. He is excited to explore all of the wonderful attractions NYC has to offer in food and music. He is excited to work the front desk and greet the PTC community.

John Zhu is a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU. He was born in New York City but moved away in middle school. After leaving he reminsenced about his times in the city and how everything is so accessible, so he is back in the city for university. He loves to explore the city and see how much it has changed since he left. When he is exploring the city he also likes to try new places to eat. He is excited to welcome and to be of help to those that come to the PTC.