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 sophomore 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.

Deborah Alabi,  Chemistry Tutor,  is a graduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She has  always had a passion for helping others, which is why she decided to become an engineer. The PTC helped provide Deborah with the tools she needed to excel in subjects like Chemistry and MATLAB. She enjoys tutoring because it allows her to help others understand a subject while strengthening her own comprehension. In her spare time Deborah likes listening to music and watching YouTube videos.

Shivang Bhargava, Chemistry Tutor, is a sophomore 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.

Emilia Bianchini, Chemistry and Biology Tutor and CM Team Leader, is a senior 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. 

Charlie Cai, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior pursuing Computer Science and has minors in Cybersecurity, Finance, and Mathematics. Charlie was born in China and grew up in Los Angeles, California. He loves New York City as he experiences contrasting cultures from East Coast to West Coast. In high school, Charlie tutored other high schoolers on STEM subjects. He looks forward to bringing those sets of skills to help the students at PTC.

Zhiquan Cao, Computer Science tutor, is a junior 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.

Marc Chiu, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore 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. 

Alex Coman, Physics Tutor, is a senior studying mechanical engineering. Alex grew up on the east coast in New Haven Connecticut, and is excited to be living in New York City. He is planning on completing a minor in nuclear energy and pursuing a career in that field after his graduation in order to help with the world's energy crisis. He has always enjoyed physics and math and the abstract mental challenges that both subjects can entail. Alex's other hobbies include playing jazz and hiking, and is an avid consumer of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. He is excited to join the PTC team and hopes to spread the enjoyment of one of his favorite subjects to others.

Jun Kim, Computer Science Tutor is a current sophomore majoring in Computer Science. Jun was born in South Korea and moved to Palo Alto, California and grew up there since fourth grade. He loves being in New York City, especially all the different restaurants that he gets to try. In addition to trying new food, he loves watching movies with his family and friends. The PTC helped Jun with CS tremendously, and he wants to help other students as well as a tutor.

Noah LaPoint, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore 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, Chemistry and Physics Tutor, is a junior 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 sophomore 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.

Thomas Liu, Physics Tutor, is a graduate student majoring in mechanical engineering. He is currently pursuing a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in computer science. Thomas loves helping others. Before joining PTC, Thomas worked as a Teaching Assistant for his local high school, helping students with their SAT and SAT subject tests. Thomas believes physics is one of the most important and fundamental subjects and is essential to all engineering fields. He hopes to share what he learned at Tandon and assist others to achieve for more.

John Manoyan, Chemistry Tutor, is a transfer student and senior in the Biomolecular Science major. During his first year at NYU, he frequented the PTC. As a tutor he hopes to help other students through the learning process so they may achieve a greater understanding of their class material. In the future, he plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Caroline Paulson, Bio/Chemistry Tutor, is a graduate student majoring in Biomolecular Sciences. Wanting to pursue Biomedical Engineering as her masters, she is also interested in physics and material science. In her free time, she enjoys watching True Crime shows such as forensics files and also cooking shows, keeping up with current events, and also playing video games. She enjoys tutoring people and looks forward to helping students obtain clarity in the subjects they find confusing.

Purnima Prasad, Chemistry Tutor, is a graduate student majoring in Civil and Urban Engineering and would like to pursue her masters in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She intends to utilize her civil and chemical engineering knowledge to create/identify more sustainable materials to build the various structures we see around us. When she is not busy working on her civil and chemical engineering research projects, she can be found cooking several types of dishes, watching Asian dramas, or volunteering at her local library/hospital. She receives great joy in helping people out whenever she can, and as a chemistry tutor at the PTC, she hopes that she can help her peers understand their chemistry lessons better.

Rafaella Saa, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Rafa was born in Ecuador but was raised in Muscat, Oman. In her free time she loves exercising, baking, face-timing her family, and helping others. Rafa frequently used the PTC as a MATLAB and physics resource in her freshman year and is looking forward to helping students from all majors better understand the fundamentals of chemistry.

Carrie Song, Physiics Tutor, is a junior double majoring in mathematics and computer science. Carrie used PTC when she was a freshman, and the tutors helped her a lot to be better prepared for college life. She has previous tutoring experience for non-profit international volunteering programs that helps underprivileged primary school students. Carrie wants to share her experience and technics with other students since she always feels fulfilled helping others, and this is the main reason she chose to be a PTC tutor. Carrie enjosy all genres of music, reading, and traveling. She went to concerts, theaters, and cinemas frequently before the pandemic.

Leon Scheffs-Bevington, Physics Tutor, is a senior majoring in mathematics and physics. In addition to math, Leon enjoys gaming and comedy TV shows like The Office or Parks and Recreation. He also loves spending free time running and watching baseball. Leon agrees with Boris that the best thing about tutoring is that split-second 'aha' moment when the student gets the concept.

Elijah Whittle, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore 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.

Hao Wu, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior majoring in Computer Science. Hao grew up in Hangzhou, China, and loves living in dynamic New York City. He enjoys watching Anime with friends and playing the piano, especially those Anime piano covers. One of his favorite Anime piano covers is "Blue Bird - Naruto Shippuuden OP3" written by Animenz. For programming, his interest is in web development and distributed systems. He has received much help from PTC and looks forward to helping students in CS.

Sicheng Xie, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior 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.

Orion Yang, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore 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.

Tom Zhang, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore 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 - Leo Ho

Physics - Michael Russo

Chemistry - Emilia Bianchini

Office Staff

Baelul Haile is a junior 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.

Matahari K Herwin is an undergraduate senior finishing up her last semester at Tandon. She has previous tutoring experience and is very excited to be on the other side helping out as an office assistant. Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Matahari has developed a love for traveling and immersing herself in other cultures. Her favorite places that she visited are Tokyo and Santorini, her bucket list is to visit the Nordic region, and to travel to all 50 US States before she goes back to Indonesia for good. As a female in STEM, she is passionate about empowering young girls to pursue an education and an eventual career in tech. Matahari hopes to continue her studies in grad school and work in NYC before going back home and helping develop Indonesia's tech ecosystem." 

Luis Olivera is a senior studying Electrical Engineering. Whenever he needs to take a break from his classes he likes to play soccer. He is always willing to learn new skills from his peers that will allow him to become more knowledgeable in the field he is studying in. He is interested in the impact that technology has and hopes to someday be a part of something that will help out his community. He believes that being able to receive help from others can always ease any task. That is why he is willing to help out whenever he can.

Tanvi Saini is a sophomore 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 first 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 sophomore 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.