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

John Dropkin Tutor of the Year Award

Picture of Jorge Velasquez

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:

Jorge Velasquez

Jorge Velasquez is a computer science undergraduate at NYU Tandon and a PTC tutor since Fall 2020. He spent his free time in high school making video games, which kickstarted his interest in programming. Since coming to NYU, he's taken classes ranging from computer networking and artificial intelligence to screenwriting and game design. He joined the PTC his sophomore year, tutoring students over zoom, and now he is the CS team leader, tutoring students in person. As a tutor he has tutored students not just the intro course material, but also techniques to handle any programming challenges in future classes. He will graduate in May 2023, and in July he'll join Amazon as a software development engineer.

All Recipients

Year Awardee
2023 Jorge Velasquez
2022 Michael Russo
2021 Giles Bischoff
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