Tutors and Staff | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Tutors and Staff

Who's Who at the PTC?

Two PTC front desk employees


John Paul Cleveland, Senior 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. Check out his article in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled "What Socrates Would Say To Undergraduate Tutors." In his free time, John Paul is an avid runner and has run the NYC Marathon thirteen years. 

Walker Mask, Assistant Director, joined the PTC team in June 2023 shortly after completing their Ph.D. in Education Sciences from the STEM Education Department at the University of Kentucky. Their Ph.D. work focused on teaching practice development among chemistry graduate teaching assistants, and they're excited to use this experience to help with tutoring here. They also completed their M.S. in chemistry in 2018 from the University of Kentucky after conducting computational research of organic semiconductor morphology, and their B.A. in chemistry and mathematics from Simpson College prior to that. Walker is a lifelong learner across all disciplines in the STEM umbrella, and enjoys exploring new and creative approaches to teaching in these areas. Outside of academia, they love to explore and learn about other cultures, and has a hobby of learning languages, as well as trying out new recipes from around the world. They also enjoy creating things, and dabble in a bit of artistic DIY and crafting every now and then.

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 senior 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.

Blanca Alvarez Rojas, English Conversation Group Leader, is a graduate student in the M.S in Construction Management at SPS. She is an Interior Architect by profession and she obtained her undergraduate degree at Savannah College of Art and Design.  Blanca was born and raised in Madrid, Spain and moved to the US when she got recruited as a student-athlete at SCAD.  In her free time she likes to do research on new sustainable practices in construction, reading, doing sports and listening to Taylor Swift . Her goal is to work as a sustainability construction project manager. And she is looking forward to helping as much as possible in her role as an English Conversation Group Leader. 

Varun Aravapalli, Computer Science Tutor & CS Team Leader, is a senior 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 senior 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.

Progga Bhuiyan, Physics Tutor, is a jsenior 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. 

Ata Cetin, Physics Tutor & PH Team Leader, is a senior 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.

Rachel Chen, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in computer science and mathematics. She was born in Shanghai, China and lived there until she got into NYU. Rachel likes to explore complex problems, and is curious about the real world applications of knowledge . In her spare time, Rachel enjoys sketching and is very fond of observing various animals in the nature. After being a math tutor in her high school and being helped by PTC in her freshman year, Rachel decided to continue her tutoring journey.

Jemima Datus, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. She was born and raised in New Jersey. Jemima is interested in video games like the Sims 4 and Crusader Kings 3. She loves listening to musicals, playing tabletop rpgs, and board games.  Jemima is looking forward to helping others manage difficult course material.

Samantha Gburek, Computer Science Tutor, is a junior pursuing a major in Computer Science and double minoring in Cybersecurity and Mathematics. She was born and raised in Arizona, so she does not fare well in New York winter. Sam is always eager to try new things and enjoys many hobbies in her free time. She loves trying new foods, working out, watching movies/TV, reading, listening to music, attending concerts, cooking, hanging out with friends, and exploring the city. Sam is excited to meet and help tutor students to help them de-stress and excel in their learning.

Logan Hu, Chemistry Tutor, is a junior studying Mathematics. He had experiences in tutoring in China, which focused on mathematics, English, and High school chemistry.  Logan likes having different foods and enjoys hang out with friends when he is free. In addition, he is enthusiastic about music and can sing many different songs. Logan believes that PTC will be a great place for you to get tutoring and better understanding the content of your classes.

Jiachen Huang, PhysicsTutor, is a senior at Tandon studying mathematics. He was born in Shanghai, China. Growing up, he was always passionate about math and physics. After his first two years of studying math at Villanova University, he transferred to NYU as a junior and joined the PTC as a Physics tutor. Fun fact about Jiachen is that he is also a basketball athlete playing for NYU Chinese basketball team and he is interested in the game of poker. He is also into all kinds of outdoor sports like swimming and skiing. Tutoring has always been Jiachen's passion and he is willing to talk about everything whether it is academic or not.

Ziyi Huang, Chemistry Tutor, is a sophomore year student from China and a double major in BMS and Math. Ziyi loves kpop, dancing, and working out. Chemistry has been her favorite subject since 9th grade. She enjoys solving chemistry problems and is always passionate about helping others to solve issues. Ziyi is good at visualizing macromolecular problems and listing examples to help students to understand better.

Noel Kim, Physics Tutor, is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Noel was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. He first went to Tennessee for highschool and came to NYC for college education. Noel has an experience of teaching several students in SAT prep with SAT math and subjects. He is a sportive man who loves to play football, golf, and snowboarding. He also enjoys cooking and working out. He received a lot of help from the PTC with computer science when he was a freshman so now he wants to help out others with what he loves and can do.

Leo Kong, Physics Tutor, is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and looking to minor in both Philosophy and Mathematics. Leo grew up in Ningbo, China, and went to high school in North Carolina. Leo loves exploring the restaurants in NYC and trying new foods. He has a wide range of hobbies. Leo has been playing the piano for a decade, and he loves reading books, hitting the gym, and playing video games when he is free. Leo likes helping others, and he hopes he can make physics easier and more interesting for you. Also, if you are overwhelmed with the workload during midterms or finals, Leo would love to support you mentally, and we can chat about many interesting things.

Jason Li,  Physics Tutor, is a graduate student 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.

Daniel Liang, a Computer Science Tutor, is a junior majoring in computer science. Born and raised in Suzhou, China, Daniel moved to the US for high school and continued his education thereafter. He gained tutoring experience in high school as a tutor in math, computer science, and physics. Daniel is eager to assist students with challenges they face in their courses. In his free time, he enjoys boxing and playing video games. He is excited about the opportunity to join PTC and assist students with their computer science courses.

Louisa Liu, Chemistry & Biology Tutor, is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minor in Mathematics and Finance. Louisa was born and raised in China, then went to high school in Ohio, where she gained tutoring experience in various subjects such as Physics, Calculus, Chemistry, and more. In her free time, she enjoys video games, Dungeon and Dragon, and skiing. She is also self-teaching guitar and Spanish. Louisa is excited to be a part of the PTC family, and ready to support any student in need.

Jiyuan Ren, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in Game Engineering. Ren was born in China and went to school in Singapore, where he had experiences in tutoring. He used to get help from the PTC all the time and now decides to return the favor by helping others here. Ren has zero tolerance of spicy food, is picky when it comes to video games, and regards Fantasy, Speculative and Hardcore Sci-Fi as staple food. He also believes in the benefits of jogging and taking long walks, especially after reading a good novel.

Jimmy Shong, Computer Science Tutor, is a senior majoring in Computer Science, and minoring in mathematics and cybersecurity. Jimmy was born and raised in the Bay Area, where he first discovered his interest in computer science. In his free time, he loves playing video games, watching TV shows/movies, discovering new foods, and hanging out with friends. Jimmy is enthusiastic about joining the PTC and is dedicated to providing knowledge and guidance to the students at the tutoring center.

Carrie Song, Physics Tutor, is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. Carrie wants to pursue a career in AI in the future. She was born and grew up in Suzhou, China and came to NYC for her college education. Carrie loves exploring nice restaurants in the city and going to concerts. She makes friends when doing these activities. She listens to many genres of music, especially K-pop. In her free time, Carrie teaches herself some Korean because she wants to try to eliminate the language barrier as much as possible. 

Andrew Sosunov, Physics Tutor, is a senior 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 & CM Team Leader, is a senior 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 senior 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.

Barbara Yang, Physics tutor, is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer engineering. She was born and brought up in Beijing, China. Growing up in a family where everyone chose STEM as their major, she started studying physics from an early age. Barbara is a light-hearted and sportive person who loves yoga, hiking, and parties. Besides all the outdoor activities, Barbara enjoys reading in a cozy place and playing triple-A games during the weekend. She believes that joining the PTC team would be a great journey to review the knowledge from the past and help others.

Ahrin Yang, or Irene, Physics Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Irene was born in Boston but raised in S. Korea until she returned to the states for college. She loves playing badminton and stargazing. She also has two super cute dogs back at home that she really misses. She became a physics tutor because she thinks physics is a fascinating subject yet many do not appreciate that. So her goal as a physics tutor is to help students get along with–rather than hate–physics and enjoy the process of being intellectually challenged. Also, she is ready to help students that struggle to build study habits, balance school life, or any other problems that may hinder a successful college experience. Irene is excited to work as a PTC tutor and meet all of you guys!! :D

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. 

Yuchi Zhao, or Raymond, BTM Tutor, is a junior in NYU Tandon, majoring in Business Technology Management. He grew up in Nanjing, China and came to NYC in 2022. He took many courses in Statistics, Math and Data science and could utilize STEM knowledge well. As a management tutor, he is eager to help others not only in Management courses, but also in many other economy-related courses. He loves watching soccer games and his favorite team is Juventus. He looks forward to joining the family of PTC and helping others in the future.

Wesley Zhuang, Computer Science Tutor, is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Game Engineering and Math. He was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, but he lived in China throughout his childhood years. He loves playing video games, watching shows. Throughout his highschool and college time, he has tutored many of his peers and enjoyed the process. This is what led him to become a PTC tutor and he looks forward to continuing his tutoring efforts through the PTC community.

Subject Team Leaders

Computer Science - Varun Aravapalli

Physics - Ata Cetin

Chemistry - Thu Vu

Office Staff

Pedro Ribes, Graduate Assistant, is a graduate student in the MS in Project Management for NYU School of Professional Studies. He is an economist by profession and obtained his undergraduate degree from Schiller International University in Heidelberg, Germany. He worked for six years in a multinational retail company back in Europe, which focused on team leadership and customer satisfaction. He is a proactive person from Madrid, Spain, who came to the USA looking for more professional opportunities, and who is excited about NYU's  opportunities as well, and is looking forward to start working at the front desk to welcome the PTC community.

Jada Forrester is a senior 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. 

Amy Fouzia is a senior at Tandon pursuing a major in Computer Science and double minoring in Integrated Digital Media & Mathematics. Amy was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She started her exploration into coding at a young age. Her favorite aspects of it are solving difficult logic problems in her own way and using technology as a creative medium. She loves to explore a variety of  mediums for her art and loves picking up new hobbies. Her current go-tos are jewelry making and crochet, as they make great gifts for friends and family. Her goal is to settle into the city with a remote job so that she's free to travel the world or plan larger scale creative pursuits.

Lauren Lim is a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She was born and raised in Queens, NY, where she developed hobbies such as DIY arts & crafts, snowboarding, and painting. It was Lauren’s high school chemistry class that ignited her growing love for STEM. She is now determined to intertwine her passions for art, clothes and engineering to create sustainable fabrics and fashion materials in the future. Lauren hopes to learn from other students, provide resources, and be a welcoming face to anyone who seeks help at the PTC.

Mahjabin Musa is a senior studying Electrical Engineering. They grew up in Queens, emigrating here at the age of 3. During their free time, they enjoy knitting/crocheting, listening to K-pop, and watching any enjoyable media under the sun. They have tutored middle school and high school children for 3+ years and they've gained quite a bit of valuable experience teaching young kids. They are also a part of the Urban Food Lab at Tandon, tending to a garden in the Makerspace that utilizes hydro/aquaponics to grow a variety of plants. Mahjabin would like to combine their EE major and interest in sustainability to hopefully bring a positive, eco-friendly impact to their future work. By becoming a front desk aide, they hope to keep the PTC running smoothly so that, students in need of help can get it as soon and as smoothly as possible.

Chris Park is a senior 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.

Michal Urban is a senior 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.