I always try and be as approachable as possible to my students and to maintain a light-hearted and fun atmosphere! I like to employ a lot of detailed visual aides and student interaction in my lesson plans to help students grasp the tough topics and to successfully retain that information!
I am a PhD candidate in Materials Science & Engineering at Cornell University with a passion for science and teaching. I have spent a LOT of time listening to professors giving really excellent lectures... and a LOT of time listening to awful lectures, so I know first-hand the extraordinary value of effective teaching! I have extensive formal teaching training, as well as teaching experience. I have worked two years as a STEM tutor, I have been the Head Graduate Teaching Assistant for three college STEM courses (where I have won awards for my teaching excellence), and I have even worked for a year training ALL the engineering TA's at Cornell on how to be the best TA's possible!
I also have a secret background in studio art, and like to let my drawing skills sneak out while tutoring in the form of super detailed visual aides to help convey the hard topics to my students. I also always do my best to maintain a light-hearted teaching atmosphere!
M.S. in Materials Science from Cornell University
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis
Head TA of Cornell's MSE 2610: Mechanical Properties of Materials (2017)
→ Won annual departmental award for Best MSE TA
→ Wrote & held recitations and office hours, wrote problem sets / exam questions, facilitated labs, etc.
Head TA of Cornell's MSE 4020: Mechanical Properties of Materials [Senior Level] (2018)
→ Wrote & held full lectures and office hours, wrote problem sets & exams, etc.
Head TA of Cornell's MSE 4030/4050: Senior Thesis/Lab (2020)
→ Aided in research project design & technical writing skill development
TA Development Consultant for Engineering Learning Initiatives (2018 - 2019)
→ Developed and delivered TA training program for all new undergrad and grad engineering TA's on effective teaching practices
STEM Tutor (2013 - 2015)
→ One-on-one & group tutor for wide variety of STEM courses (Physics, Calculus, Mechanics, CAD, etc.)
Doctoral Student studying the mechanical deformation of silicate glasses (2016 - 2021)
→ Side projects involve the study of the mechanical properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, composites ... basically everything at some point!
Patient, understandable, engaging, and fun! Zach takes COMPLICATED information and makes it SIMPLE … so it’s easy for you to understand and remember. As a fellow educator, I’ve watched Zach interact with students for years. An award-winning teaching assistant at Cornell University, Zach teaches all the other tutors what to do! He’s an innovative, energetic tutor with a track-record of helping students succeed in high-stakes courses. After 1 lesson with Zach, you won’t want to work with anyone else. Don’t hesitate – ZACH’S YOUR GUY!
Zach is an incredible teacher, I had him for MSE 4020 (I forget the exact name of the class but it's a class covering the advanced mechanical properties of materials, taught by Prof. Donnelly). It is apparent that he puts in a lot of time and effort into creating a solid, easy to understand lesson plan, and if his initial way of explaining things doesn't work out for a particular student he will come up with other ways to explain the concept that will probably help. He does a good job explaining concepts both visually and mathematically.
He is very patient with students and for our class he would often stay longer than he was scheduled for office hours to help everyone. He also made exam review sessions and study guides, which he totally didn't have to. It was obvious to the students in the class that he really cares about them and wants them to do well, he's not just doing it because he has to or wants the money.
I'm pretty sure he won the award for the best teaching assistant the year I took MSE 4020, so like he's definitely top notch! 10/10 would recommend
Zach was my Teaching Assistant for a Materials Science and Engineering (Mechanical Properties of Materials) class I took at Cornell University. Zach was wonderful at explaining difficult concepts, providing relevant background information about problems and really thorough with explanations. His visual demonstrations (through diagrams) of complex problems are always really helpful in understanding difficult topics!
Zach was my Mechanical Properties of Materials TA at Cornell. I couldn’t pass that class with high grade without his help. Easily the best TA I’ve ever had in my academic life. Not just very knowledgeable in the subject but also great at teaching the complicated concepts in an engaging way that is understandable by everybody in the class. Also very positive and approachable, and he goes above and beyond to prepare high quality detailed class materials. Overall he is a great person and great teacher. Thanks Zach!
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