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Academic Success Center Manager:

Renée Mitchell-Matsuyama
Pinkard 315

Renée Mitchell-Matsuyama is the Manager of The Learning Collaborative at JHSON. She moved to Baltimore in the summer of 2018 with her spouse and their two cats, after having spent several years running a college women’s center in Minnesota. Originally from the West Coast, Renée attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned degrees in both English and Student Affairs. In addition to student services administration, Renée also has extensive experience in teaching, writing consultation, and general student support and advising. When she’s not at work, Renée enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and exploring all the interesting, weird, and fun things to do in Baltimore.

The Learning Collaborative Tutors:

  • Natalie Alvarez
    Natalie AlvarezProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello, my name is Natalie and I am a second semester student in the MEN program. I am from the Sacramento area in California and moved out to the east coast to begin nursing school. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Physiology and then worked for a few years in a physical therapy office as an aide. I really enjoy most outdoor activities, especially hiking and backpacking and like to run quite a bit! I really benefited from regularly attending the ongoing tutoring group for pathophysiology my first semester and hope to create a similar environment for learning as a tutor!

  • Christina Arciniega
    Christina ArciniegaProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Christina is from Southern California and attended the University of Redlands for her undergraduate studies. After receiving her B.A. in Biology with a minor in Psychology, she began her healthcare journey. She spent a year as an emergency department medical scribe before completing an EMT course. She discovered acute care was her jazz during her two years as an ER technician at a Level 1 Trauma Center. She is excited to pursue a career in acute care focusing on disaster relief and emergency medicine. One day she hopes to continue her education and earn an advanced practice degree. It’s her second semester in the MEN program and she’s very excited to get involved with her university through ASC! During free time she enjoys exploring new food spots, re-watching the same sitcoms, hiking, and facetiming friends/family.

  • Melissa Barkin
    Melissa BarkinProgram: MSN- Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! My name is Melissa and I’m in cohort 9. I’m originally from Virginia, but did my undergrad in Boulder, Colorado where I majored in Psychology. During undergrad, I was a teaching assistant for Nutrition for Health and Performance, which was two sections with about 150 students in each, so it is safe to say that I have experience getting to work with all types of learners! I’m personally a very visual learner, so on any given day you could find me with my rainbow pens drawing diagrams, color coding my notes, or deciding what color best represents COPD. In my free time I’m usually sleeping, outside or at BMORE Licks! I’m looking forward to joining the ASC team and having the opportunity to work with other students.

  • Mary Bennewitz
    Mary BennewitzProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Mary and I am a member of the MEN Spring 2021 cohort and am in my forth semester. I am originally from Connecticut and spent the past four years in New York City at Columbia University where I majored in Ancient Studies and Classics (mainly Egyptian history!) and minored in Biology. I am hoping to continue my education and become a pediatric acute care NP after I graduate. I am also interested in global health nursing and am currently taking courses at JHSPH for a certificate in global health. In my free time, I enjoy cycling, baking (my sourdough starter’s name is Brad), visiting local breweries, and hanging out with my friends around Baltimore! I am really excited to help other MEN students succeed in their as a tutor for ASC!

  • Despina Bubaris

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Foundations, Health Assessment

    Bio: Despina AKA “Dessy” Bubaris is a member of Cohort 9 here at JHSON. She is originally from Long Island, NY. Let’s go Yankees! She has a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics and has spent the past 3 years practicing as a dietitian in multiple settings including dialysis, psych, inpatient ICU and the nursing home. Because of this, she decided to become a nurse so she can advocate for individuals who cannot do so for themselves and improve interdisciplinary care. She loves food, Audrey Hepburn, Jesus, confetti, her family and her beautiful twin puppies, Billy & Willy. You can trust she will always be honest and truly believes in your potential to accomplish anything you put your mind to. She is ecstatic to be the biggest cheerleader for her tutees and to watch them all succeed. Let’s get to work!

  • Courtney Ceurvorst

    Courtney CeurvorstProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Foundations, Health Assessment.

    Bio: Greetings! My name is Courtney Ceurvorst and I am currently in my second semester in the MEN program. I lived in Colorado my whole life until I moved to a tiny little school in Beloit, Wisconsin for undergrad. During my time at Beloit I majored in Molecular, Cellular, Integrative Biology, played soccer, and was a founder of ceramics club. After too short of a summer back in the mountains, I ended up here in Baltimore. During my free time I enjoy going to spin classes, running with November Project, and watching Claire and Chris on Bon Appétit. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do when I graduate, but I am leaning towards pediatrics or neonatal. I look forward to working with new students as they transition into nursing school and helping them apply material in and out of the classroom.

  • Joyce Chao

    Program: DNP-FNP Advanced Practice

    Can tutor: Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment

    Bio:Hi, I'm Joyce and I'm in the DNP-FNP Advanced Practice program. I studied Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley but ended up working in finance. I was an economic and financial analyst at a consulting firm for 6 years before I decided to change careers. I now work in the Emergency Department at Hopkins Bayview. Once I graduate from the DNP program, I plan to work in primary care in underserved and immigrant communities. I'm also passionate about education and hope to eventually enter academia and be a part of the future of nursing education.

  • Lauren Choy
    Lauren ChoyProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! My name is Lauren and I am a 5th semester student in the MEN program. I graduated from the University of California Berkeley where I studied Nutritional Science with an emphasis in Molecular Toxicology. While at UC Berkeley, I worked as an Organic Chemistry study group leader and peer tutor. At Hopkins, I am in the Research Honors Program studying caregiver burden in those caring for patients with heart failure under the guidance of Dr. Martha Abshire. I hope to work in an ICU setting after graduating, and plan to use the remaining time in nursing school to determine exactly where. In my spare time, I enjoy climbing, running, snowboarding, and backpacking. I am very excited to help future MEN students learn and pass along study tips that helped me greatly.

  • Merayah Colocho
    Merayah ColochoProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! My name is Merayah Colocho, born and raised in Southern California. I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of California in Riverside. I took a gap year to complete all the nursing prerequisites required for nursing school, and now I am fortunate to be a part of the Hopkins family. I am currently in my 3rd semester as a MEN student. Moreover, I have held plenty of jobs ranging from fast food, receptionist work, and science tutoring. I believe these diverse jobs have allowed me to grow and be enthusiastic in all I do. I love traveling and embarking in new experiences where I find myself learning about a variety of things. My true passion lies in education and I plan to pursue a doctorate degree in advanced nursing practice. I am beyond excited to get to know you and have the opportunity to guide you through any doubts or concerns you may face during your time here at Hopkins!


  • Emma Crabo

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi, all! My name is Emma and I’m a member of cohort 9 here at the SON. I was born and raised in Washington State, but I traveled down the coast to attend Scripps College in Claremont, California for undergraduate degree. While my interests have always revolved around the sciences, the majority of my professional life thus far has been spent up on the southwest coast of Alaska working in the salmon industry. I have also worked in Costa Rica studying spiders, WOOF’d in Ireland, and scribed in an emergency department just outside my hometown. During the little free time I have (*sighs*), I enjoy cooking with friends and going on walks around the JHU Homewood campus. I hope to someday become a family nurse practitioner but in the meantime, I’m loving being a part of the Academic Success Center team!

  • Corey Crowe

    Corey CroweProgram: MSN – Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Health Assessment, Pharmacology

    Bio: Hey my name is Corey. Born and raised at the Jersey Shore. I have my undergraduate degree in Dietetics/Nutrition from James Madison University. After graduation I went on to serve 2 years in the Peace Corps as a Public Health Educator/Nutritionist in a small village in Peru. When I came home, I decided to change career paths and got my CNA license and worked in a psychiatric nursing home. I then applied for nursing school and accepted an offer to attend Johns Hopkins.

    My career goals are to work at a level one trauma center in the ICU and eventually go back to school to get my doctorate as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. I enjoy learning and I look forward to using the knowledge I have gained to help guide new students to become proficient in the information taught to us during this program.

  • Claryce De Loache
    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi there! My name is Claryce De Loache and I am part of Cohort 9 in the MEN program. I am from Tehachapi, California originally, but I have lived in Malibu and in Switzerland! I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine University in Sports Medicine. While I love all things exercise physiology and neuroscience, my passion lies with nursing! I currently live in Towson with my husband of just one year and our brand new irish doodle pup. Eventually, I want to work with neonates or in pediatric critical care as a DNP, but for now, I’m soaking up every minute of my time at Hopkins. Part of that time is having the amazing opportunity to help other students understand course material and achieve their academic and personal goals! I’m here for ya, even if you need some therapeutic videos of my crazy puppy!

  • Sarah F.
    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: I grew up in New Jersey, but Baltimore is home. I moved here in 2007 to earn my undergrad degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences. My interests include backpacking, bass playing, and indoor gardening. I’m looking forward to working with you.


  • Armaity Fouts
    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! My name is Armaity and I am a third semester student in the MEN program. I am originally from California, where I always made it a point to live no more than a 20-minute drive from an In-N-Out. Prior to nursing, I worked as a Research Associate in both an academic and industrial research lab, as well as working in a nursing home. My experience of in the nursing home and volunteering in community clinic in South San Francisco stemmed my interest in nursing. I saw how the nurses cared for more than the patient’s health, but the individual, which inspired my decision to pursue nursing rather than medicine. After nursing school, I am currently planning on an infectious disease unit, but I am also open to the possibilities.

  • Clarissa Gandolfo
    Clarissa GandolfoProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: My name is Clarissa Gandolfo and I am in Cohort 10 of the MEN program.  I am a graduate of Wake Forest University where I earned a bachelors degree in Biology with a minor in dance.  I am very passionate about learning, education and nursing and hope to share this with you. I look forward to meeting and working with you!



  • Rhemy Guerra
    Rhemy GuerraProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi there! My name is Rhemy. I am a California native that enjoys yearlong summer weather. However, the lush green space and beautiful hiking trails that Maryland has to offer is a reasonably even trade-off. I graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. I have a background in health education and enjoy providing people with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions about their health. One thing I’ve enjoyed most about my first semester is meeting other students that are as passionate about nursing as I and applying learned concepts to real-life clinical cases.

    In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, going on walks, visiting museums, and creating art of my own or cooking while watching Food Network.

    I look forward to helping you find a balance between social and nursing school life by helping guide your study methods.

  • Jimmy Hoang

    Jimmy HoangProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Jimmy Hoang and I am apart of cohort 11 of the MSN Entry into Practice program! I am originally from the Bay Area in California and completed my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara where I majored in Psychological Brain Sciences. I chose to pursue nursing to serve my community and make an impact on other people’s lives through direct care. I previously worked as an EMT on an ambulance which drove me to pursue a career as a nurse in the emergency department. I enjoy piecing the puzzle pieces together to obtain a comprehensive background of patients. Some of my hobbies include going to the gym, running, hiking, and exploring new food places. I love the outdoors and am still exploring the east coast, especially Baltimore. I believe in community and as a tutor I am committed to creating a safe space where people can share their thought processes and work things out together.

  • Lisa Ishimoto

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello fellow student nurses! My name is Lisa Ishimoto (she/her) and I am a second semester student – graduating in May 2022! I grew up in Hilo, HI and later moved to Seattle, WA to obtain a degree in biology from Seattle University. I’ve previously worked as a biology tutor and teaching assistant for courses such as evolution and developmental biology (ask me what animal I think will take over our planet in the future – no I don't think it’s going to be the cockroach!). Outside of school you can find me playing Animal Crossing, cooking with my roommates (we love our air fryer), buying too many candles online, and taking walks outside. I also work as Research Assistant for a psychiatric/mental health nursing professor at the SON. I look forward to working and learning with you!

  • Jane Ko

    Program: DNP-FNP

    Bio: Hello, my name is Jane! I am in the Doctor of Nursing Practice FNP track at the SON and the GSSO President for the Graduate Specialty programs. Prior to graduate school, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Nursing and worked majority of my nursing career in acute care within cardiac telemetry and the Neuro ICU. While working, I served on the Oregon Nurses Association's health policy cabinet for a 2-year term, engaging closely with legislators and grassroots organizations on various health priorities in the state. I also had a unique opportunity to study abroad as a Teaching Assistant for a month in Singapore to learn from prominent leaders within tech, economics, trade, and health policy and how these industries affected healthcare . I am excited to join the team because I enjoy teaching and believe each person learns differently: visual, kinesthetic, auditory, or a combination of all three. My job as your tutor is to facilitate a custom-tailored tutoring session in the best way that you learn best! I look forward to meeting you and working with you in the future.

  • Bri Lehr

    Bri LehrProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Bri and I am in my second semester. I am originally from San Diego California, but I did my undergraduate at University of Oregon majoring in Human Physiology and minoring in Business. During my undergraduate, I was a learning assistant for a large lecture section of Human Anatomy. I have also taught tennis for years so I love to help people learn a new skill or concept. In my free time, I am usually running, skiing or exploring all Baltimore has to offer. I am excited to tutor and help future students with their courses and transition to nursing school! 

  • Franklin Leung

    Franklin LeungProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: My name is Franklin and there is nearly nothing I like more than helping my peers get the most out of their academic experience, whether that is through sharing extracurricular opportunities like service or research or discussing the best scientifically supported strategies to learn (hint: it’s testing and teaching!). 

    I grew up in Goleta, a small city in Southern California, and I graduated from UC Los Angeles studying Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and minoring in Global Health. College gave me a strong background in the life sciences, but I am deeply interested in improving health care, leading me to join the MEN program at Hopkins. 

    While I wish to make myself the best nurse I can be, I believe this cannot be done without supporting my peers to reach our fullest potential throughout school and our professional lives. I hope to find other colleagues who think the same and join me in sharing, learning, and practicing the skills we need to become great nurses.

  • Evan Loker
    Evan LokerProgram: PhD

    Bio: I am currently a PhD Candidate in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (a UC Davis alum) and received my Masters in Comparative Literature from NYU before coming to Hopkins in 2015. My dissertation is about the literature and ideas of the antislavery movement in the US, Cuba, and Brazil. Besides my research, I am passionate about teaching and have taught writing in a variety of scholarly contexts. In our sessions, you can expect a collaborative environment that will help you write the best version of your term paper, research proposal, or dissertation chapter. When not working, I can be found watching classic films, listening to music, or squeezing in one last hike before the next East Coast summer.


  • Kristen Mathias
    Kristen MathiasBio: I am a member of cohort 9 and have been a tutor for 3 semesters. I moved here from California, where I grew up. I studied psychology in undergrad, focusing on Neurological science, stress management and positive psychology. In my free time I love to run, get outdoors and hike, hang with friends and travel. After high school I spent 4 months in Tanzania working with students on sustainability projects and the local Masai tribe to build a library to improve their education. I took a semester off school to travel to Indian for 3 months to study preventative medicine with traditional Doctors and to train to be a Yoga teacher. I was lead to pursue Nursing, because I feel like in many ways it brings all my interests together with my passion to care for and advocate for individuals and collective health and wellbeing. I am passionate about Pediatric Critical Care and Labor and Delivery and plan to continue my education to become an NP following graduation. I personally have benefited a lot from the Academic Success center resources through JHU SON and I am excited to be working as a tutor at the Academic Success Center, and share the resources, skills and insight to other students achieve academic and personal success in this program!
  • Grace Marola

    Grace MarolaProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Grace Marola, I am from the Albany, NY area and I am working my way through the MEN program. Before coming to Hopkins, I received a BS in Biology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges located in the beautiful NY Finger Lakes where I also worked as a chemistry and biology tutor and played soccer. After college, I worked as a pediatric medical assistant and taught 6th and 7th grade before starting nursing school. I am looking to eventually receive my DNP and hopefully work teaching into my career! Outside of school, I love to cook and try any new food I can, grow plants and veggies, travel, and spend lots of time with friends.

  • Kayla McGraw

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Foundations, Health Assessment, Writing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Kayla and I am in the SP21 cohort of the MEN program. I am originally from New Jersey, but spent the past four years in North Carolina at Elon University. I studied psychology, neuroscience, and human service studies, then decided that my next step would be nursing! Following this program, my goal is to work in pediatric acute care.

    I was drawn to the Academic Success Center because I really enjoyed working as a writing tutor for more than half of college. I look forward to working with you!

  • Kaylee Nussbaum

    Kaylee NussbaumProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Kaylee Nussbaum is a proud member of the Summer 2021 MEN cohort. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and stayed close to home for college. She earned her Bachelors in Biology from Pepperdine University. After graduation, she made the move across the country to join the Hopkins community. She is working towards a career in Intensive Care Nursing and is hoping to become a Nurse Anesthetist. She is looking forward to tutoring first semester courses and has a passion for getting students confidence and interest in the wonderful field of nursing. In her free time she can be found taking a yoga class, making a visit to Patterson Park with her dog Rory and falling in love with the City of Baltimore. She is eager to meet you and work with you through this rewarding program.

  • Lorraine Odango
    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hey! I’m Lorraine! My pronouns are she/her and I go by Lo! I am currently a third semester student (Cohort 10 - graduating class of Summer 2021) in the MEN program. I am originally from the San Francisco, Bay Area in California. I’m obsessed with Disneyland, my dog, and my partner. If you were to describe me in three words I’d probably say I’m loud, friendly, and passionate. I’ve tutored prior for Anatomy and Physiology and I found that I loved providing students an opportunity to discover what study and learning techniques work best for them in each class! I’m so excited to be a part of the ASC team!

  • Sophia Platcow

    Sophia PlatcowProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! I'm Sophia and I am an MSN-Entry student at JHUSON. I am originally from the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my undergrad. Before coming to JHU, I began working on my MPH through the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. I am passionate about the intersection between public health and nursing, especially as it regards health policy. I hope to work in Labor and Delivery post-graduation and ultimately pursue my DNP in Midwifery/Women's Health! In my free time I love attending live music events, strength training in the gym, and exploring Baltimore! I am excited to help students learn and connect with the material presented in the MSN program, and I have no doubt I will learn just as much from you as you do from me!

  • Brian Rogers

    Program: MSN-Entry Graduate- August 2020

    Bio: Brian Rogers completed the MSN Entry into Nursing Program in August of 2020. He is now a nurse on the Cardiac Care Unit at University of Maryland Medical Center. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening.


  • Kayla Sato

    Kayla SatoProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hey! My name is Kayla and I was born and raised in LA! I went to UCSD where I played collegiate basketball and got a B.S. in Human Development. I enjoy being active and love surfing. I currently am a research assistant looking at different modalities to help cancer survivors increase their exercise. As a student I know that the learning process at times can be challenging and look different for everyone. I am excited for the opportunity to help mentor and guide you through the process as a student here at Hopkins!


  • Rebecca Singer-Cohen

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Foundations, Health Assessment, Chronic, Older Adults

    Bio: My name is Rebecca Singer Cohen, I am a 4th semester student at Hopkins, and I live in Silver Spring, MD. Prior to starting the program, I spent 15 years in health services research and health policy working on policy issues including health disparities, Medicaid utilization, and workforce. I've also spent 5 years volunteering at a rescue station in Montgomery County, MD, serving as the charge EMT on 911 response ambulances. I am passionate about learning, and I love teaching, and I hope that I'll be able to help you master this material!

  • Aaron Speer

    Aaron SpeerProgram: MSN – Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Pathophysiology, Chronic, Complex

    Bio: Aaron Joseph Speer is currently enrolled as fourth semester student in the JHSON MSN, Entry into Nursing Program. He was born and raised in Los Angeles California, and moved to Baltimore in the beginning of 2018 for nursing school. Aaron attended University of California, San Diego, where he earned a BS in Human Biology. He is also an executive board member of the JHSON Men In Nursing chapter, which promotes diversity in the nursing profession. Aaron has a life-long passion for tutoring, and over a decade of experience, tutoring professionally, and as a volunteer. During his free time he likes to rock climb, experience Drag shows, and play board games, all while in the company of amazing friends.

  • Silvia Song
    Program: DNP-FNP

    Bio: My name is Silvia and I am in my third year of the DNP Family Nurse Practice program. I was a neuro analyst and biomaterial project manager before I decided to change my career. After I graduate, I hope to work in outpatient general internal medicine or urgent care. In my spare time (if I have any), I love to go hiking and exploring brunch restaurants.

  • Linda Tashiro

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! I’m Linda and I’m a part of the enormous Spring 2021 cohort at JHUSON MEN program.  As many of us are, I come from California (Los Angeles). I completed my BS degree at California Polytechnic University - Pomona in Animal Health Science with emphasis in Business in 2007.  Since then, I have been working as a credentialed veterinary technician at a specialty animal hospital in West Los Angeles in the emergency/critical care and anesthesia departments.   I mostly worked with small animals (only fluffy ones...I cannot with feathers or scales). I'm especially savvy with Med Math for those who are terrified of the dosage exam!

  • Emma Taylor

    Emma TaylorProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hi! My name is Jimmy Hoang and I am apart of cohort 11 of the MSN Entry into Practice program! I am originally from the Bay Area in California and completed my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara where I majored in Psychological Brain Sciences. I chose to pursue nursing to serve my community and make an impact on other people’s lives through direct care. I previously worked as an EMT on an ambulance which drove me to pursue a career as a nurse in the emergency department. I enjoy piecing the puzzle pieces together to obtain a comprehensive background of patients. Some of my hobbies include going to the gym, running, hiking, and exploring new food places. I love the outdoors and am still exploring the east coast, especially Baltimore. I believe in community and as a tutor I am committed to creating a safe space where people can share their thought processes and work things out together


  • Reenette Thompson

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Health Assessment

    Bio: Hi! My name is Reenette Thompson and I am in cohort 9 of the MEN program. I have a B.S. in Public Health Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. There, I was a Teaching Assistant for Anatomy and Physiology as well as a research assistant for a cognitive and behavioral neuroscience lab. I was also a sexual health peer educator and love talking/learning about all things regarding maternal and reproductive health. During my free time I enjoy reading, blogging, and creating fitness goals that I cannot maintain.

    As a student and former tutor I know that the process of learning is personal and different for everyone. I look forward to giving advice and assistance to help you learn information in ways that are most meaningful to you.

  • Lisa Tran
    Program: DNP-FNP Graduate- May 2020

    Bio: My name is Lisa, and I graduated from the DNP-FNP program at JHSON in May 2020 with a HIV Primary Care Certificate. I will be tutoring DNP and PhD students in writing. As someone who felt comfortable with my academic writing skills prior to entering the MEN and DNP program, I felt overwhelmed by the different requirements of a doctorate project and creating a doctorate-level scholarly paper. As a first generation American and a first generation college graduate, I felt like I did not have a non-judgmental environment to turn to for help. I thank the safe space Renee and Dr. Busch created for me to ask "stupid" questions, and I want to provide that for you. This is probably your first time creating a doctorate-level scholarly paper, on top of the other doctoral classes and perhaps learning how to be a NP for the first time. So it is absolutely okay to ask for help! Evan and I are here to help you.

  • Kevin Valentine

    Kevin ValentineProgram: MSN – Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Pathophysiology, Foundations

    Bio: Kevin Valentine is a 24-year-old MEN student that’s just trying to get through his first winter but sometimes gets confused that socks are gloves (cue the “awww”). When he’s not in class or clinical, Kevin can be seen beelining towards his 6th plate of appetizers at formal events, eating a pot roast on the 2nd floor on the SON, and just eating in general. He enjoys long walks to Safeway with a giant thermoregulated water bottle in his hand. Kevin often speaks in puns that may elicit an automatic eye-rolling response. He holds his friends & family deer to his heart (he really loves deer puns for some reason) and always make sure to take care of them, which aligns with the fact that Kevin is a Leo aka the protecting lion sign. Get Kevin as a tutor and he’ll protect you from select all questions on exams that are “good practice for the NCLEX.” Kevin graduated with a Biochemistry/Molecular Biology degree from UC Davis in 2017 aka you’ll never flinch again when you hear “RAAS” if he tutors you for patho.

  • Valentina Viscardi

    Program: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Patho, Foundations, Health Assessment

    Bio: Valentina hails from Long Island, New York where she is a former cancer research specialist from Stony Brook University. At Stony Brook, she mentored research students and carried out independent research pertaining to the effects of high fat diets on Breast Cancer.

    Valentina attended Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and during her time there was the President of the Tri-Beta Honor Society. Through the biological honor society, she lead student organized tutoring services and “teaching days” at inner city Baltimore schools.

    She has extensive tutoring experience as she started her own tutoring business, providing affordable tutoring to high school students.

    A fun fact about Valentina is that she enjoys rapping! Her alter ego is “Cardi V.” Coupled with her talking a lot with her hands (it’s an Italian thing), you can bet that a tutoring session will involve some raps and high energy to help you remember important concepts!

  • Drew Walker

    Program: MSN – Entry into Nursing

    Can tutor: Pathophysiology, Health Assessment, Foundations

    Bio: Hello all! I'm 3rd semester student in the MEN program coming in from a completely different background (you can do it too!). Originally from Cambridge, MA, I graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelors in Psychology and proceeded to do very little with that degree. I lived in Costa Rica after college to learn Spanish, then worked on Capitol Hill as an intern, and eventually moved to California to work in the gaming industry where I was a game designer for ~10 years. I left the industry with a desire for more stability and worked at the MMA gym as an instructor where I trained for a couple of years while I caught up on prereqs and debated my future. So here I am today with a big leaning towards anything Peds and likely going on to the Nurse Practitioner route in the future.

    I enjoy spending my free time at the gym, training in martial arts, watching sports, or keeping my love of games alive. I'm all about helping people understand concepts/content and finding that thing that helps make the knowledge click. Who knows, I may even make a game out of it because learning is definitely more fun when it's a game.


  • Michelle Wolff
    Michelle WolffProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Hello! My name is Michelle, and I am a 5th semester MEN student. I grew up in Los Angeles and spent the last 4 years working in various healthcare business roles in San Francisco before taking the leap to pursue nursing. In undergrad, my major was Communication Studies and my minor was Psychology. Since I did not consider myself a "science person" in undergrad, I was nervous to take the science pre-reqs for this program. After getting through those, I was very nervous for more science coursework in this program, and that's how I found ASC! The reason I'm excited to join this team is because I firmly believe we can all excel in this program (especially in the hard science classes!), and we will work together to make that dream a reality! If I can do it, so can you! I'm excited to meet you and get started :)

  • Dorothy Zuniga
    Dorothy ZunigaProgram: MSN-Entry into Nursing

    Bio: Bio: Dorothy is from Rancho Cucamonga, California and majored in Public Health at UC Berkeley. She is an experienced medical assistant who has worked at several clinics in specialties such as pain management, primary care, and allergies.

    She has tutoring experience with multiple age groups from elementary to high school. She was also the treasurer for the Cal Undergraduate Public Health Coalition at UC Berkeley. Her primary goal is always to help people!

    When she is not tutoring, Dorothy can be found out horseback riding, baking, or kayaking. She recently adopted a cat named Toby and one day hopes to get her private pilot's license (PPL)!