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Meet Our PDX Tutors

Looking for a professional educator with years of teaching experience? Or maybe just a student tutor to help out with homework?

Whatever your needs may be, we have a tutor who can help.

Eric Sorensen

Math, Physics, Engineering, College Admissions & Test Prep (All Grade Levels)

Eric Sorensen: Math, Physics, Engineering & Test Prep Tutor & Founder Of Emergent Education

Eric comes from a family of educators, but didn’t actually think he would become one. His great-grandfather was a high school principal, and his grandmother, mother, and sister each became elementary school teachers. “I was pretty determined to go a different direction, but growing up around educators gave me a real appreciation for learning.” A couple years into his BS in Environmental Engineering, Eric started tutoring part-time for other college students. “Right away I loved the sense of collaborative learning.” The experience laid the groundwork for what would ultimately become Emergent Education.

Eric graduated in 2016, bounced between jobs and cities and ultimately landed in Portland in 2018. He kept tutoring on the side, driving straight from his consulting job in Vancouver, WA to meet with students all around Portland. “I started going into the office early just so I could leave early and have more time with students. Eventually I stopped fighting the idea that I love to teach.” 

Eric founded Emergent Education in 2020 as a small group of dedicated tutors who bring personalization, connection, and a growth mindset approach to their work with students. “Whatever your struggles may be, we are determined to help you find your own path forward.”

Qualifications:

  • 9 years of teaching experience, including math, physics, and engineering with students in elementary school through college
  • BS with Honors in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University (2016)
  • Level 1 Certified Tutor through the College Reading & Learning Association (2014)

Lucy Moholt-Siebert

Math, Chemistry, Biology, Test Prep (All Grade Levels)

Lucy Moholt-Siebert: Math, Chemistry, Biology, Test Prep, Tutor. Emergent Education

Lucy started tutoring math in high school and enjoyed it so much that she kept it up through her undergraduate studies. As a college student, she worked as a tutor and grader for the Math and Chemistry departments, participated in a mentorship program for middle school girls in STEM subjects, and organized workshops designed to create networks of peer support and community within the Math Department. “Connection and community are incredible resources! It’s important to remember that academic success is about more than just academics.”

At the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Lucy was assistant editor of a series of books relating to K-12 math education. Putting her experiences into the editing process helped to clarify her goals as an educator. “For me, the most important outcome of any tutoring experience is the improved confidence of the student.” 

Outside of math and science, Lucy was the TA for a mythology class and won essay prizes through the English and Race, Gender, & Sexuality Studies departments. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Lucy moved to Northern California during middle school. After graduating from Mills College with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Mathematics, she made the move back to her home town where she continues to work as a dedicated educator. 

Qualifications:

  • 5 years of teaching experience, including Math and Chemistry with students in middle school through college
  • BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Mathematics (2020) 

Nicolina Hansen-Neff

Math, Reading & Writing (Grades K-8)          

Nicolina has been in teaching roles for over a decade. She started as a math tutor in college while working towards her BA in Mathematics. “I wanted to help people find a similar passion for a subject that I believe to be the most magnificent!” After graduating, Nicolina spent time working in a variety of schools (charter, independent, and public) and subsequently got her MAT in elementary education. She has taught in grades 3-8 and is currently in a 4th grade teaching position.

Beyond her experiences in math and elementary education, Nicolina has tutored in almost every subject for students aged 5 – 70. She is a passionate educator who can connect with students wherever they are at in the learning process. “I love finding ways to help people come at problems from new angles, providing support as students figure out strategies that work best for themselves. We gain the most knowledge when we can make connections between what we’re learning and our own lives.”

Qualifications:

  • 10 years of teaching experience, including Math, Reading & Writing with students in elementary school through college
  • BA in Mathematics (Earlham Collage) 
  • MAT in Elementary Education with ESOL Endorsement (Lewis & Clark)

Ann Powers

English, Creative Writing, Public Speaking College Admissions (Grades 7-12+)

In everything she does, Ann brings a passion for language. She learned to be a good writer in college, but she really honed her abilities with words when she joined a campaign to protect the Florida coast from offshore drilling. She was asked to write position papers, make speeches, and testify to political decision makers. It was nerve-wracking. But as she got better, it became rewarding, even fun. Eventually she started coaching others to be effective advocates. Watching them gain confidence and skill was as rewarding as doing it herself. Whatever her future held, she wanted to continue mentoring others.

Since then Ann earned an MA and MFA, taught creative writing and English at Linfield College, and coordinated writing retreats for adults and high school students. She is a writer in her own right: her manuscript, Isn’t Forty Kind of Old for That?, explores the challenges of coming late to motherhood. 

After her oldest son went through the college application process, Ann began mentoring other high school students through the process. She knows how daunting it can be, especially the challenge of writing a compelling application essay. “Sometimes when there is a lot riding on what we write, it’s easy to freeze up, but if we can find a story we want to tell, our voice comes alive. It is such a pleasure to help students find their story and get the passion on the page.” She looks forward to working with you to help you find your voice and create your best work, whether it’s a college application essay or a literary analysis. She’ll even help you have fun doing it!

Qualifications:

  • 11 years teaching American literature and creative writing at the college level (Linfield College, Portland Community College, Florida State University)
  • 2 years mentoring high school juniors and seniors through the college admission process
  • Extensive public speaking experience (classroom presentations, keynote speeches, panel discussions, press conferences, Congressional testimony)
  • BA in History (Carleton College), MA in English (Florida State University), MFA in Creative Writing (Rainier Writing Workshop)

Ana Michalowsky

English, ESL, Humanities, College Admissions & Test Prep (Grades 9-12+)

Ana Michalowsky: English, ESL, Humanities, The College Admissions Essay, & Test Prep Tutor at Emergent Education Portland

Ana knew she wanted to teach from the moment she started kindergarten at Catlin Gabel. She went on to earn her BA in Writing in 3 years at Johns Hopkins University, followed by her MFA at Pacific University. “I absorbed not only the material, but the ways in which my teachers taught. I gained new appreciation for learning itself as a means to constantly improve myself.” As a college student, Ana traveled abroad to teach English in Morocco, conduct anthropological field work in Nepal and study Buddhist history and philosophy in India. “Travel is it’s own kind of education. It enriched me with learning in a way that school could not.”

Since returning to Portland, Ana has dedicated herself to teaching. She guides high schoolers through the college essay, prepares them for the SAT, and helps them and middle schoolers master the art of essay-writing. “Whenever helping a student, I seek personalized strategies that empower them to overcome challenges and realize their goals, focusing on continued growth beyond external markers of success.”

In addition to supporting high school and middle school students, Ana leads writing workshops for the broader Portland community. As a teacher and board member at the People’s Colloquium, she makes writing more accessible to students through free, connection-based classes. “As with my college essay students, I focus on building authentic relationships and offering actionable feedback to capture each writer’s unique voice.”

Qualifications: 

  • 4 years of teaching experience, including the college essay, SAT and ACT English, ESL English, essay-writing, and creative writing classes and workshops
  • MFA in Writing from Pacific University (2019) 
  • CELTA certificate in English language teaching from Cambridge English. (2017)
  • BA with Honors in Writing from Johns Hopkins University (2015) 

Siena Hertafeld

Language Arts, Proofreading & Editing, Executive Skills, Math, Music (Grades K-10)

Siena inherited her love of teaching from both her parents. Since her junior year at Oberlin College, she has continuously held various roles as a teacher, co-teacher, and tutor for students across grade levels and subjects. She is also a singer-songwriter and regularly attends workshops to hone her writing and editing skills. She holds a master’s degree in music teaching and taught elementary music for 4 years before deciding to prioritize her own musical career. 

Alongside her music career, coming back to tutoring has allowed Siena to keep one foot in the world of education. She is grateful to still have those student connections and be a facilitator of self discovery, learning, and growth.  “I love getting to know my students not just as learners, but as people. I aspire to help them take ownership of their learning and find meaning in achieving their goals.”

Qualifications:

  • 7 years of teaching experience, including Music, Reading, Writing, and Math with students of all ages.
  • BA in Music & Psychology (Oberlin College and Conservatory) 
  • MA in Music Teaching (Oberlin College and Conservatory)

Katie Dillon

English, Math, French, Executive Skills (Grades K-10)

Katie has a spirit of adventure and love of learning. Having traveled to 11 different countries and taught in subjects ranging from French to Rock Climbing, Katie provides diverse and holistic teaching techniques that can be tailored to any individual’s needs. She empowers young learners in their existing strengths and helps them develop additional tools to thrive. Katie has always loved practical applications of math, making the conceptual concrete, identifying patterns and drawing parallels between seemingly unrelated topics. “I’m excited to guide your students to new connections and revelations in their education.”

Katie draws from her Psychology degree in creating a safe space to reduce stress, improve memory and focus, and bring a greater sense of confidence in challenging subjects. “With both learning and teaching, it’s all about setting ourselves up for success!”

Qualifications:

  • 5 years of teaching and leadership experience, including French, Elementary Education, Math & Rock climbing with students aged 5 – 35.
  • BS in Psychology (Oregon State University) 

Alissa Hayes

World Languages, English, ESL & Humanities (All Grade Levels)

Alissa Hayes: English, ESL, Humanites & World Languages Tutor at Emergent Education Portland

Alissa is passionate about world cultures, languages, teaching and learning. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but fell in love with Oregon during her undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon.  After earning her BA in Spanish and International Studies, she had the life-changing opportunity to study abroad in Chile. She went on to teach English to high school students in Spain before moving to Germany to earn her MA in American and Latin American Studies. “I fell in love with another language. At the same time, those three years in Germany put my own culture under the microscope.” 

As both a teacher and a lifelong-learner, Alissa uniquely understands how to implement the most effective learning methods for each individual student. She uses a cross-cultural approach to language learning, bringing her intercultural experience to the table, along with personalized lesson plans catered to students’ needs and interests. “I’m so looking forward to working with you!”

Qualifications:

  • 6 years of international teaching experience, including World Languages, English and ESL
  • MA in American and Latin American Studies from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (2018)
  • BA in Spanish and International Studies from University of Oregon (2014)
  • Currently enrolled in PSU’s GTEP program to become a certified Spanish teacher.

Jared Stoller

Math, Physics, Chemistry (All Grade Levels) 

Jared has had a passion for Math and Science from an early age, always carrying a book with him since he was a toddler. His mother is a teacher, and he would often visit her classroom observing the way students benefitted from one-on-one instruction. Jared began tutoring his friends in high school and continued while studying at University of Connecticut in the Tutoring Center. “I find it rewarding to see others turn struggles into successes.” After earning a B.S. in Mathematics with minors in Physics and Chemistry, Jared moved to Oregon from Long Island, New York to pursue a graduate degree at OHSU.

As a tutor, Jared strives to spark thoughtful discussion and exploration to help bring the subject matter to life. He takes a more collaborative, hands-on approach that students can’t get from the classroom. “Being engaged is at the heart of deep learning. It’s incredible to experience that AHA moment with them and know that my assistance made a difference.”

Qualifications:

  • 4 years of teaching experience, including math, physics, and chemistry with students in high school through college
  • BS in Mathematics with minors in Physics and Chemistry from University of Connecticut (2020)
  • Currently pursuing MS in Medical Physics at OHSU

Rosa Padilla

Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics (All Grade Levels)

Rosa knew from an early age that she enjoyed learning and teaching Math and Science. She studied Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and has worked as an R&D Engineer in the medical field for over 8 years. Rosa began tutoring students while she was in high school and kept it up through college and throughout her engineering career. With over a decade of experience, she continues to help students of all ages build confidence and skills in all things STEM.

Rosa’s passion for math and science is only paralleled by her passion for rock climbing! In addition to tutoring, she currently guides at Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon and enjoys introducing others to a sport where they can build confidence, manage fear, learn technical systems, connect with others, and have fun! “I love seeing students slowly start comprehending concepts as they work through problems. Nothing beats that spark of understanding and the confidence it instills!”

Qualifications:

  • 12 years of tutoring experience, including Math, Chemistry, Biology and Physics with students in elementary school through college
  • BS in Biomedical Engineering (Georgia Tech)

Student Tutors

Our student tutors provide an affordable alternative or supplement to working with one of our professional educators. They can work both independently or as part of a tutoring team, giving us flexibility to design tutoring plans for any need or budget.  Sometimes, learning from peers is the best way to grow. Check out our student tutors below.

Brynn Kan

Student Tutor; English, Spanish, Reading & Writing (All Grade Levels)

Brynn has found comfort in reading and writing for as long as she can remember.  “When I was a child, books gave voice to the complex emotions and thoughts that I did not have the ability to articulate just yet.” In high school, her appreciation grew thanks to a wonderful English teacher. “He revealed to me how much a teacher can truly help others; it extends far beyond just teaching someone the difference between an em dash and a comma (which he did teach me by the way!).” The experience inspired her to become a teacher herself.

Brynn is a current student at The University of California Davis and pursuing a BA in English with a minor in Education. She has experience in the classroom and one-on-one, and works with students of all ages. Brynn strives to cultivate a safe space that emphasizes mental health, empathy, and patience. “My number one priority is to connect with the student. I want to understand how they learn and what makes them feel safe. We all learn differently, we have different backgrounds and cultures and ways of processing information. Learning is personal!”

Shakthi Subramaniam

Student Tutor; Math, Science, English (All Grade Levels)

Shakthi first fell in love with science in middle school, learning about chemistry and problem solving all at once! “I knew that I truly loved science when I realized that the more I learned, the more I wanted to keep learning! Science can really make you appreciate the world around you.” She now finds her passion for learning extending to many different fields of study. As an avid reader and writer, she tries to balance the problem-solving aspects of STEM classes with creativity and expression. “I want my students to feel like every subject has something to offer.”

Shakthi graduated from high school in California and is now a sophomore Biochemistry major at Reed College on the pre-medicine track. She works with students of all ages on all things Math, Science, and English. “Ultimately, my goal is to get students as excited about learning as I am. The right mindset makes all the difference!”

Addy reid

Student Tutor; Math, Science, English (Grades K-8)

Addy discovered her love for math in 6th grade, through a teacher that engaged the class with her humor and gamification. Since then, Addy’s love for math has only grown. “For me, math is a puzzle, and I love being able to break the code.” Addy’s first experiences tutoring were for her sibling. “I love to be helpful when they are having a hard time understanding a concept. It’s so rewarding to see someone learning.” Through this experience she has realized that is it essential to understand a person’s learning style to teach most effectively, in a way that will stick with them.

Addy is a current high school junior at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. She works with students in Elementary and Middle school on all things Math, Science, and English. “I know everyone learns differently, and I do my best to present ideas and ask questions in a way they will understand. If what they are doing in class is not working for them, or they need to hear something put a different way, I can give a new perspective.”

What's in a name?

Personalized. Connected. Emergent.