Over 600 tutoring hours

Shawn M.

Lebanon, OR


Encouraging and knowledgeable science and math tutor

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 11/30/11
4.8 average from 211 ratings
Great tutor
— Kim, Murrieta, CA on 10/1/15


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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Chemical engineering
Cornell University


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (Chemical engineering)

Cornell University (PhD)

About Shawn

Tutoring and teaching experience:

In high school, during my junior and senior years, I was a tutor and mentor to younger students on the school math team. I tutored my fellow teammates during after-school problem solving sessions in algebra, trigonometry, geometry, linear equations, word problems, etc. We competed in math ‘meets’ with other schools once a week, where each student solved three math questions in 10 minutes in one of six math disciplines. Thus, I know how to solve math problems correctly and quickly and how to teach those methods to students. Accuracy and speed are both important when taking standardized exams such as the SAT and ASVAB which contain mathematics questions.

As a first year graduate student, I was a teaching assistant for a chemical separations course and a unit operations lab course in the chemical engineering department. I led a weekly two-hour problem solving session for the separations course for about 20 students. For the lab course (15 students), I gave pre-lab quizzes and assisted students with lab procedures and data analysis methods. As a teaching assistant, I also held a twice-weekly office hour for both courses to help students one-on-one with difficulties understanding chemical concepts and with roadblocks to writing lab reports. Thus, I have a lot of experience helping students in a one-on-one setting with scientific and mathematical concepts and the application of those concepts to solving problems in chemistry and other science subjects.

I have also worked as a biotech research scientist. I was a postdoctoral researcher for 4 years at UCSD and the Burnham Institute, both in La Jolla, CA. I worked for 6 years in the biotech industry in San Diego, applying computational chemistry methods. I am currently (Fall 2010) teaching an introductory chemistry course (CHEM100) at Mt. San Jacinto Community College in Menifee. There are 32 students in the class. As a teacher, I work on a regular basis with students one-on-one to answer their questions about chemical theories and concepts and the correct solutions to particular chemical and mathematical problems.

Approach to tutoring:

I believe people generally have an innate sense of curiosity about the natural world around them. I strive to tap and nurture that sense in my teaching and tutoring, through the use of relevant demonstrations, story pictures, and current events. Solving problems in science and mathematics is a key to learning. Students I tutor will gain experience at solving problems in an organized way both during our tutoring sessions and on their own between tutoring sessions. The method I use to solve problems (and which I teach to students I tutor) starts with noting what is known and unknown about a particular system and then deciding what equations, rules, and concepts can be applied to help solve for the unknown. Use of a solution map (a drawing of the key parts of a problem and the solution process) is very helpful in arriving at the correct solution and answer to the problem.

I strive to use a variety of styles (visual, written, verbal, tactile, etc.) to present and explain scientific and mathematical concepts during tutoring. One of my goals in tutoring is to discover the ways in which each student learns most efficiently. Then I apply teaching methods that mesh with the discovered ‘best learning style’. Encouragement and praise for the student are a major part of my tutoring style as I feel this positive feedback builds confidence and makes learning fun.

Educational background:

RHAM High School, Hebron, CT - college prep curriculum including AP Chemistry and Biology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY - B.S. Chemical Engineering, minor in Economics, GPA: 3.57/4.0

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, minor in Biochemistry

Undergraduate courses completed (related to the subjects I tutor in)

General Chemistry (2 semesters)
Organic Chemistry (2 semesters),
Chemical Engineering Lab (2 semesters)
Physical Chemistry for Engrs. (2 sem.)
Chemistry of the environment
Physics (3 semesters)
Thermodynamics (2 semesters)
Linear equations (1 semester)
Calculus (2 semesters)
Differential equations (1 semester)

Graduate courses completed

Protein Structure and Function
Statistical Mechanics
Principles of Biochemistry
Physical Chemistry of Proteins
Biosynthesis of Macromolecules (DNA and RNA)
Intermediate Biochemical Methods (biochemistry lab)
Tutoring and teaching experience:

In high school, during my junior and senior years, I was a tutor and mentor to younger students on the school math team. I tutored my fellow teammates during after-school problem solving sessions in
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24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Lebanon, OR 97355
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Great tutor"

- Kim, Murrieta, CA on 10/1/15

"Patient and Helpful"

- Kylie, Menifee, CA on 9/29/15

"Fast and efficient"

- Melissa, Winchester, CA on 8/27/15

"Great tutor!"

- Lisa, Murrieta, CA on 6/6/14

"Great Tutor!"

- Janna, Lake Elsinore, CA on 5/28/14

"Great Tutor"

- Christina, Temecula, CA on 9/11/13

"Excellent & Patient Tutor!"

- Jennifer, Temecula, CA on 4/13/13

"Great teacher! Excellent communicator!"

- Karol, Winchester, CA on 4/1/13
ACT Math, Algebra 2, Calculus,
Differential Equations, Geometry,
Linear Algebra, Precalculus, SAT Math, Trigonometry
Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry,
Organic Chemistry, Physical Science, Physics
Test Preparation:
ACT Math, GRE, SAT Math

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


I understand well and can teach the methods of taking derivatives of functions and evaluating the derivative expressions, as well as integration of functions, with applications to determining volumes and areas under curves.


I have and can teach with detail and needed equations, the subtopics of compound nomenclature, modern atomic theory, the mole concept, balancing chemical reaction equations, stoichiometry, chemical bonding, reaction thermodynamics, oxidation-reduction processes,acid-base behavior, chemical equilibrium, and the kinetic gas theory and gas laws.


Geometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with 1, 2, and 3-dimensional objects. The key properties that are quantified include perimeter, area, surface area, and volume. I have tutored students to understand the terminology and calculations of these properties, as well as how to do proofs of congruency. Geometrical figures I have taught include line systems, circles, triangles, polygons, cones, spheres, and cylinders.


The subtopics of physics that I have tutored include the kinetics of one and two dimensional motion (classical mechanics including forces, work, energy, acceleration, velocity, etc.), rotation motion, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and thermodynamics including changes of state.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Chemical engineering
Cornell University


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (Chemical engineering)

Cornell University (PhD)

Great tutor — My son indicated Shawn helped him with homework and questions he had at that moment. He told me he had a test today and felt the tutoring helped him. That's great! I think we will periodically have Shawn come for a lesson as things get tougher for my son. I'm on a budget so we can't do this every week although I am sure that really helps kids. I appreciate the time and the help that Shawn gave my ...

— Kim, Murrieta, CA on 10/1/15

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $40.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Shawn will travel within 40 miles of Lebanon, OR 97355.