Senior Tutoring Staff

Teddy O. Uzamere, Founder & Head Instructor at Teddy’s Tutoring NYC

Teddy is a Genetic Neuroscience Researcher at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. His professional background is in the field of Addiction Neuroscience. In collaboration with his lab, Teddy uses a molecular and genetic lens to help characterize novel therapies for Substance-Use Disorder by investigating the dynamic nature by which illicit drugs affect brain neurochemistry. Teddy also freelances as a private academic educator with noteworthy results as a STEM, Writing and Test Prep tutor.

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Aya Osman, Ph.D, Senior Science Instructor

Aya is a Neuroscientist at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital investigating the role that resident bacteria in the human gut play in the progression of neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aya enjoys connecting with her students in one-on-one and group teaching environments to foster an appreciation for the complexities of early brain development. Aya has a passion for watering young minds in their interest of science, and passing the fruits of her knowledge and experience to all who share her curiosity. Aya is a seasoned STEM educator with an outstanding track record for supporting students in the Biological and Psychological Sciences.

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Jack Jenkins, M.Sc., Math, Coding and Test Prep Instructor

Jack Jenkins is a Ph.D. candidate in theoretical physics at Indiana University – Bloomington, developing techniques in particle physics which test forces and matter at the fundamental level. Jack combines his interests in theoretical physics, mathematics, and computer programming by making predictions for elementary subatomic processes, using neural networks trained on low-statistics experimental data. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate career, Jack has been an instructor for college level STEM courses in physics, math, astronomy, and computer science. Jack has also applied his passion for STEM education outside of the classroom, taking on mentorship and tutoring roles for high school and junior high school students interested in pursuing STEM careers. Jack also has a robust background in tutoring for standardized and admissions test prep in NYC.

Amy Gutierrez, MSc, Senior Science & Coding Instructor

Amy is a Computational Researcher at the Department of Pharmacology at Mount Sinai Hospital using mathematical algorithms to model the human cardiac system for the development of rare heart disease treatments. Amy has also flourished in the field of Robotics & Biomechanical Engineering. Amy uses her engineering expertise to build a human exoskeleton designed to complement the exercise regimen of NASA astronauts during space deployment. Amy is a skilled STEM educator with years of experience in supporting students in early to advanced Math, Physics, and Engineering courses.

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Randall Ellis, Senior Science & Coding Instructor

Randy is a Data Scientist at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai using Machine Learning algorithms to analyze large genetic datasets taken from the brains of opioid overdose victims. Randy combines his passions for Neuroscience, Computer Programming, and Data Analysis to map out the complex genetic networks that go awry in the brains of those addicted to opioids for the development of targeted therapies against addiction. Randy is also an accomplished coding coach with notable results supporting students in coding and computer science courses from Data Structures and Algorithms to programming languages including Python, R, and MATLAB.

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Veronica Martinez Vargas, PA-S, Senior Math, Physics & Spanish Instructor

Veronica is a Physician Assistant student at the CUNY School of Medicine PA Program in Harlem, New York. Veronica graduated from Salisbury University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Chemistry. Veronica started her tutoring journey as a sophomore in college, tutoring math and physics to college and high school students. In addition to her strong background in STEM, she is also passionate about teaching Spanish, using her native language skills. Veronica finds joy in helping students find their ‘Eureka’ moment! She believes all learning styles are powerful and that there is more than one way to present new knowledge!

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Ugochukwu “Ugo” Emmanuel Okolie, Senior Science Instructor

Ugo is a Honors Calculus and Biology Professor at the Northwood Boarding School in Lake Placid, New York. Ugo’s passion for teaching began in his hometown of Lagos City, Nigeria, where he mentored elementary and middle school students struggling with advanced math and science concepts at the Brilliant Child College of Lagos. Ugo further developed his love of STEM education at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology while mentoring underclassmen seeking guidance in their Calculus and Genetics courses. While in University, Ugo’s leadership skills extended past the classroom, as he led the Franklin and Marshall Men’s Soccer team to a Centennial Conference Championship his Junior year while winning All-American Honors. Ugo claims the title of Head Soccer Coach at the Northwood Boarding School and advocates for the use of athletics in building the confidence and perseverance of his students on the field, in the classroom, and in their everyday lives! 

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Amanda Ciardiello, Senior Science, Writing and Test Prep Instructor

Amanda is a Clinical Researcher at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center working on a multi-center study for the development of Multiple Myeloma Cancer therapies. Amanda directly oversees the outpatient clinics involved in the study in order to assess patient response to treatment. Scoring in the top 97th percentile of MCAT test takers, Amanda plans to use her experiences in biomedical research to make an impact in the field of Oncology as a Clinician-Scientist. Amanda is a gifted STEM, Writing and Test Prep Coach with a passion for building standardized test taking skills.

Stephanie Caligiuri, Ph.D, Senior Science Instructor 

Stephanie is a Neuroscientist at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital investigating the role of nicotine use in the development of Type-2 Diabetes. In collaboration with her team, Stephanie uses DNA sequencing and gene-editing techniques to identify the effects nicotine has on the brain, and how these effects disrupt the brain’s coordination with the pancreas when regulating blood sugar. Stephanie is also an outspoken public health advocate and has served as a guest speaker on popular Canadian talk shows, including CBC Radio, CTV News, and Global News, translating medical knowledge to the public in regards to high blood pressure, heart disease, and the value of nutrition. Stephanie uses her social media alias, The People’s Scientist, as a platform to discuss breakthroughs in medical research, neuroscience discovery and nutrition! Check out her posts on the Teddy’s Tutoring Science Blog!  

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Catherine Gambardella, Early Education Specialist

Catherine is a young teaching professional working in the New York City Charter School system. Catherine has experience teaching first to fourth grade students in math, reading, writing and phonics. In calibration with her team of educators, Catherine creates and integrates behavioral management systems into her lessons to help improve the intangible skills needed for her students to excel in academia-attention to detail, patience, and time management. Catherine also freelances as a private coach and early education specialist with a drive for sculpting the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

Zainab Oketokoun, Senior Science and Test Prep Instructor

Zainab is a Molecular Neuroscience Researcher at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital exploring chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, and their influence on normal brain functions. In coordination with her research team, Zainab performs DNA sequencing experiments to better characterize the neurobiological mechanisms the body uses to regulate proper breakdown of food and energy, and how these mechanisms may be altered in cases of diabetes. Zainab is an NYC native with an extensive background coaching students in STEM courses and in preparation for NYC Standardized Exams.

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Jacqueline-Marie Ferland, Ph.D, Senior Science Teaching Instructor

Jacquie is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital investigating the impact of adolescent cannabis exposure on long-term brain development. In collaboration with her behavioral neuroscience team, Jacquie unravels the neurobiological mysteries behind adolescent THC experiences and their tendency to cause psychiatric-like symptoms later in adulthood. In addition to her passion for science, Jacquie has a robust love for teaching. Throughout her career as a scientist, Jacquie has gained over ten years of experience instructing and mentoring students interested in brain science.

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Emmy Sakakibara, M.S., Senior Science Teaching Instructor

Emmy is a Molecular Neuroscience Researcher at the Friedman Brain Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital investigating the role of genetic mutations in the brain and the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. In collaboration with her research team, Emmy conducts genetic sequencing and cell imaging experiments for the development of novel Alzheimer’s Disease therapies. Outside of her time in the laboratory, Emmy enjoys teaching and serves as an instructor for MedDOCs, an after-school program geared towards mentoring NYC high school students interested in pursuing careers in science and medicine. Emmy will be attending medical school in the U.S., where she seeks to develop her career as a clinician-scientist and educator. Emmy is a skilled STEM instructor with extensive teaching backgrounds in both the U.S. and Japan!

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Catharine Mielnik, Ph.D, Senior Science Teaching Instructor

Catharine is a Biomedical Scientist in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, Canada, developing treatments for a number of psychiatric disorders such as autism, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Catharine has an extensive background in teaching and mentoring students who are curious about the brain and mental illness. In her past 10 years in Academia, Catharine has served as a teaching instructor and a laboratory mentor for hundreds of students taking a variety of courses in brain science. Catharine’s passion for neuroscience education has been a constant throughout her career in research, as she strives to inspire a fascination for the inner workings of the brain in all of her students in the classroom and in the lab! 

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