The Starting Point

An MCTC blog

Meet the Tutors!

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 by francie 1 Comment

Fall Semester is well underway. Some of you have already checked out the TRIO Starting Point Tutoring Center, but for those of you who haven’t, meet our tutors! We’re open Monday-Thursday 9-6, and Friday 9-3. Log onto TutorTrac to make, or cancel, appointments.

maryMary grew up in Minnesota and then left for awhile to attend Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  She taught English after college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then in Istanbul, Turkey.  After living in Austria for a year and doing some traveling around Europe, she returned to Minneapolis where she’s been happy to be since 1972.  She had a number of interesting jobs with Head Start and Prudential before going back to teaching in the mid-80’s. She has a Master’s in Teaching from St. Thomas University in St. Paul.  Traveling has always been a passion with New Zealand and China being favorite trips.  She has a big family living all over the country, a son in Vermont and a daughter in California, so the traveling continues, especially to visit her four dear grandchildren

“By trade” she’s an English teacher, having taught English through Humanities classes (English + social studies + the arts) for over 20 years in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Mary likes the challenge of tutoring almost anything however, with the exception of math and science courses, although the environmental and ecofeminism classes are new favorites.


CoralCoral has been tutoring with Starting Point since Fall 2011.  She has also participated in creating and giving disability, TESOL, and Understanding the Assignment workshops with other tutors at MCTC.  She has extensive experience tutoring and teaching English as a Second Language, in St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, and in Shantou, China.  Coral’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Community Development and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, both from St. Cloud State University. Her thesis focuses on the educational systems of Native Americans and the experiences of Native American English language learners.  She is also knowledgeable about social science/human services subjects and world religions as well as any subject that mainly involves English.

She lives in a global neighborhood.  She is a proponent of eating healthy and living a balanced life.  Coral enjoys the arts of all kinds, people’s pets, traveling, and nature.  She writes intercultural poetry and involves herself in intercultural moral based discussions, trainings, and prayer gatherings.  Coral also has a knowledge of community resources and disability issues.  In her spare time she volunteers at different Twin Cities nonprofits.


MadeleineMadeleine is a chemistry and mathematics tutor at Starting Point. She has a Bachelor’s in History and Sustainability from the University of King’s College, Canada. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Augsburg College. Though she went to college in Canada, she grew up in Minneapolis. She enjoys traveling, cooking, biking, and the occasional Netflix binge.





NelahNelah is a Mathematics tutor at Starting Point. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from The University of Madras, India and her Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from The University of Minnesota. She has lived in the USA for the last 15 years and has gained teaching experience working with diverse students in the inner city, and the East African Charter High School settings. Nelah also helps with tutoring Chemistry. She enjoys spending time with her family and learning traditional classical music.




AnnAnn is a Twin Cities native and was a longtime faculty member at MCTC.  She specialized in teaching students how to handle textbooks they found difficult to read.  Multilingual, Ann also taught ESL at MCTC.  She really knows grammar as it applies to college comp and paper assignments.

Ann truly believes that the achievement gap doesn’t have to exist.  Ann retired to meet the changing needs of her family members, but has badly missed the excitement of watching students learn.  Her most recent college experience as a student is an online hip hop class she took from Oregon State University.




ShondaShonda is a Mathematics tutor at TRIO Starting Point.  She graduated from Dunwoody College in 2013 with an associate’s degree in Mechanical Drafting, after having taken classes in machine tool technology, and some computer science and information technology.  They are originally from Maryland, having moved to Minnesota in 2010.  They enjoy wood and metal crafts, traveling the outdoors, and learning about computers, emerging scientific discoveries, and astrodynamics.





WayneWayne has tutored math and science since 2008:  four years at Normandale Community College and since 2010 with TRIO Starting Point. Wayne graduated summa cum laude from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in math where he later earned his Master of Science in software engineering. Wayne retired in 2008 after twenty years working in Information Technology for Fortune 500 companies as a programmer, team leader, staff manager and senior project manager. While Wayne worked at St. Paul Companies, he was nominated for the Chairman’s Award 7 out of his 10 years. He has also been recognized as Alumnus of the Year from Normandale Community College. Wayne is currently putting the final touches on a novel that he hopes to get published in 2015.



LenLen is a volunteer tutor in math, physics and engineering. Len is originally from Buffalo, New York and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, in Cambridge, MA.  After graduation, he worked in a variety of engineering disciplines: aircraft inertial navigation systems, analog device design for missile and sonobouy applications, optical character recognition, and computer design and development.  Tasks included proposal writing and presentations to US Government agencies, electronic design and development, technical program management, and manufacturing and field support.  Senior management positions at CDC (Control Data Corporation) included Director of Engineering, OCR Division, General Manager of Washington Area Operations, and General Manager/Director of Engineering of Super Computer Engineering.

Hobbies include Toastmasters (served as District Six Governor, director of 250 plus club across Minnesota and southwestern Ontario, Canada), designated as Distinguished Toastmaster (the highest designation in Toastmasters), parliamentary procedure (served on Board of Directors of the Minnesota State Association of Parliamentarians), SeniorNet instructor for computer image processing, genealogy, and PowerPoint (served as chairman of Board of Directors during the founding stages of the program), sailing (sailed the Pacific from San Francisco to Sea of Cortes, to Hawaii and back to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, two of us on a 46 ft. sailboat), genealogy (have a data base of over 40,000 relatives of myself and my wife), photography, gardening and landscape design.

As a first generation college graduate in my family, mentors made a big difference in my life, helping me earn scholarships to both high school and college.  I feel programs such as Starting Point are critical to the students they serve and deserve our support

Interesting facts:

One of my patents was featured in an article with a picture in the New York Times. One of the computers developed under my direction was recognized as the fastest in the world in the Guinness Book of Records. Have lived in: Buffalo, NY, Boston, MA, Long Island, NY, Champaign, IL, Rockville, MD, and Plymouth, MN. Have had significant business dealings in England, Germany, Amsterdam, and Japan.


KeithKeith is a mathematics major at MCTC. He is originally from Kenosha, WI and moved to the Twin Cities area in 2010. Keith is an artist and has worked professionally as a designer and muralist. He loves creativity, and enjoys opportunities to exercise his own ability and take in the creativity of others. He values knowledge, enjoys the learning process, and wishes to see everyone succeed in their studies. Keith started at MCTC with almost no mathematical knowledge and is currently taking Calculus 1. He is beginning his third year at this institution and, after achieving his Associate’s Degree, intends to continue on to his Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Ph.D. He is a firm believer that anyone can learn anything they desire; that no one is intrinsically more intelligent than anyone else, and that any problem encountered in the process of learning can be overcome. Through working with other students in a diverse environment, he sees tutoring as an opportunity to both contribute to the MCTC community and gain new and different perspectives on what he has learned. Keith tutors Math 60, 70, 80, Pre-calculus 1, pre-calculus 2, Astronomy, Environmental Science, and Ethics.


GinaGina is a Business Management Major at MCTC, she started classes in the Fall of 2015 with the goal of finishing an Associated Degree by Spring of 2017. After, she hopes to transfer to a 4-year University to obtain a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and also hopefully a PhD in Economics. Gina is originally from Mexico and has lived in Minnesota since she was eight years old. She previously worked at UPS, she can give you tips on how to lift a package properly in order to avoid injury.  She loves the outdoors, hiking, and just walking around town finding new places to explore. Another one of her hobbies is fish-keeping, currently she has a 30 gallon tank, a 10 gallon tank, and a breeder tank for her live bearing Gold dust Molly fish fry. Her two sisters and nephew help take care of her mollies, apple snail, and an elderly cat. Gina loves to learn about anything and everything, give her a topic and she will learn everything there is to know about it by the end of the week. Gina currently tutors Reading, Writing, and Business.


KhadroKhadro, or Kay, is a second year college student who grew up in San Diego, California and moved to Minnesota approximately five years ago. Her major is currently undecided although she is thinking about law, English, and journalism. Khadro’s hobbies include writing, gardening, and meditating. She also loves to read poetry and books. Her favorite authors include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and occasionally Rumi’s poetry. Khadro tutors reading, writing, and creative writing.




Saul was born in Madison, WI, Sauloriginally but has lived in Minneapolis for four years. He’s been going to MCTC for about three years or so now.  Saul graduated from high school in 2007 and took about six years to figure out what he was passionate about. If he’d gone to college right out of high school he definitely wouldn’t enjoy it like he does now, so he’s glad he took the time off. Currently, Saul is in school to become a clinical social worker, or maybe clinical psychologist, so that he can practice psychotherapy like his mom. Saul worked as a writing tutor in the Learning Center since 2014, but at the beginning of Fall 2016 started working as a tutor in TRIO Starting Point, which is really exciting. In addition to school, Saul really enjoys reading and writing, particularly philosophical subjects and history. He likes classical music and tries to attend the symphony or recitals whenever possible. Saul likes to meditate if the weather is nice, and loves boxing, which is his favorite sport, and which he’s been training in for about ten years.



One Response

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