OUR STORY

THE TUNGSTEN DIFFERENCE

Tungsten Prep is a family-owned, local company dedicated to helping students succeed and find joy in learning

Tungsten Prep was founded in 2017 as a one-woman operation.  We quickly discovered an unmet need. Families indicated that they wanted something that was missing — a tutor that was more than a short-term homework helper or test prep coach.  They wanted to work with one partner — someone who knows their community understands their family, embraces their student’s unique learning style and is skilled enough to tutor more than one single subject.

Tungsten Prep reflects our leadership’s values for success as parents and managers — rational, realistic, results-oriented, compassionate and, especially, family-centric.  

We believe students thrive when they find that just-right tutor who understands their learning style, inspires them to work harder.  And, hopefully, makes them laugh.

 Our team is the key to that mission.  We are diverse in every sense of that word – from our backgrounds to our expertise to our teaching styles.  And we are proud to offer role models whose own life experiences and professional accomplishments encourage students to rethink their preconceived limits and dream big.

Sarah Gonzales

CO-OWNER AND CEO

Sarah started her first tutoring “company” at 16, darting around her hometown to help classmates with their homework.  As a Harvard graduate, she has taught English to immigrants, led Kaplan SAT classes, and co-authored the first-ever backpacker’s guide to southern Africa.

Over 16 years in the Foreign Service she served on four continents – helping Liberia resolve a crushing post-civil war debt load and establishing scholarship programs that allowed Afghan girls to attend school.  She lives in Washington with Robby, her husband and business partner, and their Belgium-raised babies, who insist that chocolate is an essential food group.

Robby Gonzales

CO-OWNER AND COO

Throughout a 17-year career in the Foreign Service, Robby focused on human rights, good governance and support for multilateral institutions.  He negotiated NATO policies with Allies, helped stand up an election commission in Liberia, and led the re-design of IT systems that identified human rights abuses among foreign militaries.  He has found a way to merge his management expertise, tech savvy and focus on accountability into a highly-effective methodology that creates a roadmap to student independence in the classroom and beyond.  A graduate of the University of Texas, Robby insists the Longhorn fight song is a suitable lullaby for his two young kids.

Sheena Martin

Parent Outreach Coordinator

Sheena is the motor that keeps the Tungsten Prep engine running! A veteran of multiple start-ups, you can rely on this dedicated working mom’s exceptional organizational skills and and understanding of student needs to help families find that just-right tutor and navigate the alphabet soup of SAT, ACT, APs or SSAT. Have a billing question? Sheena is here to help.

A native of Virginia, Sheena has lived around the country with her active duty military husband and children. Her philosophy is that no one-size-fits-all approach works for families or for students, and her mission is to offer parents practical and candid advice that keeps our families build confidence inside and outside the classroom. She also believes that supporting teenagers requires a good sense of humor and aims to keep parents smiling!

MEET THE TEAM

Science, Math, and English

Allison Powell

A self-described “outgoing introvert,” Allison loves to connect with her students by finding common experiences and interests — whether its traveling, sampling adventurous foods or playing sand volleyball on the Potomac. A PhD candidate in immunology, she straddles the worlds of STEM and public policy, which makes her the ideal fit for students who need help in science, math, and English. As a high school sailing instructor, Allison discovered a gift for explaining technical concepts and maintaining students’ composure in a high-pressure environment. She recognizes the power of great tutoring, having fond memories of the tutor who helped her develop the study habits and focus to juggle volleyball, driving lessons and AP Chemistry, and her drive to pay it forward makes her uniquely committed to student success.

Algebra | Geometry | Pre-Calculus

Bushra Shamma

Bushra’s lively and relatable approach to tutoring is informed by her two decades of experience teaching high school Math and her experience as a banking and IT executive. Bushra taught Math at some of the most rigorous schools in Washington and New York, including The Potomac School, The Spence School and The Dalton School, and has experience guiding both the most gifted math learners and inspiring those who have never really seen the point of Math.

She holds a Master’s in Education from Harvard and an MBA from MIT. When she is not teaching, Bushra is an accomplished artist whose work has been featured at juried shows both in Washington and internationally.

AP English | History | Spanish

Caitlin Jordan

Caitlin is a lover of all things literary. She is pursuing her Master’s in English Literature at Georgetown University. Caitlin has taught Middle School and High School English in Florida and Idaho, where she served as a full-time residential advisor and summer camp counselor. Her experience both living and working with adolescents gives her an empathy for her students’ goals and interests, and makes sure she keeps them laughing. From the passionate reader to the reluctant writer, Caitlin loves meeting her students where they are and helping them find their inner bookworm. Whether they are vexed by grammar or bored by literature, Caitlin loves building her students’ understanding of the English language from the ground up. Watch out: they may even learn to love Hawthorne and Dickens!

AP Chemistry | AP Calculus | AP Statistics

Carol Kong

Carol is the go-to tutor for juniors and seniors with that terrifying mountain of AP STEM classes.
She currently teaches introductory chemistry labs for non-science majors at American University, while pursuing a Masters degree in Chemistry. With humor and patience, she loves helping students connect the classroom and their daily lives. As an undergraduate at SUNY Plattsburgh, she ran the school’s busy Math tutoring center, where she coached hundreds of students through the perils of Calculus and Statistics. Carol is the right tutor for any student who needs a confidence boost and wants their AP classes delivered with a side of unflappable calm and a huge smile.

AP Physics | Math

Charlezetta Stokes

Charley makes Physics a lot less scary. And maybe even a little fun. A veteran of Detroit’s most prestigious STEM high school, Charley can empathize with her students’ journey through the sometimes-terrifying realm of AP Physics and Calculus, and her passion for science helps them come out the other side with a newfound sense of wonder for the natural world. Ask her how she came to love vectors.

Charley is completing her PhD in Physics at Howard, where her research focuses on nanomaterials. From the Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratories, to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, to NIST’s Center for Neutron Center, Charley’s work has taken her to the intersection between Physics and daily life. Her unmatched passion helps her students recognize that science is a part of life, and when we put our fears aside, there is nothing we cannot master.

French | SSAT | Middle School General Studies

Emily Somberg

Emily was raised halfway between Washington and Paris and serves as linguistic and cultural interpreter for her students. She helps students get to the bottom of French grammar, encouraging them to understand and not merely memorize. She has a particular knack with our middle school students, and her patient and systematic approach helps those newer to homework refine their test taking, critical thinking and time management skills and prepare for the rigors of high school.

Emily is currently a Presidential Fellow pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology from George Washington University. Emily also works as a Graduate Student Coordinator at the George Washington University’s Multicultural Student Services Center.

Foreign Languages | Math

Erik Roodzant

You’ll never call them dead languages again! Erik loves helping students bring the Classics alive. Let him connect Caesar with modern politics and Homer with Star Wars! Erik is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at Georgetown. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he tutored students in Math, English and test prep. He is the ideal tutor for the Classics student who also needs help with other subjects and wants support on study skills.

English | Science

Erin Conn

Erin’s passion for science education has led her to become an unexpected role model for gender equity and diversity in STEM and higher education. After some timely tweets on women in science went viral, she was able to raise funds to establish the Women in Science and Education organization at Georgetown, where she is completing her PhD in Biochemistry.

Her love of teaching is driven by the extraordinary mentors she herself has enjoyed, and she hopes to pay that forward by inspiring scientific curiosity in a new generation of high school students.

Science | Math | English

Joan Reger

We defy you to find a subject Joan can’t teach. Joan is pursuing a PhD in Biology at Georgetown. But she first fell in love with the sciences as a high school student, when great teachers helped her discover the excitement of researching our biological world. She loves tutoring because it helps her pay that forward, and she mentors students with great patience and warmth, gently encouraging them to find their own full potential. A true humanist, Joan is as much at home in the realm of writing and literature as she is in the sciences, and she logged hundreds of hours tutoring high school students in both STEM subjects and English while attending Emory University. She is the ideal tutor for students who want a versatile and confidence-boosting guide and welcome support in multiple subjects.

SAT and ACT Prep | Curriculum Development

Kristen Mastropole

From the Arctic to the Galapagos, Kristen has crossed the oceans as a climate scientist with a passion for biodiversity. She has more than a decade of experience as a tutor, most recently as the director of STEM education at a tutoring center in Hong Kong. Kristen’s breadth of experience with high school students benefits all our students, and she helps design curricula for both standardized tests and general study skills.

And while her research vessels may have taken her to the far corners of the Earth, Kristen always returns to her native DMV, and her students find relevance in her own hometown experiences as a graduate of Georgetown and the Holton-Arms School.

Science | Math | Test Prep

Liam McBride

A chemical engineer, environmentalist, music producer and avid runner, Liam loves applying his wide-ranging interests to helping students find the connection between STEM and their daily lives. His experience supporting non-native English speakers prepare academically for college taught him to explain concepts clearly and listen with empathy, while his background designing SAT and science curricula means he brings a vast toolkit of creative techniques for helping students “get” even the most challenging material. As an undergraduate at Washington University, he ran the running club and found a passion for organizing road races for kids. He loves to help students find discipline and a stronger work ethic through sports. Liam is the right fit for students who need help with a wide range or those who want an enthusiastic coach to spark their inner motivation.

Philosophy | History | Foreign Languages

Matthew Fredericks

Matthew is a true renaissance man with a passion for learning and teaching. An area native, he returns to the DMV after recovering from a travel bug that took him to 59 countries. He studied in Rome, London, Russia and India and taught Math and History for Teach for America in Brooklyn. Participating in a fundraising project to fight human trafficking in West Bengal changed his life, led to divinity studies and, eventually, a five-year stint as assistant pastor in Hong Kong’s oldest church. Never one to sit still, he simultaneously completed a Master’s of Creative Writing. Matthew is engaging and brings a worldly, cosmopolitan perspective to tutoring both the humanities and Math. He is currently at Georgetown University laying the groundwork for doctoral study in the classics. Matthew never achieved his childhood dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan, but he has bicycled across the United States, runs marathons and loves to share his wide-ranging book tastes with his students. His motivation to push his body and mind is mirrored in his knack for pushing students to reach outside their comfort zone while ensuring that they come away with greater confidence and an improved understanding of the subject at hand.

Biology | Test Prep | Science

Maryam Yamadi

Maryam is a warm and patient mentor who is adept at helping students find their inner confidence. At American University, she taught Biology lab courses to non-science majors, learning to communicate complex concepts to students intimidated by science. By day, she does research on stem cell development at the National Institutes of Health. Maryam believes students can tap into their creative spirit by asking and answering questions about the world around them. Maryam relaxes by studying the Quran, painting and doing outdoor sports.

Science | Math

Oliver Broadrick

Oliver loves bringing his infectious energy and love of learning to students. As a Division 1 rower, he juggles a demanding academic and extracurricular schedule and loves to help students tackle lofty challenges and meet their own goals. Oliver uses his experience designing both video games and apps to show students the exciting real-world pay off of excelling in STEM subjects. This GW University Computer Science major is an outdoors enthusiast who grew up on a Maine farm and believes in finding balance through experiencing nature. He is the right tutor for students who need help in multiple STEM subjects or want a high-energy cheerleader in their corner.

Science | Math

Preston Griffin

Preston loves to find that unique way to inspire each student and give them the confidence and skills to manage a heavy STEM course load. He has been a middle school basketball coach and a college chemistry instructor – a variety of experiences that help him motivate students with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. Preston is a chemistry PhD candidate at GW University, and loves to recharge with reading, hiking and video games. A lifelong learner, Preston loves to swap book recommendations and share his own slow but steady efforts to learn Portuguese in his spare time!

English | Science | Test Prep

Rachel Zayas

Rachel wants students to believe in the power of science to change lives. She is the founder of a biotech start-up that is developing tools for early-stage cancer detection, and she shares with her students both the exciting real-world applications of science, and the grit and determination it takes to follow your dreams.

Rachel has taught Biology and Chemistry at American University, where she received a Master’s in Biotechnology, and middle school science at charter schools in DC.

Rachel’s versatility makes her the ideal tutor for students who want overall support in science, Math, English and general study skills. Rachel also brings her entrepreneur’s sensibility to Tungsten Prep: when she is not inspiring students, she leads our business development and operations.

Science | Math | Test Prep | AP Computer Science

Ramsin Yadgar

Ramsin’s lifelong passion for the sciences led him to an early career as an engineer, but his interest in helping people brought him to medicine. He draws on his varied experiences – from a Fortune 500 company to Silicon Valley start-ups to clinical work with patients – to empower his students to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit, be resilient in the face of obstacles, and approach teamwork with compassion and humility. As a current medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine, he channels his passion for academia by tutoring students in both the sciences and humanities.

Ramsin began his tutoring career in high school and through college, and he hasn’t stopped since. A proud Californian, he believes the diversity of his home state and his experience working with a wide range of students enables him to adjust his instructional style to suit the unique needs of each learner. Ramsin is the right tutor for students who need support across a wide range of subject, for those tackling multiple AP classes, and for students who need a motivating role model to help them improve their organizational skills and spark their interest in school.

History | Foreign Languages

Stanley Maxson

For Stan, history is not about memorizing dates and names. It is an opportunity to develop empathy for the challenges people and societies faced and to draw from their mistakes and triumphs to better understand our present. Stan’s dynamic approach to the web of history, politics and government helps students build critical thinking skills and master the arts of research and writing.

Stan is a PhD candidate in U.S. History at the University of Maryland, where his research focuses on the unexpected and creative ways African-Americans organized during Reconstruction to build a collective political voice. He has taught undergraduate History and Writing, and even taught English in South Korea. Stan is the ideal tutor for students drowning in dense textbook history, or those who need help with reading comprehension, research papers or analytical writing.

Science | Math | English

Tyler Rippel

Tyler understands what it’s like for students who struggle. A self-described procrastinator and easily distracted student in high school, Tyler has made it his mission to help a wide range of learners find study habits that work for them and passions that consume their attention. Now a doctoral candidate in Biology and Ecology at Georgetown, Tyler is as comfortable in a salt marsh as he is in the classroom.

Tyler was a star middle-distance runner at Villanova, so he also understands how to help busy athletes juggle schoolwork, sleep, and sports. Tyler is the right fit for students who need help across a variety of subjects, and those who need support in developing better time management and study skills.

Arabic

Zahraa Alnajaar

Zahraa makes learning Arabic a cultural adventure. She believes students learn best when they understand not just the subjects and verbs, but the art, music, geography and history that enriches and informs the language. A veteran teacher with 13 years’ experience, Zahraa is on the cutting edge of using technology and online learning resources to enhance her students’ understanding and enthusiasm for Arabic.

Zahraa is a lecturer in Arabic at American University and teaches classes at both the Middle East Institute and Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. She has a PhD in literature from Aleppo University.

French | Spanish

Elsa Katz

Elsa believes her spirit animal would be the chameleon because it shares her adapting nature. A citizen of the world, Elsa grew up in France, taught in China, and finally landed at George Washington University, where she studied international affairs and taught in the foreign languages department. Elsa is the right fit for French and Spanish students who want their grammar and vocabulary delivered with a strong dose of empathy and cultural understanding.

Math

Tahseen Rabbani

When it comes to math tutoring, Tahseen has taught it all. From pre-algebra to advanced calculus, he inspires numbers enthusiasts and novices to find confidence in those Xs and Ys. Tahseen has designed a math curriculum for a Duke summer program for gifted students and hosted math festivals for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. He didn’t love math until his senior year of high school, when an amazing calculus teacher inspired him. Now, Tahseen is a Ph.D. math student at the University of Maryland. His patient and gregarious style is the right fit for any student who wants to shore up weaknesses in math or tackle the most challenging content.

History | English | Writing | Latin

Rae Grabowski

Rae discovered her life path at age five when she fell in love with The Hobbit and vowed to follow Tolkien in getting a Ph.D. in medieval literature. Two decades later, she is completing doctoral studies at Cornell, where she has taught history, writing, Latin and English literature and composition. Rae’s calm and patient approach draws students out, and her interdisciplinary background inspires pupils to see the sweeping trends in history, literature, and government. She relates well to students who feel frustrated and loves to share hacks to help them unlock their inner organizer.

Science, Math, and English

Allison Powell

A self-described “outgoing introvert,” Allison loves to connect with her students by finding common experiences and interests — whether its traveling, sampling adventurous foods or playing sand volleyball on the Potomac. A PhD candidate in immunology, she straddles the worlds of STEM and public policy, which makes her the ideal fit for students who need help in science, math, and English. As a high school sailing instructor, Allison discovered a gift for explaining technical concepts and maintaining students’ composure in a high-pressure environment. She recognizes the power of great tutoring, having fond memories of the tutor who helped her develop the study habits and focus to juggle volleyball, driving lessons and AP Chemistry, and her drive to pay it forward makes her uniquely committed to student success.

AP Chemistry | AP Calculus | AP Statistics

Carol Kong

Carol is the go-to tutor for juniors and seniors with that terrifying mountain of AP STEM classes.
She currently teaches introductory chemistry labs for non-science majors at American University, while pursuing a Masters degree in Chemistry. With humor and patience, she loves helping students connect the classroom and their daily lives. As an undergraduate at SUNY Plattsburgh, she ran the school’s busy Math tutoring center, where she coached hundreds of students through the perils of Calculus and Statistics. Carol is the right tutor for any student who needs a confidence boost and wants their AP classes delivered with a side of unflappable calm and a huge smile.

AP Physics | Math

Charlezetta Stokes

Charley makes Physics a lot less scary. And maybe even a little fun. A veteran of Detroit’s most prestigious STEM high school, Charley can empathize with her students’ journey through the sometimes-terrifying realm of AP Physics and Calculus, and her passion for science helps them come out the other side with a newfound sense of wonder for the natural world. Ask her how she came to love vectors.

Charley is completing her PhD in Physics at Howard, where her research focuses on nanomaterials. From the Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratories, to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, to NIST’s Center for Neutron Center, Charley’s work has taken her to the intersection between Physics and daily life. Her unmatched passion helps her students recognize that science is a part of life, and when we put our fears aside, there is nothing we cannot master.

English | Science

Erin Conn

Erin’s passion for science education has led her to become an unexpected role model for gender equity and diversity in STEM and higher education. After some timely tweets on women in science went viral, she was able to raise funds to establish the Women in Science and Education organization at Georgetown, where she is completing her PhD in Biochemistry.

Her love of teaching is driven by the extraordinary mentors she herself has enjoyed, and she hopes to pay that forward by inspiring scientific curiosity in a new generation of high school students.

Science | Math | English

Joan Reger

We defy you to find a subject Joan can’t teach. Joan is pursuing a PhD in Biology at Georgetown. But she first fell in love with the sciences as a high school student, when great teachers helped her discover the excitement of researching our biological world. She loves tutoring because it helps her pay that forward, and she mentors students with great patience and warmth, gently encouraging them to find their own full potential. A true humanist, Joan is as much at home in the realm of writing and literature as she is in the sciences, and she logged hundreds of hours tutoring high school students in both STEM subjects and English while attending Emory University. She is the ideal tutor for students who want a versatile and confidence-boosting guide and welcome support in multiple subjects.

SAT and ACT Prep | Curriculum Development

Kristen Mastropole

From the Arctic to the Galapagos, Kristen has crossed the oceans as a climate scientist with a passion for biodiversity. She has more than a decade of experience as a tutor, most recently as the director of STEM education at a tutoring center in Hong Kong. Kristen’s breadth of experience with high school students benefits all our students, and she helps design curricula for both standardized tests and general study skills.

And while her research vessels may have taken her to the far corners of the Earth, Kristen always returns to her native DMV, and her students find relevance in her own hometown experiences as a graduate of Georgetown and the Holton-Arms School.

Science | Math | Test Prep

Liam McBride

A chemical engineer, environmentalist, music producer and avid runner, Liam loves applying his wide-ranging interests to helping students find the connection between STEM and their daily lives. His experience supporting non-native English speakers prepare academically for college taught him to explain concepts clearly and listen with empathy, while his background designing SAT and science curricula means he brings a vast toolkit of creative techniques for helping students “get” even the most challenging material. As an undergraduate at Washington University, he ran the running club and found a passion for organizing road races for kids. He loves to help students find discipline and a stronger work ethic through sports. Liam is the right fit for students who need help with a wide range or those who want an enthusiastic coach to spark their inner motivation.

Biology | Test Prep | Science

Maryam Yamadi

Maryam is a warm and patient mentor who is adept at helping students find their inner confidence. At American University, she taught Biology lab courses to non-science majors, learning to communicate complex concepts to students intimidated by science. By day, she does research on stem cell development at the National Institutes of Health. Maryam believes students can tap into their creative spirit by asking and answering questions about the world around them. Maryam relaxes by studying the Quran, painting and doing outdoor sports.

Science | Math

Oliver Broadrick

Oliver loves bringing his infectious energy and love of learning to students. As a Division 1 rower, he juggles a demanding academic and extracurricular schedule and loves to help students tackle lofty challenges and meet their own goals. Oliver uses his experience designing both video games and apps to show students the exciting real-world pay off of excelling in STEM subjects. This GW University Computer Science major is an outdoors enthusiast who grew up on a Maine farm and believes in finding balance through experiencing nature. He is the right tutor for students who need help in multiple STEM subjects or want a high-energy cheerleader in their corner.

Science | Math

Preston Griffin

Preston loves to find that unique way to inspire each student and give them the confidence and skills to manage a heavy STEM course load. He has been a middle school basketball coach and a college chemistry instructor – a variety of experiences that help him motivate students with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. Preston is a chemistry PhD candidate at GW University, and loves to recharge with reading, hiking and video games. A lifelong learner, Preston loves to swap book recommendations and share his own slow but steady efforts to learn Portuguese in his spare time!

English | Science | Test Prep

Rachel Zayas

Rachel wants students to believe in the power of science to change lives. She is the founder of a biotech start-up that is developing tools for early-stage cancer detection, and she shares with her students both the exciting real-world applications of science, and the grit and determination it takes to follow your dreams.

Rachel has taught Biology and Chemistry at American University, where she received a Master’s in Biotechnology, and middle school science at charter schools in DC.

Rachel’s versatility makes her the ideal tutor for students who want overall support in science, Math, English and general study skills. Rachel also brings her entrepreneur’s sensibility to Tungsten Prep: when she is not inspiring students, she leads our business development and operations.

Science | Math | Test Prep | AP Computer Science

Ramsin Yadgar

Ramsin’s lifelong passion for the sciences led him to an early career as an engineer, but his interest in helping people brought him to medicine. He draws on his varied experiences – from a Fortune 500 company to Silicon Valley start-ups to clinical work with patients – to empower his students to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit, be resilient in the face of obstacles, and approach teamwork with compassion and humility. As a current medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine, he channels his passion for academia by tutoring students in both the sciences and humanities.

Ramsin began his tutoring career in high school and through college, and he hasn’t stopped since. A proud Californian, he believes the diversity of his home state and his experience working with a wide range of students enables him to adjust his instructional style to suit the unique needs of each learner. Ramsin is the right tutor for students who need support across a wide range of subject, for those tackling multiple AP classes, and for students who need a motivating role model to help them improve their organizational skills and spark their interest in school.

Science | Math | English

Tyler Rippel

Tyler understands what it’s like for students who struggle. A self-described procrastinator and easily distracted student in high school, Tyler has made it his mission to help a wide range of learners find study habits that work for them and passions that consume their attention. Now a doctoral candidate in Biology and Ecology at Georgetown, Tyler is as comfortable in a salt marsh as he is in the classroom.

Tyler was a star middle-distance runner at Villanova, so he also understands how to help busy athletes juggle schoolwork, sleep, and sports. Tyler is the right fit for students who need help across a variety of subjects, and those who need support in developing better time management and study skills.

Science, Math, and English

Allison Powell

A self-described “outgoing introvert,” Allison loves to connect with her students by finding common experiences and interests — whether its traveling, sampling adventurous foods or playing sand volleyball on the Potomac. A PhD candidate in immunology, she straddles the worlds of STEM and public policy, which makes her the ideal fit for students who need help in science, math, and English. As a high school sailing instructor, Allison discovered a gift for explaining technical concepts and maintaining students’ composure in a high-pressure environment. She recognizes the power of great tutoring, having fond memories of the tutor who helped her develop the study habits and focus to juggle volleyball, driving lessons and AP Chemistry, and her drive to pay it forward makes her uniquely committed to student success.

Algebra | Geometry | Pre-Calculus

Bushra Shamma

Bushra’s lively and relatable approach to tutoring is informed by her two decades of experience teaching high school Math and her experience as a banking and IT executive. Bushra taught Math at some of the most rigorous schools in Washington and New York, including The Potomac School, The Spence School and The Dalton School, and has experience guiding both the most gifted math learners and inspiring those who have never really seen the point of Math.

She holds a Master’s in Education from Harvard and an MBA from MIT. When she is not teaching, Bushra is an accomplished artist whose work has been featured at juried shows both in Washington and internationally.

AP Chemistry | AP Calculus | AP Statistics

Carol Kong

Carol is the go-to tutor for juniors and seniors with that terrifying mountain of AP STEM classes.
She currently teaches introductory chemistry labs for non-science majors at American University, while pursuing a Masters degree in Chemistry. With humor and patience, she loves helping students connect the classroom and their daily lives. As an undergraduate at SUNY Plattsburgh, she ran the school’s busy Math tutoring center, where she coached hundreds of students through the perils of Calculus and Statistics. Carol is the right tutor for any student who needs a confidence boost and wants their AP classes delivered with a side of unflappable calm and a huge smile.

AP Physics | Math

Charlezetta Stokes

Charley makes Physics a lot less scary. And maybe even a little fun. A veteran of Detroit’s most prestigious STEM high school, Charley can empathize with her students’ journey through the sometimes-terrifying realm of AP Physics and Calculus, and her passion for science helps them come out the other side with a newfound sense of wonder for the natural world. Ask her how she came to love vectors.

Charley is completing her PhD in Physics at Howard, where her research focuses on nanomaterials. From the Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratories, to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, to NIST’s Center for Neutron Center, Charley’s work has taken her to the intersection between Physics and daily life. Her unmatched passion helps her students recognize that science is a part of life, and when we put our fears aside, there is nothing we cannot master.

Foreign Languages | Math

Erik Roodzant

You’ll never call them dead languages again! Erik loves helping students bring the Classics alive. Let him connect Caesar with modern politics and Homer with Star Wars! Erik is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at Georgetown. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he tutored students in Math, English and test prep. He is the ideal tutor for the Classics student who also needs help with other subjects and wants support on study skills.

English | Science

Erin Conn

Erin’s passion for science education has led her to become an unexpected role model for gender equity and diversity in STEM and higher education. After some timely tweets on women in science went viral, she was able to raise funds to establish the Women in Science and Education organization at Georgetown, where she is completing her PhD in Biochemistry.

Her love of teaching is driven by the extraordinary mentors she herself has enjoyed, and she hopes to pay that forward by inspiring scientific curiosity in a new generation of high school students.

Science | Math | English

Joan Reger

We defy you to find a subject Joan can’t teach. Joan is pursuing a PhD in Biology at Georgetown. But she first fell in love with the sciences as a high school student, when great teachers helped her discover the excitement of researching our biological world. She loves tutoring because it helps her pay that forward, and she mentors students with great patience and warmth, gently encouraging them to find their own full potential. A true humanist, Joan is as much at home in the realm of writing and literature as she is in the sciences, and she logged hundreds of hours tutoring high school students in both STEM subjects and English while attending Emory University. She is the ideal tutor for students who want a versatile and confidence-boosting guide and welcome support in multiple subjects.

SAT and ACT Prep | Curriculum Development

Kristen Mastropole

From the Arctic to the Galapagos, Kristen has crossed the oceans as a climate scientist with a passion for biodiversity. She has more than a decade of experience as a tutor, most recently as the director of STEM education at a tutoring center in Hong Kong. Kristen’s breadth of experience with high school students benefits all our students, and she helps design curricula for both standardized tests and general study skills.

And while her research vessels may have taken her to the far corners of the Earth, Kristen always returns to her native DMV, and her students find relevance in her own hometown experiences as a graduate of Georgetown and the Holton-Arms School.

Science | Math | Test Prep

Liam McBride

A chemical engineer, environmentalist, music producer and avid runner, Liam loves applying his wide-ranging interests to helping students find the connection between STEM and their daily lives. His experience supporting non-native English speakers prepare academically for college taught him to explain concepts clearly and listen with empathy, while his background designing SAT and science curricula means he brings a vast toolkit of creative techniques for helping students “get” even the most challenging material. As an undergraduate at Washington University, he ran the running club and found a passion for organizing road races for kids. He loves to help students find discipline and a stronger work ethic through sports. Liam is the right fit for students who need help with a wide range or those who want an enthusiastic coach to spark their inner motivation.

Philosophy | History | Foreign Languages

Matthew Fredericks

Matthew is a true renaissance man with a passion for learning and teaching. An area native, he returns to the DMV after recovering from a travel bug that took him to 59 countries. He studied in Rome, London, Russia and India and taught Math and History for Teach for America in Brooklyn. Participating in a fundraising project to fight human trafficking in West Bengal changed his life, led to divinity studies and, eventually, a five-year stint as assistant pastor in Hong Kong’s oldest church. Never one to sit still, he simultaneously completed a Master’s of Creative Writing. Matthew is engaging and brings a worldly, cosmopolitan perspective to tutoring both the humanities and Math. He is currently at Georgetown University laying the groundwork for doctoral study in the classics. Matthew never achieved his childhood dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan, but he has bicycled across the United States, runs marathons and loves to share his wide-ranging book tastes with his students. His motivation to push his body and mind is mirrored in his knack for pushing students to reach outside their comfort zone while ensuring that they come away with greater confidence and an improved understanding of the subject at hand.

English | Science | Test Prep

Rachel Zayas

Rachel wants students to believe in the power of science to change lives. She is the founder of a biotech start-up that is developing tools for early-stage cancer detection, and she shares with her students both the exciting real-world applications of science, and the grit and determination it takes to follow your dreams.

Rachel has taught Biology and Chemistry at American University, where she received a Master’s in Biotechnology, and middle school science at charter schools in DC.

Rachel’s versatility makes her the ideal tutor for students who want overall support in science, Math, English and general study skills. Rachel also brings her entrepreneur’s sensibility to Tungsten Prep: when she is not inspiring students, she leads our business development and operations.

Science | Math | Test Prep | AP Computer Science

Ramsin Yadgar

Ramsin’s lifelong passion for the sciences led him to an early career as an engineer, but his interest in helping people brought him to medicine. He draws on his varied experiences – from a Fortune 500 company to Silicon Valley start-ups to clinical work with patients – to empower his students to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit, be resilient in the face of obstacles, and approach teamwork with compassion and humility. As a current medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine, he channels his passion for academia by tutoring students in both the sciences and humanities.

Ramsin began his tutoring career in high school and through college, and he hasn’t stopped since. A proud Californian, he believes the diversity of his home state and his experience working with a wide range of students enables him to adjust his instructional style to suit the unique needs of each learner. Ramsin is the right tutor for students who need support across a wide range of subject, for those tackling multiple AP classes, and for students who need a motivating role model to help them improve their organizational skills and spark their interest in school.

Science | Math

Oliver Broadrick

Oliver loves bringing his infectious energy and love of learning to students. As a Division 1 rower, he juggles a demanding academic and extracurricular schedule and loves to help students tackle lofty challenges and meet their own goals. Oliver uses his experience designing both video games and apps to show students the exciting real-world pay off of excelling in STEM subjects. This GW University Computer Science major is an outdoors enthusiast who grew up on a Maine farm and believes in finding balance through experiencing nature. He is the right tutor for students who need help in multiple STEM subjects or want a high-energy cheerleader in their corner.

Science | Math

Preston Griffin

Preston loves to find that unique way to inspire each student and give them the confidence and skills to manage a heavy STEM course load. He has been a middle school basketball coach and a college chemistry instructor – a variety of experiences that help him motivate students with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. Preston is a chemistry PhD candidate at GW University, and loves to recharge with reading, hiking and video games. A lifelong learner, Preston loves to swap book recommendations and share his own slow but steady efforts to learn Portuguese in his spare time!

Science | Math | English

Tyler Rippel

Tyler understands what it’s like for students who struggle. A self-described procrastinator and easily distracted student in high school, Tyler has made it his mission to help a wide range of learners find study habits that work for them and passions that consume their attention. Now a doctoral candidate in Biology and Ecology at Georgetown, Tyler is as comfortable in a salt marsh as he is in the classroom.

Tyler was a star middle-distance runner at Villanova, so he also understands how to help busy athletes juggle schoolwork, sleep, and sports. Tyler is the right fit for students who need help across a variety of subjects, and those who need support in developing better time management and study skills.

Math

Tahseen Rabbani

When it comes to math tutoring, Tahseen has taught it all. From pre-algebra to advanced calculus, he inspires numbers enthusiasts and novices to find confidence in those Xs and Ys. Tahseen has designed a math curriculum for a Duke summer program for gifted students and hosted math festivals for students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. He didn’t love math until his senior year of high school, when an amazing calculus teacher inspired him. Now, Tahseen is a Ph.D. math student at the University of Maryland. His patient and gregarious style is the right fit for any student who wants to shore up weaknesses in math or tackle the most challenging content.

French | SSAT | Middle School General Studies

Emily Somberg

Emily was raised halfway between Washington and Paris and serves as linguistic and cultural interpreter for her students. She helps students get to the bottom of French grammar, encouraging them to understand and not merely memorize. She has a particular knack with our middle school students, and her patient and systematic approach helps those newer to homework refine their test taking, critical thinking and time management skills and prepare for the rigors of high school.

Emily is currently a Presidential Fellow pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology from George Washington University. Emily also works as a Graduate Student Coordinator at the George Washington University’s Multicultural Student Services Center.

Foreign Languages | Math

Erik Roodzant

You’ll never call them dead languages again! Erik loves helping students bring the Classics alive. Let him connect Caesar with modern politics and Homer with Star Wars! Erik is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at Georgetown. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he tutored students in Math, English and test prep. He is the ideal tutor for the Classics student who also needs help with other subjects and wants support on study skills.

Philosophy | History | Foreign Languages

Matthew Fredericks

Matthew is a true renaissance man with a passion for learning and teaching. An area native, he returns to the DMV after recovering from a travel bug that took him to 59 countries. He studied in Rome, London, Russia and India and taught Math and History for Teach for America in Brooklyn. Participating in a fundraising project to fight human trafficking in West Bengal changed his life, led to divinity studies and, eventually, a five-year stint as assistant pastor in Hong Kong’s oldest church. Never one to sit still, he simultaneously completed a Master’s of Creative Writing. Matthew is engaging and brings a worldly, cosmopolitan perspective to tutoring both the humanities and Math. He is currently at Georgetown University laying the groundwork for doctoral study in the classics. Matthew never achieved his childhood dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan, but he has bicycled across the United States, runs marathons and loves to share his wide-ranging book tastes with his students. His motivation to push his body and mind is mirrored in his knack for pushing students to reach outside their comfort zone while ensuring that they come away with greater confidence and an improved understanding of the subject at hand.

History | Foreign Languages

Stanley Maxson

For Stan, history is not about memorizing dates and names. It is an opportunity to develop empathy for the challenges people and societies faced and to draw from their mistakes and triumphs to better understand our present. Stan’s dynamic approach to the web of history, politics and government helps students build critical thinking skills and master the arts of research and writing.

Stan is a PhD candidate in U.S. History at the University of Maryland, where his research focuses on the unexpected and creative ways African-Americans organized during Reconstruction to build a collective political voice. He has taught undergraduate History and Writing, and even taught English in South Korea. Stan is the ideal tutor for students drowning in dense textbook history, or those who need help with reading comprehension, research papers or analytical writing.

History | English | Writing | Latin

Rae Grabowski

Rae discovered her life path at age five when she fell in love with The Hobbit and vowed to follow Tolkien in getting a Ph.D. in medieval literature. Two decades later, she is completing doctoral studies at Cornell, where she has taught history, writing, Latin and English literature and composition. Rae’s calm and patient approach draws students out, and her interdisciplinary background inspires pupils to see the sweeping trends in history, literature, and government. She relates well to students who feel frustrated and loves to share hacks to help them unlock their inner organizer.

Science, Math, and English

Allison Powell

A self-described “outgoing introvert,” Allison loves to connect with her students by finding common experiences and interests — whether its traveling, sampling adventurous foods or playing sand volleyball on the Potomac. A PhD candidate in immunology, she straddles the worlds of STEM and public policy, which makes her the ideal fit for students who need help in science, math, and English. As a high school sailing instructor, Allison discovered a gift for explaining technical concepts and maintaining students’ composure in a high-pressure environment. She recognizes the power of great tutoring, having fond memories of the tutor who helped her develop the study habits and focus to juggle volleyball, driving lessons and AP Chemistry, and her drive to pay it forward makes her uniquely committed to student success.

AP English | History | Spanish

Caitlin Jordan

Caitlin is a lover of all things literary. She is pursuing her Master’s in English Literature at Georgetown University. Caitlin has taught Middle School and High School English in Florida and Idaho, where she served as a full-time residential advisor and summer camp counselor. Her experience both living and working with adolescents gives her an empathy for her students’ goals and interests, and makes sure she keeps them laughing. From the passionate reader to the reluctant writer, Caitlin loves meeting her students where they are and helping them find their inner bookworm. Whether they are vexed by grammar or bored by literature, Caitlin loves building her students’ understanding of the English language from the ground up. Watch out: they may even learn to love Hawthorne and Dickens!

Foreign Languages | Math

Erik Roodzant

You’ll never call them dead languages again! Erik loves helping students bring the Classics alive. Let him connect Caesar with modern politics and Homer with Star Wars! Erik is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at Georgetown. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he tutored students in Math, English and test prep. He is the ideal tutor for the Classics student who also needs help with other subjects and wants support on study skills.

English | Science

Erin Conn

Erin’s passion for science education has led her to become an unexpected role model for gender equity and diversity in STEM and higher education. After some timely tweets on women in science went viral, she was able to raise funds to establish the Women in Science and Education organization at Georgetown, where she is completing her PhD in Biochemistry.

Her love of teaching is driven by the extraordinary mentors she herself has enjoyed, and she hopes to pay that forward by inspiring scientific curiosity in a new generation of high school students.

Philosophy | History | Foreign Languages

Matthew Fredericks

Matthew is a true renaissance man with a passion for learning and teaching. An area native, he returns to the DMV after recovering from a travel bug that took him to 59 countries. He studied in Rome, London, Russia and India and taught Math and History for Teach for America in Brooklyn. Participating in a fundraising project to fight human trafficking in West Bengal changed his life, led to divinity studies and, eventually, a five-year stint as assistant pastor in Hong Kong’s oldest church. Never one to sit still, he simultaneously completed a Master’s of Creative Writing. Matthew is engaging and brings a worldly, cosmopolitan perspective to tutoring both the humanities and Math. He is currently at Georgetown University laying the groundwork for doctoral study in the classics. Matthew never achieved his childhood dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan, but he has bicycled across the United States, runs marathons and loves to share his wide-ranging book tastes with his students. His motivation to push his body and mind is mirrored in his knack for pushing students to reach outside their comfort zone while ensuring that they come away with greater confidence and an improved understanding of the subject at hand.

History | Foreign Languages

Stanley Maxson

For Stan, history is not about memorizing dates and names. It is an opportunity to develop empathy for the challenges people and societies faced and to draw from their mistakes and triumphs to better understand our present. Stan’s dynamic approach to the web of history, politics and government helps students build critical thinking skills and master the arts of research and writing.

Stan is a PhD candidate in U.S. History at the University of Maryland, where his research focuses on the unexpected and creative ways African-Americans organized during Reconstruction to build a collective political voice. He has taught undergraduate History and Writing, and even taught English in South Korea. Stan is the ideal tutor for students drowning in dense textbook history, or those who need help with reading comprehension, research papers or analytical writing.

History | English | Writing | Latin

Rae Grabowski

Rae discovered her life path at age five when she fell in love with The Hobbit and vowed to follow Tolkien in getting a Ph.D. in medieval literature. Two decades later, she is completing doctoral studies at Cornell, where she has taught history, writing, Latin and English literature and composition. Rae’s calm and patient approach draws students out, and her interdisciplinary background inspires pupils to see the sweeping trends in history, literature, and government. She relates well to students who feel frustrated and loves to share hacks to help them unlock their inner organizer.

Science, Math, and English

Allison Powell

A self-described “outgoing introvert,” Allison loves to connect with her students by finding common experiences and interests — whether its traveling, sampling adventurous foods or playing sand volleyball on the Potomac. A PhD candidate in immunology, she straddles the worlds of STEM and public policy, which makes her the ideal fit for students who need help in science, math, and English. As a high school sailing instructor, Allison discovered a gift for explaining technical concepts and maintaining students’ composure in a high-pressure environment. She recognizes the power of great tutoring, having fond memories of the tutor who helped her develop the study habits and focus to juggle volleyball, driving lessons and AP Chemistry, and her drive to pay it forward makes her uniquely committed to student success.

AP Physics | Math

Charlezetta Stokes

Charley makes Physics a lot less scary. And maybe even a little fun. A veteran of Detroit’s most prestigious STEM high school, Charley can empathize with her students’ journey through the sometimes-terrifying realm of AP Physics and Calculus, and her passion for science helps them come out the other side with a newfound sense of wonder for the natural world. Ask her how she came to love vectors.

Charley is completing her PhD in Physics at Howard, where her research focuses on nanomaterials. From the Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratories, to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, to NIST’s Center for Neutron Center, Charley’s work has taken her to the intersection between Physics and daily life. Her unmatched passion helps her students recognize that science is a part of life, and when we put our fears aside, there is nothing we cannot master.

Science | Math | English

Joan Reger

We defy you to find a subject Joan can’t teach. Joan is pursuing a PhD in Biology at Georgetown. But she first fell in love with the sciences as a high school student, when great teachers helped her discover the excitement of researching our biological world. She loves tutoring because it helps her pay that forward, and she mentors students with great patience and warmth, gently encouraging them to find their own full potential. A true humanist, Joan is as much at home in the realm of writing and literature as she is in the sciences, and she logged hundreds of hours tutoring high school students in both STEM subjects and English while attending Emory University. She is the ideal tutor for students who want a versatile and confidence-boosting guide and welcome support in multiple subjects.

SAT and ACT Prep | Curriculum Development

Kristen Mastropole

From the Arctic to the Galapagos, Kristen has crossed the oceans as a climate scientist with a passion for biodiversity. She has more than a decade of experience as a tutor, most recently as the director of STEM education at a tutoring center in Hong Kong. Kristen’s breadth of experience with high school students benefits all our students, and she helps design curricula for both standardized tests and general study skills.

And while her research vessels may have taken her to the far corners of the Earth, Kristen always returns to her native DMV, and her students find relevance in her own hometown experiences as a graduate of Georgetown and the Holton-Arms School.

English | Science | Test Prep

Rachel Zayas

Rachel wants students to believe in the power of science to change lives. She is the founder of a biotech start-up that is developing tools for early-stage cancer detection, and she shares with her students both the exciting real-world applications of science, and the grit and determination it takes to follow your dreams.

Rachel has taught Biology and Chemistry at American University, where she received a Master’s in Biotechnology, and middle school science at charter schools in DC.

Rachel’s versatility makes her the ideal tutor for students who want overall support in science, Math, English and general study skills. Rachel also brings her entrepreneur’s sensibility to Tungsten Prep: when she is not inspiring students, she leads our business development and operations.

Science | Math | Test Prep

Liam McBride

A chemical engineer, environmentalist, music producer and avid runner, Liam loves applying his wide-ranging interests to helping students find the connection between STEM and their daily lives. His experience supporting non-native English speakers prepare academically for college taught him to explain concepts clearly and listen with empathy, while his background designing SAT and science curricula means he brings a vast toolkit of creative techniques for helping students “get” even the most challenging material. As an undergraduate at Washington University, he ran the running club and found a passion for organizing road races for kids. He loves to help students find discipline and a stronger work ethic through sports. Liam is the right fit for students who need help with a wide range or those who want an enthusiastic coach to spark their inner motivation.

Biology | Test Prep | Science

Maryam Yamadi

Maryam is a warm and patient mentor who is adept at helping students find their inner confidence. At American University, she taught Biology lab courses to non-science majors, learning to communicate complex concepts to students intimidated by science. By day, she does research on stem cell development at the National Institutes of Health. Maryam believes students can tap into their creative spirit by asking and answering questions about the world around them. Maryam relaxes by studying the Quran, painting and doing outdoor sports.

AP English | History | Spanish

Caitlin Jordan

Caitlin is a lover of all things literary. She is pursuing her Master’s in English Literature at Georgetown University. Caitlin has taught Middle School and High School English in Florida and Idaho, where she served as a full-time residential advisor and summer camp counselor. Her experience both living and working with adolescents gives her an empathy for her students’ goals and interests, and makes sure she keeps them laughing. From the passionate reader to the reluctant writer, Caitlin loves meeting her students where they are and helping them find their inner bookworm. Whether they are vexed by grammar or bored by literature, Caitlin loves building her students’ understanding of the English language from the ground up. Watch out: they may even learn to love Hawthorne and Dickens!

French | SSAT | Middle School General Studies

Emily Somberg

Emily was raised halfway between Washington and Paris and serves as linguistic and cultural interpreter for her students. She helps students get to the bottom of French grammar, encouraging them to understand and not merely memorize. She has a particular knack with our middle school students, and her patient and systematic approach helps those newer to homework refine their test taking, critical thinking and time management skills and prepare for the rigors of high school.

Emily is currently a Presidential Fellow pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology from George Washington University. Emily also works as a Graduate Student Coordinator at the George Washington University’s Multicultural Student Services Center.

Foreign Languages | Math

Erik Roodzant

You’ll never call them dead languages again! Erik loves helping students bring the Classics alive. Let him connect Caesar with modern politics and Homer with Star Wars! Erik is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Classics at Georgetown. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he tutored students in Math, English and test prep. He is the ideal tutor for the Classics student who also needs help with other subjects and wants support on study skills.

Philosophy | History | Foreign Languages

Matthew Fredericks

Matthew is a true renaissance man with a passion for learning and teaching. An area native, he returns to the DMV after recovering from a travel bug that took him to 59 countries. He studied in Rome, London, Russia and India and taught Math and History for Teach for America in Brooklyn. Participating in a fundraising project to fight human trafficking in West Bengal changed his life, led to divinity studies and, eventually, a five-year stint as assistant pastor in Hong Kong’s oldest church. Never one to sit still, he simultaneously completed a Master’s of Creative Writing. Matthew is engaging and brings a worldly, cosmopolitan perspective to tutoring both the humanities and Math. He is currently at Georgetown University laying the groundwork for doctoral study in the classics. Matthew never achieved his childhood dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan, but he has bicycled across the United States, runs marathons and loves to share his wide-ranging book tastes with his students. His motivation to push his body and mind is mirrored in his knack for pushing students to reach outside their comfort zone while ensuring that they come away with greater confidence and an improved understanding of the subject at hand.

Arabic

Zahraa Alnajaar

Zahraa makes learning Arabic a cultural adventure. She believes students learn best when they understand not just the subjects and verbs, but the art, music, geography and history that enriches and informs the language. A veteran teacher with 13 years’ experience, Zahraa is on the cutting edge of using technology and online learning resources to enhance her students’ understanding and enthusiasm for Arabic.

Zahraa is a lecturer in Arabic at American University and teaches classes at both the Middle East Institute and Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. She has a PhD in literature from Aleppo University.

History | English | Writing | Latin

Rae Grabowski

Rae discovered her life path at age five when she fell in love with The Hobbit and vowed to follow Tolkien in getting a Ph.D. in medieval literature. Two decades later, she is completing doctoral studies at Cornell, where she has taught history, writing, Latin and English literature and composition. Rae’s calm and patient approach draws students out, and her interdisciplinary background inspires pupils to see the sweeping trends in history, literature, and government. She relates well to students who feel frustrated and loves to share hacks to help them unlock their inner organizer.

French | Spanish

Elsa Katz

Elsa believes her spirit animal would be the chameleon because it shares her adapting nature. A citizen of the world, Elsa grew up in France, taught in China, and finally landed at George Washington University, where she studied international affairs and taught in the foreign languages department. Elsa is the right fit for French and Spanish students who want their grammar and vocabulary delivered with a strong dose of empathy and cultural understanding.