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PrepNow Tutor - Liane M.

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Liane's Bio

Liane earned her Bachelor's in Materials Science and Engineering with minors in both Biomedical Engineering and Music at Cornell University. As a sophomore and junior, she was awarded research funding from the Semiconductor Research Corporation Education Alliance with support from the Intel Foundation to research nanomaterials for energy applications. In the fall of her senior year, she was featured in the Research Paper, a Cornell magazine featuring elite undergraduate researchers. That year, she was team leader of the first-place team of the Jung-Hyun Oh Materials Enabled Design Competition. Liane was recognized at graduation with the "Outstanding Senior Thesis" award for her department.

After graduation, Liane immediately began her doctoral program in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, where she is currently starting her 5th and final year. Her thesis, which focuses on using x-rays to understand how materials grow and transform at an atom-by-atom level, involves researching in two different labs: one focused in nanochemistry, and the other in x-ray physics.

While in graduate school, Liane has been a Hertz fellowship finalist--one of 50 students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) selected as a finalist nationwide--and a Northwestern leadership fellow. She was awarded an NDSEG fellowship for graduate research from the United States Department of Defense (Air Force Division). She was also awarded the best student poster prize at the 2016 APS User's Meeting, a conference for scientists who use the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, a synchrotron x-ray source funded by the United States Department of Energy.

"I have enjoyed working with, teaching and mentoring students in every opportunity I have had," Liane says. She got her start in scientific research in high school, studying cell death pathways in lung cancer in a microbiology lab at Loyola University Medical Center. Ever since, she has been "inspired to help the next generation become as excited about science and engineering as I am." She says, "I love being able to work with individual students and help them enjoy learning by figuring out their learning style and how to relate fundamental concepts to real-world problems and personal interests."

Her first tutoring experience was in high school, teaching geometry to younger students. Since then, she has tutored students from middle school through advanced undergraduate level, both in person and online. She has the most experience tutoring chemistry, physics, materials science, calculus and partial differential equations, but has also tutored additional math subjects, as well as writing. As a graduate student, she has been a teaching assistant for an Introduction to Materials Science course and guest lecturer for an x-ray physics course. As part of her leadership fellowship, she served as a teaching assistant for a leadership course for undergraduates.

"One of the most valuable things anyone can learn is how they best learn and grasp new material," Liane says. "As a tutor, I make it part of my mission to help students develop learning strategies that can aid them both inside and outside the classroom. As a tutor of technical subjects, I find that helping a student decipher the key qualitative concepts from quantitative problems and theories is key to success. In addition, being able to relate concepts learned in the classroom to real-world tangible problems and also to the student's own personal interests helps make the material more relatable and exciting."

In high school, Liane danced ballet intensively. She also participated on the math team and performed with a variety of music ensembles on flute, piano and voice. In college, she continued to pursue music in addition to research, serving as the president of student-run chamber music and playing piccolo in the Cornell University Wind Ensemble. She was also on the solar decathlon team, which worked on building a real, functioning solar house.

As a graduate student, she continues to be involved in music, playing flute and piccolo in the Northwestern Philharmonia, as well as writing music and performing as a singer-songwriter. She also enjoys ballroom dancing, taking very long walks, and appreciating art and nature. Fun fact: Liane has a pet rat named "Martin the Warrior," after the character from Brian Jacques' Redwall series.


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