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PrepNow Tutor - John S.

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John's Bio

As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, John was on the Dean's List, and as a senior, was awarded the Elise F. Filippi Prize for Achievement in Poetry.

As a graduate student at the University of Houston, John was awarded the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fellowship and the C. Glenn Cambor Inprint Fellowship. It was there he began teaching writing to undergraduates. "I quickly grew to love the process of helping students improve their writing," he says. "For me, the most rewarding part of teaching or tutoring is when students see after several weeks that they really have become better writers and that they have learned a lot they can apply elsewhere." During his last of three years there, he also taught Old Testament courses in the Religious Studies Program. John has also completed a master's degree in English at Ohio State, where he was awarded the Distinguished University Fellowship.

Aside from teaching, John has done some freelance tutoring of high-school and college students.

"I ask a lot of questions when I teach and tutor," John says, "because students learn better if they formulate answers on their own, rather than simply having information given to them."

He also aims to teach with long-term objectives in mind. "For me, specific writing assignments are to be treated less as ends in themselves than as steps toward gradual improvement," he says. "My method is process-oriented, rather than product-oriented." Of course, he acknowledges, when a particular piece of writing is of great importance, such as a college essay, John focuses on helping the student perfect the final product--"but I try to teach them principles about good writing along the way that they can take with them in their future academic and professional lives."

In high school, John played in symphonic band, marching band, and jazz band, and sang in his church choir. In college, he continued to sing in the men's chorus. In graduate school, he sang with both his church choir and a community choir.

Now when he's not busy with his job in marketing for an arts non-profit, he writes poetry and serves on the alumni board for his college choir. The group does fundraising and other programming to support the conductor and current members of the group. Fun fact: One summer, John spent time working on a horse farm!

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