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Brand Fortner is teaching professor at North Carolina State University , and adjunct professor of physics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He previously was chief scientist of the intelligence exploitation group of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, and is the founder of two scientific software companies. He holds a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Illinois, and has previously held positions at NASA and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Brand serves on several corporate boards and advisory bodies and in 2005 received the distinguished alumni award from the University of Illinois. He is also an instrument rated private pilot, and co-owner of a Piper Archer.
Ian was born and raised in Raleigh, attending high school at Cardinal Gibbons where he was awarded the National Merit Scholarship for his PSAT and SAT scores. After graduating with a BA in Journalism from Elon University in 2014, Ian made the unfortunate decision to move cross-country to Los Angeles in January of 2015. While he had done some subject tutoring while in college and worked as a student mentor with the YMCA Mentor program, it was during this time that he first got involved with SAT and ACT prep for students in the LA area. However this couldn’t last long, as Ian beat a hasty retreat off the West Coast in December 2015, and back to his hometown of Raleigh. Since his return, Ian has been doing SAT and ACT test prep with Mindspire™ for almost two years, as well as ISEE, SSAT, and other middle school test prep.
Born to a pair of high school science teachers, Christine was raised in the suburbs of Boston, with her twin and younger sisters. After high school, Christine received a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 2004 and a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2011. Christine moved to Durham in 2011 when she accepted a job in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke. Christine believes that it is possible to provide good learning experiences for all students, even if that requires a little more time and effort.Tutoring happens to be her favorite form of teaching, so she’s happy helping with SAT/ACT test prep or any type of math and science. When she’s not teaching, you’re likely to find Christine baking, listening to folk music that’s older than she is, taking her Schnoodle, Moose, to the dog park, crafting, reading, rooting for her beloved Red Sox, or spoiling her new niece, Madeleine.
Julianna Tauschinger-Dempsey received an undergraduate degree in Social anthropology from Harvard University and a graduate degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her first teaching experience came when at the age of 10, the head of her music school asked her to take on a handful of piano and music theory students. Her love of sharing knowledge and communication skills, building confidence in self-expression and learning how different people see the world has kept her devoted to teaching for nearly 20 years. Julianna began teaching and tutoring the PSAT, SAT and various standardized subject tests in college. And for the past 15 years, she has run her own writing and editing consultancy, which has allowed her to work with a spectacular variety of high schoolers, college and graduate students, university faculty and professionals in the US and Europe. When she’s not extolling the virtues of broadening one’s horizons, deepening one’s skills and following the path of curiosity, Julianna can usually be found teaching or making music or spending time with her three children.
Chrissy started teaching immediately after graduating from Princeton University, and she’s been helping people learn ever since. As a former Montessori teacher in the public school system, she has unique experience in combining student-led discovery with standardized test prep. Chrissy loves radishes and daffodils, Ang Lee and Lu Xun. She can knit a Möbius strip and a pretty good approximation of a Klein bottle. When she’s not tutoring or working on her mini-homestead with her family, Chrissy can most often be found swimming in the Eno, paddling on Jordan Lake, or taking a road trip to visit friends.
Mindspire™ was founded by Shahar Link, who has been teaching in high schools and tutoring standardized tests for over 18 years. Shahar earned a Masters degree in History from Stanford University, writing his thesis on the history of IQ testing. Ever since, he has been determined to help students succeed on standardized tests and in high school.
Malik is a Columbia University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies. He has been tutoring one-on-one full-time for the past 18 years with exceptional results. Even as a student in high school and in college, Malik demonstrated his love of teaching by helping classmates, relatives, and family friends prepare for their exams. He currently tutors for the SAT, ACT, SAT II: Math Levels 1 and 2, and PSAT and has instructed students in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, South Africa, Switzerland, and throughout the United States via Skype. As a father of three boys, ages 4 to 15, and a 17 year-old girl, Malik understands that every student is unique. Having taught hundreds of students, he knows the importance of structuring lessons to students’ specific needs. In his leisure time he is an amateur chef who likes to pretend he is a contestant on Chopped. He also enjoys bowling, playing pool, and traveling.
Emi is originally from a small town in Northern California. Since moving out east, she has studied at Dartmouth College (BA) and Duke University (MA). She is currently a PhD candidate in Social Psychology at Duke and pursuing a BS in Nursing while completing her dissertation. She has been tutoring for over 8 years on a variety of topics, including math, science, reading, and writing, and has had the honor of working with wonderful students from many backgrounds, from elementary kids to middle-aged prison inmates. She believes that understanding a student’s individual learning style and background while providing a low-stress, supportive learning environment is vital to helping her students achieve success. When not tutoring, Emi can be found volunteering in the neonatal care unit at UNC or working on a piece of traditional leather-backed beadwork outside in the sun.
Cristy Carr taught private and classroom music in high school and tutored math and science while earning a B. S. in Biology from Grove City College. After working as a forestry technician and aquatic researcher in the Rocky Mountains and as an ophthalmic technician in Richmond, VA, she returned as a science teacher to her first love: the classroom. In addition to teaching, she loves her family, the mountains, and children’s books.As the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship, Cristy knows how important college prep tests are in the college application process, and she firmly believes that test scores should not stand in the way of a student’s life goals. It is her delight and privilege to collaborate with students to grow their motivation, knowledge, and test-taking skills…and then watch them meet (and exceed!) their testing goals. Cristy lives in Roanoke, VA and works with Mindspire™ clients in Central and Southwest Virginia.
Ryan Magee graduated from Duke University in 2012 and, after deciding that 18 years of schooling wasn’t enough, went on to complete his Master’s in Physics. He started tutoring in high school, and since his sophomore year at Duke has worked as a college physics lab instructor. When Ryan’s not teaching, he can be found cooking, running, or indulging a serious case of wanderlust!
Andrew has tutored in essay writing, ACT, and SAT—as well as designed ACT and SAT curriculum—for 7 years. He is a graduate of Westmont College (B.A., summa cum laude) and Duke University (M.T.S., summa cum laude), but his greatest achievement is surviving graduate school at Duke while rooting for the Tar Heels. He currently works in Silicon Valley tutoring students at some of the most prestigious public and private schools in the country; he tutors for MindSpire™ online via Zoom.