The Ivy Experience Team

Our Tutors

All Ivy Experience tutors are experts in every section of both the SAT and ACT. They also tutor varied academic subjects and other standardized tests (AP Exams, SAT Subject Tests, SSAT, GRE, LSAT) according to their background and expertise.

Eric Karlan - Co-Founder & President

Eric is one of the co-founders of Ivy Experience. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Journalism, History, and Culture; he was one of only two students in the Class of 2009 to design his own curriculum for an Individualized major. Since graduation, Eric has consulted hundreds of high school and graduate school students on their college and graduate school application essays and resumes across the country and around the world.

Eric is an active writer and has been published in the Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Magazine, and The New York Daily News. He enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams from his home in San Diego.

Karan Shah – Co-Founder & President

Karan is one of the co-founders of Ivy Experience. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Bioengineering and a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship. Since graduation Karan has worked with hundreds of students on SAT, ACT, and SAT II Subject Test Prep. Karan also works with students on their college and graduate school application essays across the country and around the world.

When not working with students, Karan enjoys playing hockey, making divots on the golf course, and dealing with being a New York sports fan living in Philadelphia.

Jim Wismer – Director

Jim is the director of Ivy Experience. A Philadelphia area native, he attended The University of Pittsburgh on an Honors Full Tuition Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude in 2013. He went on to earn his M.A. in Classics from Notre Dame, where he also taught Latin, Ancient Greek, ancient history, and mythology. Jim’s tutoring career started in 8th grade, and he brings to the team a broad range of experience in secondary and higher education. Jim believes that any student can learn anything, if that student works smart and gets the right help.

In addition to his work with Ivy Experience, Jim coaches shot put and discus for the Boys’ and Girls’ Track and Field teams at Great Valley High School, where he was once a student. In his free time, he enjoys riding his bike, hiking, playing with dogs, watching the Eagles, reading, and playing Super Smash Bros Melee.

Jess Lebow

Jess obtained her Master’s of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2017. She has an undergraduate degree in English and Studio Art from Hamilton College. At Hamilton, Jess was a writing center tutor who worked with students of a variety of ages, skill levels and interests at all different stages of their writing process across a broad selection of subject matters. She also ran a program tutoring students from the local middle and high schools in a variety of classroom subjects as well as preparing them for the regents (a New York state standardized test.) She also tutored local refugees in ESL. When Jess is not studying or tutoring, and the sun is out, you can find her running, biking or hiking but when the weather is bad, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen!

Megan Hellerman

Megan is an avid writer, educator, and editor for test-prep titles such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, ACT, and ASVAB. Native to Pennsylvania, she graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor in Literature and a great respect for Poetry, Creative Writing, Newswriting, and Shakespeare. There, her passion for writing and helping students achieve their greatest potential was born. Megan then joined the workforce as a data editor in Princeton. Not wanting to be stuck in a cubicle for the rest of her life, she left the publishing world to attend grad school at Cabrini College, graduating with a Master in Education. With 10 years-experience in publishing, Megan now ventures out into new career venues as a Professor of Oral Communication, Foundations of Grammar, and English Composition. Megan also tutors for a gifted-support learning center in all subjects, grades K-12, as well all college-prep writing, admissions, and literary discussions for modern book titles. In her free time, she enjoys nature, abstract painting, swimming, and spending time with her family and friends.

David Pauls

David graduated cum laude from The College of New Jersey in 2016 with a degree in physics. He realized during his time there that he thoroughly enjoyed tutoring his fellow TCNJ students, and hopes he can show just how fun physics and math can be.

David researched astrophysics during his time at TCNJ, and with the help of his colleagues had a paper accepted to The Astrophysical Journal. His true passion however is music, as he is always in a choir or a capella group, arranging, composing, or recording. David finds the mathematics behind music fascinating, especially relating to harmonics and tuning. He also likes to play Super Smash Brothers Melee competitively.

Pro Kumar

Pro is an undergraduate mathematics and physics dual major at West Chester University. This past summer he conducted gravitational wave research in Paris as part of an international Research Experience for Undergraduates program. He plans on pursuing graduate studies in (experimental) gravitational wave research. Seeing the interplay between mathematics and the physical world is very awe-inspiring to Pro.

He also coaches the throwing events for track and field at Great Valley High School, where he graduated from in 2012. Seeing his students develop, not only athletically, but academically and mentally, is a great joy to Pro. He believes no one is limited to a single standard; it is always possible to push the limits, and he is happy to show students the opportunities that reveal themselves.

Outside of physics and coaching, he enjoys reading (mostly science-fiction), weightlifting, photography, spoken-word poetry, cooking spicy food, and listening to Qawwali music, as well as Eminem and Ivan Hajek.

Daniel Eden

Daniel Eden graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Language Studies. Before college, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served across the world as an embassy guard. After college and his stint in the Marine corps, he took a few years to travel and found himself in love with the Central American lifestyle. So, he stayed. He opened a small language school that taught local Nicaraguans English and prepared them for tourist industry type jobs and travelers wanting to learn Spanish.

Daniel is now back in his native San Diego and continues to educate students.

Cristina Quito

Cristina graduated magna cum laude from the University of California San Diego, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in General Biology. Throughout her time as an undergraduate, she served as a teaching assistant for cognitive psychology and as a child care-taker. Additionally, she has experience as a research assistant for a clinical psychology research lab, examining the neurobiology of treatment of comorbid and addictive disorders. She is a focused and empathetic individual who enjoys providing guidance, clarity, and motivation to students.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie is currently studying Creative Writing and Spanish at Temple University. A Mt. Airy, Philadelphia native, he graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in 2013. Previously, he tutored at Girard College in reading, math, social studies, and science.

Outside of studying and tutoring, Charlie enjoys reading, watching and playing sports – especially soccer – and is an avid music fan.

Dillon Friday

Dillon graduated from Hamilton College in 2012 with a degree in English-Creative Writing. At Hamilton, he played varsity soccer and club hockey, earning Academic All-Conference each of his four years on the pitch. He currently works for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer as the Marketing & Communications Manager and covers high school sports for the Delaware County Daily Times. Dillon is also a staff writer at The Sports Fan Journal and USGolfTV.

A Duluth, Minnesota native with a Philly background, Dillon enjoys pond hockey, history, poetry, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Minnesota Twins, 90’s music and trivia.

Shenita Baltimore

Shenita graduated from Princeton University in 2010 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Anthropology and a certificate in African American Studies. Following graduation, she joined the 2010 Teach For America Mid-Atlantic Corp and taught middle school math for two years at the only all-boys charter school in the state of Delaware. During this time, Shenita earned her Master of Arts degree in Secondary Teaching from WU while teaching full-time.

Shenita led her first creative writing after-school elementary program in her sophomore year of high school and has had the opportunity to tutor or mentor elementary through college-aged scholars for over a decade through her professional and educational endeavors. She is currently working on her second studio album and enjoys singing, writing poetry, traveling, and watching and attending sporting events.

Shohom Basuthakur

Born and raised in the suburbs of Philly, Shohom graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, where he studied finance at The Wharton School. He recently co-founded Coursenova, an internet startup seeking to increase access to higher education by partnering with colleges to sell empty seats in their classes. Shohom is also an Assistant Director for the drama department at Pope John Paul II High School in Royersford.

In his free time, Shohom enjoys seeing Broadway shows, arranging music, watching and playing sports (though he definitely does more watching than playing these days), and spending time with family and friends.

Adam Clair

Adam Clair graduated from Penn State University in 2005 with a degree in journalism and minors in English and philosophy, tutoring a diverse range of his peers (including ESOL and special needs students) in a range of creative and academic writing forms.

Adam now works in many fields in addition to tutoring. As a writer he focuses largely on culture and technology (and especially how the two intersect). He also provides online marketing and communications services, academic assessment, editing and copywriting, and UX consulting for websites, apps and software.

Prior to returning home to Philadelphia, Adam worked as an SAT/ACT/college essay tutor in Athens, Georgia, where working on a book about an influential musicians’ collective based there.

Emily Drummond

Emily grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Linguistics and Music. She has three years of experience tutoring math, helping students with everything from long division to multivariable calculus. She is also a classical vocalist, currently singing with Opera Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church; on weekday mornings, she teaches music classes to children in daycare centers.

When she isn’t tutoring or in rehearsal, Emily loves to read, travel, and do the Sunday crosswords.

Alex Pappas
Growing up in the town of Swarthmore, Alex went studied at the University of Maryland, graduating in 2017 with a B.S. in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics. During his undergraduate career Alex spent his time doing research both at the University of Maryland and at the National Institutes of Health, as well as being a TA for the Physics department. Alex has plans to enter medical school in the fall of 2018.
In his free time, Alex spends his time volunteering at Jefferson Hospital and a local clinic. He is a dedicated Philadelphia sports fan and cherishes his Eagles.
Abbey Griffin

Abbey graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Davidson College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina. Abbey has worked with teens and children for many years. She is often seen with her 1-year-old Golden Retriever pup named Goose, whom she is training to be a therapy animal. When she is not tutoring or helping people with specialized needs and disabilities, Abbey enjoys cooking and baking for friends.

Liz Mincer
Liz is a recent J.D. graduate of William and Mary Law School. While there, she worked as a Graduate Research Fellow, competed as a member of the W&M National Trial Team, and won Best Note for the W&M Bill of Rights Journal. Before going to law school, she spent two years teaching at a high school in North Carolina with the Teach for America program. For her undergraduate degree, she received a B.A. from Smith, an all women’s college located in Northampton, MA. Though she has lived in many places, including Poland and India, Liz is a native of Pennsylvania. She grew up in Milford, a small town in Northeastern PA, and both of her parents are from the Philadelphia area. Go Eagles!
Elizabeth Kribbs

Elizabeth earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and Early Childhood Education from Bloomsburg University. Throughout her undergraduate career she worked with a variety of students to help them achieve their individual academic goals. Shortly after, she earned her Master’s Degree in Middle Level Mathematics with a focus in English as a Second Language (ESL).

In the years since, Elizabeth has used her five Pennsylvania teaching certifications to help students of all ages and abilities strive for and achieve success. She welcomes the opportunity to tutor because it allows her to focus on a student’s specific needs as they seek to master academic content. She encourages students to use their resources (i.e. test taking skills, logical thinking, and reasoning skills) to become problem solvers ready to take on the next challenge.

Kyle Campbell

Kyle is a senior at Swarthmore College, where he is pursuing a B.A. in Biology and Classical Studies. He is a member of the swim team at school, where he competes in distance freestyle and butterfly events. Kyle plans to enter dental school in the fall of 2019. Outside of the classroom and pool, Kyle enjoys gardening, DIY projects, and watching Phillies baseball.

Sam Corbman

Sam earned his Master’s in Biomedical Sciences in 2017 from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he is currently studying to become a D.O. He graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Business Administration. Between undergraduate and graduate school, Sam worked for a biopharmaceutical startup while tutoring part time in test prep and the sciences. Sam continues to find satisfaction in helping students achieve their academic goals, whatever they may be.

In his free time, Sam plays ice hockey, enjoys traveling, and is an avid Philadelphia sports fan.

Adel Boyarsky

Adel is currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is studying Networked and Social Systems Engineering, a mix of computer science and economics. Adel graduated from Cherry Hill East, where she tutored middle school and high school students throughout her time there. She is a part of the Society of Women Engineers, Women in Computer Science Club, Penn Education Society, and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity at Penn.

In her spare time, Adel enjoys playing tennis and visiting the beach.

Dane Ochis-O'Neil

Dane graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1999 with a B.S. in Actuarial Science and minors in Statistics, Computer Science, and English.  He enjoyed a successful career as an actuary before leaving corporate America to tutor full-time.  Dane is very interested in serving his community and mentoring our future leaders.  To that end, he is a sitting member of the Daniel Boone Area School Board.

In his free time, Dane is a huge sports fan who enjoys working out and hiking with his family.

Greg Hall

Greg obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. As a Master’s student, he was awarded the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students based on student nominations and Penn faculty endorsement. In 2009, Greg graduated magna cum laude from Penn Law. As an attorney, he served as a law clerk at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and now actively practices law as a member of the bars in both PA and NJ.

At the same time, Greg’s true passion is education. While pursuing his degrees and building a law practice, Greg has taught and tutored hundreds of students in a variety of subjects including standardized test preparation for tests such as the SAT, ACT, LSAT, and GRE.

Humor and friendliness are a couple of Greg’s secrets to successful tutoring.  He is a down-to-earth, jovial do-it-yourselfer as he fixes his own car and enjoys renovating his house. Board and card games, dancing, and good food are the simple joys in his life.

Rahima Jamal

Rahima Jamal graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania in December 2017, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics, and minors in Marketing and Consumer Psychology. During her time at Penn, she served as a fellow for the Asian Pacific American Leadership Initiative, provided brand management consulting for local West Philadelphia nonprofits as a member of MUSE’s Social Impact Practice, and volunteered as an elementary school reading tutor through the Penn Reading Initiative. She interned for the United States Agency for International Development in the summer of 2016, serving as a Strategy and Policy fellow for the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau. She is currently working for The GreenLight Fund, a venture philanthropy that imports best-practice nonprofits to Philadelphia.

Jim Baraldi

A full-time employee of the pharmaceutical industry, Jim has many years of experience teaching, tutoring, and learning.

While pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at Temple University, Jim designed an independent-study curriculum in conjunction with the Psychology Department and the non-profit organization Unite For Sight. He also volunteered with the Boy Scouts and coached wrestling.

After graduating from Temple, Jim taught Spanish to children while writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In Pittsburgh Jim won scholarships to study medical decision making and the Chinese language at Wuhan University in China for a year. He spent the next two years traveling throughout China and teaching at a private company near Guangzhou. His subjects included English, the SAT, math, physics, history, geography, culture, and business. His thousands of students were of all ages and ability levels, from kindergartners to housewives to businessmen.

In his free time Jim enjoys filing taxes, paying bills, and receiving robocalls.

Jack Melnick

Jack is currently a senior at Villanova University in the College of Engineering, studying Mechanical Engineering. He is a member of Marine ROTC, and upon graduation from Villanova he will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps to pursue a career as a pilot.

Jack is also the president of Villanova Club Judo, and spends most of his free time snowboarding or reading.

Jacqueline Berglass

Jacqueline grew up in Connecticut playing many sports and participating in theatrical performances. She attended Williams College where she played varsity ice hockey, served as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and studied Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. After graduating in 2011, she worked as a researcher at Harvard for 3 years and she is currently a third year medical student at PCOM. Jacqueline’s interests outside of medicine and academia are meditation, yoga, dance and fine art.

Kelsey Hassig

Kelsey is a medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She graduated from The University of Scranton in 2013 with degrees in Biology and Philosophy. At Scranton, she served as an Orientation Assistant that helped new students get acclimated. She also constantly volunteered and worked with children, both domestically and abroad. Helping others learn is important to her.

Lynn McGowan

Lynn earned her BS in Immunology and Infectious Diseases with a minor in Global Health and Ethics from Penn State University, Schreyer Honors College. Throughout her undergraduate education, she explored her interests in photography, journalism, education and science.

Before starting medical school, Lynn spent two years working as a 4th – 12th grade science teacher in New Orleans, LA. She loves helping kids of all ages to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to correctly respond to challenging material in all content areas. She especially enjoys tutoring because it provides an opportunity for her to focus a student’s specific strengths to empower and motivate their mastery of all subject matter. In addition to building content knowledge, Lynn highlights study and test taking skills in her tutoring sessions.

Will Gillis

Will tutors in the areas of U.S. history and American government. He spent two years teaching AP U.S. History at a private school in Philadelphia where he developed and implemented the school’s first AP curriculum.

Will is currently a JD candidate at New York University School of Law. He is a graduate of Princeton University where he earned a degree in politics, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Will was a four-year member of the heavyweight rowing team at Princeton and served as captain in his senior year.

Nolan Nicaise

Nolan has five years of tutoring experience, two years as a time management and study strategies consultant at Tufts University, specific training on working with students with ADHD, and context from his years of biology work.

Drawing on biology studies at the University of Dayton and an advanced degree at Tufts University, Nolan has worked with students on a variety of subjects, including algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, biology, earth sciences, chemistry, writing composition, ACT and SAT preparations, and French.

While Nolan believes that targeting specific academic material is important, he also feels that it is imperative to work on skills such as file organization, goal setting, time management, and study strategies. He encourages students to set reasonable goals for themselves and create plans to reach those goals, while keeping them accountable to those plans.

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