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Meet Our Tutors

We are a small team of professional educators based out of Portland, OR.

Eric Sorensen: Math, Physics, Engineering & Test Prep Tutor & Founder Of Emergent Education
Eric Sorensen

Eric comes from a family of educators, but didn’t actually think he would become one. His great-grandfather was a high school principal, and his grandmother, mother, and sister each became elementary school teachers. “I was pretty determined to go a different direction, but growing up around educators gave me a real appreciation for learning.”

A couple years into his BS in Environmental Engineering, Eric started tutoring part-time for other college students. “Right away I loved the sense of collaborative learning.” The experience laid the groundwork for what would ultimately become Emergent Education. Eric graduated in 2016, bounced between jobs and cities and ultimately landed in Portland in 2018. He kept tutoring on the side, driving straight from his consulting job in Vancouver, WA to meet with students all around Portland. “I started going into the office early just so I could leave early and have more time with students. Eventually I stopped fighting the idea that I love to teach.” 

Eric founded Emergent Education in 2020 as a small group of dedicated tutors who bring personalization, connection, and a growth mindset approach to their work with students. “Whatever your struggles may be, we are determined to help you find your own path forward.”


  • Tutoring experience in math, science, engineering and more with students in elementary school through college (2011 – Present).
  • B.S. with Honors in Environmental Resources Engineering from Cal Poly Humboldt.
  • Certified Tutor through the College Reading & Learning Association.
Rosa Padilla

Rosa knew from an early age that she enjoyed learning and teaching Math and Science. She studied Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and has worked as an R&D Engineer in the medical field for over 8 years. Rosa began tutoring students while she was in high school and kept it up through college and throughout her engineering career. 

Rosa’s passion for math and science is only paralleled by her passion for rock climbing! In addition to tutoring, she currently guides at Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon and enjoys introducing others to a sport where they can build confidence, manage fear, learn technical systems, connect with others, and have fun! “I love seeing students slowly start comprehending concepts as they work through problems. Nothing beats that spark of understanding and the confidence it instills!”

With over a decade of experience, she continues to help students of all ages build confidence and skills in all things STEM (and rock climbing).


  • Tutoring experience in math and science with students in elementary school through college (2010 – Present).
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech.
Alyse Arrowood

Alyse started tutoring in high school when she was sought out by family friends for homework help, and quickly learned how rewarding the work was. With her help, students were understanding challenging subjects better and feeling more confident. She worked with students of a wide array of ages and academic strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. 

Alyse continued tutoring into college, where a love of math, chemistry, and organization ultimately led her to a Chemical Engineering degree. Her highschool geometry teacher had also started out in engineering, only discovering his passion for teaching in retirement. After 5 years working in engineering and feeling unfulfilled, Alyse was inspired by her old teacher and decided to leave the corporate world to get back to the joys of tutoring. 

Alyse’s tutoring style comes from deep understanding and genuine enthusiasm for algebra, calculus, and chemistry. “I truly believe these subjects are fun and intuitive when they’re demystified. They’re happening all around us in the real world all the time, if we just know how to recognize ’em.”


  • Tutoring experience in math and science with students in elementary school through college (2014 – Present).

  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.

Nicolina Hansen-Neff
Nicolina has been in teaching roles for over a decade. She started as a math tutor in college while working towards her BA in Mathematics. “I wanted to help people find a similar passion for a subject that I believe to be the most magnificent!” After graduating, Nicolina spent time working in a variety of schools (charter, independent, and public) and subsequently got her MAT in elementary education.

Beyond her experiences in math and elementary education, Nicolina has tutored in almost every subject for students aged 5 – 70. She is a passionate educator who can connect with students wherever they are at in the learning process. “I love finding ways to help people come at problems from new angles, providing support as students figure out strategies that work best for themselves. We gain the most knowledge when we can make connections between what we’re learning and our own lives.”


  • Teaching experience in math and English with students in elementary school through college (2011 – Present).
  • B.A. in Mathematics from Earlham College.
  • M.A.T. in Elementary Education with ESOL Endorsement from Lewis and Clark College.
Katie Dillon

Katie has a spirit of adventure and love of learning. Having traveled to 11 different countries and taught in subjects ranging from French to Rock Climbing, Katie provides diverse and holistic teaching techniques that can be tailored to any individual’s needs. She empowers young learners in their existing strengths and helps them develop additional tools to thrive.

Katie has always loved practical applications of math, making the conceptual concrete, identifying patterns and drawing parallels between seemingly unrelated topics. “I’m excited to guide your students to new connections and revelations in their education.” Katie draws from her Psychology degree in creating a safe space to reduce stress, improve memory and focus, and bring a greater sense of confidence in challenging subjects. “With both learning and teaching, it’s all about setting ourselves up for success!”


  • Teaching and leadership experience in French, elementary education, math and rock climbing with students of all ages (2016 – Present)
  • B.S. in Psychology from Oregon State University
Ben Schulman
Ben has loved to learn his whole life and quickly realized the best way to learn is to teach.  From a young age, he sought out opportunities to pursue his passion of sharing knowledge with others. His two first jobs were as an instructor at a rock climbing gym and as a mountain-biking instructor at a summer camp. Then, as a college student, Ben worked as a peer tutor and teaching assistant for all things STEM.

Teaching and tutoring helped to reinforce Ben’s own understanding, inspiring him to seek out more opportunities. He quickly branched out into tutoring middle and high school students in STEM and the humanities. He continues to support students across a broad range of academic subjects and grade levels. Ben’s teaching style has been described as patient, empathetic, and adaptive, and stems from a deep understanding of and passion for the subjects that he teaches. “Nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing the final puzzle piece of understanding falling into place.”


  • Teaching and tutoring experience in STEM and the Humanities (2019 – Present).
  • B.A. in Mathematics from Lewis and Clark College.
  • B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Lewis and Clark College.
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Sarah Clark
Sarah grew up helping her mom prepare her classroom every summer. It wasn’t until her time living abroad that Sarah began seeking social work jobs in education. This eventually led her to her first formal teaching job in Taiwan where she taught English to students in a K-12 setting. “I always saw myself more as a social worker than a teacher until I had the opportunity to teach, and I realized the true nature of teaching can become invaluable social work.”
After 2 years in Taiwan and almost 4 years living abroad, Sarah decided to relocate to the West Coast. In Portland she taught in Montessori settings both as a classroom teacher and as a yoga teacher for kids through her own company.
She also began her own private tutoring small business for 1.5 years while families navigated distance learning. After this she briefly ran her own Forest School out of Mount Tabor to serve a small group of students and families. “Over the years I am reminded that teaching is so much more than sharing information. It’s a profession that requires introspection and constant improvement in order to help my students succeed.”

Sarah utilizes her knowledge of yoga and mindfulness when working with students to help them work through the challenges they are facing. “I strive to understand each of my students’ personal qualities so I can leverage their unique strengths to help them achieve their goals.” As a teacher her goal is to foster a community of students who are confident and purposeful learners.


  • Teaching and tutoring experience with an emphasis on elementary education,  domestic and abroad (2016 – Present).
  • B.A. in sociology from Berea College.
  • ESL formal training and experience.
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Maggie Lombard

Maggie has worked with students from Pre-K all the way to 12th grade and loves every single grade. With a range of experience including education internships, classroom teaching, and home tutoring, they’ve developed a love of teaching, particularly working with students one-on-one to help them succeed. Specializing in reading, writing, and academic skills, Maggie is here to help individualize education for each and every student.

Beyond ELA, Maggie also has experience in elementary math and special education. They celebrate neurodiversity in students. “Every brain works differently, and every student deserves to feel successful in their learning journey!”

Outside of tutoring, you can find Maggie backpacking, cycling, or working on the perfect indoor garden for their cat, Florence Mew.


  • Teaching and tutoring experience across grade levels with an emphasis on ELA and Special Education (2020 – Present). 
  • B.A. Theatre Arts and English from Portland State University.
  • M.Ed. Secondary Education from Portland State University
  • Oregon Preliminary Teaching License, Endorsement in English Language Arts
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Mikhail Filarksi

Mikhail realized his passion for helping students find the right fit college while working as a Tour Guide and Campus Visit Coordinator in the Office of Admissions at his alma mater, University of Puget Sound. His experiences working with prospective students at UPS ultimately led him to seek out a career in college admissions counseling. After graduation, he started working as an Admissions Counselor at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Throughout his five years at Lewis & Clark, Mikhail has reviewed thousands of applications and college essays, conducted interviews with prospective students, and counseled students and their families on the college application and admissions process.  “In my current role, I enjoy being able to draw from my own experiences in conveying to students and families the value of a liberal arts education. While I love the work I do, I also have a passion for helping students and families find the college that is ultimately the best fit for them.”

Beyond his work at Lewis & Clark, Mikhail has worked with family and friends on aspects of the college admissions process such as building a college list, strengthening their applications, and helping them understand various financial aid awards. “My time working in college admissions has given me valuable skills to assist others in their own search for a college that will allow them to meet their post-grad goals and provide them with a truly special college experience.”


  • College admissions counseling experience (2018 – Present).
  • Experience in college essay writing workshops and application case studies
  • Member of National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACACA)
  • B.A. Political Science and Environmental Policy and Decision Making
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Gabi Ayad

As an oldest sibling, Gabi started in-home tutoring at an early age and extended those services to friends as a middle schooler. She started working as a professional private tutor throughout high school and college. She also taught introductory biology and chemistry labs to high schoolers and college students at Louisiana State University and Xavier University of Louisiana.

As a tutor, Gabi strives to make learning accessible, meeting students where they at and allowing them the opportunity to confront problems in their own time. She’s comfortable moving between different types of tutoring goals, whether it’s focusing on particular class content or building up foundational skills. Whatever the tutoring goals are, success hinges on fostering open and honest communication. “Learning is easy when communication is mutual.”

Outside of tutoring, Gabi is also a certified scientific diver. She is currently pursuing a career in Marine Biology that leverages her diving skills and experience. 


  • Tutoring experience in math, science, English, and Spanish with students in middle school through college (2008 – Present) 
  • B.S. Marine and Coastal Science from University of California, Davis
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Zada Anderson
Zada has always had a passion for math, science, and teaching. Starting as early as elementary school, she would create worksheets for her parents based on the material she was learning in class. Throughout middle school and high school, she taught swim lessons for children aged 2-18, and also tutored students with disabilities in STEM. “I’ve always enjoyed working with individuals to find the unique methods that work best for them to reach that ‘aha!’ moment.” 

Zada’s tutoring experience continued to grow throughout college, where she became a mentor for the university’s Disability Resource Center. In this role, she helped students–particularly those with neurodivergence–request academic accommodations, develop general life skills, and navigate the college transition. In graduate school, Zada also mentored several undergraduate students in her biomedical research lab. During school breaks, she enjoyed working as a substitute teacher for preschool through 12th grade, with a focus on reading, math, and science.

Outside of tutoring Zada works in a neuroscience research laboratory where she actively practices biology and chemistry concepts. When not working with students or in the lab, Zada enjoys reading, hiking, and baking. 


  • Tutoring experience in STEM and reading for grades K-12 (2015-present)
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University with minors is psychology, biotechnology, and critical disability studies
  • M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University
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Cora Orme
As a first-generation college graduate, Cora has always been passionate about removing barriers to education and learning. She began her journey as a writing consultant and tutor in college, fostering a passion for student success. She went on to earn an M.A. in Education from Sonoma State University where she also worked as the Tutorial Program Coordinator. There, she supervised and trained 80+ college tutors, refining her skills in tutoring practices.

Devoted to inclusive education, Cora supports neurodiverse students and those in need of executive functioning skills. In her previous role as an Academic Support Teacher at St. Mary’s Academy, she designed personalized academic support plans and taught a study support class, incorporating study strategies across disciplines. 

Cora’s expertise extends beyond traditional subjects, emphasizing her academic coaching experience. “I find joy in helping students navigate various subjects and develop ‘successful student skills’ that they can apply to language arts, algebra, or any class where they need a boost of confidence.”



  • Academic coaching experience with a focus on executive functioning skills support and  study strategies (2013 – Present)
  • B.A. in English Literature from Willamette University
  • M.A. in Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Teaching & Learning from Sonoma State University
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Iris Ellenberg
Iris’ experience in a variety of educational environments has cemented her understanding that relationship building is at the core of effective teaching and learning. From classroom teaching to outdoor leadership programs, Iris loves being an educator and learning with others. In particular, she draws on her experience in academic coaching to support students in learning how to learn, regardless of the subject at hand.
Iris first started tutoring in her local school district’s AVID program while studying at the University of New Mexico (UNM). “Thanks to the collaborative nature of an AVID classroom, I learned to encourage open-ended questions, motivate students to teach themselves and develop their capacity for critical thinking.” After graduating from UNM, she worked at a French immersion school and as a long-term substitute teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools, helping students of all ages to manage their academic responsibilities.
Iris hopes to provide the uplifting guidance that she remembers being so essential for her own intellectual nourishment. “Because I received accommodations for my own learning differences, I have deep compassion for how overwhelming many aspects of school can be. And, I know that school becomes much easier with the right supports.”  Iris feels that tending to the singular gifts and curiosities of each child is the key to finding pathways for success as a tutor.


  • Teaching and tutoring across grade levels with a focus on ELA, special education, and academic coaching (2015 – Present)
  • B.A. in French, Spanish, & Linguistics from the University of New Mexico
  • Training in interdisciplinary pedagogy from the UNM Honors College
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Rebecca Becker
Rebecca (Becky) Becker first realized she loved helping others understand math when she was tutoring as an undergraduate at Southern Oregon University. She subsequently switched her major from art to math and went on to get her masters in teaching. She taught high school math in Southern Oregon for 15 years and continues to substitute teach in math across all grade levels.
Beyond substitute teaching and tutoring, Becky also teaches art classes to young artists in Redmond.  She really enjoys the opportunity to help all ages and levels of students in both math and art.  She loves to paint, be outdoors, and play the ukulele. “Some of the facts I remember best are ones that were taught to me in song, so I like to write songs about math and sing them to my students. I like to get math stuck in their heads like a catchy tune.”
  • Teaching and tutoring experience in math and art (2008 – Present)
  • B.A. in Mathematics from Southern Oregon University
  • M.A.T. with Endorsement in Advanced Mathematics from Southern Oregon University

What's in a name?

Personalized. Connected. Emergent.