CTC Math Tutors
I have lived in the Fairbanks/North Pole area since I was 5 years old. I got my first paying job tutoring math when I was in 5th grade and after that, I was hooked. When I attended UAF as an undergrad I worked in the Math lab up on campus. After graduating I did private tutoring and then worked for the IAC campus of UAF tutoring students from rural areas, both in-person and remotely. Once I started having kids I quit working full time and spent over a year helping the Literacy Council of Alaska get the math portion of their GED program started.
After staying home and homeschooling the last several years, I am very thankful to be back in the lab with students, helping them understand and succeed at math.
Besides math I love homeschooling my own kids, especially teaching them to read and love books. Prior to having kids I was very active and spent a ton of time hiking, canoeing, playing ultimate frisbee, and exploring. Someday I hope to do those things again. In the meantime, I am reading, investing in my friendships, trying to learn to cook better, and discovering my crafty side with embroidery.
Hello, my name is Brad Burns. I was born and have spent most of my life in Anchorage. I am a student at UAF working towards a B.B.A. with a focus in finance. I am an ROTC cadet and look forward to starting my career out of college. I enjoy spending time with friends, being active, and playing Valorant. I look forward to being a resource and helping people develop their skills.
My name is Vaughn Ewig and I have lived in the Fairbanks area my whole life. Before high school I found math to be difficult and stressful, but then 2 of my math teachers helped me realize that I could succeed at and even enjoy math. This change in perspective influenced me to double major in math & history at UAF, and I graduated with Bachelor’s Degrees in 2004 and 2006. While in college I tutored both at the Chapman Math Lab and privately. For the past 13 years, I have worked for the UAF Culinary Arts and Hospitality department teaching culinary and business math. While I have enjoyed teaching, I’ve missed being able to work with students one-on-one. This is why I am glad to be working here as a tutor once again.
When I am not at work I am usually pursuing my interests, sometimes with family and friends and sometimes by myself. The activities I enjoy doing include: traveling, eating in restaurants, partner dancing, video games, and of course solving fun math problems. The fields I enjoy reading/watching and talking about include: history, theology, psychology, and fiction (especially Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter). I look forward to helping you better understand and enjoy math!
Hi, my name is Joi Lockhart and I’m from Indianapolis, IN. I have always loved math because it challenged me to think and problem-solve in a way that was helpful in my everyday life. Teaching and tutoring have allowed me to share my love for math with students. My goal is to help them understand and love math too! My educational background is in Engineering, Mathematics, and Teaching. I attended Spelman College, Purdue University, and Marian University-I love school! Outside of math, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, lifting weights and hiking. I look forward to helping students achieve their math goals.
Hello! My name is Megan McCarthy and I am happy to be a member of CTC’s Math Lab tutoring team. I am a retired Math and Science teacher and have spent many years teaching in a variety of states and communities. As humans, our brains are wired to be problem solvers and math is one of the ways that we make sense of our world. Helping students develop confidence in their own problem-solving abilities has been a core of my teaching practice. Tutoring provides unique opportunities to help students strengthen their math literacy.
Our family has a long history with Fairbanks and UAF. My husband was born here and he and our oldest daughter are alumni; my younger daughter is currently a student. We have four awesome and delightful grandkids-two in Snohomish WA and two here in Fairbanks. I started my teaching career here and eventually retired here – with many adventures and experiences in between! Many years were spent in SE Alaska, most recently living and working on our boat in Juneau.
I love reading, sewing, and spending time with my family and our Great Pyrenees dog, Bella, who definitely loves the snow that we get here!
Hello! My name is Luke McDonald. I am originally from southeastern Pennsylvania and I have always loved math. Things just make more sense to me when you throw numbers in, and it is my goal to help others feel similarly. I wholeheartedly believe that anyone can be a “math person,” and that math can be accessible to everyone with the right experiences. I love what one-on-one tutoring can do to make this a reality.
My teaching career began in 2015 when I moved to Unalakleet, AK, where I spent 4 years as the high school math teacher. After that, I spent two years as the Bering Strait School District Math Facilitator, where I traveled to other schools in the region to provide any support teachers needed. In 2021, my wife and I moved to the road system and I am now in my second year of teaching high school math at Valley Pathways in Palmer. When I’m not teaching, I love hanging out with my wife and our three dogs, camping, playing piano and guitar, stargazing, canoeing, and hiking or skiing, depending on the season. I’m excited to work with you!
Hi, my name is Micah VanderHart, I’m a sophomore at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working towards a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. I was raised in a small community just outside of Delta Junction, where I developed a love for engineering and math. I enjoy digitally designing objects and using my 3D printer to make them real, and I’ve designed and built the computerized cutting machine shown in the picture. This machine takes a digital design and cuts it out of wood, plastic, or metal. Beyond my engineering interests, I enjoy hiking, playing chess, and of course, doing math, especially doing creative problem-solving.
I look forward to helping you learn math this semester!
CTC Science Tutor
Hello! My name is Reed Thomas, and I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. After graduating from Lathrop High School in 2018, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in physiology from UAF in 2021. During my time at UAF, I was a part of two research labs where I investigated marmot genetics and evolution, and arctic ground squirrel neurochemistry. Outside of school, I spent my time coaching soccer, operating my business, and preparing to apply to medical school.
After graduating, I applied and was awarded a two-year postbaccalaureate clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. There, I studied human energy metabolism (calories in vs. calories out) in health and disease. As of August 2023, I have relocated to Madison, Wisconsin to escape big city life and seek new opportunities. Currently, I am working as a laboratory support technician in clinics throughout western Madison while I wait to matriculate into medical school next fall. I enjoy coaching and playing soccer, as well as fishing, hiking, and traveling.
I am excited to work with you!
CTC Writing Tutors
My name is Christi Cole. I was born and raised in Alaska and usually had my nose in a book during most of my childhood. As a teenager, I dabbled in enough poetry and creative writing to get a few published, and several opportunities came during young adulthood to travel abroad doing editorial work for writers and broadcasters! About four years ago I volunteer-taught English as a second language at the Literacy Council of Alaska before finding my way to part-time English tutoring at CTC for the last three winters. I love the flexibility of this job, the students I get to meet along the way, and especially the thought-provoking essays I get to read from you all!
Jennifer Ferderer Foley
Hello! My name is Heather Fernstrom and I am very excited to be working with you on your writing projects. My educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Northern Studies from UAF and a Masters of Science in Geography from The Pennsylvania State University. I served as a Teaching Assistant at Penn State and as Adjunct Faculty for UAF Northwest Campus.
In my free time, I like to chase my littles around on a hiking trail or through the snow. I enjoy growing veggies (nothing like a carrot from the backyard, however teeny tiny it may be!), baking bread (cinnamon rolls count as bread, right?), board games (Wingspan, anyone?) and cribbage.
Brandi Jo Nyberg
Hi, my name is Brandi Jo Nyberg, and I’m one of the writing tutors here at the CTC Learning Center. I have a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from UAF. Additionally, I’ve been teaching 100 and 200-level writing courses for UAF / CTC since 2016. As a writing tutor, I’d be happy to work on any type of writing with you, and writing that’s at any stage of your own writing process.
In the winter, I love cozying up with a book or a knitting project after a long cross-country ski. During the summer, I also love to be outside, and the majority of my jobs other than teaching and tutoring have been outdoor ones – river guiding, jobs in the ecology field, and farming. I look forward to working with you and reading some of your writing!
A one-year judicial clerkship brought this first-generation graduate to Alaska in 1989. I never left. After more than a decade of practicing law, I became a stay-at-home, home-schooling mother. Because the children are grown, I now have time to support other students. I am a lifelong reader, hiker, and traveler who enjoys farm life with my partner, a UAF alumnus.
Writing is a skill, not a talent; I’m here to help you with any writing, from Tweets to research papers.
Ethan earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in English with minors in technical writing and linguistics, and he is currently working on earning his master’s degree in composition and pedagogical studies at Michigan State University. Throughout his academic career, Ethan has worked in the writing center at the University of Minnesota and taught first-year writing at Michigan State University. His research interests include writing-program administration, writing across the curriculum, writing in disciplines, first-year composition, writing assessment, and writing pedagogy and theory. In his spare time, he enjoys going out with friends, traveling to new places, reading great books, playing volleyball, and watching sitcoms and comedy movies.