Meet our Tutors

MJ Test Prep has a full staff of expert tutors to cover any subject area you’d like to address. You can learn about our tutors below and look for a good personality match with your student. Or if you’re not sure who to work with, we’d be happy to make a recommendation.  

Dr. Matthew JosephMatt_1

Founder and Owner
Dr. Matthew Joseph, a licensed school psychologist, has been tutoring for the SATs for over 25 years. His educational background includes an M.F.A. in creative writing from Cornell University, where he was awarded a fellowship upon his acceptance. He subsequently won an additional scholarship based on his ongoing academic excellence, and completed his doctoral dissertation, which examines the efficacy of various approaches of SAT coaching.

For this dissertation, he not only conducted extensive research regarding the effectiveness of SAT coaching, but also utilized his many years of coaching experience to analyze tens of thousands of SAT problems for the purpose of devising basic and easy-to-use solution skills to make taking the SAT a much more manageable task.

RJ BlazejewskiRJ Blazejewski
Senior tutor: SAT, ACT, Math subject test
RJ is the most experienced tutor on staff and specializes in helping students with high scores in both math and critical reading sections. RJ graduated with honors from Miami of Ohio with a degree in business. She began her career as a campaign staff worker for several political candidates with the intention of going to law school. As a result of her strong performance as an LSAT preparation student, she was asked to become an instructor. Through this she became involved in test preparation and loved the work, while simultaneously becoming dissatisfied with politics. She is now an icon here at MJ Test Prep as one of the most beloved tutors because of her kindness and good humor. RJ, despite her youthful energy, has been tutoring for over fifteen years.

David LynchDavid Lynch
Senior tutor and Director of Curriculum Development
SAT, ACT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT verbal, Math subject test

David has published several books on test preparation and is the creator of many of the SAT and ACT teaching materials we use at MJ Test Prep. With over 10 years of full-time teaching experience and perfect scores on the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE, David has earned a reputation as a true authority on standardized tests. He also created the computerized scoring system that we use to analyze students’ practice tests and guide their preparation.

David is the Philadelphia region’s foremost expert on the LSAT, having written a series of LSAT preparation books available in bookstores and used by tens of thousands of students nationwide. The series is based on years of research and a thorough analysis of every past test ever released. He combines his excellent verbal and logical skills with his years of experience as a math tutor to provide thorough and effective preparation programs for the GMAT, LSAT, and GRE, as well as college-admissions tests.

David earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in agricultural and environmental chemistry from the University of California, Davis before working in Japan as an English teacher. After returning to the U.S., he got involved in standardized test preparation and was quickly recognized by students and teachers alike as someone with a superb grasp on both the tests and the most effective techniques for letting students achieve their best scores.

Anthony PryorAnthony Pryor
Senior tutor: SAT, ACT, Math and Literature subject tests
Anthony graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and Economics. Upon graduating he was hired by a prestigious national SAT prep company to head up their Philadelphia division. While there Anthony was responsible for hiring and training the instructors, implementing curriculum, and managing the entire administrative branch of the office. Because of his highly developed skills as an instructor he was also called upon to work with the high-end students who the other tutors could not easily accommodate. In this capacity he soon realized he preferred the tutoring to his managerial duties, and so parted ways to begin tutoring on his own. He has been a prized tutor in this area for over the last eight years.

After being trained in our system of coaching, Anthony commented, “this is the way it should be done—this was my vision of how coaching could be organized.” Obviously that has endeared Anthony to us all and we greatly appreciate what he brings to this organization.

To complement his teaching, Anthony indulges his considerable creative and expressive talents as a musician. He is currently involved in writing and playing music for several projects in the Philadelphia area. We here at MJ Test Prep look forward to his shows and will continue to support him as he makes his rise on the music scene.

Matt RyanMatt Ryan
Senior tutor: SAT, ACT, Literature subject test, and AP English
Matt holds a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary; an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Yale University; and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently teaches 12th grade AP English at Methacton High School. Matt has tutored for the SAT, the ACT, the AP and subject tests for more than ten years.

Bob FineganBob Finegan
Senior Tutor: SAT and ACT verbal, Essays
Bob holds a B.A. in English and History from the University of Delaware, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Additionally, he holds an M..F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was awarded a teaching fellowship.

Bob has been a professor of composition and literature at Drexel University since 1993. He has also taught workshops at the University of Pennsylvania Writers Conference and in the graduate creative writing program at Rosemont College. Since 2012 Bob has served as a writing consultant at the Wharton School, where he helped to develop a graduate writing program and continues to coach MBA students.

Bob’s short stories have been published in The Sun, River Styx, The Antietam Review and other magazines, and he has received a literature fellowship from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has been with MJ Test Prep since 2006, and besides tutoring for the SAT and SAT Subject Test in literature, he specializes in helping students with college admissions essays and general writing skills. Bob is VP of Sales at 11Trees, an e-Learning software company. His articles on various aspects of writing (including how to craft admissions essays) can be found at 11trees.com.

EmilioCacciavillani_BWEmilio Cacciavillani
Academic Specialist: Chemistry
Emilio is our expert in all levels of organic and inorganic chemistry. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from MIT and an M.S. in organic chemistry from UC Irvine before working as a medicinal chemist at SmithKline Beacham developing potential medications for AIDS. Discovering that teaching was his true calling, Emilio worked as the AP chemistry & honors chemistry teacher at both The Baldwin School and The Haverford School.

Emilio’s students have a track record of extremely high scores on the AP Chemistry test, the SAT Chemistry Subject test, and on the chemistry and organic chemistry portions of the MCAT.

Elena BertrandElena Bertrand
Academic Specialist: Math
Elena’s love of math and natural ability to explain difficult concepts has led her to a career as an educator. Elena has been tutoring since high school, and continued as a student at Drexel University, working for the Math Resource Center and acting as a Teacher’s Assistant for a Calculus class. Elena graduated on the Dean’s list with a B.S. in Teacher Education from Drexel University and minors in Mathematics and Psychology. Upon graduation she began teaching eighth grade math at Ridley Middle School. In September 2011, she earned her Master’s Degree in Math Learning and Teaching from Drexel University. She currently teaches math at Agnes Irwin.

Jeff GoldaderJeff Goldader
Academic Specialist: Physics
Jeff Goldader graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy in 1989 and earned his doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii in 1995. After a three-year fellowship at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, he was a Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania from 1998-2003. In 2004, he joined the Baldwin School as the Upper School physics teacher, where he teaches Physics, Honors Physics, and Advanced Physics (calculus-based). During the summers, Dr. Goldader has served as an adjunct professor in astronomy at Widener University. He holds a Pennsylvania teaching certificate in Physics, Grades 7-12.

Susan DorfmanSusan Dorfman
Academic Specialist: Biology
Dr. Susan Dorfman holds a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and a BA in Biology from Temple University. After completing two post-doctoral fellowships in neurology at UPenn Medical School and working eleven years in a research lab, Susan became a teacher at the pre-college level in the independent school system. She has taught all levels of general science and biology from Kindergarten Science to Gross Anatomy in Dental School. Susan is currently teaching biology and Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Baldwin School, where she has taught for twenty-three years and also served as head of the science department for six years. She has been a private tutor for 17 years on the main line for students in both public and independent schools, tutoring high school level biology as well as prep for the SAT II in Biology, the AP Biology Exam and the Biology portion of the MCAT and DAT.

Dan EscottDan Escott 
Associate Tutor: SAT, ACT, and ISEE/SSAT/HSPT
Dan is a former student of Dr. Matt Joseph. Under Dr. Joseph’s tutelage, Dan achieved a dramatic increase in his SAT scores. Since, Dan has incorporated both strategies of Dr. Matt Joseph and his own to deconstruct the sections of the SAT into recognizable patterns of questions that can be learned and mastered. An advocate of exposing students of all educational backgrounds to the SATs, Dan has developed and runs the first ever SAT program at Philadelphia’s Roberts Vaux High School. In addition to his three years in the Philadelphia School District as both a social studies and SAT teacher, Dan has developed and runs MJ Test Prep’s fall and spring SAT camps, tutors at MJ Test Prep’s summer camps, and offers individualized instruction with SAT preparation and college admittance essay writing. Dan’s four years of teaching and tutoring experience have enabled him to develop meaningful relationships with students as they build confidence and college readiness.

Dan holds a BA from Wake Forest University and an M.Ed from Eastern University. He is also a member of the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows’ eleventh cohort, an organization that seeks to bring high quality teachers to the Philadelphia School District.

EricEric Borowsky
Associate Tutor: SAT, ACT and Math Subject Tests; Academic Specialist for math
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and Cinema Studies, Eric headed out to Los Angeles to work in the film industry and write his own (supposedly) comedic screenplays. Since returning to the Philadelphia area, Eric has transitioned to a career in education.

In 2012, he instructed students of all ages as a part of Penn State’s Summer Reading Program and soon after began teaching at Folkshul, a Jewish Children’s School in Chestnut Hill. His newfound passion for education led him to MJ Test Prep in September of that year.

Eric is our lead camp tutor for the summer and tutors students in one-on-one sessions. He believes that MJ’s rigorous curriculum provides students with not only the skills but also the self-confidence required to increase their standardized test scores.

Ryan Archer

Associate Tutor: SAT, ACT and ISEE/SSAT/HSPT and Software Development 

Ryan studied computer science and French at Dartmouth College, where he also was a member of the varsity lightweight rowing team. He started tutoring as an undergraduate through the computer science department. After graduating in 2013, Ryan spent two years coaching collegiate rowing before joining MJ Test Prep in the summer of 2015. He offers instruction in object-oriented programming and software development with Python, preparation for all sections of the ACT and SAT, and tutoring for various school subjects.

Andy Snover

Associate Tutor: SAT and ACT

Andrew is a graduate of the Schreyer Honors College of Penn State University, where he received his BA in English, with a Creative Writing Emphasis. He also received a Minor in History, assisted by the head start of 21 credits he earned from his success on Advanced Placement tests in high school.  Originally from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Andrew attended Central High School where he excelled at academics and was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.  Whether he’s working with an underprivileged high school student trying to master algebra or an elite NCAA athlete struggling to write a term paper, Andrew’s approach is to show the student that the subject at hand isn’t nearly as hard as it looks once it is unraveled piece by piece. He focuses on building a student’s confidence and is quick to apply positive reinforcement to continually engage and motivate the student.

 

Adam Goren

Academic Specialist: Chemistry and Physicsatom

Adam is certified to teach high school chemistry, physics and biology in Pennsylvania and has spent more than the last ten years teaching a range of levels of physics and chemistry in Philadelphia area independent schools like the Shipley School and Penn Charter.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience & Behavior from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania before spending a number of years somehow supporting himself playing snarky synthesizer punk music.  Though time for tutoring is more challenging to come by during the school year, Adam provides tutoring support in both the Bryn Mawr and Chestnut Hill offices for each of the following: Chemistry subject test, Physics subject test, AP Chemistry Exam, AP Physics 1 Exam, AP Physics 2 Exam and general course support for algebra based physics & all levels of high school chemistry.

 

Terri MehalickTMehalick

Academic Specialist: Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Chemistry SAT II Subject Test

Terri is entering her fifth year of teaching in the Central Bucks School District in Doylestown, PA.  Currently she teaches Honors Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and an Organic/Equilibrium Chemistry elective course at CB West High School.  As such, she is adept at tailoring her teaching methods to match the readiness levels of various learners, from beginner to advanced to college-level.

Terri obtained her B.S. in Secondary Education with a chemistry option from the Pennsylvania State University in May 2012 and her Chemistry PA Teaching Certification in June 2012.  Since then, she has prepared and taught stimulating, ninety-minute science lessons for classes of diverse student ability and rigor.  In May 2016 Terri also earned her Master of Education degree through Cabrini College.

She and her husband Kevin grew up in Media and now live near Chestnut Hill.  When she’s not working, Terri likes to read, do yoga, and hang out with her friends and family.  As a tutor, Terri combines her range of experience and her enthusiasm for teaching to help students realize their academic confidence, potential, and mastery.

Jim Popiel

Academic Specialist: Math and Physics

Bio coming soon.

 

Ariadna

Ariadna Fink

Academic Specialist: Spanish

Ariadna is a native Spanish speaker and has been teaching Spanish at Agnes Irwin school for several years. She can help with academic Spanish and SAT Subject Tests.

 

 

Issac Lindy

Academic Specialist: French

Isaac Lindy graduated from Vassar College in 2014 with a BA with Honors in Urban Studies and a minor in Art History. His Urban Studies degree centered on contemporary education issues and community-based praxis. Isaac has facilitated critical media literacy workshops for middle school students and tutored English Language Learners in high school classrooms. An alum of Lower Merion School District public schools, Isaac began to study French in 1999, completing the LMSD French curriculum from elementary through AP. He continued his study of French language and culture at Vassar and, in 2012, Isaac spent a semester in Dakar and Saint-Louis, Senegal, sharpening his fluency. Since graduating from Vassar, Isaac has danced professionally in Philadelphia, honing his teaching skills as a freelance contemporary dance instructor. Isaac grew up as a competitive figure skater and recently returned to his childhood rink, Philadelphia Skating Club & Humane Society, to implement their first contemporary dance training program. He is thrilled to be joining the MJ Test Prep team!

Meng Hao

Academic Specialist: Mandarin

 

Meng Hao is a Mandarin Chinese speaker with more than ten years teaching experience.  She taught as a university music professor in China for seven years, and she has recently been working at Chinese training schools in Philadelphia.  She has now joined MJ Test Prep.  Her educational background includes a Master’s degree in music and composition from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music in China.  During her time as a professor in China, she published many papers in scholarly journals on music theory and music education.  She can help with Mandarin, academic Chinese, ACTFL, OPI, WPT, and the SAT Chinese subject test. Meng also teaches piano.

James Holmes

Academic Specialist: History, Writing, and Spanish

A native of Denver, Colorado, James moved to Pennsylvania in 2013 to begin his Master’s research at Villanova University, where he specialized in the history of Europe and the Islamic World, and tutored students in the Villanova Writing Center.  After graduating, he took a position at Holy Family University, teaching the history of the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds and encompassing the entire globe, from China to the Middle East to Europe to the Americas.  In the summer of 2016, he enrolled in the intensive immersion language program with the Middlebury Language Schools, making Arabic his third foreign language, after Spanish and French.  James is also an experienced musician, enjoying playing the piano, clarinet, saxophone, drums, and singing in his free time.

Valerie S. Thaler

Expository Writing Instructor

Thaler_Valerie2Valerie Thaler has a Ph.D. from Yale University in Religious Studies, and an M.A. from Brandeis in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale with a B.A. in American Studies, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa her junior year.

Since completing her doctorate in American Jewish History in 2008, Valerie has served as a history instructor for students in high school, college and graduate school. Her expertise is in academic writing instruction, particularly as it connects to research skills. She is currently writing a book with Broadview Press, Solving the Puzzle: A Guide to Historical Research, intended to introduce college students to the steps needed to write a historical research paper. Valerie has taught classes which introduce students to every step of the research process from finding a topic, to outlining, drafting, and revising a final paper.

Valerie also has experience in coaching students for the Redesigned SAT Essay which debuted in 2016, including identifying argumentative strategies, making the best use of time available, and avoiding common mistakes.

Michael ColleranMichael Colleran
Interview Specialist
Michael Colleran spent over 35 years in the television industry in senior management positions with both ABC and CBS. Throughout that time, Michael interviewed and hired thousands of job applicants. It is from that frontline experience that he has developed a proven system for interview success, career choice and personal differentiation. He has lectured at some of our finest universities including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, USC, Temple, Drexel, University of Miami and NYU.

Joe Havlick

HavlicJ

Anxiety Reduction Specialist

Joe Havlick has a Ph.D. in sports psychology and is an expert in anxiety reduction. He draws on a combination of mindfulness training and performance enhancement skill building to help students reduce the anxiety that accompanies standardized testing. Additionally, he uses these same skills to help people overcome many types of performance anxiety, including that associated with athletic performance. Positive psychology is a quickly growing field focused on all aspects of self-actualization. Dr. Havlick’s training is geared toward maximizing performance but is born from a deep concern with the welfare and growth of each individual.