Casual photo of STEM Tutoring staff of math tutors, chemistry tutors, and physics tutors having fun.
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About Us

Cindy Palmer, the owner and founder of STEM Tutoring.

Cindy Palmer

Cindy Palmer, M.A., established STEM Tutoring in 2014 after 20 years of personal experience working with high school and college age students in both educational and therapeutic settings. Cindy’s undergraduate education focused on the sciences (Biology and Chemistry). After obtaining her undergraduate training from Miami University, she began her career as the Freshmen Transition Coordinator working with struggling students, a position that sparked her passion for helping students succeed both academically and emotionally.

Cindy then acquired her teaching certificate, qualifying her to teach both Chemistry and Biology. After teaching for 5 years (2 years in Littleton, Colorado and 3 years in the Bellevue School District), Cindy obtained her Masters in Counseling from Seattle School of Psychology and Theology in 2004. She had a private practice as a Mental Health Counselor for adults and adolescents and began meeting with students for academic tutoring as well.

Cindy now dedicates her time to training / mentoring the STEM Tutoring staff as well as providing Executive Function Coaching to students. As a director of STEM Tutoring, her driving mission is the development of leaders who can foster meaningful connections with students. She is also dedicated to providing her tutors with the latest research on all things related to the neuroscience of learning and adolescent development. As an Executive Functioning Coach, she supports students both emotionally and academically to build structures and habits that enable them to successfully engage in academics and life thereafter.

Cindy lives with her family in Bellingham, WA. When she’s not training tutors or meeting with students, she enjoys any excuse to be outside, whether it’s to run a trail, play tennis, camp, or hike.

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Emma Winningham

Emma Winningham, M.Ed, has 7 years of tutoring experience and 4 years of experience managing a large academic tutoring center at Western Washington University. Emma’s undergraduate coursework in Public Health with a minor in Chemistry focused significantly on STEM (including anatomy/physiology, cellular biology, exercise science, and plenty of time with beakers in the chem lab!) While completing her undergraduate studies, she became a writing tutor at Western’s library, which sparked her love for facilitating learning and student agency.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Emma became the manager of WWU’s Research & Writing Studio. Her main focus was developing tutors’ strengths and skills through evidence-based training and mentoring. To bolster her program management skills, she completed her Master’s in Adult and Higher Education with a strong focus on leadership, educational program management, and staff development strategies.

Emma has two goals at STEM Tutoring: ensure that all operations are running smoothly and that tutors are equipped with the skills they need to support your students best. She wants to make everyone (students, parents, and tutors) feel supported, valued, and connected.

Outside of work, Emma enjoys baking, reading, and relaxing in her hammock on warm summer days.

Bio picture of Amy Cully

Amy Cully

Amy has been in the education field for nearly 15 years after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry (with an emphasis on physics) from Western Washington University. Her love and passion for chemistry was solidified when she learned and understood everything could be explained (or at least approximated) with math, especially the things we could not see or rationalize. Math—numbers, symbols and equations—can be so powerful when we give them meaning and application. Amy loves demonstrating patterns in math so students can understand more than just the rules they are being taught. Amy did not complete her degrees with the mindset of going into teaching. She took a teaching job at a community college to fill the gap between graduating and finding her “real job”. It was the most challenging 10 weeks of her life, but she realized she was inspired to figure out how to teach and help her students learn. Amy’s passion with education lies in understanding how a person is thinking about a topic and figuring out how to tweak the concept to click with that individual’s brain. Aside from teaching chemistry, Amy’s other passion lies on the ice. She is a USA Hockey accredited coach and loves all things hockey despite never being a player herself. She can be found on the ice 2-5 times a week with her two kids. Aside from the direct application of physics, hockey provides an opportunity of finding comradery, quick thinking, and trusting instinct, plus it is just plain fun gliding on the ice and shooting a puck in the net.

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Thaseus Karkabe-Olson

Hi, I'm Thaseus! I graduated from the University of Washington in 2022 with a B.S. in physics and a minor in Mathematics. During that time and now, I have conducted and assisted with various physics education research projects with faculty from UW, Western, and Seattle Pacific University. I'm hoping to attend a Masters in Teaching program at Western, so that I can continue to show students a snapshot of how our wonderful world works!

Outside of teaching and research, I cycle through a variety of hobbies. As of writing this bio I've been enjoying biking around Bellingham, tinkering with computers, playing card games, and finding the best spots to get tea in the area.

Bio picture of Elizabeth Wirsching

Elizabeth Wirsching

Elizabeth Wirsching has graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Marine biology and a minor in Spanish. She is currently studying at Western Washington University (WWU)for a master’s in biology, studying epigenetics in Cottonwoods. Elizabeth has mentored students from elementary school all the way to high school and college in after-school programs like (OSU AWSEM club), tutoring for her sorority Sigma Delta Omega, and as intro bio lab TA at WWU. As a TA Elizabeth has taught classrooms of 24 students and 1:1 with students during office hours. She has worked hard to make her classroom an equitable environment where everyone feels safe, learns, and grows. She hopes to bring that to STEM Tutoring during her sessions.

Although math was initially a difficult subject, she found ways to excel in it, completing Calculus 2 in high school. The understanding of math has helped her have success in biology, chemistry, and physics. She uses math almost daily in calculating dilutions for experiments in her lab.

In addition to a strong background in biology, Elizabeth enjoys teaching her dog new tricks, bachata dancing, and listening to K-pop. She is also passionate about gluten-free baking, and sewing. She enjoys the challenge and how she can learn more through each project.

Bio picture of Nikki Ma

Nikki Ma

Nikki is a senior at the University of Washington pursuing a B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Education, Learning, & Societies. At UW, she supports undergraduates as a Peer Adviser and Orientation Leader to assist with their transition to college. Through UW Dream Project, Nikki also provides peer mentorship to middle and high schools in the Greater Seattle Area in college and career readiness. Her love for working with students has motivated her to pursue a career in Higher Education and continue supporting students in their educational journeys.

Nikki began peer tutoring in high school and continued through college in hopes of helping students not only succeed in school but also enjoy doing so. She has 4 years of tutoring experience in math and wants to ensure that students feel confident and supported.

Outside of work, Nikki loves figure skating (used to be a figure skating coach!), trying new seafood recipes, and playing music. As a Californian, she also loves going to the beach!

Bio picture of Will Melhorn

Will Melhorn

Will is currently attending the University of Washington, pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree, which he hopes to use in the field of renewable energy in the future. Will grew up attending international school in Bangkok Thailand, where his parents were both math teachers and helped Will realize his own passion for teaching. Seeing how his parents constantly innovated new ways to introduce concepts to their students has shaped Will’s perspective on teaching, and emphasized making the extra effort to accommodate for different needs. Will began peer tutoring in high school, and is excited to continue to help STEM students grow and feel more confident in their learning!

When he is not working or studying, Will can be found enjoying the outdoors and looking for new ways to stay active, which could be anything from racket sports to spikeball. No matter what the activity, Will is always there as long there is good music playing!

Ryan Fidelis

Ryan is a junior at the University of Washington studying Aeronautics and Astronautics. At UW, Ryan pursues his passions for air and space through his positions as an Aerodynamics Lead at Design, Build, Fly and as an undergraduate researcher at the Vortex Transport Lab. Through A Vision for Electronic Literacy and Access (AVELA), Ryan takes the knowledge and skills he gains from his extracurriculars and brings it to students who do not have the resources to learn the STEM field.

Ryan loves learning, and believes that the best way to learn is by teaching. His high degree of exposure to advanced math topics has forced him to seek out creative ways of simplifying the concepts for his own synthesis, breaking down problems and approaching them from numerous angles. It is this skill that he aims to pass on to his students, allowing them to confidently face their next challenge.

When Ryan is not working, you can find him reading fantasy novels, playing a variety of sports, listening to music, and playing video games. If there’s a challenge involved, you can bet that you’ll find Ryan there shortly after!

Bio picture of Alison Witwer

Alison Witwer

Alison Witwer graduated in 2023 from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Biology- Cellular and Molecular emphasis and a minor in art history. While at Western, Alison was an undergraduate research assistant in a molecular biology lab for two years. Additionally, she served as the Lead General Chemistry Tutor at Western's Tutoring Center, where she tutored up to 30 students per shift in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and math for two years. During that time, she discovered her love for breaking down complicated topics and motivating her students to succeed.   

In her free time, Alison enjoys many creative hobbies including sewing, embroidering, painting, and playing the flute. She works at a church with middle and high schoolers and volunteers with children. She plans on obtaining a Master's in the future to continue her journey in STEM and education. 

Bio picture of Heidi Neuman

Heidi Neuman

Heidi is a sophomore at the University of Washington pursuing a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Molecular Bioloy with a minor in Dance. At UW Heidi currently works as an computational undergraduate research assistant in a neuroscience laboratory. This experience has confirmed her desire to pursue a future career in medical/biological research, focusing on using computational and mathematical methods to gain new insights. She hopes to use her passion and talent in the fields of math and biology to make a positive impact on the world.

Heidi has always been strong in STEM subjects, and especially in math and biology. Throughout her own learning of these subjects, she makes a point to learn and understand the why behind everything she is doing. She enjoys being able to solve problems because she understands why a method works or why an answer is correct rather than just memorizing the method or answer. As a STEM tutor, Heidi hopes to impart this idea of understanding why to her students to increase their knowledge and confidence of the subjects they are studying.

When Heidi is not studying or working, she enjoys a variety of activities including dancing, crocheting, reading, and spending quality time with friends and family.