Our Mentors

“Brainiacs” are more than tutors. Our mentors are Brainiac’s primary asset and key to sustaining the high-quality levels and results our students experience. They are successful university students, graduates, and experienced teachers who serve as role models and mentors to students they help.

All mentors are screened during a rigorous interview process where they demonstrate high levels of achievement in academia in addition to an extraordinary passion for helping students achieve the “Aha!” moment.  They also undergo a state-conducted and approved background check.

Mindy Benavides

Mindy attends Trinity University and is planning to major in neuroscience, and minor in mathematics.  Mindy is a spirited and motivated individual who enjoys working with students in pursuing their academic goals.  In high school, Mindy was an experienced mentor in math and now mentors Brainiac students in calculus, chemistry, algebra, pre-cal, and physics.

Kathy Dial

Kathy graduated from Texas Tech with a MS in Analytical chemistry and from UIW with a BS in Chemistry and a minor in psychology.  She has taught chemistry as an adjunct at UIW and Northeast Lakeview College.  Her favorite part of teaching is what she calls the “light bulb” moments, when the concept clicks for a student.  Seeing her student improve their understanding and gain confidence in their abilities is the best reward possible.  Kathy mentors in chemistry, math, and test prep.

Mia Vu

Mia is a student at Trinity University and is planning to get her degree in neuroscience.  Throughout her high school experience she has had the opportunity to teach younger children in martial arts and other sports.  Mia enjoys watching students grow and find joy in understanding.  Mia mentors in biology, chemistry, math, and French.

Sydney Kuehne

Sydney currently attends Trinity University and is planning to receive a degree in political science with as minor in East Asian studies.  As an older sister, Sydney has seen how not understanding a subject in class can weigh on someone both academically and socially and  she is motivated to help ensure an enjoyable learning experience for all.  Sydney mentors in history, English, elementary & middle school math, organizational and study skills, as well as test prep.

Matthew Reyes

Matthew is medical student at UT Health San Antonio as well as a graduate from Texas A&M University where he majored in biomedical engineering. He discovered his passion for mentorship during his work senior counselor at a summer camp. His goal is to help a person develop the confidence and ability to themselves to any academic challenge they may face. Matthew mentors in calculus, algebra, biology, & physics.

Julie Montamat

Julie is a recently retired public educator of 30 years, with both teaching and administrative experience.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University.  Julie earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from UCCS, and an Educational Leadership certification from UTSA.  She found her passion for working with children when she was 16 years old, and has followed that passion ever since.  Positively impacting the lives of children is her life’s calling.  Along with being the Director of Programs for Brainiac, she also mentors students in algebra I, geometry, humanities, and test prep.

Jordan Sutlive

Jordan is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where he majored in English literature, and minored in Japanese and linguistics.  He’s recently returned to his hometown of San Antonio after a two-year stint teaching English is rural Japan.  During his time abroad, Jordan discovered an unflagging passion for teaching, and loves to see his students master a complex concept after hours of hard work.  Jordan mentors in paper edits and test prep.

Olivia Littlefield

Olivia is a Trinity University student who is on the pre-med route and is majoring in biology.  Throughout her years as a student, she has always been driven to improve and better herself.  A huge way she has made self-improvement is by helping others.  She is passionate about leading others to success and enjoys making them feel confident about their abilities.  Olivia mentors in Spanish, math, and chemistry.

Matthew Dugi

Matthew is a UTSA student majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics.  Throughout middle and high school, he has gained experience helping his fellow classmates and siblings in both their math and science classes.  Seeing them reach an “aha” moment in their homework problems has drive Matthew to assist others in breaking through academic barriers.  Matthew mentors in chemistry, math, physics, and test prep.

Anjelica Jones

Anjelica is a recent graduate of UTSA with a major in middle school English and social studies education with a minor in English literature.  Anjelica has always has a passion for helping people and has spent the past seven years in a teaching or mentoring position.  Anjelica has worked with children of all ages, ranging from young babies to incoming college students.  Anjelica mentors Brainiac students in English, history, social studies,  and test prep.

Kristina Hansen

Kristina graduated from the University of Redlands with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in chemistry.  She also studied for two years at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio before changing career paths upon finding her true passion in the field of school psychology.  Kristina is now a master’s school psychology student at Our Lady of the Lake University studying for dual licensure as an LSSP and LPC.  Through her past work as a tutor and life skills instructor, Kristina found a love for teaching and helping students reach their full potential.  It is a joy for her to witness when students have “light bulb” moments, and she enjoys being an instrument in each student’s transformation along the path to academic success.  She strives to help students maintain a positive attitude throughout their studies and to provide them with the support and tools they need to accomplish their goals.  Kristina mentors in biology, chemistry, pre-algebra, algebra I & II, pre-calculus, and test prep.

Baudelia Ruiz

has been tutoring since 2015. She earned a bachelor’s in biology with a minor in chemistry from OLLU. It was during undergrad that she discovered her love of tutoring. She tutors all math, including Calc I and AP Stats, as well as biology, chemistry, Spanish, and test prep. Most recently, Baudy has accepted a teaching job at a high school and is looking forward to expanding her teaching capabilities.

Callie Marshall

Callie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Plan II Honors and history, in addition to her minors in chemistry and biology.  She is now a medical student at UTHSCSA and hopes to work in pediatrics upon graduation.  She enjoys thinking creatively about difficult concepts and finding ways to illustrate them for her peers and students.  Callie mentors Brainiac students in biology, physics, algebra, geometry, English, history, and test prep.

Jaime Cruz

Jaime graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in biology and minor in business administration.  Growing up he attended a small high school campus that emphasized peer led tutoring and found himself enjoying teaching and learning from other students.  The moment a student truly understands the concepts and has that eye opening moment about a subject they were having trouble in is what motivates Jaime to continue tutoring.  Currently a medical student, he continues practicing his love of teaching others with his patients, peers, and wife.  In his spare time, he loves to play basketball, watch the Dallas Cowboys games, and walk his dogs.  Jaime mentors in biology, bio chem, anatomy & physiology, chemistry, and algebra.

Ahmed Shoola

Ahmed is a University of Texas at Austin graduate who received a degree in chemistry.  Beginning in high school, Ahmed found himself helping friends and classmates understand material they couldn’t grasp in class.  He used this passion and his love for teaching successfully when serving as a teachers assistant in undergrad.  He is currently a medical student at UTHSCSA.  Ahmed mentors Brainiac students in algebra II, pre-cal, biology, and chemistry.

Iris Guerra

Iris graduated from the UTSA earning a Master’s degree in counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology.  Iris is passionate about helping others reach their fullest potential with a focus on student academic and personal achievement.  Iris currently works as a lead teacher for Brainiac’s Reading & Literacy Program.

Ethan Leonard

Ethan is a medical student at UTHSCSA.  He received his degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University.  At BYU, Ethan worked as a teaching assistant in the chemistry department and enjoyed helping students.  Ethan mentors Brainiac students in biology, chemistry, and Spanish.

Hannah Purkiss

Hannah graduated with honors from Winston Churchill High School, and is currently attending San Antonio College.  She is enrolled in her fifth consecutive year of American Sign Language, with the aspiration of interpreting for the deaf in the private sector.  Hannah is an avid reader and lives to share her passion for literature.  Hannah currently works as an assistant teacher for Brainiac’s Reading & Literacy Program.

Saskia Reford

Saskia is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Plan II and the Canfield Business Honors Program, with a minor in economics.  In high school, she tutored her classmates in calculus, statistics, and Latin; moreover, she helped edit English papers.  Saskia loves watching a student become confident in a subject that they previously struggled with.  Saskia mentors economics, English, math (pre-cal to calculus BC), and test prep

Isa Garcia

Isa is a University of Texas at Austin graduate who received a degree in Radio-Television-Film and minored in Spanish.  Beginning in high school, she would help the kids she babysat for with their homework and found that she really enjoyed it. Learning how each student thinks and helping them discover the best learning strategies for them is what drives Isa to work with young minds.  Isa mentors Brainiac students in Spanish, math, and SAT/ACT reading and writing prep.

Anne Rubsamen

Anne is a student at Scripps College in California where she studies writing and rhetoric.  A lover of learning, Anne enjoys tutoring because it helps students explore and understand material as a collaborative process between mentor and student.  She hope to make learning a less daunting and less stressful endeavor.  Anne mentors in English, writing, and history.

Christopher Mowrey

Christopher is a UTSA graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in Biology.  In high school, he received tutoring for the SAT and ACT.  He also took rigorous AP courses as well as courses like dual credit macro economy.  In addition to having taken SAT and ACT, he has taken other standardized exams such as GRE and MCAT.  Having tutored his peer in statistics and organic chemistry, Christopher looks forward to mentoring Brainiac students in test prep, statistics, chemistry, physics, algebra, geometry, and pre-cal.

Allison Pettijohn

Allison is currently a student at Trinity University and is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry.  Allison has been helping students and classmates throughout high school and college.  She enjoys supporting others in difficult areas and helps them to excel in their studies.  Allison mentors in chemistry, pre-cal, calculus, geometry, and algebra I and II.

Christopher Foley

Chris has a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies, English Education, and English Language and Literature from Dallas Baptist University, Northeastern State University, and Our Lady of the Lake University, respectively.  Chris has always had an aptitude for learning and a love for literature, and he seeks to share his gifts with the people around him.  His is deeply committed to achieving excellence , both for himself and for helping the people around him achieve excellence, as well.  Currently, Chris mentors Brainiac students in English composition and literature.

Piero Deur

Piero is originally from Lima, Peru, where he was born and raised.  There, he studied economics at La Universidad de Lima.  After moving to Texas, he attended Texas State University, earning a BA in Sociology.  He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in economics at UTSA.  Piero has worked in education for the past eight years and enjoys working with students of all ages. Piero currently mentors in Spanish, algebra I and II, geometry, social studies, statistics, and economics.

Violeta Sanchez

Violeta is a college student attending Alamo Colleges pursuing a nursing degree.  Violeta was born in San Antonio and raised in Monterrey NL, Mexico. Her first language was Spanish and she started learning English in the third grade.  Once becoming fluent in English, Violeta had a desire to help and encourage friends to learn Spanish.  Being bilingual at a young age has motivated her to become a tutor, to assist children in expanding their knowledge.  Violeta currently mentors in Spanish immersion with Brainiac.

Ashna Wagle

Ashna is a student at Trinity University majoring in Biology with a concentration in cellular biology with a minor in chemistry.  Originally using tutoring as a study tactic, Ashna fell in love with moments when helping her classmates and peers grasp material.  She finds their growth in education to be one of the most rewarding things she could experience.  Ashna mentors in chemistry, biology, algebra I and II, geometry, pre-calculus, and elementary and middle school English.

Avery McKay

Avery attends Trinity University and is majoring in Art History and Political Science.  Avery is originally from Richmond, VA and loves hiking reading, and art.  She really values the mentoring relationship as it is a unique way to help those around her grow.  Avery currently mentors Brainiac students in Spanish, writing, and humanities.

Julia Nania

Julia is a current student at Trinity University.  She is working on a degree in Engineering Science and a minor in Mathematics and Physics.  Julia went to a college preparatory high school, which gave her skills she hopes to share.  Julia also found in high school and college she could help her friends understand the material by presenting it a different way.  She loves seeing her peers get that aha! moment working with material they are struggling with.  Julia mentors in physics, algebra I and II, pre-calculus, and beginning Spanish.

Carmella DeSerto

Carmella is a current fourth-year medical student who hopes to pursue a career in Family Medicine.  She is originally from Wisconsin, but went to undergrad at Rice University in Houston, studying Kinesiology and Spanish.  She has a long history of teaching standardized test prep, and her favorite  subject to teach are critical reading, biology, and most humanities subjects.