Health Professions Applications Tutoring

Writing support for students applying to medical and dental school.

Summer 2022 Schedule

First day of operations: Monday, May 16

Last day of operations: Friday, July 29 

Schedule an appointment

Writing tutors are available throughout the summer to work with Cornell students and alum who are preparing applications to medical and dental school. Health Professions application tutors are experienced writing instructors who listen patiently, read thoughtfully, and offer considerate, supportive, and challenging feedback on personal statements and supplemental essays at ANY stage of the drafting process.

Writers can meet with tutors in person or online using an internet-based video, audio, or synchronous messaging platform (Online Tutoring). They can also submit drafts for a tutor's written feedback (eTutoring). Writers will need to register for accounts and make appointments for all online appointments.


During a session, tutors may help medical/dental school applicants to:

  • get started with personal statements and supplemental essays by reading and discussing writing prompts, evaluating personal, academic, and clinical experiences, brainstorming outlines.
  • explore ways to shape coherent arguments, make strong use of evidence, work within restrictive word-length requirements.
  • consider questions about depth of analysis, organization, thesis statements, audience expectations, paragraph development, style, sentence structure.
  • identify patterns of errors in grammar or usage and develop effective strategies for line-editing. 


  1. Bring 1 essay per 60-minute session; schedule additional sessions as necessary.
  2. Bring 2 specific questions; sessions are most productive when you are an active participant.
  3. Seek out multiple perspectives; you may meet no more than 3 times with the same tutor on the same essay. 

Schedule an appointment

Meet our Tutors

Rachel Horner

PhD Student, Musicology

I am a PhD student in musicology. In my work, I consider the intersections of music and language—especially in the contexts of Spanish and Latin American cultural festivals—and the effects these have on constructions of regional and national identity. My main areas of research include the musics of Latin America and Spain, ethnography, decoloniality, music and language, and music and identity.

Throughout my academic training, I have gained experience as an editor, Spanish–English translator, and diction coach. I have edited book manuscripts, seminar papers, and cover letters; translated publicity materials and meeting transcripts; and offered productive feedback on pronunciation and inflection for spoken lectures and presentations. As a tutor, I draw on all of this experience in order to offer a well-rounded approach to writing that can apply to any discipline. If you are looking for help with clarifying an argument, organizing a text, or developing your voice as a writer, I would love to work with you!

Sofi gjing Jovanovska

PhD Student, Philosophy

I am a sixth year PhD student in Philosophy at Cornell University. My research interest lies in the history of modern German thought. 

I have taught both as an instructor at the Philosophy Department and as a writing tutor at the Knight Institute. It is my style to focus on helping students clarify their thoughts and discover the ideas they find most urgent to bring forth. I believe knowing the thing that matters, be it a thesis statement or the reasons behind one’s motivations, plays a crucial role in making a piece of writing distinct and compelling. I also have extensive knowledge in crafting arguments and structuring a piece of writing so that the parts support a distinct purpose. 

As a writing tutor, I have assisted students with academic papers, application for internships as well as graduate and professional programs at various stages of their projects. Even at the early stages of the application process or when students don’t know how to proceed, clarifying what is expected of them and what they need to do next are a form of progress. So, I am open to helping with whatever the students are working on.

Chijioke Onah

PhD Student, Literatures in English

I am a second year PhD student in the Literatures in English department where my research focuses broadly on violence. Previously, I have worked on the mediation and memorialization of the Chibok girls kidnapping by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria. My dissertation project will be moving away from political violence to environmental violence—which is interesting to me because ecological violence may not always offer the same kind of spectacle that political violence offers. For example, I will be focusing on the (bio)political dynamics that influences the movement of toxic waste materials from the countries in the global North to African and Black communities globally. I want to see how this process can be used to understand the condition of Blackness and American empire-making globally. 

I have studied in different parts of the world before coming to Cornell. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. After that, I studied for my Masters degree at Goethe University of Frankfurt with a semester stay at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. In the US, I studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to Cornell. These international experiences influence my approach to writing as I am attentive to not only working with multicultural populations, but I also help my students to craft their essays in a way that is culturally sensitive and globally conscious. Having taught at Cornell’s First Year Writing Seminar for a year now, coupled with my experience interning at the Knight Institute last summer, I have worked with several students on different writing projects, including applying for medical schools or gaining healthcare summer internships. I am delighted to work with students to help them achieve their dreams. 

Brianna Marie Zgurich

PhD Student, Philosophy

I’m a PhD student in the Philosophy department who sees philosophy as a subject with the power of bridging the disciplines. As a tutor, I am interested in helping writers of any discipline at any stage in their writing process from the early outlining stages to the late nitpicky revisionary stages. Since I am trained in philosophical writing, helping others with persuasive argumentation, thorough explanation, and clear articulation of their ideas are my strong suits. I also have extensive knowledge of English grammar rules and see great value in effective word choice. I often like to focus at the sentence level or on shorter portions of text with a defined goal. In light of this, I can be a big help to the person who is focused on the finer aspects of clarity and precision of language in English prose.

As a fellow at Cornell’s Center for Teaching Innovation, I also have extensive knowledge concerning the composition of job application materials such as cover letters, diversity statements, teaching philosophy statements, syllabi, etc. Informed by a background in business and participation in search/interview committees, I also enjoy assisting students with bringing to light the most compelling version of themselves and their ideas for job and/or grant applications. Whether you want help organizing, getting out of writer’s block, a soundboard for your thoughts, or need someone to enter the weeds with you, I’m happy to jump right in.