Adventures in Academia

Senior photo of tutor

My name is Katharine Joann Elise Ziegler, but you may call me Katie Jo. I have over ten years of teaching and tutoring experience. Inspiring others to discover their own passion for knowledge has always been my dream, whether that manifests through magick, mathematics, movement, or music.

Based in Royal Oak, Clawson, and Birmingham, MI, I am currently privately tutoring and proofreading throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. I specialize in tutoring physics, mathematics, and astronomy, but I can also tutor French, English, psychology, chemistry, and standardized test prep (SAT, ACT, GRE). This past fall, I greatly expanded my tutoring business to encompass subjects spanning mathematical logic to classical mythology. In addition to tutoring, I can teach hatha, prenatal, restorative, and yin yoga as well as beginning piano lessons. Please visit my sister site Lotus Lune to learn more about my yoga offerings if that piques your curiosity.

Last fall, I also coached the junior varsity girls field hockey team at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills and served as a long-term American literature and creative writing substitute teacher at the Roeper School in Birmingham. Previously, I taught as a middle school and high school mathematics, science, and French instructor at the Birmingham campus of Brightmont Academy and as an online adjunct astronomy & physics professor at Ivy Tech Community College—Indianapolis. Prior to that, I taught physics as an associate adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis for two years.

Teaching Experience

At Brightmont, I taught AP Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Introductory Algebra, Earth Space Science, and French.  I worked with middle school and high school students, who have ADHD, anxiety, autism, and athletic travel conflicts in a one-on-one instruction format with a mastery-based learning approach using the Apex Learning software.  I accommodated my individual students’ learning styles with empathy, patience, and creativity.

At Ivy Tech, I taught Physics II, three sections of Mechanics, and Solar System Astronomy, including several online sections.  At the University of Indianapolis, I taught three sections of General Physics II, including one hybrid section; I also designed my own experiments and set up laboratory equipment each week.  I led discussion and lab sections at the University of Chicago for courses which have run the gamut from introductory physics and astronomy to mathematical methods and mechanics to special topics such as black holes and gravitational waves.

As a teaching assistant, I received stellar student evaluations. In the spring of 2013, I was nominated by my students for the Physical Sciences Division Teaching Prize. I also received the Robert A. Millikan Fellowship for Teaching and Research for the 2013-2014 academic year and again in the summer of 2015.


I graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in physics as all but dissertation and a second master’s degree in astronomy & astrophysics. An Indiana native, I graduated with highest distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Purdue University, where I double majored in honors physics and mathematics with a minor in psychology. I also took five quarters of collegiate French classes during graduate school and eleven years of piano lessons plus three years of jazz band. Upon request, I can provide my curriculum vitae.

I have scored above the 90th percentile on all sections of both the SAT and the GRE with perfect scores on the GRE quantitative and the SAT verbal sections.  I have scored a 2310 on the SAT and a 35 out of 36 on three of the four required ACT sections with a composite score of 34.  During high school, I was also a National Merit Scholar and valedictorian.