About Us

Symbiosis: nounany interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc. (Dictionary.com)

All of our programs are holistic in the guidance and in the opportunities we provide, but one of the things we value most is the relationship we build with each of our students.  This relationship allows us to develop a deep understanding of our students’ unique strengths, challenges, and goals. Armed with this knowledge, we are then able to individualize our support of each student according to their specific needs.  Moreover, after working so closely with our students over the course of several years, our students virtually become our extended family!

We derive tremendous purpose and meaning through facilitating a holistic support system and assisting our students with developing essential skills.  Therefore, we named our company Symbiosis to reflect and honor the mutually beneficial relationship our program engenders.

Kristine Fringer, Director

Kristine has been working with young adults in a college setting for 20 years. At Mount Ida College, she held the positions Director of the Student Achievement Program, a support program for students with learning differences, and Director of Accessibility Services during three interim periods. In these positions, her number one goal was to ensure that students learned to self-advocate and to realize their full potential.  She believes students need to recognize and understand how they learn before they can navigate the path to their success. She also taught a first year seminar course and psychology at Mount Ida College.  She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Kristine has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. from Boston University.  She has received extensive training in Disability Rights in Higher Ed; and led several seminars for faculty on their role in leveling the playing field for students with learning differences.

Leo Rusinov, Instructor, Math, Financial Literacy, Learning Coach

Leo has been teaching and tutoring since 2010. He is a Massachusetts licensed Mathematics teacher and believes that learning should be engaging and interesting. One of Leo’s favorite math projects was building a business plan with his students, where they developed their own companies and modeled cash flow, revenue, and profits. In addition to teaching academic math, Leo has also taught Microsoft Excel, financial literacy, and personal budgeting. He is passionate about education and has worked with students from various backgrounds including learners with unique needs, IEPs, and specialized learning plans. Leo also runs his own SAT test preparation company, TutoringBoston, is a Boston University graduate, and is fluent in Russian. In his free time, Leo enjoys playing guitar, chess, and staying active.

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Samantha Rowe, Instructor, Biology & Math

Samantha is a teacher, tutor and reading and math specialist. She loves teaching, inspiring, guiding and gently challenging young people to have confidence in themselves and to use their strengths to reach their goals. As a former drug discovery research scientist in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, she is also passionate about teaching science at allgrade levels. Samantha tailors her approach based on the individual in an open, thoughtful manner, working to meet the needs of all students. For the past 10 years, she has worked with students with a variety of learning differences and challenges including those with dyslexia, dyscalculia, anxiety, OCD, giftedness, and autism spectrum disorder. She uses the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a research-proven method to teach literacy to individuals with dyslexia, to teach reading, writing and spelling. Samantha is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and held research positions at Schering-Plough Research Institute and Amgen, Inc.

Bradley Staeben, Instructor, 3D Design & Printing, Math

Bradley is a teacher who enjoys mathematics and exploring science in very hands on ways.  He loves finding what aspects of a subject students enjoy most and creating ways to harness and amplify that enthusiasm.  Over the last 10 years Bradley has taught his own children and co-founded an educational co-op that focused on STEM based subjects.  Over that time, he has taught classes and tutored students at various levels of mathematics, beginning computer programming, and 3D Design/Printing.  Bradley has worked with students at a variety of ages and learning styles.  He attempts to approach topics in multiple ways, where possible, and enjoys designing personal or small group student projects when opportunities present themselves.  Bradley is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin Stout with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology, with a specialty in Communications.  In his free time, Bradley enjoys reading, rock climbing, exploring new programs and techniques in 3D printing, and is studying Spanish. 

Katie Marotta, Instructor, History

Katie is currently a senior at Lasell University majoring in history with a focus in secondary education. She first came to Symbiosis Learning Center as one of our first interns and continued with us as an instructor. She enjoys working with students of all ages and teaching them about history. Some of Katie’s hobbies include reading, listening to music, and baking. At Lasell she is an active member of the Campus Activity Board and has participated in other organizations such as the Barry Price Mentoring Club. Outside of Lasell, Katie has been a summer camp counselor at Camp Thoreau in Concord, MA since 2014 and has worked with children of all ages at camp

Matthew Hotaling, Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master

Matt is always creating, whether it’s forging weapons and armor out of the most unlikely of materials, or weaving intricate adventures for others to explore. He places strong deference on the thoughts and ideas of others to help everyone achieve their best. Matt earned his BA is Creative Writing from a small liberal arts college in the Berkshires where he also served as co-president of a student run writing workshop. In addition to his academic achievements Matt is also an award winning costumer/cosplayer who has been invited to both guest and judge at conventions locally in New England. He wants to combine the breadth of his creative imagination with his years of peer/youth mentoring as a camp counselor and Boy Scout to create engaging and enriching worlds to explore with others.

Mary Walek, Yoga Instructor

Mary is a teacher that enjoys connecting the lessons of yoga on the mat to how it applies off the mat. Mary brings a playful, nurturing and uplifting spirit to her classes while making the practice accessible to all levels of experience.  She encourages her students to mindfully explore what yoga is beyond their mats, creating an opportunity for them to be refreshed, free of stress and open to new possibilities. 

Luba Korn, Instructor, American Sign Language

Luba Korn is currently teaching American Sign Language. She is a senior at UMass Dartmouth majoring in Liberal Arts with concentrations in English and History. She has found a passion for teaching as she loves working with kids and hope to one day become an English or History teacher. In addition to teaching ASL, she has been coaching volleyball for the past four years which has allowed her to experience working with kids of all ages. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking, and playing volleyball!

INTERNS

Fall 2020

Jacqueline Zambrano is currently a senior at Lasell University majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Studies. Her goal is to one day work as a school psychologist and is excited to work with kids of all ages and abilities. She is in numerous clubs such as Psi Chi National Honors Society, She’s the First, the Hospitality Management Association, and has been part of Paces which works to tutor kids throughout the greater Boston area.

Sydney Brady is a junior at Lasell University majoring in Psychology. She enjoys working with children of all ages, and aspires to become a Child Psychologist. At Lasell Sydney plays on the Women’s Lacrosse team, as well as being a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society. In her free time she loves to be with family and friends. Sydney is excited to intern with Symbiosis this fall! 

Isabel Silva  is currently a senior at Lasell University majoring in Psychology. She has a passion for working with children and teenagers. She is in a group on campus called PDP which stands for pathways to diversity in psychology. Which is a group of student of color, that major in psychology. They work with high school students who have interest in psychology. 

Fall 2019

Danielle Cooper is currently attending Lasell University majoring in Psychology and minoring in sociology. She enjoys working with children of all ages. Some of her hobbies are cooking, meditation, yoga, and listening to music.

She has been a part of numerous clubs such as Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society, Multicultural Club, and The Women’s Empowerment Club, in addition, she has volunteered at her local boys and girls club.

Katie Marotta, Instructor
U.S. History
Intern, Lasell University

Katie is currently a senior at Lasell University majoring in history with a focus in secondary education. She enjoys working with students of all ages and teaching them about history. Some of Katie’s hobbies include reading, listening to music, and baking. At Lasell she is an active member of the Campus Activity Board and has participated in other organizations such as the Barry Price Mentoring Club. Outside of Lasell, Katie has been a summer camp counselor at Camp Thoreau in Concord, MA since 2014 and has worked with children of all ages at camp. 

SPRING 2020