Cary O’Brien is the Senior Program Advisor of East Coast operations. He has been a director in Academic Approach’s New York office since it opened in 2004, and took over management of the Boston office in 2008. As Regional Director, Cary oversees the hiring and training of tutors, the design and implementation of one-on-one programs, and the development and execution of school classroom programs.
Cary holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University in New York and has taught numerous undergraduate writing courses at Columbia College, while working towards his doctorate. Cary was selected in 2001 as a Writing Fellow to tutor at Columbia University’s Writing Center. There, he instructed undergraduate and graduate students on writing projects, ranging from first-year composition course work to doctoral dissertation chapters. In both his one-on-one and his classroom instruction, Cary has always sought to explore the relationship between sound reasoning and good writing, emphasizing the importance of both the logical precision and the rhetorical skills necessary for constructing compelling arguments.
What achievement or success story at Academic Approach are you most proud of?
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to foster in my students a passion for learning and knowledge, and I have had the pleasure of watching many of my students not only build the skills necessary to be successful academically, but also develop a truly intellectual spirit—a sense of wonder, and a drive to understand. I recall one student in particular, who worked extremely hard to achieve exceptional scores on his standardized tests. He was fortunate enough to get into Columbia University, my alma mater, and after completing the core curriculum there, he decided to major in English. When I asked him how he came to the decision, he said that it was in part based on our conversations about works of literature we both had read and enjoyed. After graduating from Columbia, he came and worked for Academic Approach as a tutor for a year, helping students build the skills he worked so hard to develop, and imparting his passion for learning through his instruction. In the fall of 2015 he began a Ph.D. program in Literature at Princeton University, and I can’t help feeling proud of his achievement.” -Cary O’Brien