Brandon teaching his 4-year-old to surf

I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Brophy College Preparatory High School, where I competed for all 4 years on the State Championship swim team and also swam on a club team (Phoenix Swim Club) which turned out a number of Olympians while I was there – unfortunately, I was not one of them. I was a Four Year Varsity Letterman as well as All-Region, my junior and senior years, and placed 6th at Open Water Nationals as a 17-year-old in the 15k. I truly understand what it takes to be a scholar-athlete: trying to keep up with AP courses, juggling double practices on both a high school and club team, trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, and finding time to sleep!

After high school, I went on to Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois (made it out of Arizona, yeah!) on an academic scholarship where I graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa as a double major in Biology and Chemistry. I swam on the LFC Varsity swim team, earning Academic All-Midwest conference honors, and serving as team co-captain during my senior year. I also ran on the Varsity Cross-Country team, and earned a Scholar Athlete award, given to the top dual-sport scholar-athlete in the Conference.

I made my journey to California when I started at Stanford University’s Medical School as a graduate student in Molecular and Cellular Physiology. I graduated in 2010 with a Ph.D. in MCP (my dissertation work was on ion channel physiology – in essence, what makes neurons work). I am now thrilled to call the Bay Area, “Home.”

I LOVE teaching anyone who is willing to learn! My love of learning and for math and science helps me be enthusiastic while explaining subject matter to my students. I have also been teaching and coaching swimming since high school, and find that breaking down unconscious, automatic movements into discrete step-by-step instructions translates to breaking down less accessible material – like science, math, or writing. In high school, I tutored underserved middle school children; in college and graduate school, I was a student teacher for various Biology courses, in addition to working with underserved kids in East Palo Alto (tutoring and teaching science), as well as being a Big Brother to a middle schooler. I truly enjoy helping people achieve their personal goals, whether I am teaching an adult how to swim, guiding a 7-year-old across the Bay from Alcatraz, or helping students achieve their best in school.

In my time away from Cognitive Advantage, I am a math professor and Director of the Math Center at Menlo College, husband, and father of four boys! I am also a swim coach for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics and the Pacific Region Coach for the Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training (FAST), which sponsors an annual swim from Alcatraz and a Golden Gate crossing swim for kids! The goal of FAST is to raise drowning prevention awareness, and have kids teach other kids about water safety.

On the off chance that there is any other free time, I enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, surfing, abalone diving, and spearfishing.

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