Director of Tutoring
Pace University, Masters of Science in the Teaching of Mathematics, 2006, 4.0 GPA; Yale University, 2004, major in African American Studies, graduated Magna Cum Laude with Distinction in the Major; perfect scores on SAT I Verbal, SAT Writing, Math II, Physics, and French Subject Tests; recipient of the AP Scholar Award for the student with the most and highest scores on Advanced Placement Exams in Illinois; score of 5 on AP exams in Physics C, Calculus BC, English Language, English Literature, French Language, French Literature, Economics, Art History, U.S. History, and European History.
Lily spent her time at Yale taking a wide range of classes from Anthropology to Mathematics. As a freshman, she was selected for the Directed Studies Program, a highly rigorous interdisciplinary course of study in the Philosophy, Literature, and Political Science of the Western tradition from Herodotus to Hannah Arendt. While pursuing her diverse educational interests, she also tutored in the New Haven public schools and started Ballroom Dance Outreach, a student group conducting free dance lessons in local high schools.
After graduating from Yale, Lily was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and began teaching at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School in fall, 2004, where she taught until spring, 2012. She simultaneously earned her Masters in Teaching and Professional Teaching Certificate. She has eight years of classroom experience teaching Mathematics and Physics, with subject areas ranging from Algebra remediation to calculus-based Physics, and has successfully shepherded her students through NYS Regents, SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, and AP exams alike.
As Director of Standardized Test Preparation, Lily brings to bear her years of experience with curriculum development, group instruction, and individual tutoring in both public and private schools to the challenging task of mastering standardized assessments, approaching them from both a strategic and a content-based point of view. She has worked to amplify and maintain test-specific guides totaling over 500 pages in length which focus on critical thinking skills and thorough understanding of content as a foundation, bridging the gap between the exercise of test preparation and the goal of becoming a well-educated and well-rounded student in any context. Students’ content mastery is bolstered by test-specific strategy and timed practice, which ensures accountability for students and their instructors and allows tutors to tailor their methods to the needs of each learner. Lily specializes in effective use of technology to add to students’ confidence and scores, and her review classes have helped test-takers maximize their performance and contributed to CET’s development of curricula based on detailed analysis of each exam’s structure and content. Additionally, she trains every one of CET’s test prep tutors and oversees their work with individual students, focusing on continuous improvement and expansion of CET’s teaching techniques.
Lily herself has helped dozens of students improve their test results both in and out of the classroom and has become one of the most sought-after tutors at CET with her unique blend of expertise and relatability. She has seen great improvements working with students in a wide variety of subjects and grade levels and knows that every student can and will learn with the right approach. Lily believes strongly in a conceptual, discovery-based, and student-focused approach to learning. She is well acquainted with the challenges and pressures of a rigorous academic atmosphere and works to engage students through both her own passion for the subjects she teaches and her naturally enthusiastic and supportive personality.
Lily considers boredom to be a sin and spends her non-teaching time immersed in her other career as a Latin Ballroom dancer. (She also teaches, performs, and competes in the cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, and jive!)
Columbia University, 2011, major in English and Comparative Literature, 3.96 GPA, graduated Magna Cum Laude with English Departmental Honors, Dean’s List Fall 2007-Spring 2011; member of Phi Beta Kappa; National Merit Finalist, 2007; Recipient of the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, 2007; Near-perfect score of 2350 on SATs, (with perfect scores on Writing and Reading sections), 770 on Chemistry SAT Subject Test, 800 on Spanish SAT Subject Test; AP Scholar with Distinction: Score of 5 on AP exams in U.S. History, Latin, Spanish, and BC Calculus.
A lifelong academic high-achiever and extremely versatile and experienced tutor, Alice has worked with hundreds of students to help them excel in such diverse subjects as English, history, Spanish, geometry, chemistry, physics, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus; she has also tutored dozens of students for the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, GRE, and various SAT subject tests with consistently spectacular results.
As a native New Yorker and graduate of the New York City private school system, Alice is well acquainted with the stress and anxiety created by its pressure-cooker academic environment. She employs empathy, humor, and enthusiasm to help her students solidify their skill sets and develop confidence in their own academic abilities, while having as much fun as possible along the way. Her methodology consists of a systematic, step-by-step breakdown and explanation of concepts and strategies, as well as a keen attention to the details of each student's unique personality and learning style.
When she is not tutoring, Alice may be found reading at home, running in various NYC parks, or pursuing her career as an actress/singer/dancer.
Princeton University, 2012, major in Religion with a certificate in Theatre, top quintile; Member of Phi Beta Kappa; Award for Outstanding Original Research in Islamic Studies, 2012; Sophomore Award for Excellence in Theatre, 2010; Shapiro Award for Academic Excellence as a Freshman, 2009; score of 5 on AP exams in Chemistry, BC Calculus, US History, and Psychology.
Clayton has worked with Competitive Edge since 2012, working with students in virtually every area of test prep and coursework. He is uniquely qualified to support students in both the humanities and advanced science and math courses, and shifts seamlessly between these disciplines. As a test prep tutor, Clayton has worked with students to prepare for the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement exams, Regents Exams, ISEE, and the SSAT. Though his plan for students is always based on their individual needs, Clayton strives to make his sessions fun and engaging, while also holding his students accountable. He takes great pride in letting his students gradually take more ownership over their test prep program, and has helped them gain admittance into some of the top colleges in the nation. Clayton loves to make personal connections during his sessions, and still regularly keeps in touch with many of his former students.
Prior to his work with Competitive Edge, Clayton tutored for three years as a Fellow with the Princeton University Writing Center, an undergraduate and graduate resource for academic writing. He worked individually with hundreds of students on a wide variety of academic papers, becoming known for his calm and approachable demeanor, and his ability to explain concepts clearly while letting students take ownership of their work. He later became a Head Fellow at the Writing Center, training other Fellows to become more effective at their craft.
Clayton is also a certified high school science teacher for the subjects of Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. He has experience teaching science in the classroom at Sharpstown High School, part of the Houston Independent School District. His passion for science dates back to the earlier years of his education, when he won the Bausch and Lomb Award for Excellence in Science in 2007. Through Competitive Edge, Clayton has designed curricula for and taught full classroom based courses on the ACT and the SAT Physics subject test. In the classroom setting, Clayton focuses on finding a balance between creating engaging content for all students, while making sure no students feel left behind.
Lastly, he is a nut for all things creative—he loves theatre, writing and music, so much so that he has trouble determining which of these is his true love! Currently, he is writing a book, while occasionally performing his award winning one man show at colleges along the East Coast.
Université Capitole 1, 2010, Ph.D. in Economics and Applied Statistics; perfect score on GRE Quantitative Section; Harvard University, 2003, major in Economics, graduated Cum Laude with Departmental Honors, recipient of the Duesenberry Fellowship; National Merit Scholar, 1999; AP Scholar with Distinction: score of 5 on AP exams in U.S. History, French Language, English Language; 760 on French SAT Subject Test; 4th in State of NJ, 1998, on National Spanish Exam.
Ruby is a lifelong academic: after graduating Harvard, she studied Multivariate Calculus and Linear Algebra in addition to pure mathematics including Sets, Groups, Topology and Real Analysis. She has also mastered graduate level Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics, Numerical Analysis and Stochastic Calculus.
Ruby has over 10 years of teaching experience: at Harvard, she was a peer tutor for Economics, Calculus and French with the Bureau of Study Counsel. She also tutored low-income students in Roxbury, MA with the Philips Brooks House Association. After graduating college, Ruby was a private tutor for both a national tutoring agency and a boutique tutoring service in the New York area. She helped students with Algebra, Calculus, Geometry and Trigonometry. She also tutored the Quantitative section of the GRE and French.
Ruby enjoys tutoring individuals and small groups to customize the approach to the needs of the student. A unique aspect of her teaching is that she asks questions and follow-up questions to lead students to the correct reasoning or answer. She finds this active style creates links between theory and application and the students can soon implement techniques independently because they have developed confidence and become intuitive regarding their studies.
When teaching quantitative subjects, Ruby encourages students to derive theorems and relationships rather than rely on memorization. Past students have appreciated her ability to create simple, basic examples to illustrate technical concepts.
When helping students with language, she favors learning in context rather than with algorithms. Contextualizing vocabulary and grammar facilitates retention.
Outside of tutoring, Ruby writes narrative non-fiction testing the extent to which natural boundaries affect the rate of change in population settlement patterns. She also keeps up with foreign film.
CUNY Graduate Center, currently matriculated, Ph.D. in Nanotechnology and Materials Chemistry; Rollins College, 2013, graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Chemistry and Mathematics; American Institute of Chemists’ Outstanding Senior Chemistry Major Award, 2013; Archibald Granville Bush Award (excellent standard in academic pursuits), 2011 & 2013; Thomas R. Baker Memorial Prize (excellence in chemistry), 2012; Centennial Award (academic excellence), 2009-2013; Cram Science Scholarship (excellence in the sciences), 2009-2013; Deans Scholarship, 2009-2013; CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award, 2010; ranked 3rd in Deer Park High School, NY, 2009; scores of 5 on AP exams in Macroeconomics, English Language and Composition, Chemistry, Physics B, and US History; 800 on Critical Reading SAT I, 780 on Math SAT I.
While at Rollins College, Justin not only studied broad interdisciplinary concepts in an Honors Degree Program, but also specialized in science and mathematics. His understanding of the development and implementation of scientific reasoning allowed him to draw connections between intellectual and academic paradigms. As he made the transition from being a chemistry tutor for the Rollins Chemistry Department to a math, science, and test preparation tutor at a private tutoring company, this skill made it possible to develop novel strategies for students to have a more dynamic interaction with subject matter.
Justin’s approach lends itself especially to ACT and SAT test preparation. By showing his students the underlying patterns in the type and content of questions on standardized tests, he helps them establish the confidence and familiarity required to radically improve their scores. Once students realize that tests like the SAT and ACT are predictable, they see the benefit of practice and also lose the edginess that is so often associated with and detrimental to test taking. Justin prides himself on not only helping students achieve higher scores, but also on reducing any associated stress.
While tutoring dozens of students at Competitive Edge Tutoring, Justin has demonstrated the efficacy of his approach, with his students scoring up to and including a perfect 36 on the ACT. Additionally, he was able to prove his versatility by teaching an SAT II Physics prep course at a prestigious NYC school, Avenues: The World School. Despite setting a high bar for his students, and himself, his track record continues to improve.
Justin also works as an inorganic radiochemistry Ph.D. student at Hunter College, researching topics related to cancer imaging and nuclear fuel remediation. While his graduate work is far more advanced than the subjects he teaches, his research helps maintain and hone an intellectual edge, generating an intensity and passion that stimulates his students.
Beyond his work as a scientist and instructor, Justin is a voracious consumer of literature, fiction and non-fiction, as well as an avid outdoorsman.
University of Pennsylvania, currently matriculated, post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies; Dartmouth College, 2014, 3.5 GPA, major in Neuroscience and minor in Linguistics, graduated with honors in Neuroscience; Selected as 1 of 55 students from a national applicant pool of 600+ collegiate science majors to participate in Research in Science and Engineering (RiSE); Score of 5 on Advanced Placement exams in Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, French Language, French Literature, Psychology, European History, English, and Biology; Certified as a national emergency medical technician (EMT), 2012.
Olivia was salutatorian of Charlottesville (VA) High School, where she was president of the Spanish Club for three years, a leader in the French Club, and a member of her high school soccer team; and, as a consequence, the difficulties of balancing scholastic demands and extracurricular activities are very familiar to her. After exhausting the thirteen Advanced Placement courses offered at her high school, she began supplementing her high school curriculum with courses in Italian and Russian at the University of Virginia.
While at Dartmouth, Olivia was employed as a teaching assistant for three years. She began as a Spanish TA with her own class of students, teaching grammar and grading exams. After two and a half years in the Spanish department, she was promoted to TA in Linguistics, holding office hours, giving lectures, and tutoring Dartmouth undergraduates. She participated in RiSE during the summer of 2012, and researched how Arc protein distribution in the hippocampus correlates with different types of learning. During her senior year, Olivia wrote her honors thesis, conducting her own neuroscience experiment, which examined the effects of empathy on facial mimicry. In the same year, she also worked as a private tutor in the Hanover community, teaching pre-algebra, algebra, and writing to 5th graders.
At Competitive Edge, Olivia tutors the SAT, ACT, Writing, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Spanish, and French. She is a passionate teacher, striving to help her students not only to manage but also enjoy academic challenges by teaching them how to make memorable and creative connections.
In her spare time, Olivia enjoys playing with her pet hedgehog, reading, and cross-country skiing.
Sloan Kettering, currently matriculated, ph.D in Cancer Biology, Princeton University, 2009, major in Chemical Engineering and minor in Biological Engineering.
Scott’s enthusiasm for science and math are impossible to mistake. He has two publications (in 2007, a study involving crude oil Polymer additives and, in 2011, a study of the enzyme Mmel and DNA) and a resume of lab work conducted at Princeton University, Onconova Therapeutics (New Jersey), the University of Melbourne (Australia), Wuxi Pharmatech (China) and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Structural Biology. It was at Wuxi in Shanghai that Scott first discovered his love for teaching while informally instructing English classes during his lunch break. What excites him in particular is the challenge of introducing completely new subject matter in uncomplicated and understandable terms to his students.
Scott specializes in tutoring Mathematics—everything from Algebra to Multivariable Calculus—as well as Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Physics. He is an experienced test prep tutor for New York State Regents exams and SAT Subject Tests in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Math I, and Math II. His teaching methodology is to help students understand the concept as a part of the larger picture, which improves comprehension and provides motivation to continue learning.
When he is not teaching, Scott enjoys sports. He was a member of both the Princeton Varsity Squash and Soccer Teams. Currently, he participates in the Metropolitan Squash Racquets Association Squash League and the Metro New York Men’s Soccer League.
Harvard, 2015, major in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, graduated Cum Laude, awarded language citation in German, 2015, David McCord Prize for Unusual Artistic Talent, 2015, Doris Cohen Levi Prize in Musical Theater, 2015, Office for the Arts at Harvard Developing Artist Fellowship, 2014, Weissman International Internship Program grant, 2014; 780 on SAT Writing section; 790 on Biology M SAT Subject Test; Score of 5 on AP exams in English Literature, Law and Government, US History, Biology, AB Calculus, and Spanish.
Elizabeth split her time at Harvard between biology and theater due to her fascination with both the literal and figurative study of life. A passion for evolutionary biology and conservation led her to enroll in numerous animal diversity classes. When she wasn’t rehearsing for a play or singing with her R&B a cappella group, Elizabeth could be found in the lab, attempting to understand the anatomy and behavior of a wide variety of organisms. In her favorite class, entomology, she was tasked with creating and cataloguing an insect collection, which she maintains and expands to this day. Elizabeth’s love of living creatures began in her AP biology class in junior year of high school, and she seeks to inspire that same passion in current high school biology students.
At the beginning of each academic year at Harvard, Elizabeth participated in a pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen. As an upperclassman, Elizabeth’s job was to create a welcoming environment for the newly matriculated students while introducing them to life on campus. Elizabeth’s upbeat attitude and the compassion she developed during the three years she mentored freshmen as well as her excellent academic record make her a fun, supportive, and articulate tutor.
Elizabeth primarily tutors test preparation with Competitive Edge. She approaches standardized test prep with long term benefits in mind. While preparing for the SAT and ACT may seem tedious, excelling at test preparation can help students develop great discipline and logic skills. In fact, she believes that her own preparation for the SAT not only helped to build her academic acumen but also taught her that being responsible and diligent was of paramount importance in reaching her goals.
When she’s not tutoring, Elizabeth can be found rehearsing for her next play, singing jazz standards at home, or collecting insects in Central Park.
Brown University, 2011, double major in English and Literary Arts; 2330 on SAT with perfect score of 800 on Math section; 35 on ACT (35 on English, 36 on Math, Reading, and Science); 790 on SAT Math II Subject Test; National Merit Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction: scores of 5 on Physics B, Calculus BC, Statistics, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language, and U.S. History.
Dmitriy first started teaching after his freshman year of college, when he started a branch of a newly founded SAT/ACT prep company entirely from scratch in his hometown, Vernon Hills, Illinois. After coordinating all logistics, publicity, and marketing, he taught two classes and tutored dozens of students privately. He then continued freelance tutoring on both exams over the next three years. After graduating, he moved to Seoul, South Korea, where he primarily taught high school literature at an elite after-school academy. Since moving to New York, Dmitriy has continued to tutor on the ACT, SAT, and writing. Until recently, he worked in the editorial department at Bedford/St. Martin’s, a leading college textbook publisher.
Throughout his years of teaching, Dmitriy has helped students with the SAT, ACT, AP English Literature and Composition Exam, AP English Language and Composition Exam, SAT Literature Subject Test, SHSAT, SSAT, writing (including both English class and admissions essays), literature, and K-8 and high school math. His goal is to direct students to better futures by building their confidence and helping them reach higher scores.
When it comes to test prep, Dmitriy systematically targets gaps in knowledge and suggests specific strategies to overcome weaknesses. When helping with homework and writing, his strategy (and pleasure) is to connect with students and help them realize how their studies are relevant to their lives and the world around them. He has a passion for literature and is excited to inspire the same in his students.
In his free time, Dmitriy enjoys attending literary events, dancing at concerts, playing poker competitively, experimenting in the kitchen, and traveling the world (26 countries and counting).
Harvard Medical School, 2016 (expected); Columbia University, 2012, majored in Biomedical Engineering, 4.00 GPA, graduated Summa Cum Laude; Dean’s list all semesters; Engineering Honor Society (Tau Beta Pi) President and Fellowship Recipient; Stuyvesant High School graduate with above 700 on all sections of the SAT (with a perfect 800 in the Math section); Math II Subject Test 800; Physics Subject Test 710; Biology Subject Test 710; Scored 5/5 on 6 AP exams (English Language and English Literature, Biology, BC Calculus, Statistics, Psychology) and passed the first actuarial exam in probability before graduating high school; Scored in the 97th percentile on the MCAT; Research work recognized in Siemens/Westinghouse competition and New York City Science and Engineering Fair; published several academic papers on brain cancer, skin disease, and ultrasound imaging.
Dmitriy has worked as a tutor, teaching assistant, and mentor for the last 6 years in New York and Boston with dozens of high school and middle school students to help them excel in various subjects, including: Algebra, Geometry, Pre-calculus, Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Physics. He has also worked with students preparing for the SAT, ACT, SHSAT and SAT Subject Exams.
Dmitriy enjoys teaching students fundamental concepts that can be applied to multiple problems and explains how formulas are derived in order to minimize memorization. His students then reinforce what they learned through practice questions. Dmitriy takes an individualized approach with every student to accommodate their learning style and speed. At the end of every session, he also uses a “teach-back” method, during which his students teach him what they learned that day.
In his spare time, Dmitriy loves to play chess with his grandfather, explore New York City, learn new things, and teach others.
Harvard, 2015, major in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; recipient of language citation in Chinese, 2015; recipient of Rockefeller International Experience Grant, 2012; 790 on Chemistry SAT Subject Test; 750 on Math II SAT Subject Test; Score of 5 on AP exams in Chemistry, BC Calculus, Environmental Science, Government and Politics, US History, Biology, and Latin.
At Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina, Karl was dedicated to rigorously studying science and mathematics. After he took every science and math class available, he enrolled part-time at UNC Chapel Hill to take more advanced college-level courses. In the summers of 2009 and 2010, he worked at the EPA building computational models to study how pesticides and other chemicals affect the liver.
At Harvard, however, after taking his first gender studies course, Karl was quickly drawn to the humanities as well. He took courses in Sociology and Literature, but also continued to study the sciences in courses like Endocrinology and Evolutionary Biology. One of Karl’s favorite classes—in part because it informed his passion for social justice--was “Women and Science,” which explored how scientific research and popular science shaped the way we understand gender. Karl’s goal at CET is to inspire his students with a similar intellectual curiosity and empower them to see science and humanities as disciplines that are in constant conversation to create meaning in our everyday environment.
Karl works with students to help them discover how they learn and study best. Besides mastery of content, his tutoring work ultimately helps students improve their organizational skills, study skills, and attitude toward studying. His theatrical experience in plays, comedy and musicals at Harvard has made him a better tutor by developing spontaneity and listening skills in his approach to teaching. He believes that standardized tests can be easily tackled once students acquire the confidence that comes from knowing the test inside out as well as knowing the strategies that work best for them.
When he’s not tutoring, Karl can be found rehearsing for his next play, binge-watching Netflix series, or catching Pokémon in Central Park.
Columbia University, 2016, Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program, 3.91 GPA; Tufts University, 2012, major in Quantitative Economics, graduated Magna Cum Laude; score of 521 on MCAT (99% percentile); AP Scholar with Distinction; member of National Honor Society 2007.
Danielle grew up in Mahopac, NY, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” at Lakeland High School, where she was captain of the Dance Team and member of the Math Team. She completed Advanced Placement coursework in World History, U.S. History, Macroeconomics, Physics B, Chemistry, English Language/Composition, English Literature/Composition, and Calculus AB. She played the piano competitively, and participated in both the New York State Music Teachers Association (NYSMTA) competition and New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) competition for several years.
While an undergraduate at Tufts University, Danielle pursued a major in Quantitive Economics. She completed a senior research paper titled "Impact of AIDS on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," which sparked her interest in medicine. After graduating from Tufts, Danielle worked as a Private Banking analyst at J.P. Morgan for two years before enrolling in the Columbia Premedical Program to embark on the path to becoming a physician. While completing her premedical studies Danielle volunteered at Columbia University Medical Center as well as at Weill Cornell Medical Center as an emergency medicine research associate. She additionally worked as a medical assistant in a private dermatology practice. During her time at Columbia, Danielle thrived in both her lecture and laboratory courses, and is eager to share her academic interests with her students.
When tutoring in the sciences, Danielle helps students acquire an in-depth understanding of all requisite topics, providing them the skills necessary to approach complex problems with confidence. She encourages her students to ask questions, and strives to stimulate their intellectual curiosity.
In her spare time Danielle enjoys visiting New York City museums, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. She is an avid reader of classic fiction, and her favorite place to unwind with a novel is Central Park.
Princeton University, 2011, major in Electrical Engineering with certificates in Materials Science & Engineering and Chinese Language & Culture; Sigma Xi Book Award for oral presentation at Spring 2011 Materials Research Society conference; National Merit Scholarship Winner; 800 on GRE Quantitative Reasoning; 800 on GRE Verbal Reasoning; 800 on SAT Writing section; 800 on SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test; 800 on SAT Physics Subject Test; 5 on AP Physics B; 5 on AP Biology; 5 on AP Chemistry; 5 on AP Latin - Vergil; 5 on AP Calculus BC; 5 on AP Statistics.
Alfred grew up on Staten Island, New York, and attended Brooklyn’s Poly Prep Country Day School throughout middle school and high school. There, he developed a love for asking tough questions and sharing the answers he found with others. This, combined with his love for taking things apart, led him to pursue the path of engineer by day and journalist by night.
Alfred majored in Electrical Engineering at Princeton and spent much of his free time either interning at WABC radio’s John Batchelor Show or working for the news division of Princeton’s own student-run radio station, WPRB. He also taught math for Princeton's Freshman Scholar's Institute, where he welcomed incoming freshmen to campus and helped them gain the confidence they needed to tackle freshman year math coursework.
Upon graduation, he moved to Lexington, Kentucky, to work as an engineer for the printer maker Lexmark International. There, too, he maintained an interest in sharing his knowledge with others. On nights and weekends, he coached the University of Kentucky’s elite college athletes not in basketball—Coach John Calipari has that under control—but in math, physics and economics.
Alfred returned to New York in 2013 to attend Columbia Journalism School and to pursue his dream of asking questions for a living. When he’s not tutoring or pursuing a story, Alfred can usually be found rocking out to country music, hitting rails on the squash court, or cheering on his beloved Yankees.