Joseph F.


Before discovering his passion for academics at Franklin and Marshall College, Joe’s two most influential educators were his dogs Louis and Ella, who taught him that food really is the most important thing in life. Having maximized his dogs’ tutelage, Joe decided that he wanted the unique experience of attending a small liberal arts college. It was at Franklin and Marshall that he fell hard for religious studies, a field that allowed him to learn theories and methods from across the humanities and to approach peoples and ideas with a more sympathetic perspective. He decided to continue his education in religious studies by entering the Ph.D. program at Columbia University. Two degrees and a handful of named fellowships later, Joe is now a doctoral candidate researching the intersection of science, technology, and religion. His dissertation, “Beyond the Human,” focuses on how emerging biotechnologies such as genetic engineering and brain-machine interfaces are reshaping our understanding of what it means to be human. 

While passionate about his research, Joe has long believed that intellectuals make their most meaningful impact through teaching. He has gained extensive teaching experience through the positions of lead instructor, teaching assistant, and Lead Teaching Fellow during his tenure at Columbia. From helping freshmen learn to write college-level essays to teaching seniors about the history of religion and media in America, he has worked one-on-one with hundreds of undergraduates from diverse backgrounds in subjects across the humanities. He has also committed to the pedagogical development of himself and his peers through organizing conferences, workshops, and blogs focused on inclusive classrooms, student engagement, and remote learning. Above all, Joe’s teaching philosophy is organized around the belief that effective teaching is not about communicating what to think but rather providing students with the critical tools for how to think.

In his spare time, you can usually find Joe reading fantasy and science fiction, lamenting his childhood choice to become a New York Mets fan, or practicing his principled belief that bad movies are actually the best movies.

Education & Qualifications
  • Columbia University, PhD Candidate in Religion
  • Columbia University, MPhil in Religion
  • Columbia University, MA in Religion
  • Franklin and Marshall College, BA in Religious Studies
  • English & Literature
  • Expository Writing & the Essay
  • History
  • Homework Help & Study Skills
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "Joe has been extremely helpful in enhancing my application and writing skills in general. He is honest, motivating, and generous when making necessary edits and keeping your narrative as cohesive as possible when it comes to your personal statement and secondary responses. Aside from excellent content and structure editing, Joe is very efficient and timely in getting his responses back, especially relevant to those with a limited budget. I am so grateful for having Joe's unwavering support and I know that any future student of his will say the same."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Medical School Applicant)
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "I only worked with Joseph for a brief period of time, but I could clearly see that he is a very caring individual that takes into great consideration the feelings and opinions of the people that he works with. Overall, he is a great tutor."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Medical School Applicant)
  • Testimonial Citation: 
    "Joseph has been extremely patient and supportive in helping me improve my writing skills. He is always available to discuss ideas and provide a constructive and timely feedback. Joseph is a very knowledgeable, dedicated and caring person and I am looking forward to keeping working with him in the future."
    Testimonial Source: 
    (Expository Writing Student)