Meet Allyson Schuler

This week we are chatting with Allyson Schuler, a Cincinnati native!

Allyson grew up in Fairfield and returned to Cincinnati after graduate school. She studied horn performance at the Eastman School of Music and economics at the University of Rochester, earning a BM in Applied Music and a BA in economics, respectively. During both her undergrad and graduate studies, she worked with the Concert and Events Offices at her schools. She started as an usher and was promoted to a head usher, and then worked as a Crew and House Manager in graduate school. The best part was being able to hear amazing concerts, recitals, and guest speakers.

After she completed her undergraduate degree, she lived in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina for a year playing fourth horn with the Sarajevo Philharmonia. She had a wonderful time playing classical and pops concerts as well as performing for operas and ballets. She traveled with the orchestra to other cities in Bosnia and on a tour to Northern Italy.

Allyson returned to the US for her Masters of Music at the University of Delaware. While there, she toured with the UD Wind Ensemble to Taiwan in 2015 and to the CBDNA 2016 Convention in New London, Connecticut, and toured Washington D.C. with the UD Symphony Orchestra.

When she returned to Cincinnati she started her own horn studio and have been building it since then. Like tutoring, she gets to work individually with students and can focus on their strengths, weaknesses, and help them improve and grow as musicians. She had the opportunity to perform with orchestras like the Lexington Philharmonic and the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

How long have you been tutoring with Connections?

I started tutoring with Connections in the Fall of 2017. I help most of my students with math classes like Algebra I, II, and Geometry, and I have a few beginner French students. The “ah-ha” moments are great! So many of my students know more than they think they do, they may just need something explained differently or with an extra step. I love when students reflect on a type of problem that originally seemed very complicated and challenging, but a few weeks later they can work through it like it’s as easy as adding. Like horn, practice really helps math skills.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?

The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. He discusses getting out of your own way, removing judgement from the learning process to become a better tennis play. It applies very well to horn playing and teaching, and learning new things in general.

How would you spend a free Saturday afternoon?

Free Saturday afternoons are usually spent with my family. I have a nephew who will be 1 this summer. He can almost walk and just learned how to clap. I love being an aunty and watching him learn new things and try new foods. Everything is so exciting for him.

You just won an all expenses paid vacation! Where are you going?

I’m going back to Europe! My favorite city in all of my travels is Berlin. I would love to explore more of Germany, maybe practice the little bit of German I have learned since my first trip. I wasn’t able to see the Berlin Philharmonic while I was there, so I would love to hear them and other outstanding orchestras. 

Thank you, Ally, for being such an important part of the Connections Team!


Written by Joy Becker, Mentoring Coordinator.

Third Quarter Slump

Third Quarter Slump

This time of year can bring challenges for our students because it is difficult to stay motivated and complete work to the best of one’s ability. It is not uncommon for a restlessness and complacency to set in during these last winter months. This “third quarter slump” is often defined as the time of year when students’ grades drop, and unfortunately, this can happen rather quickly.

Meet Lee Honig

We are continuing our Meet the Tutor series this month and are excited to introduce you to Lee Honig.

Lee grew up in Brooklyn, NYC and attended Hofstra University, where he graduated with a B.S. in chemistry and minors in math and community health. After college, he worked as an industrial chemist at a vinyl plastic manufacturing plant.

In 2019, his grandmother passed away due to complications in Type II diabetes, and he decided to radically change his career trajectory and pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. His dissertation focused specifically on diabetes research.

I wanted to make a difference in the field of diabetes.

After he graduated in May 2018, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow, until he and his wife, a Cincinnati native, move to Cincinnati to plant roots in a smaller city. Since moving to town, he has been working as a contract scientific writer, a substitute teacher at Seven Hills Middle School, and an academic tutor with Connections. 

How long have you been tutoring with Connections?

I've been tutoring in math and science since November.

What's your favorite thing about tutoring?

The most rewarding thing about tutoring is the experience of making a difference, small or large, in the lives of the students I work with. I've always had a passion for math and science, but I know that not everyone feels the same. However, when I see a student's light bulb go off after struggling with a particular concept, or have the opportunity to share some of my own personal anecdotes from my training as a scientist, I know that I'm making a meaningful difference in how the student approaches the subject or how the student thinks on a global scale about the material. I love introducing real-life scenarios to my students, whether its architecture during a geometry lesson, or walking a student through the process of how scientists collaborated over decades of time to understand and treat Sickle-Cell Anemia. My ultimate goal is to demonstrate to my students that the concepts they learn in class are used by scientists and real-world professionals every today to change people's lives for the better. 

What is the best book you've read in the last year?

The best book I've read in the last year is undoubtedly Stephen King's, IT. I'm a huge fan of horror fiction and absolutely love King's work.

How would you spend a free Saturday afternoon?

On a free Saturday afternoon, my favorite thing is bringing my family together for brunch. I call everyone up the week before, create a menu, shop, and cook up a delicious meal to bring everyone together. That's what food is all about at the end of the day! My wife and I will either make a play date with our niece and nephew, hit the gym, watch something new on Netflix, go to the Cincinnati Nature Center for a walk, or spend time with each other baking our favorite treats to share with friends and family. I always try to make time to play my guitar and learn new songs, listen to a favorite album, or read a book. If all else fails on a Saturday afternoon, my wife and I love to dream about our next big traveling adventure.

You just won an all expenses paid vacation! Where are you going?

My wife and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and would love to go back to see other islands. But, from the first day that we met each other, we talked about going to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu together. 


Thanks, Lee! We love having you on our Connections Team!

Written by Joy Becker, Mentoring Coordinator and Author of 44 & Oxford

New Year, New Look, Same Personalized Academic Support

Have you seen our new logo? Maybe you already noticed our new name. If so, you probably suspect changes are underway for Connections. Don’t worry! These are all valuable for the students utilizing Connections’ services, and they’ll help us increase our ability to support student learning in the Greater Cincinnati area.

So why the change to Connections Academics? In recent years, Connections has grown by leaps and bounds, and the services we now provide go well beyond a traditional tutoring company. We spent a lot of 2017 examining our growth, refining Connections’ mission and vision, and seeking feedback from parents and families who work with us. One point consistently raised was the connotation of the word “tutoring”. Most people equate tutoring with struggling, and many of the students we serve do not struggle at all. In fact, a significant portion of the students supported through Connections are secondary students in honors and AP classes who want enrichment, academic maintenance, and guidance as they seek to be competitive with their peers.

In addition, many of Connections’ team members have been working with more than just traditional students. In the past year, a number of our team members have begun conducting workshops with teachers and parents throughout Ohio and Indiana. Our talks cover guided reading, guided writing, integrated literacy, classroom management, executive functioning, and ADHD awareness training. Secondary students have also benefitted from the addition of an ACT prep course taught by a sought-out expert.

While we still offer top-notch tutoring for students who need support, Connections has become a one-stop shop for all academic services. In light of that, we feel the name Connections Academics more accurately reflects what our business can do. We’re committed to continuing to provide personal academic plans and the one-on-one interaction you’ve come to expect; we’ll just be operating under a new name and offering even more services.

Did we mention a new service that interests you? Please contact us for more information. Our team contains a diverse group of experts, so if you’re looking for assistance with a topic we haven’t mentioned, we can probably create a custom plan that will meet your needs.

We are committed to helping students find success. We’re here to help!