Pre-College Instructors

Our distinguished instructors are selected not only for their impressive academic credentials, but also for their enthusiasm, passion, and proven capability to connect with and inspire students. They are dedicated, warm, dynamic, experienced, and caring individuals who return year after year. Read on to meet some of our veteran instructors!

Andrew Alquesta

Tufts University, M.A., Ph.D., English (candidate); University of Connecticut, B.A., English, B.A., Political Science

While at UConn, Andrew focused on the intersection of literature, language, and politics. After graduation, he worked for a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., organizing political campaigns across the country. While working in consulting, Andrew helped coordinate…Read more

Haroon Ashraf

Middlebury College, B.A., Economics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

After graduating from high school, Haroon took two gap years to dabble in public relations and social entrepreneurship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Afterward, he attended Middlebury College, where he explored the intersections of policy, economics, and molecular biology. During his undergraduate career,…Read more

Erika Jo Brown

University of Houston, Ph.D., Literature and Creative Writing; University of Iowa Writers Workshop, M.F.A., Poetry; Cornell University, B.A., English

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Erika Jo has taught students of all ages, including undergraduate courses in film and literature, drama, poetry, and nonfiction. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in England, and later…Read more

Alexandra Carter

Tufts University, Ph.D., English New York University, B.A., Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Alex’s first experience with Putney was as a student, first on the Community Service Brazil program and then on Pre-College China. She liked it so much that she returned to lead in 2011 on the Pre-College at Amherst program. Since then, Alex has taught History of European Fashion on Putney’s Pre-College Florence…Read more

Christopher Catanese

Duke University, M.A., English Literature; Davidson College, B.A., English Literature

While a student at Davidson College, Christopher immersed himself in literature seminars and creative writing workshops and served as senior editor for two of Davidson’s literary publications. After working short stints at several literary magazines, including Tin House in Portland and The Paris Review in…Read more

Lisa Hamilton

University of Virginia, M.A., Teaching; University of Virginia, B.A., History and Spanish

While at the University of Virginia, Lisa spent a semester in Valencia, Spain, where she studied Spanish culture, art, and language. She has traveled to Nicaragua several times, where she volunteered in local schools and orphanages. After she completed her master’s…Read more

Josh Harmon

Amherst College, B.A., French Literature, B.A., Music Performance

While at Amherst College, Josh studied French literature and music performance, and also led several musical projects, including a Top-40 dance band and a 1940s-style big band. His senior thesis was titled “Rhythms of Revolution: A Historical and Practical Study of the French Tambour.” His thesis work…Read more

Michael Harmon

University of Cambridge, M.Phil., History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine; Amherst College, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies

While at Amherst, Michael created an interdisciplinary major called Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, which he completed alongside his pre-med courses. Likewise, he has spent his summers balancing his interests in the humanities and the sciences: when not…Read more

Gyuri Kepes

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ph.D., Communication (candidate) University of Hartford, M.A., Communication; University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A., Communication, Certificate in Latin American Studies

Gyuri recently completed his Ph.D. research and in the fall will be joining Landmark College in Vermont as an Assistant Professor of Communication. His research has taken him around…Read more

Bridget Lanigan

San Francisco Art Institute, M.F.A, Photography; State University of New York at New Paltz, B.F.A., Photography

While at the San Francisco Art Institute, Bridget received an MFA Fellowship Award, and studied with renowned artists Doug Hall and John Priola. Bridget’s photography has been exhibited around the country, including at New York’s Dorsky Gallery, San Francisco’s Diego Rivera…Read more

BJ Love

University of Iowa, M.F.A., English; University of Northern Iowa, B.A., English Literature

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, BJ has been writing and teaching for almost 20 years. In that time, he has created camp programs in Italy, taught creative writing for the Putney School Summer Programs, led collaborative workshops in Alaska, and was a co-leader for Putney…Read more

Katie Mayapolous

Middlebury College, B.A., Spanish and Sociology

While at Middlebury College, Katie spent her years immersed in Spanish. She lived in Middlebury’s Spanish house, interned at Human Connections, a nonprofit in Mexico, and studied abroad and worked in Spain. When not studying Spanish and sociology, Katie enjoyed directing and acting in plays, promoting body positivity,…Read more

Sasha Milonova

London School of Economics, M.S., Political Economy of Late Development Chapman University, B.A., Economics and Peace Studies, minor in Spanish

Sasha grew up in Russia and emigrated to the U.S. with her family shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Having grown up between two competing economic paradigms, she has always been interested in political economy, the…Read more

Kelly O’Connell

University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A., Psychology, B.A., Education

Kelly fell in love with traveling and learning about cultures during her study abroad semester in Perugia, Italy, in 2008. Since then, she has visited 30 countries across Asia, Europe, and South America. This past year she accomplished a long-time goal of walking El Camino de Santiago, a 550-mile trail across northern Spain.…Read more

Bob Pokorney

Monterey Institute of International Studies, Translation and Interpretation Middlebury College, M.A., French; Colorado College, B.A., Art

A native of Duluth, Minnesota, Bob has led Putney Student Travel programs in France, Morocco, and Switzerland. Before joining Putney, he guided cycling trips in Europe, taught high school and college French, and interpreted for…Read more

Ansley Rubinstein

Harvard University, B.A., Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and Arabic Literature

While at Harvard, Ansley focused on modern Arabic language and literature and spent time in Jordan and Egypt. For three summers, she wrote for the internationally published travel guide, Let’s Go, traveling to Australia, Greece, Austria, and Germany to explore both cosmopolitan…Read more

Gabriel Zinn

Reed College, B.A., English Literature

Gabriel was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he attended Reed College. At Reed he studied literature and the humanities. He also spent a significant part of his education studying and teaching in Europe, most extensively in Paris and Berlin. This past year, Gabriel returned to his native Portland, working as a freelance…Read more

Jenny Ziomek

Claremont Graduate University, M.F.A. NYC Teaching Fellows at Mercy College, M.S., Urban Education; Beloit College, B.A., Studio Art

Jenny is a painter, illustrator, and teacher. She has exhibited her drawings, paintings, and books across North America. Past illustration clients include Cartier and the Carlyle Hotel in New York. In 2018, one of her illustrations was selected…Read more

Interested in being a Pre-College instructor?

Learn more and apply here.