Jim grew up following the Boston Red Sox in Watertown, Massachusetts and, after attending the Roxbury Latin School in Boston and Amherst College, went on to earn his doctorate in political philosophy from Rutgers University. During his career, he has taught a range of courses at educational institutions large and small, public and private, including Rutgers University, Denison University, the University of Notre Dame, and Southwestern College of Kansas. His experience in teaching in such a wide range of academic contexts, not only in terms of large and small class environments, but involving students of vastly different ethnic, class, and cultural backgrounds has impressed upon him the importance of tailoring the learning process to the needs of the individual student.
Since returning to the Boston area, Mastrangelo has offered his services as a tutor for both academics and for college and graduate school test preparation, in addition to having recently been accepted to the Boston Public School community as a substitute teacher. Though he has tutored throughout his academic career reaching all the way back to high school, this new emphasis on
one-on-one work, incorporating approaches learned at the award winning Rutgers Writing, has offered him new insight into how students learn better and faster by expanding the scope of the material while at the same time focusing on applying it to the student’s own interests.
In this vein, a long time member and moderator of baseball internet message board forums, he has developed a fondness for working with baseball students. Especially with the rise of data driven baseball analysis, the internet – when conducted properly – can create an environment where baseball (and other sports) acumen is linked to the ability to analyze data and express oneself effectively, reversing the traditional “locker room talk” and its disregard for intellectual development. Indeed, Mastrangelo has found that baseball players especially, perhaps owing to the subtleties of the game, understand that athleticism is not enough to excel; skills must be acquired and developed. In the context of education, this creates a willingness to listen when opportunities to learn to improve are offered, which is where the educational process begins.