Admission Consultants

Our admission consultants have admissions committee experience at the top universities and private schools in the country and have read countless personal statements and applications.

They advise applicants on strategic positioning, personal statements, helpful extracurricular activities, and overall admissions applications.

 

In short, they have unique insight as to what distinguishes the acceptances from the borderline rejections. 

Admission Consultant

Vitaly Borishan

Georgetown Law

 

Vitaly is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, and has a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. He is the recipient of the prestigious Warren Christopher Scholarship Award, established in honor of the former U.S. Secretary of State.

 

Prior to founding Solomon Admissions Consulting, Vitaly worked at two major Am Law 100 international law firms as a Corporate Attorney. Vitaly has extensive experience working with talented high school and college students to perfect their admissions applications to Ivy League and other top institutions in the country. He has assisted and consulted applicants with regards to personal statements, theme development, strategic positioning, and overall applications. He has also prepared both high school and college students for various examinations, including the PSAT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT.

Admission Consultant

Dan Lee

Georgetown Law

 

Dan is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and studied engineering and worked as an engineer prior to law school. Dan has also worked as an Intellectual Property Attorney at a major Am Law 100 international law firm.

 

 

Dan has over a decade of experience helping talented students gain admission to the top undergraduate and graduate institutions in the country. He has personally edited countless personal statements and has advised applicants on proper structure, language and tone. Dan has also done extensive work with students on strategic positioning consulting to position applicants in the most advantageous light possible. His clients come from all walks of life and have come from California, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, and as far as London and Singapore. Dan is also a former SAT and LSAT prep instructor for Princeton Review.

Founders

College Admissions

Senior Consultants

Tamy-Fee Meneide, College Admissions Consultant

Tamy-Feé Meneide 

Director of College Counseling

   Solomon Admissions Consulting

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Dartmouth College

 

2 Years in Dartmouth College Admissions

1 Years in MIT Admissions

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Ms. Meneide is an educational counselor and college coach (both graduate level and undergraduate level), and graduated with her Master's from Boston College in Higher Education Administration. Prior to her consulting work, Ms. Meneide worked as the Assistant Director of Admissions at some of the most selective institutions such as Dartmouth College and MIT. She truly believes in access and equity in education and works within many diverse communities to make this a reality.

Tamy-Fee has conducted research at Harvard Medical School and she now brings her expertise from her research and career experiences to diverse constituents ranging from CEOs of non-profit organizations to individual parents and students.

She works to empower her audiences to navigate the nuances of educational institutions to achieve maximum potential.

Sarah Godwin, College Admission Consultant

Sarah Godwin

Former Associate Director of Admissions

   Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Former Associate Director of Admissions

   Johns Hopkins University

3 Years in MIT Admissions 

5 Years in Johns Hopkins University Admissions

3 Years in University of Vermont Admissions

20,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Ms. Godwin earned her Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Vermont and her Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Development from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. 

Godwin has served as Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Recruitment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition, Ms. Godwin led the team that welcomed prospective students and families to campus. Prior to that, Godwin held the position of Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University where she served as a Co-Chair of the Engineering Selection Committee making admissions and scholarship decisions for all applicants to the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. At Johns Hopkins, Godwin also served as the Director of the transfer application and committee selection process. Ms. Godwin’s first job in undergraduate admissions was at her alma mater, the University of Vermont, where she served as a member of the Vermont team, and where she traveled extensively to numerous rural areas.  

Ms. Godwin enjoys working with students 1:1, helping each to uncover their unique story. Experience includes reviewing over 20,000 applications and over 60,000 admissions essays. 

Sarah Goebel, College Admissions Consultant

Sarah J. Goebel (Sally)

Former Senior Associate Director of Admissions

   Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Former Director of On-Campus Recruitment Programs

   University of Pennsylvania

 

5 Years in Wharton MBA Admissions
3 Years in Penn Undergraduate Admissions
10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated


Sally’s professional experience combines nearly a decade of Ivy League admissions work with more than 20 years advising students and parents in prestigious college preparatory schools regarding admissions and financial aid. Sally’s Ivy League experience spans Penn undergraduate and Wharton MBA admissions, and includes reading and evaluating many thousands of applications, executing final decision authority, training teams of auxiliary application readers, and conducting sessions to advise applicants.


Sally’s expertise regarding strategic positioning and compelling personal messaging helps applicants convey their achievements, talents and aspirations to yield optimal presentation and delivery. Sally holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Sally has had a 30 year career in admissions, including more than 20 years as admissions director.

Marisa Herrera, College Admissions Consultant

Marisa Herrera

Former Assistant Director of Admission

Stanford University

17 Years in College Admissions

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Dr. Marisa Herrera has an undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Applied Science with an emphasis in Agribusiness, a Master of Business Management (M.S.M) with an emphasis in International Business and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Marisa Herrera has worked in higher education for over 17 years at several highly selective institutions including UCLA, Stanford University and USC.  As the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Stanford University, she oversaw the largest admissions territory for Stanford, which included Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  In addition, she worked with community-based organizations and independent private schools in the Los Angeles area on annual case study programs designed to prepare high school students for competitive college admissions.  After a stint traveling the world with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as an Assistant Dean for the Semester at Sea program, she returned to Stanford Admissions to work as an admissions reader for the San Francisco Bay Area.

Chris Ream, College Admissions Consultant

Chris Ream

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Vanderbilt University

Former Admissions Reader

   Duke University

4 years at Vanderbilt University Admissions

5 years at Duke University Admissions

 

7500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

As a college admissions professional for the last 10 years, Chris has experience working in highly selective admissions offices at Vanderbilt and Duke Universities. At Vanderbilt, he reviewed over 1,000 applications annually from domestic and international applicants. Chris prided himself on being a strong advocate for his constituent students, especially when presenting on the admissions committee. In addition to his core responsibilities, he worked with Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science to select scholarship recipients and served on the need-based financial aid committee for international students. At Duke University, he again reviewed applications from domestic and international applicants and served as a mentor to new admissions readers. Chris recognizes the importance of creating a persuasive narrative in the application process. Telling a compelling story throughout an application can make an otherwise average applicant stand out to admissions staff. Chris gets great satisfaction from helping students identify their interests and strengths while homing in on institutions that are a good fit.

Wesley Rosamilia, College Admissions Consultant

Wesley Rosamilia

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

University of Chicago

4 Years in University of Chicago Admissions

7,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

While working in college admissions and athletics, Wes Rosamilia evaluated over 7,000 applications and 14,000 college essays. Wes’ ability to help students find their authentically persuasive voice as they share their narrative has resulted in a 75% admission rate and over $500,000 in academic scholarships at institutions such as Williams College, Amherst College, Johns Hopkins, The University of Chicago, and more.

Wes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Economics from the University of Chicago. In 2011 and 2014, Wes founded two college readiness programs supporting athletes and at-risk students applying to selective colleges.

Rod Bugarin, College Admissions Consultant

Rod Bugarin

Former Assistant Director of Admission & Fin. Aid

   Columbia University

Former Assistant Director of Financial Aid

   Brown University

Former Assistant Dean of Admission

   Wesleyan University

Former Sr. Assistant Director of Admission

   Hampshire College

 

4 Years in Columbia University Admissions

2 Years in Brown University Financial Aid

2 Years at Wesleyan University in Admissions

3 Years at Hampshire College Admissions

10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Rod is unique among independent college admissions consultants. Not only does he have extensive hands on experience in selective admissions at several institutions, he is fluent in financial aid and enrollment management policies, particularly for international candidates.  

Featured in The Gatekeepers (Steinberg, 2002) and Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College (Ferguson, 2011), his career in undergraduate college admissions started as a tour guide and student interviewer at his alma mater. Since then, he has amassed fifteen years of experience at selective institutions and scholarship committees, with particular expertise in working with athletes, legacy candidates, those who seek merit scholarships, and helping students finding which highly selective institution is the right fit. A graduate of the University of Rochester (BA) and Teachers College-Columbia University (MA), Rod looks forward to sharing his experience as a scholar/practitioner in college admissions. 

Lindsay Bigoness, College Admissions Consultant

Lindsay M. Bigoness

Former Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

   Princeton University

Former Admissions Officer

   Harvard University

 

4 Years in Princeton University Admissions

5 Years in Harvard University Admissions

10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Lindsay Bigoness is former Senior Assistant Dean of Admission at Princeton University. Lindsay served on Princeton’s Admissions Committee and evaluated thousands of student admission files annually. She was a team leader for various regional areas during the Committee’s work. Lindsay specializes in working with students with a range of interests and backgrounds seeking admission to highly selective schools. At Princeton, Lindsay’s responsibilities also included directing “Princeton Preview,” the University’s admitted student overnight programs each year. She also organized a number of other academic, advising and recruitment programs. Prior to joining the team at Princeton, Lindsay worked at Harvard College Admissions for five years. Her responsibilities at Harvard Admissions also included supporting visitor, communications and outreach programs and serving as a member of the Board of Freshman Advisers at Harvard College.

Lindsay received her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009. At Harvard, Lindsay was involved in student leadership activities and served as student member of a University Faculty Search Committee. Lindsay holds her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Wellesley College. At Wellesley, Lindsay served as student director of first-year orientation and was an instructor for the campus study center.

John Enyart, College Admissions Consultant

John W. Enyart

Former Director of MBA and Graduate Admissions 

   Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid 

   Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

 

11 years of undergraduate admissions directorships for engineering, sciences and liberal arts

9 years of graduate admissions directorships for business and natural sciences

26,000+ Admissions Decisions (final authority)

 

Mr. Enyart draws on his experience with a wide spectrum of select academic programs and admissions processes as a teacher and director of admissions. Prior to launching his own technology companies, he spent over 20 years leading both graduate and undergraduate admissions programs. Mr. Enyart retired from academia as Director of MBA and Graduate Admissions and faculty member at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his tenure at Penn, Mr. Enyart was a Professor and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.

 

John brings both a deep perspective on compelling admissions packages, as well as an acute awareness of current and unfolding STEM and business school communities, with a focus on integrating academic and professional opportunities. Throughout his career, John has been a dedicated mentor to hundreds of students and professionals, and is distinguished by the extensive advising experience he brings to his consulting clients.  Mr. Enyart holds undergraduate degrees in Engineering and Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Timothy West, College Admissions Consultant

Timothy T. West

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Duke University

Former Application Reviewer

   Stanford University and Rice University

10 Years in Duke, Stanford, and Rice Admissions

5,700+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Timothy (Tim'm) earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University where he began his career as an Admission Officer before the pursuit of graduate degrees from The New School for Social Research (MA) and Stanford University (MA). 

For more than two decades Tim'm has worked as a university professor teaching Cultural Studies, Philosophy, English, and Creative Writing which
he has also had the privilege of teaching at the high school level where these subjects are available. As a former high school instructor, Tim'm brings valuable insight to how students can translate both academic and extracurricular assets from the high school experience to colleges. His various work experiences across the United States have given him broad insights on a variety of college campuses. He takes special pride in helping students find colleges that are a good "fit".

He understands the "science of admissions" to be a balanced approach to rigorous review of academic assets and the personal qualities that are sometimes harder to communicate without the expertise of good counsel. Professionally, Tim'm currently serves as a Senior Managing Director at Teach For America.

Neoma Mullens, College Admissions Consultant

Neoma Mullens

Former Director of Internal Transfer and Associate Director of Enrollment Management

Cornell University

15 Years in Cornell University Admissions

10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Dr. Neoma Mullens has both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Cornell University and a PhD in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia.

 

Previously, as Director of Internal Transfer, Dr. Mullens expertly advised hundreds of Cornell students on the transfer process between colleges and how to best frame their academic interests and experiences.  As the Associate Director of Enrollment Management, she evaluated thousands of undergraduate and graduate applications.  With a career in higher education and youth development for over 20 years, Dr. Mullens is passionate about experiential learning – including study abroad.  She believes these experiences are invaluable for emerging young adults. 

 

Most recently, Dr. Mullens served as CEO of The Learning Web, Inc., youth development and community based nonprofit organization providing mentorship and apprenticeship programs in Ithaca, New York.  A Maine native, Neoma appreciates the natural wonders of the Finger Lakes, enjoys traveling and spending time outside.

Benjamin Schwartz, College Admissions Consultant

Benjamin Schwartz

Former Assistant Director of Admissions  

Dartmouth College

 

3 Years in Dartmouth College Admissions

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Ben Schwartz brings over fifteen years of experience working with students, families, and educators. He is the founder of two international education non-profits and has served global higher education clients as a management consultant with EY-Parthenon’s higher education team. Ben raised three foster sons while living and working in Ghana, helping them go from struggling on the streets to gaining admission to global universities, starting businesses, and establishing community development projects. He is currently writing a book on youth leadership development, building on his expertise and experience founding SageExperience.org that brings together high school students from Africa and across the globe to develop world-class leadership skills through a cutting-edge curriculum with real-world practice.

 

Ben graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Education Policy, including earning a citation while studying at the London School of Economics. He earned master’s degrees from Harvard and MIT—an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management. He was awarded a post-graduate fellowship to work with migrant families in West Africa, after which he returned to Dartmouth to serve as an Assistant Director of Admissions handling recruitment and applications from mid-Atlantic and Midwest states, sub-Saharan Africa, along with other regions. He brings experience from chairing the Admissions and Enrollment committee of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. Ben has since worked with hundreds of students from nearly 30 countries across 5 continents to help them apply to college and develop as leaders, intellectuals, and innovators while cultivating a range of in-demand skills to help propel them to succeed in top universities and careers.

Chennery Fife, College Admissions Consultant

Chennery Fife

Former Admissions Counselor

University of Pennsylvania

2 Years in University of Pennsylvania Admissions

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Chennery Fife earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Political Science, with a minor in Consumer Psychology. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and went on to earn her Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with a Resource Management concentration.

 

Chennery worked as an Admissions Counselor for two years in Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. She read thousands of applications from New Jersey to Michigan and Montana to South Korea. She advocated for students during the committee process to inform final admissions decisions. Chennery traveled around the US to give information about Penn to prospective students and school counselors. She has since worked as a travel guide and on a research base in Antarctica.

 

Chennery enjoys helping students find and express their passions to gain admission into the schools that are the best fit for them.

Charles Cogan, College Admissions Consultant

Charles Adams Cogan

Former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission

   Northwestern University

Former Associate Dean of Admissions/Director of International Recruitment

   Carleton College

5 Years in Northwestern University Admissions

15,000+ applications read and evaluated

 

Charlie earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Carleton College and a master’s degree in African and Middle Eastern History from Northwestern University and was a Ph.D. Candidate in African History for several years before leaving the program to take a job in the admissions office at Northwestern. He has worked in admissions for twenty-two years, starting at Northwestern and then leaving to become the director of international recruitment at Carleton when the college received a multi-million dollar grant from the Starr Foundation to increase its international student presence. When he began, Carleton had less than 1% international students and when he left in 2017 the college’s international student presence was above 10%. At Carleton, he was also a member of the steering committee of the Cross-Cultural Studies minor and served regularly as a guest lecturer and as a Designated School Official (DSO) for international visa and immigration matters.

Charlie has taught college courses in African, Asian, World and US Immigration History and keeps in touch with the students whose applications he reviewed during his 22 years of college admissions work. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright Scholar, he keeps his international connections alive through his local Rotary Club (especially international development projects and polio eradication) and as a member of the board of directors of Books For Africa, the nation’s leading shipper of new and gently-used educational materials to Africa.

Wes Mills, College Admissions Consultant

Wes Mills

Former Senior Admissions Counselor

University of Chicago

 

2 Years in University of Chicago Admissions

2,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Wes holds B.A.s in Cinema and Media Studies and English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. As a former admissions counselor at The University of Chicago, Wes is intimately familiar with every step of the admissions process, from prospective students to new campus arrivals. As an admissions counselor, Wes was responsible for giving information sessions on the application process to highly selective universities, developing informational programming for prospective students, recruiting students from across the country, evaluating over 2000 applications, and advocating for students in committee. He has also conducted interviews, led essay writing workshops, and developed relationships between the University of Chicago and high school guidance counselors throughout the country. In his private admissions work, Wes has helped students get admitted into schools such as Stanford, Dartmouth, Northwestern, NYU, University of Michigan, the London School of Economics, and more.

 

With a keen interest in film and literature, Wes is well versed with the power a narrative has to move its audience. He is most passionate about working with his students to help them craft a compelling narrative centered around their unique qualities to wield in the application process.

Ariel Mazel-Gee, College Admissions Consultant

Ariel Mazel-Gee

Former Admissions Reader

Stanford University

5 Years in Stanford Undergraduate Admissions

2 years as an Ambassador for University of Southern California Graduate Admissions

4000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Ariel Mazel-Gee is dedicated to empowering young people to reach their greatest potential. Her insider's view of college admissions stems from Stanford University, where she worked for five years evaluating thousands of applications on Stanford's Undergraduate Admissions committee, as well as conducting tours and presentations for prospective applicants from around the world. During this time, she gained an in-depth understanding of the components that make college applications truly compelling, and of how students can maximize their applications in each area. She continued her admissions trajectory at the University of Southern California, where she presented campus opportunities and insights to prospective graduate students.

Ariel specializes in guiding students to communicate the best selves within their applications through honing personal narratives and ensuring that each student's application materials present their strongest side to their admissions committees. As a lifelong learner, Ariel holds a bachelor's in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University and a master's in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has been guiding students through the college admissions process in a multitude of capacities for over a decade and has extensive experience counseling students in college admissions strategy including extracurricular development, school selection, interview preparation, refining essays, and ultimately developing college applications that expose unique personal and intellectual potential.

Angela Griffin, College Admissions Consultant

Angela Griffin

Former Dean of Admissions

Cornell University

Former Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Academic Services

St. Bonaventure University

Former Vice President for Enrollment Management Thomas More University

3 Years in Cornell University Admissions

10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Angela Griffin has over 30 years of experience in higher education with a unique combination of skills from working in college admissions, student affairs, and academic advising. With her extensive experience working for Ivy League, large public research universities, and small private colleges, Angela has extensive knowledge and experience to work with students from a variety of backgrounds and academic levels. Angela enjoys working with undecided students and has assisted them with finding their voice and identifying their strengths. Angela has also worked as an Admissions Consultant for four years prior to joining the Solomon team and was successful in acquiring admission for her students to prestigious institutions such as Cornell, UC Berkeley, Wellesley, University of Chicago, New York University, Emory, and many others.

 

As a first-generation college student, Angela takes pride in developing meaningful relationships with students and their families and works diligently to ensure that the family understands the complex admissions process and feels supported throughout the journey. As a community bridge builder, Angela often shares her expertise with underserved and refugee families in her community. Angela is an avid hiker and often hits the trails with her two daughters and chocolate Lab on the weekends.

Joshua Dunn, College Admissions Consultant

Joshua Dunn

Former Admissions Counselor

Stanford University

Former Diversity Recruitment Associate

Stanford University

5 Years Stanford University Admissions

Joshua has a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Stanford University, and a Master of Education from University of Saskatchewan. He also completed an Associate of Arts with Highest Honors at City College of San Francisco, a certificate in Contemporary Native Nation Building at UCLA School of Law, and extensive coursework in Lakota and Dakota languages at Sitting Bull College. His areas of study have included Religion, Ethnic Studies, Sustainable Agriculture, Indigenous Land-Based Education, Ethnoecology, and Siouian languages.

 

Joshua worked at the Stanford Office of Undergraduate Admission for nearly 5 years, first as a Diversity Recruitment Associate supporting Native American prospective students, then as an Admissions Counselor. He also worked in External Relations and served as a Seasonal Reader. During his time at Stanford, Joshua specialized in working with transfer students, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S students. After that, he worked as an Admissions Specialist for Singularity University’s tech Executive Program in Silicon Valley.

 

Over the past 12 years, Joshua has worked with hundreds of college-bound high school students in preparing for and applying to college. He has also taught college courses at several universities, and he uses his experience with a diverse range of colleges and universities to help students understand what type of learning environment would best suit their needs. He enjoys working with motivated, curious students, helping them to explore their college options and understand how to effectively tell their stories throughout the college application process.

Justin Clark, College Admissions Consultant

Justin Clarke

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

Northwestern University

Former Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions

Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, DePaul

1 year in DePaul University MBA Admissions 

4 Years in Northwestern University Admissions

Over 10,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Justin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and is currently finishing his M.A. in Education, Culture, and Society at DePaul University. He has served in a professional capacity at Northwestern University as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business as an Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment.

After graduation, Justin returned to Northwestern to begin his career in Higher Education with an initial focus in student development before transitioning into the office of undergraduate admissions.  His initial role in student development provided him with expertise in identifying and cultivating a student’s passions as they connect to their individual skillsets, and as they relate to their academic and professional goals. Within his role as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, he routinely reviewed thousands of students in his regional territory and traveled during the fall season to meet applicants at underserved, highly resourced, private, public, and internationally focused boarding schools. 

 

Justin’s experience as an admissions professional has afforded him expertise in evaluating international and U.S. based applicants, while his specific recruitment territories included regions in the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas.  During his admissions career his responsibilities included scholarship review, recruitment travel, yield events for admitted students, admitted student interviews, national case studies, chairing the tour guide program, creating on campus student experiences, and various other specialized programming relating to increasing educational access to underrepresented communities.  With a background in highly selective and private university admissions, Justin has a strong understanding of holistic application review, creating a cohesive applicant narrative, enhancing a student’s admissibility in and outside of the classroom, and how institutional goals are considered in the admissions process.

Will Giles, Senior College Admissions Consultant

Will Giles

Former Admissions Officer

     Duke University

2 years in Duke University Admissions

4,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Will Giles is a Senior Admissions Consultant. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Duke University (graduating with distinction) with majors in Political Science and Public Policy and a minor in History. 

 

He first worked in the admissions office at his alma mater, being responsible for many application reviews and evaluations. Additionally, he served as the office's liaison to the Pratt School of Engineering and as a member of the QuestBridge scholars selection committee. 

 

Will enjoys getting to know his students and their interests/passions to help find the best college fit, and he looks forward to helping them put their best foot forward during the admission process.

Cathleen Sheils, College Admissions Consultant

Cathleen Sheils

Senior Associate Director of College Counseling

   Solomon Admissions Consulting

Former Director of Admissions

   Cornell University

Former Executive Director of Enrollment Management    SUNY

12 Years in Cornell Admissions

20,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated
 

Cathleen earned her MPS degree in Policy Analysis and Management and her BS degree in Science and Economics from Cornell University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Higher Education at Northeastern University.

As Director of Admissions at Cornell University, Cathleen was personally responsible for reviewing several thousand applications per year and making admissions decisions for highly selective colleges and academic programs. Based on this experience she has a comprehensive understanding of the college admissions selection process and how to assemble an application that gets attention.  

Cathleen impresses on students and families, the importance of breaking down the college admissions process into manageable steps. She provides expert guidance and structure throughout the process. 

Peter Zimmerman, College Admission Consultant

Peter Zimmerman

Former Admissions Reader

Stanford University

3 Years in Stanford University Admissions

2,500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Peter Zimmerman is a Senior Admissions Consultant with Solomon. Peter earned his Bachelor’s Degree from The College of William and Mary in Art/Art History, with minors in Anthropology and Japanese Studies. He graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa – the United States’ oldest honor society for liberal arts colleges. Mr. Zimmerman was one of the first students ever to receive W&M’s prestigious 1693 Scholarship — one of the most distinguished scholarship programs in the country, emphasizing student-led research and academic excellence. In addition, he was awarded W&M’s Martha Wren Briggs Scholarship for academic distinction in Art History. He also attended the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

 

Mr. Zimmerman joined the Admissions team at Stanford University in 2012, where he spent three years working on the undergraduate admissions team reading and evaluating applications. During that time, he read many thousands of applications from 31 different countries and 26 states in the US. In 2016, he joined Solomon Admissions Consulting, after 15 years’ experience in music marketing, non-profit communications, magazine editing, copywriting, and admissions work. At Solomon, Mr. Zimmerman has worked with families from all over the country, as well as from China, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy, to build strategic, compelling applications for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Maura Connors, College Admissions Consultant

Maura Connors
Former Senior Admissions Counselor
University of Chicago

 

2 Years in University of Chicago Admissions

4,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a major in Geographical Studies and a minor in Art History, Maura joined the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UChicago. In her two years there, she recruited students from across the country, evaluated more than 4,000 applications, offered information sessions on applying to highly selective universities, led educational essay writing workshops, and advocated for students in the admissions committee. Maura served as a member of UChicago’s outreach team, writing content for print and digital marketing pieces. She has also conducted interviews, served on merit scholarship committees, assisted students in planning a gap year, and helped select UChicago’s essay prompts.

Maura has a comprehensive understanding of the overall admissions process and recognizes the importance of storytelling in the college application. She utilizes her admissions and marketing experience to help students fine-tune their writing, illuminate their personal brand, and find their perfect college fit.

Nicholas Accrocco, MBA Admissions Consultant

Nicholas Accrocco

Former Auxiliary Application Reader

   University of Pennsylvania

Former Admissions Counselor

   Vanderbilt University

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Kogod School of Business, American University

1 Year in University of Pennsylvania Admissions

1 Year in American University Admissions

3 Years in Vanderbilt University Admissions

7,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Combining years of admissions experience at both the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as helping hundreds of students apply to selective colleges and universities, Dr. Nick J. Accrocco has a passion for helping students in the admissions process. Nick's experience during his time in admissions has given him insight as to what is valued within admissions committees from his work at Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania.

He has helped countless students with understanding the nuances of selective college admissions, fine tuning all aspects of their application, as well as preparation for college interviews. Additionally, he has been a guest speaker and lecturer for high school students, their families and education practitioners on many aspects of the college search process.

Safiya Johnson, College Admissions Consultant

Safiya Johnson

Former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

University of Chicago

4 Years in University of Chicago College Admissions

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Safiya earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and Master of Education in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Safiya immediately entered the college admissions and education sector after graduating with honors from the University of Chicago. She joined her alma mater's Office of College Admissions where she would go on to oversee the University’s fall prospective diversity student fly-in program, read over a thousand admissions applications annually, manage the recruitment of students from across the Midwest, and help identify domestic full-tuition scholarship winners. Given Safiya’s history of and passion for working with students from less advantaged backgrounds, she enjoys helping students gain a better understanding of the admissions and financial aid process as well as how their interests, perspectives, and background can enrich a college campus. Safiya will help you learn how to creatively share your unique story throughout the application process and how to conduct campus research that will lead you to find your best fit. 

Heather Dianno, College Admissions Consultant

Heather Dianno

Former Regional Admissions Director

University of Pennsylvania

3 Years in University of Pennsylvania Admissions

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Heather Dianno is an Admissions Consultant for Solomon Admissions. Since attending the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate education, Heather has worked as interviewer, auxiliary reader, and New Jersey Regional Admissions Director for University of Pennsylvania. As part of her work, she reviewed thousands of college applications. In her private admissions consulting work she has helped students get into schools such as Columbia University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and Northwestern University, among many others.

Outside the college admissions world, Heather works as a scrum master/project manager for CoreDial, working to improve agile practices. She is a mother of two children. With one child already in college, she has lived the college application experience from both sides.

Kelly Connors, College Admissions Consultant

Kelly Connors

Former Admissions Reader

   Duke University

Former Undergraduate Advising Coordinator

   George Mason University

 

4 years in Duke University Admissions

2 years in George Mason University Admissions

1000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Kelly earned a Masters of Education at George Mason University where she also engaged in student advising support. Kelly joined the undergraduate admissions team at Duke University where she reviewed and evaluated hundreds of applications per year and provided admit recommendations for committee review.  

 

As a Solomon Admissions Senior Consultant Kelly uses her extensive admissions background and expertise to help students navigate the often overwhelming admissions process and strives to assist her clients in shaping a compelling application for highly selective colleges and universities. Her passion and commitment in helping students identify the best university fit is evident in the relationships that she builds with each of her clients.

Mark Kubaczyk, College Admissions Consultant

Mark Kubaczyk

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

University of Chicago

 

3 Years in University of Chicago Admissions

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Mark Kubaczyk is an Admissions Consultant for Solomon Admissions. After attending the University of Chicago for his undergraduate education, Mark worked in the UChicago admissions office evaluating over 6000 admissions applications from students from Long Island, NY, New Jersey, and Eastern Europe. After three years, Mark went to Duke University to get his Master’s in Public Policy all while continuing to work with over 30 prospective college applicants privately and also continuing to read applications at UChicago part-time. In his private admissions consulting work he’s helped students get into schools such as Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, among many others.

Outside the college admissions world, Mark works as a Consultant with the Redwoods Group, working to improve management practices at community-based, child-serving organizations. He’s an avid Chicago sports, Notre Dame football, and Duke basketball fan, and he also enjoys hiking, biking, reading anything about American history, politics, or urban innovation, and spending his Saturday mornings at the Durham Farmer’s Market.

Carol Jillson, College Admissions Consultant

Carol Jillson

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Stanford University

Former Acting Executive Director

   UC Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program


5,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Carol Jillson has over 12 years of higher education experience in admissions, recruitment and program management. She is a former Assistant Director of Admission at Stanford University, where she evaluated thousands of applications, conducted admissions presentations to prospective applicants and attended admissions committee review. Carol also ran the UC Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program, which also included evaluating applications and interviewing applicants. She is also an alumni interviewer for London Business School.

 

Carol has a comprehensive understanding of highly selective college admissions. She specializes in helping students differentiate themselves and create a compelling application. Carol provides expert guidance and structure throughout the process, and helps students find the best fit schools for their longer term goals. 

 

Carol received a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley and an MBA from London Business School. She has worked in Consulting, Finance, and Education.

Samantha Shepard-Guerinoni, College Admissions Consultant

Samantha Shepard-Guerinoni

Former Admission Counselor

Stanford University

Former Assistant Director

Simmons University

3 Years in Stanford University Admissions

3 Years in Simmons University Admissions

2,900+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

After graduating from Stanford University, Samantha joined the Office of Undergraduate Admission at her alma mater. During her three years there, she evaluated and advocated in committee for up to 1500 students from across the country and led on- and off-campus information sessions for students, families, counselors, and teachers.

 

In addition, Samantha collaborated with the Athletic Liaison (Assistant Dean) to the Department of Athletics on all matters related to the admission process and selection, including meeting with coaches and recruits to discuss academic requirements, admission process, and student-athlete experience, and to evaluate athlete transcripts and was also the chief liaison to EPGY (Education Program for Gifted Youth) departments and online schools. After her time as an Admission Counselor, Samantha continued involvement with Stanford undergraduate admissions and alumni by serving as the 2013-2014 Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Chair for Stanford University Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link (OVAL) and later as a Leadership Team member of the Stanford University Black Alumni Association of Boston.

Samantha has a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Ph.D. student in an interdisciplinary program of History and Sociology at Tulane University.

Stephanie Fernandez, College Admissions Consultant

Stephanie Fernandez

Former Assistant Director of Admission 

Northwestern University

 

3 Years in Northwestern University Admissions

6,000+ Applications read

Stephanie earned her B.A. in Sociology from Northwestern University and her M.Ed in Education Policy from the University of Washington. As a first-generation college student, Stephanie became passionate about helping others through the college application process and finding the best fit school. 

 

Stephanie became an Assistant Director of Admission at Northwestern University in 2014, where she spent three years working on the undergraduate admissions team reading and evaluating applications. During that time, she read approximately 6,000 applications and 12,000 essays from the Southeast region of the U.S., with the majority of her applications hailing from Texas. She was also the Coordinator of the Alumni Admission Council, where she oversaw approximately 6,000 interviews domestically and internationally. She also participated in many alumni interviews for Chicago-area applicants.

Matthew Pohl, College Admissions Consultant

Matthew Pohl

Former Associate Director of Admissions 

   University of Pennsylvania

Former Assistant Dean of Admission

   College of William & Mary

Former Admission Counselor

   Sarah Lawrence College

3.5 Years in University of Pennsylvania Admissions

3 Years in W&M Admissions

4 Years at SLC Admissions

20,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Matthew has an extraordinary range of admissions experience at three highly selective colleges and universities, managing both domestic and international admissions. He has read, evaluated and selected students from thousands of high schools across the world -- most recently at the University of Pennsylvania where he managed the 2nd most voluminous recruitment and application review territories of the mid-Atlantic U.S., southern U.S., Canada and China. He was also a voting member of admissions committees for all 13 undergraduate programs, including coordinated dual-degree, accelerated, and specialized programs at Penn (M&T, VIPER, Dental, and more). His international admissions work began at William & Mary where he oversaw applicant review and selection from China and co-coordinated the review process for the St. Andrews-W&M joint degree program.  Matthew began his career at Sarah Lawrence College with an 11-state territory covering New England and the Midwest.  

Matthew earned his MS.Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania and his Bachelor of Arts at Tufts University with a Political Science major, with a focus on Hebrew and Arabic languages.

Catherine Kirkman, College Admissions Consultant

Catherine Kirkman

Former Undergraduate Admissions Reader 

   Stanford University

Former Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Senior Vice Provost for Education and Vice President for the Arts

   Stanford University

3 Years in Stanford University Admissions

5,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Cathy has worked in the higher education field for over a decade and brings a sincere passion and commitment to helping students maximize their opportunities for college. Before that, she was an equity partner at Am Law 100 law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, practicing law in Silicon Valley for over twenty years. 

 

As an admissions application reader at Stanford, Cathy focused on giving every application a thorough and thoughtful reading and evaluation. She read in Restrictive Early Action, Regular Decision, and Transfers, and across multiple state and international territories, becoming familiar with the admissions landscapes in major territories such as California, NY/NE, Texas, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Florida/South and internationally. In her executive work assisting senior university leadership, Cathy gained a deep understanding around institutional priorities and policies, as well as development matters, at elite institutions. She regularly supported or liaised around senior-level committees on undergraduate admissions and financial aid, undergraduate standards and policies, and president/provost office, board of trustees and faculty senate matters, and coordinated development and prospect meetings and visits.

 

She has continued her professional development in college admissions with coursework at the USC Center for Enrollment Management and through NACAC/WACAC involvement. Cathy is an alumna of Harvard College and Stanford Law School.

Mike Hammer, College Admissions Consultant

Mike Hammer

Former Admissions Reader

Cornell University

14 years in Cornell University Admissions

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Mike earned his BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley in Management Science and Organizational Behavior. Besides higher ed, his background includes work in the non-profit and consulting sectors. As Director of Data Management for Cornell University's College of Engineering, Mike worked closely with admissions directors and was an admissions reader for 14 admissions cycles.

 

He was responsible for helping administrators understand changing trends in applications and helping the university adapt to serving increasingly diverse applicants. Mike served as a mentor for STEM student groups including the McNair Scholars, helping students navigate the complex environment of higher education.

 

His experience gives him a comprehensive understanding of the importance of matching each student's goals and dreams to the environment that is right for them, and how to communicate a student’s unique story to the admission readers.

Roscoe Nicholson, College Admissions Consultant

Roscoe Nicholson

Former Admissions Counselor and Admissions Reader

University of Chicago

 

3 Years in University of Chicago Admissions

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

In addition to his undergraduate admissions work reading applications and interviewing applicants, Roscoe spent many years teaching undergraduates and graduate students as a Lector in the University of Chicago’s Academic and Professional Writing Course (a.k.a. “The Little Red Schoolhouse”). As part of the University of Chicago’s Careers in Health Professions office, Roscoe provided feedback on all University of Chicago pre-med students’ medical school application essays and taught writing as part of its MCAT prep course. As a Preceptor in the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), Roscoe advised his students on graduate school applications, provided feedback on their application essays, and reviewed applications for the MAPSS Program itself. Roscoe also worked as a PRISM Preceptor for the University of Chicago’s Career Advising and Planning Services department to provide career counseling and to organize career planning events. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Roscoe also graded MCAT essays for Measurement Incorporated.  Roscoe also brings a varied academic background, as an undergraduate humanities major (Religious Studies at Carleton College), with significant graduate work in both neuroscience (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) and the social sciences (Human Development at the University of Chicago).

 

Roscoe has a breadth of experience to draw from. He is dedicated to working with students to assist them in identifying and reaching their goals, and is passionate about imparting in concrete ways how writing can help accomplish this.

Angela Dunnham, College Admissions Consultant

Angela Dunnham

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

Dartmouth College

1,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Angela Dunnham is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in English Language and Literature. She is earning her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy at Beijing Normal University in China. As an Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College, she traveled to schools around the country and read over 1000 applications. Angela has considerable experience advising students and families throughout all stages of the admissions process. She’s worked with students living in the United States and China. She has hosted workshops for US high school guidance counselors and youth development organizations to deepen their understanding of the admissions process.

Angela is passionate about using her skills to bring out the best in her students. She has helped students gain admission to Top 30 colleges and universities, including Yale University, Brown University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan, UCL, LSE and more. Angela is also specially prepared to help less competitive applicants improve their admissions chances. Angela helps students develop their narrative, fine-tune their leadership skills, and define their extracurricular profiles. In addition to a thorough understanding of the holistic review process used to evaluate students at highly-selective colleges and universities, Angela’s track record as a leader, community organizer, and educator allows her to connect and prepare students to be competitive in the application process.

Andrew Green, College Admissions Consultant

Andrew Green

Former Senior Admissions Counselor

University of Chicago

2 Years in University of Chicago Admissions 

3,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Andrew holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature and Law, Letters, and Society from the University of Chicago and an MFA in writing from the University of South Carolina. As a UChicago admissions officer, Andrew traveled extensively throughout New England conducting outreach, evaluated thousands of applications for first-year and transfer admission, and participated in and advocated for students during admissions committee deliberations. He also hosted essay-writing workshops, conducted interviews, and advocated for students in merit scholarship deliberations. His passion for writing and editing led him to serve as the head writer of UChicago’s outreach to prospective students and, alongside a team of talented colleagues, develop official communications, video projects, marketing materials, and a guidebook for selective college admissions.

 

Following his roles in the admission office, Andrew taught writing and literature at the University of South Carolina and has worked for several years guiding and mentoring hundreds of students in navigating the selective admissions process in the United States and abroad, with a particular focus on developing and crafting student writing. Andrew draws on his teaching experience to help students explore their interests and discover their ideal future college or university and his marketing experience and writing practice to help students recognize and articulate their personal admissions narrative and craft compelling and nuanced writing. In his private admissions work, Andrew has helped students gain admission to Stanford, Harvard, UChicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, NYU Stern, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, Cambridge University, and more.

Zarinah James, College Admissions Consultant

Zarinah James

Former Senior Associate Dean of Admissions, Swarthmore College

Former Associate Director of Admissions,

University of Chicago

Former Regional Director of Admissions,

University of Pennsylvania

Former Admissions Counselor,

Simmons College (Simmons University)

8 years in Swarthmore College Admissions

5 years in University of Chicago Admissions

3 years in University of Pennsylvania Admissions

2 years in Simmons College (Simmons University) Admissions

Over 10,000+ applications read and evaluated 

Zarinah has over 15 years of admissions experience at several of the most selective colleges and universities in the country. She has evaluated applicants from across the United States, while her specific recruitment territories have included regions in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and select Florida counties. During her admissions career, Zarinah's responsibilities have spanned chairing admissions committees, coordinating application review training, scholarship review, recruitment travel, yield events for admitted students, operations, information sessions, interviews, admissions panels and workshops, and various special programs. She has also coordinated access programming for underrepresented students and worked with local and national community-based organizations. With her background in holistic admissions in the liberal arts and pre-professional studies, Zarinah has a strong understanding of how a range of factors - school and regional context, an applicant's academic and personal presentation, and institutional goals - are considered in the decision process.

 

In addition to her work as an admissions officer, she has spent two years as a school-based college counselor. She advised a cohort of students as they navigated the admissions cycle and, ultimately, attended four-year colleges and universities nationwide. Zarinah earned her bachelor's degree at Brown University and an M.S.Ed. at the University of Pennsylvania.

Adrienne Gilbert, College Admissions Consultant

Adrienne Gilbert

Former Admissions Reader

     Rice Undergraduate Admissions

2 years at Rice University Admissions

3500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

As college admissions professional for the last 16 years, Adrienne has experience working on all sides of the proverbial admissions desk. She has read thousands of applications in her role as an admissions reader for highly selective Rice University, she has aided in the development of admissions and financial aid strategies for colleges and universities worldwide as a higher education enrollment consultant, and she has served as the Director of College Counseling in an elite K-12 school - a role that she was recognized for in 2015 when she was selected as The University of Chicago's Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Adrienne recognizes the importance of creating a persuasive narrative in the application process. She particularly loves working with students to hone in on their individual strengths and interests and help them see creative ways to bridge those in unique and creative, stand-out ways. Having worked on over 200 college campuses when she served as an enrollment consultant, also means that Adrienne has a unique ability to pair a student's personality and interests with best-fit institutions unique to them.

Frank Sierra, Senior College Admissions Consultant

Frank Sierra

Former Admissions Officer

    University of Chicago

2 years in University of Chicago Admissions

3,500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Frankie received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. After graduating, he joined the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UChicago to continue his passion for education. 

 

During his two years working at UChicago, Frankie recruited students across the Midwest and evaluated over 3,500 applications. He also facilitated essay writing workshops for high school students and offered information sessions on applying to highly selective universities. 

 

Frankie will work with you to help you share your unique story and find your best-fit college. With his marketing and higher education experience, Frankie understands the importance of building an application that reflects your personal journey and finding the right college for you. 

Kirsten Sharett, Senior College Admissions Consultant

Kirsten Sharett

Former Admissions Officer

    Princeton University

2 Years Former Admissions Reader Princeton University 

2,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Kirsten has her B.A. from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she ranked on the Dean’s List and spent a year abroad studying European Relations at the London School of Economics & Political Science in the U.K. She has her M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied broadcast and documentary journalism and was awarded a journalism fellowship from the American Council of Germany for her investigative reporting on Germany 10 years post-reunification. She has a Certificate in International Studies from New York University and is a Certified Life Story Coach. 

 

She has spent more than 20 years of her career in pursuit of discovery and authentic storytelling. After spending two years serving as an Admissions Reader for Princeton University reading thousands of personal statements she was inspired to counsel high school students to tell the real stories of their lives. She says that her career has always been immersed in discovery and in search of the stories that had impacts, ripple effects, consequences, wisdom, heart and soul, and ah-ha moments. All of those moments of discovery became her sources of inspiration for formulating and leading branding and marketing campaigns, presentations, and writing speeches. Discovery and story telling is what drives her.

Consultants

Grisel Maldonado, College Admissions Consultant

Grisel Maldonado
Former Admissions Officer
Brown University

 

2000+ Applications Read and Evaluated
 

Mrs. Maldonado has dedicated her career to preparing students to get to and through college because she strongly believes every student deserves the opportunity to receive the necessary mentorship and guidance to achieve his or her dreams. As a Brown University admissions officer she recommended admissions decisions for over 2,000 candidates, and then went on to found a college counseling department at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago where she mentored and coached over 2,000 students to build their best college admissions profile and be prepared for the rigors of college. As the Director of College Counseling, she successfully coached students to be accepted to Brown University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Washington University St. Louis, University of Notre Dame, and more.

 

Mrs. Maldonado earned her BA in History and Hispanic Studies from Brown University and was most recently the Director of College Success at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute (UEI) where she led strategy to support Chicago Public School students be on the path to the best-fit college for them starting as early as 6th grade. Mrs. Maldonado currently lives in Chicago and works in New York City and San Jose, California.

Clay Busia, College Admissions Consultant

Clay Busia

Former Senior Assistant Director of Admission

University of Southern California

 

6 years in USC Admissions

13,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Clay is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Price School of Public Policy where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees respectively. As an undergraduate student, he worked for four years under the USC Office of Student Affairs in academic advising and career counseling. Following the completion of his undergraduate program, Clay spent six years working in the USC Office of Admission. While he reviewed and supported applicants from all over the world, he primarily worked with students from California (Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties), Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, and all students enrolled in online, non-traditional, or homeschooling programs.

 

In addition to reviewing thousands of applications, he has conducted over 1000 one-on-one, in-person interviews with prospective students. He established long-term counselling relationships with over 200 students as they sought transfer to USC from other two-year and four-year institutions. He also coordinated the admission review process of the highly selective USC School of Cinematic Arts and acted as an interviewer and evaluator for university merit-based scholarship recipients. 

Joe Reiff, College Admissions Consultant

Joe Reiff

Former Senior Admission Counselor

   Emory University

Former Admissions Reader

   Duke University

 

3 years at Emory University Admission

1 year at Duke University Admissions

5,000+ applications read and evaluated

Joe is a graduate of Emory University, where he studied Music Composition and directed the co-ed a cappella group, Dooley Noted. After graduating, Joe spent three years in Emory’s Office of Admission covering the Midwest U.S., evaluating applications, and advising families on the admission process.  During his tenure at his alma mater, Joe also selected finalists for the Emory Scholars Program and developed strategies for recruiting and evaluating talented students interested in pursuing the arts.

 

Following a move to North Carolina, Joe spent a year as an admissions reader for Duke University, then transitioned into a career in software development. He has since returned to his home state of Virginia, where he lives with his lovely wife. Joe enjoys the palpable sense of energy that surrounds the college search and is excited to help students and their families navigate that process.

Lara Magdzinski, College Admissions Consultant

Lara Magdzinski

Former Admissions Reader

   Northwestern University

Former Professional Reader

   UNC-Chapel Hill Morehead-Cain Scholarship

Former Admissions Reader

   Kenyon College
Former Assistant Director of Admission

   Kalamazoo College

2,500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Lara brings over a decade of selective college admissions and college counseling experience to
her work as a Consultant with Solomon. Having begun her career in admissions as part of the
application reading team at Northwestern University, she most recently served as an Admissions Reader for Kenyon College and as a Professional Reader for the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill. Under her guidance, students have gained admission to highly selective institutions across the country (and the globe) including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, UPenn, Northwestern, University of Chicago, NYU, and many more.


Additionally, Lara has worked with students while teaching English in Germany as a Fulbright
Scholar, serving in Residential Life while completing a Master’s in Higher Education Administration and Policy at Northwestern University, and advising study abroad participants. She is passionate about her work with young people, and equally so about the college process. In large part due to her own circuitous path as a transfer student in college, she believes firmly in the power of “fit” and finds great joy in helping each student find just that.

Andrea Sanders, College Admissions Consultant

Andrea Saunders

Former Application Admissions Reader
   Rice University

Former Application Admissions Reader

   Carnegie Mellon University

 

3 Years in Southern Methodist University Admissions

1 Year in Rice University Admissions

1 year in Carnegie Mellon University Admissions

1 Year in Chatham University Graduate Admissions

4 Years in Wofford College Admission​

8,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Andrea began her career in college student recruitment at the University of Maryland—College Park, Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  While later living in Pittsburgh, Andrea was able to gain experience in graduate admissions at Chatham University and serve as an outside application admissions reader for Rice University and Carnegie Mellon University. When they moved again, Southern Methodist University provided yet another opportunity for Andrea broaden her knowledge of the application review process.

 

Throughout her 15 years recruiting students, Andrea has had experience reading and evaluating the applications of elite student-athletes, gifted computer science students, BFA applicants, as well as BS/MD applicants, MBA, and MSPAS applicants.  Having lived in eight states since college, her diverse geographic experiences strengthen her ability to view applications through a variety of lenses and backgrounds. Currently, Andrea and her family reside wherever the United States Air Force sends her husband.

Hillary Teague, College Admissions Consultant

Hillary Teague

Former Admissions Counselor

University of Michigan

Former Director of Enrollment Communications

Case Western Reserve University

Former Associate Director of Admission

Kalamazoo College

4,000 Applications Read and Evaluated

A career admissions professional, Hillary has spent over 17 years working in college, as well as independent PS-12, admissions. At the University of Michigan, where Hillary earned her M.A. in Higher Education Administration, she provided a holistic review to 60-80 applications weekly. At Kalamazoo College, Hillary was a first reader for high volume territories in and around Chicago and Detroit, assisted with International application review, and served as a second reader. She twice overhauled the admissions application review process and trained new staff on application evaluation. At Case Western Reserve University, Hillary participated in an application evaluation, as well as assisted in making final decisions as part of the enrollment leadership team.

 

Hillary currently serves as Director of Pre-Primary and Primary School Admissions at Laurel School, an independent all-girls school, where she evaluates applications for all lower school grades. Additionally, she supports the college counseling office by conducting mock college interviews with high school juniors and reviewing college essays for high school seniors.

Terry Gilbert, College Admissions Consultant

Terry Gilbert

Former Associate Director of Admission 

   Carnegie Mellon University

Former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

   Purdue University

2 years in Carnegie Mellon University Admissions

7 years in Purdue University Admissions

21,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Terry Gilbert has an undergraduate degree in Management and a graduate degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education, specializing in Enrollment Management.

 

During his nine-year college admission career, he held leadership roles at both Carnegie Mellon University and Purdue University, crafting and executing the undergraduate diversity recruitment and the domestic recruitment strategy of those institutions, respectively. His work as a professional in support of college access and student inclusion garnered recognition from both The College Board and the National Association of College Admission Counseling.

 

Through personal interviews, financial counseling sessions, and admission credential reviews, Terry has advised countless students on the path through which to achieve their post-secondary dreams. As a reflection of the reputations of Carnegie Mellon and Purdue, he is skilled at helping students interested in the STEM fields navigate a holistic admission process.

Kimberly Kauer, College Admissions Consultant

Kimberly Kauer
Former Undergraduate Admissions Reader
Stanford University

 

3 Years in Stanford University Admissions
8,600+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Kimberly took her passion for learning individuals' personal stories and growth into college admissions with a three-year role as an admissions reader for Stanford. Over three years, Kimberly gave a holistic evaluation to over 8,000 restrictive early action, regular decision, transfer, and Questbridge applications from all regions of the U.S. and multiple international areas, including Australia and New Zealand. Kimberly has an understanding of institutional priorities, effective storytelling, and how to advocate for applicants.

A first-generation college student, Kimberly has degrees from Northeastern University and the University of San Francisco. 

Bryan Hudson, College Admissions Consultant

Bryan Hudson

Former Assistant Director of Admission

University of Southern California

 

3 Years in USC Admissions

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

  

Bryan is a graduate of the University of Southern California where he studied Business Administration and Cinematic Arts. He worked in the Admission Office for four years as an undergraduate. During that time, he met with prospective students and families, coordinated campus tours and visit programs, and furthered his interest in Higher Education. Upon graduation, Bryan worked as an Assistant Director of Admission for his alma mater for 3 years. 

As an Assistant Director of Admission, Bryan served as a territory manager for the San Gabriel Valley (CA), Ohio, and South Carolina. He enjoyed meeting with prospective students and families at college fairs and presentations across the country. In addition to reviewing applications, he was also part of the social media team, and contributed monthly posts for the Admissions blog. While at USC, Bryan also completed a master's in Communication Management. His hobbies include tennis, film, and traveling.

Juliana Wong, College Admissions Consultant

Juliana Wong

Former Admissions Reader

UC Berkeley

2,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Juliana attended UC San Diego as an undergraduate and studied Communication and Business. During her time at UCSD, she was heavily involved in educational equity work, which centered around college access, retention, and persistence for diverse student populations in the local San Diego area. After graduating, she served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in the South Bronx in New York City, providing academic and social emotional support through alternative educational experiences for NYC public school students. She is passionate about creating a culturally-relevant curriculum to engage students that are meaningful and engaging for their own learning and knowledge production.

 

She also received her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she held multiple roles as an advisor, counselor, instructor, and coach in both multicultural affairs and academic support services. While at UMD, Juliana served as an external admissions reader at UC Berkeley, where she read and evaluated over 2,000 freshman applications. Her holistic, personalized approach to consulting and advising empowers students to authentically share their narratives and shine a light on their assets and strengths in order to maximize their opportunities in college and beyond.

Zachary McNeal, College Admissions Consultant

Zachary McNeal

Former Admissions Reader

Duke University

Zachary McNeal graduated summa cum laude from Lancaster Bible College, and is currently a grad student at Duke Divinity School. Before coming to Duke, he worked as a program coordinator and chaplain at an historic rescue mission in New York City, working to help NYC’s homeless community achieve housing stability.

 

While enrolled at Duke, he worked as a First Reader in Duke’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. During his time in Duke’s admissions office, he read and evaluated hundreds of applications from all over the United States, especially from the Chicago area, Pacific Northwest and Northeast. This exposure to a wide variety of college applicants has given him a keen insight into the significance of making the college application tell a compelling and focused story. While high grades and exemplary extra-curricular activities are vital to success, top colleges admit interesting people, not merely impressive résumés. He is dedicated to taking this knowledge and expertise, and leveraging it to help students and families tell their stories well. In addition to admissions consulting, Zac is an avid reader, a mediocre musician and an obsessive acquirer of historical trivia.

Elizabeth Hahn, College Admissions Consultant

Elisabeth Hahn

Former Admissions Officer

Duke University

 

2 years in Duke University Admissions

2,500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

After graduating from Duke University, Elisabeth remained at her alma mater and worked as an undergraduate admissions officer for two years. During this time she evaluated and recommended decisions on more than 2500 applications and was responsible for student recruitment in five states. The most rewarding aspect of this work, however, was discussing the application and selection processes with prospective students and their parents. She has continued these conversations informally since her time at Duke and particularly enjoys sharing insights with military families, many of whom are negotiating the added challenge associated with frequent moves during a student’s high school career. Elisabeth lives with her husband, an active-duty Army officer, and their two children.

 

She has continued to pursue her interest in higher education by earning a master's degree in higher education from Harvard where she is now completing her doctorate.

Priscilla Gonzalez-Ortiz, College Admissions Consultant

Priscilla Gonzalez-Ortiz

Former Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission

Northwestern University

2 years in Northwestern University

2,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Priscilla graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.A in Foreign Languages.  As a first-generation college student, she began to work in higher education to assist students on applying to colleges and universities. Prior to Solomon, Priscilla joined the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Northwestern University as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission. At the time, she read and evaluated over 2,000 applications mainly from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. She conducted interviews for numerous prospective students at Chicago Scholars. Plus, she oversaw and promoted CLAVE, which was aimed for prospective Latinx students to increase the number of qualified students who apply and are eventually accepted into the University.

 

Outside of Solomon, she is a current M.Ed. Urban Higher Education candidate. She is an active alumna for her sorority Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. where she hosts events to contribute to the Chicago community and surrounding areas.

Stephanie D'Souza, College Admissions Consultant

Stephanie D'Souza

Former Admission Reader

   Duke University

Former Program Officer

   Fulbright Foreign Student Program

 

9 Years in Duke Admissions

4,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Stephanie has 15+ years of experience in the field of higher education. She has worked with both U.S. and international students to navigate the undergraduate and graduate admissions process. Stephanie’s counseling passion revolves around finding the “best fit” school for students as well as helping applicants reveal their authentic voice through their personal statements.

 

Most recently, Stephanie has worked with the Duke University Undergraduate Admissions Office to evaluate applications from both large comprehensive public high schools and small elite private high schools across the country. Stephanie has the insight to know what will make an applicant stand out when it comes to decision time at a selective university.

 

Stephanie received her Master of Arts degree in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Dickinson College. She is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Melissa Baumgart, College Admissions Consultant

Melissa Baumgart

Former Admissions Reader

New York University

2 Years in NYU Admissions

1,200+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University, with a degree in Radio/Television/Film and History. After graduating, she worked in television before turning to writing and teaching. She also has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she is the 2018 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize from the Hunger Mountain Journal for the Arts.

 

For two reading seasons, Melissa worked for New York University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where she was trained in holistic application review with a focus on determining a student’s “fit.” She has reviewed 1,200+ applications from across the country. She also volunteered for several years with Minds Matter NYC, where she helped guide her mentee through the summer programs and college applications, resulting in a full college scholarship. Additionally, she was a Writing and Critical Thinking consultant for Minds Matter, helping students craft their personal statements for applications and financial aid. She loves helping students express their authentic voices to find the best match of student and school in each admissions consideration.

Gabriel Guiterrez Aragon, College Admissions Consultant

Gabriel Gutierrez Aragon, M.S.Ed.
Former Admissions Reader
   Yale University

Former MBA Admissions Reader

   The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Former Admission Counselor

   Hispanic Scholarship Fund


1 Year in Yale University Admissions

1 Year in Wharton MBA Admissions

3 Years in Hispanic Scholarship Fund
2,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Gabriel is a recipient of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship completing his M.S. Ed in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Solomon Admissions, Gabriel read and evaluated college applications for Yale University and the Wharton MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania. He also mentored students applying to Ivy-Plus universities and worked as a residential advisor for domestic and international students at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

As a consultant with experience in admissions as well as student affairs and residential services, Gabriel understands the importance of an informed and cohesive college application. He familiarizes himself with his student’s backgrounds and aspirations then utilizes a strength-based approach to craft outstanding college applications. Outside of college advising Gabriel is an educational researcher interested in intergenerational mobility as well as admission policies and transitions from high school to college.

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Ebony Breaux

Former Application Reader

    UC Berkeley Undergraduate Admissions
    UC Berkeley Hass School of Business


1,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Ebony received her BA in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine where she discovered her passion for education. She has spent the last decade supporting students to and through college, focusing on those who will be the first in their families to pursue higher education. She began her work in college access as an undergraduate student, working with both high school and college students to help them prepare for their next steps. After graduating, she served as a Teach for America Corps Member in the Bay Area before continuing her work in college access space. Most recently, she served as the founding Director of College Counseling in Los Angeles, where she helped to start a high school and create a college counseling program, leading 98% of her students to be accepted to a 4-year university. Currently, Ebony is pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. 

 

As an application reader for UC Berkeley, Ebony read and evaluated applications for the general undergraduate admissions as well as the Haas School of Business. She has read and evaluated over 1,000 applications and individually supported over 150 students through the college application process. Ebony loves demystifying the college process for students and families and helping students discover their best fit.

Haley Rosenspire, College Admissions Consultant

Haley Rosenspire

Former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, University of Southern California

3 Years at the University of Southern California

6,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

After graduating from the University of Southern California with her degree in Political Science, Haley joined Teach for America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, beginning her career in education and as an advocate for students in the college admissions process. Following her two-year corps commitment, she returned to USC as an Assistant Director of Admissions in order to better focus her work on higher education and helping students shine through the college admissions process.

In her three years in the USC Office of Admissions, Haley was promoted to Senior Assistant Director of Admission, taking on a wider set of office roles and responsibilities. She read and evaluated over 6,000 applications, and excelled in working with students and families navigating the daunting process of highly selective college admissions. Outside of her work as a reader and evaluator, she took on the role of department liaison with the Thornton School of Music, providing evaluation and feedback for some 300 music students each cycle, as well as Deferral Coordinator, in which she helped to craft and oversee USC’s deferral process during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Additionally, Haley served as Alumni Volunteer Coordinator, leveraging the power of the Trojan Family to help recruit prospective students.

 

Haley’s favorite aspect of college admissions work is getting to know students and families, and helping them craft a compelling narrative about who they are and why they belong at the schools they are interested in. Outside of college admissions work, she is pursuing her J.D. at William and Mary Law School.

Jennifer Kolb, College Admissions Consultant

Jennifer Kolb

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

2 Years in UNC-Chapel Hill Admissions

3,300+ Applications Read and Evaluate

 

After graduating from Harvard College, Jennifer worked in finance for five years in marketing and corporate strategy. Deciding on a career change where she could work more closely and directly with people, she then returned to school for her master's degree in school counseling at UNC-Chapel Hill. During that year, she worked closely with high school students on college and career planning. Realizing this as a passion, she went on to work for UNC-Chapel Hill in career services and then transitioned to working in their admissions office. She worked there for two years, recruiting students, guiding them through the application process, and of course reading applications.

 

In her work with students, Jennifer blends her marketing and admissions experience to build applications that truly present the students' best to admissions committees. She enjoys demystifying the college application process and helping students feel confident and proud of their applications rather than anxious about them.

Janelle Sales, Admissions Consultant

Janelle Sales

Former Transfer Admissions Specialist

Former Freshman Admissions Reader

University of California, Berkeley

2 Years in UC Berkeley Admissions

2500+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Janelle is originally from Pasadena, CA, and received her BA in Gender & Women's Studies from UC Berkeley before joining their Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a Transfer Specialist. While a student, she held board positions with the Black Recruitment and Retention Center on campus that received training directly from the Undergraduate Admissions Office in order to facilitate workshops and tours to increase minority representation on campus. Janelle also has experience with middle school students as she served as an Americorps Teaching Fellow for an after-school program for 2 years. Afterward, she concurrently served as director of Experience Berkeley High School, a non-profit housed program that facilitates dozens of students getting accepted into their top choice UC campuses, and as an external admissions reader for UC Berkeley for 2 years.

 

Janelle has taught workshops to hundreds of students that cover personal statements, financial aid, major selection, and housing. Having experience with domestic & international students, she enjoys helping applicants illustrate how great of a candidate they are and works diligently with them to put forth the best application possible. Outside of application consulting, Janelle coaches and teaches life skills to young adults who have aged out of the foster-care system or were formerly homeless in South Florida.

Brittany Davila, College Admissions Consultant

Brittany Dávila

Former Senior Associate Director of Admissions

New York University

2 years in New York University Admissions

2 years in Fordham University Admissions

3 years in Barnard College Admissions

1 year in UC Berkeley Admissions

15,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Brittany Dávila is a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in highly selective admissions. Before joining Solomon, Brittany served as the Senior Associate Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at New York University. As a member of the senior leadership team at NYU, Brittany led all diversity initiatives for admissions, recruitment, and selection, including serving as the Chair of the Scholars Selection Committee. Prior to NYU, Brittany was the Associate Director of Admissions at Barnard College as well as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Fordham University. She was also an application reader for UC Berkeley. In addition, Brittany assisted hundreds of students through the college application process as the Co-Director of College Counseling at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, and as the Director of College Guidance at the Chapin School in New York City. Before moving to New York, Brittany began her career in higher education as a financial aid advisor at the University of La Verne in Southern California. She holds several professional memberships, including the National and New York Associations of College Admissions Counseling and the Association of Black Admissions and Financial Aid Officers of the Ivy League and Sister Schools. She earned her B.A. from Pitzer College and her MS.Ed. from Fordham University.

Caitlin Sackrison, MBA Admissions Consultant

Caitlin Sackrinson

Former Assistant Director of Admissions

   Carnegie Mellon University

Former Senior Fellow

   Colgate University

 

1 year at Carnegie Mellon University Admissions

2 years at Colgate University Admissions

2 years at Brandeis University Writing Center

1,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Caitlin is a graduate of Colgate University and is currently earning her Ph.D. at Brandeis University. Caitlin began working in college admissions at Colgate University as an esteemed senior admissions fellow. After graduating she became the Assistant Director of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, Caitlin reviewed and evaluated applications for the School of Computer Science, Tepper School of Business, and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and made admission recommendations. In addition, Caitlin interviewed prospective students and presented the advantages of a Carnegie Mellon education both on-campus and across the country delivering regional informational programs.

 

For the past 4 years, Caitlin has been working with college-bound students advising them through the admissions process and as a writing consultant at Brandeis University. She seeks to help students define their academic goals, understand what makes a strong applicant, and how to clearly convey the distinctive characteristics that make them uniquely qualified to gain admission to a university that best aligns with their needs and aspirations.

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Pamela Klebanov

Former Admissions Reader, Princeton University

4 Years as an Application Reader at Princeton University

5,500 Applications Read and Evaluated

Pamela Klebanov was a top Admissions Reader for Princeton University for 4 admission cycles and has evaluated over 5,500 undergraduate applications. She has experience reading applications from students across the U.S. and has evaluated Questbridge and transfer applications.

Pamela grew up in Hawaii and was a first-generation college student who received her BA with honors from Occidental College where she majored in Psychology and minored in Asian Studies. She continued her study of Psychology at Princeton University where she earned her Ph.D. Pamela has devoted over 20 years to research in child health and development at Educational Testing Service, Columbia University, and Princeton University. Her research has garnered over 18,700 Google Scholar citations, with her publication on school readiness and later achievement featured on the front page of the New York Times. She also served as a reviewer for 18 peer-review journals. Throughout her years in academia, Pamela enjoyed interacting with students and helping them formulate and conduct research. As a Princeton University alumna, Pamela has interviewed Princeton undergraduate applicants for the Alumni Schools Committee and served on the Executive Board of The Auxiliary to the Isabella McCosh Infirmary at Princeton. During her time as an application reader, Pamela took a particular interest in reading the personal narratives of undergraduate applicants. Pamela is excited to share her expertise with students as they navigate their journey from high school to college by identifying and honing their interests and strengths to craft a compelling narrative.

 
Margo Kozinn J.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

Margo Kozinn, J.D.

Formerly at Stanford Medicine Admissions

Formerly at Chicago Medical School Admissions

 

1 Year in Stanford University School of Medicine Admissions

5 Years in Chicago Medical School Admissions

Margo is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. She received her Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law.  In law school, Margo received the highest award for Legal Research and Writing and served as a distinguished writing TA, helping students improve and polish their advanced writing skills. 

Margo has read and evaluated over 5,000 medical school applications.  While living in San Francisco, Margo served as a file reviewer for Stanford University School of Medicine, where she reviewed and evaluated prospective student applications and gave direct recommendations to the Dean of Admissions.  After moving back to the Midwest, Margo served as a file reviewer for Chicago Medical School where she reviewed student applications and collaborated weekly with admissions staff to review application and enrollment guidelines and procedures.  Additionally, she has advised numerous pre-medical students on their journey to medical school.  Margo has extensive experience reviewing admissions essays, letters of recommendation and AMCAS applications and has unique insight as to what medical schools are looking for in their applicants.

Ryan Zahalka M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

Ryan Zahalka, M.D.

Formerly at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Admissions

 

2 Years in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Admissions 

 

Ryan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Pereleman School of Medicine, now continuing his medical education at Penn as an Emergency Medicine resident. He previously graduated suma cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Molecular Biology. In his four years at Penn Med, Ryan was deeply involved in the admissions process, serving one year as an applicant interviewer, and over 2 years as a full member of the medical school admissions committee. He also helped lead an Ivy League pre-medicine advisor summit, where he worked with the pre-health advisors of all eight Ivy League universities to better shape their advising methods to the changing realities of the medical admissions environment.

 

Ryan also has extensive experience as a tutor and mentor, with over 5 years of experience as a college, graduate school, and medical school admissions consultant, 6 years of experience as an SAT, ACT, and MCAT tutor, and 4 years of experience mentoring pre-medical students.

Mason DePasse M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

J. Mason DePasse, M.D.

Formerly at Baylor College of Medicine Admissions

3 Years in Baylor College of Medicine Admissions

Mason earned a B.S. in biology at Stanford University and an M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine, where he was elected to AOA. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Brown University and is currently an orthopedic trauma fellow at Brown. He will then go on to a fellowship in spine surgery at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. He has conducted research in spine and education and has published papers in multiple medical journals.

 

Mason was an active member of the Baylor admissions committee for three years during medical school, giving him unique perspective on the medical school application process and successful personal statements. He has also assisted students with review of personal statements.

Samuel Yamshon, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Samuel Yamshon

Formerly in UC Davis School of Medicine Admissions

3 Years in University of California, Davis School of Medicine Admissions

 

Sam received a B.A. in Medieval History with a concentration in Pre-Medical Science from Columbia University in 2011, and will be completing his Doctor of Medicine in May 2016 at the UC Davis School of Medicine, where he served as co-director of the Shifa Community Clinic and founded the UC Davis Bioethics Society.

Sam has served on the admissions committee at UC Davis for 3 years in multiple capacities, including initial applicant screening, evaluation of applicants on interview day, and evaluation of applicants for final admission decisions.  He has successfully prepared students for SAT and ACT exams as well as biology and math courses, and has extensive experience reviewing and editing admissions essays and letters of recommendation.

Karen Hamilton PhD, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Karen Hamilton, PhD

Former Assistant Dean for Diversity at 

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

 

6 Years in Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Admissions

2 Years on the Admissions Committee at the Association of American Medical Colleges

 

Karen earned both her undergraduate and master’s degree from Ohio State University. Her Ph.D. was awarded in International and Comparative Education from the University of Pennsylvania. For twenty- eight years, she worked at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As an Assistant Dean, Karen served on the Admissions Committee, where she screened countless applications and interviewed applicants. Karen was also on a special Admissions Committee for the Undergraduate Scholars Summer Program for college students focused on biomedical research careers. Similarly, she helped establish the Penn Med Scholars Program for Penn undergraduates as well as medical students interested in careers in academic medicine. 

 

Karen also held positions and was active at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She served on its Admissions Committee when she was the National Chair-Elect Group on Student Affairs-Minority Affairs. Moreover, she co–authored an article, “A Review of the Literature on Non-Cognitive Variables: What Have We Learned?” published in The Advisor. This paper examined articles written on non –academic factors which could potentially influence an applicant’s medical school acceptance. As a result of these many experiences, Karen developed expertise in mentoring and assisting undergraduate students craft personal statements, prepare their applications and rehearse their interviews for medical school acceptance.

Aurora Cruz M.D., M.B.A, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Aurora Cruz, M.D., M.B.A.

Formerly at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine Admissions

 

4 Years as Admissions Committee Member at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine

 

Aurora graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from University of California, Davis. She is in her final year of the dual-degree MD/MBA program at University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and Paul Merage School of Business.

Aurora has been a tutor, instructor and advisor to premedical and medical students for more than 5 years. As a member of the Admissions Committee, she reviewed undergraduate applications, interviewed medical school candidates, and voted on applicants for admission to medical school. In this role, she has reviewed hundreds of personal statements and applications and has used her experience to advise premedical students to successful matriculation at US Allopathic medical schools. Aurora will be completing her Neurosurgery residency at the University of Louisville.

Justin Dubin, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Justin Dubin

Formerly at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Admissions

 

1 Year in Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Admissions

 

Justin received his B.A. in Biology and Minor in Entrepreneurship and Management at Johns Hopkins University. Before entering medical school he was also a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College for two years. Justin is currently finishing his final year of medical school at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

 

Justin has many years experience teaching and advising students. At Hopkins, he was a student advisor to first year students and a research mentor to sophomore and junior students. After graduating college, Justin was part of the Johns Hopkins interview admission committee for which he interviewed potential undergraduate candidates. While at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Justin has been an Admissions Committee Representative which allows him to provide valuable insight into what medical schools are looking for in applications as well as during interviews. Throughout his time in medical school Justin has advised numerous pre-medical students in the application process. 

 

Justin will be completing his urology residency at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Mariah Presbery, M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

Mariah Presbery, M.D.

Formerly at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University Admissions

 

2 Years in Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University Admissions

Mariah is currently an Internal Medicine resident at Temple University Hospital. She graduated from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a B.S. in Public Health and received her medical degree from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

Mariah was heavily involved with the medical school admissions process with a strong focus on mentorship and minority recruitment throughout her time in medical school. In her two years on the admissions committee, she has reviewed hundreds of applications and learned the unique intricacies of the admissions process, particularly involving the distinct characteristics an applicant should possess in order to be a strong candidate. She also participated as a student interviewer and voting member on the committee, contributing to the thoughtful discussion of thousands of applicants. Additionally, she has advised many premedical students on their path to medical school, involving personal statement revision, interview preparation, and determining what program will be the best fit for them based on their goals.

Jonathan Perez, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Jonathan Perez

Former Director of Medical School Admissions

   Stanford University School of Medicine

Former Director of Medical School Admissions

   University of South Florida College of Medicine

 

9 Years in Stanford Medical School Admissions 

4 Years in USF Medical School Admissions

40,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

 

Jonathan Perez has over 17 years of experience in highly selective admissions, pre-admissions counseling and  admissions committee activities.  He is a former Director of Medical School Admissions at Stanford School of Medicine and USF College of Medicine where he directed the day to day operations processes for MD, BS/MD and MD/PhD applications.  He has evaluated thousands of applications, conducted admissions presentations to prospective students and parents, managed traditional interviews and multi mini interviews processes, and provided MCAT preparation guidance to pre-med students.
 

In addition to his former Director of Admissions roles, Jonathan served on the AMCAS advisory committee and collaborated in partnership with Deans of Admissions, Directors of Financial Aid, Diversity Affairs and Pre-Health Advisors to provide comprehensive admissions planning guidance to pre-med students and applicants in the process.  He has counseled pre-med students from all backgrounds, including non-traditional, underrepresented, first generation and international students.

Dillan Villavisanis, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Dillan Villavisanis

Formerly at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai FlexMed Admissions

 

2 Years in Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai FlexMed Admissions

Dillan Villavisanis attended Johns Hopkins University with the full tuition Hodson Scholarship and graduated with degrees in Anthropology and Medicine, Science, and the Humanities. As an undergraduate, he completed a year-long fellowship at the University of Oxford in Biochemistry where he rowed for his college. He was accepted early to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through the FlexMed program with merit scholarship. In medical school, he performed extensive clinical and basic science research, resulting in over a dozen published manuscripts and nearly six figures in research grants. He is a member of Young Leadership Circle for the international cleft lip and palate charity, Smile Train. He is completing a one-year Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Research Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in craniofacial surgery.

Dillan has served as a member of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai FlexMed application committee, which provided insight into the nuanced and competitive nature of early acceptance M.D. programs. He has extensive experience with mentoring, application advising, and tutoring and is passionate about helping students achieve their academic goals.

David Voce M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

David Voce, M.D.

Formerly in University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Admissions

 

6 Years in University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Admissions

 

David graduated with high honors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.S. in Neuroscience. During his time at UCLA he was a teaching assistant for Chemistry where he was repeatedly recognized as a distinguished TA by the hundreds of students he taught. He subsequently graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine with a MD. During his time at Pritzker he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) research grant allowing him to take two years off to pursue neurosurgical bench research in the middle of medical school. He is currently a neurosurgery resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with plans to pursue a fellowship in neuro-oncology or skull base surgery.

 

David had extensive experience with medical school admissions during his six years at Pritzker. He was one of 9 fourth-year medical students selected by faculty to be part of the Admissions Committee, and has reviewed 500+ applications in the process. Additionally he has interviewed over 750+ applicants during his time at Pritzker, and worked closely with the Office of Admissions in coordinating interview days, revisit weekends, and the application process.

Lana Lobachova M.D. MBA, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Rohan Jotwani, M.D., M.B.A.

Formerly at Tufts School of Medicine Admissions

 

1 Year in Tufts University School of Medicine Admissions

Rohan is a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in biology.  He completed his MD and MBA from the Tufts University School of Medicine's combined program. He is the recipient of the Norman S. Stearns MD/MBA Award as well as MedTech Boston's "40 under 40" Award. Rohan is currently completing his residency in Anesthesiology at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. He has published on crisis management, conflict of interest and fraud within healthcare organizations.   

 

Rohan served as an appointed voting member of the admissions committee at the Tufts School of Medicine. He has interviewed numerous candidates, gained extensive training on application review, and adjudicated on hundreds of applications. Prior to entering medical school, Rohan worked as a media producer and is the former president of the Columbia University debate team, giving him over 10 years of experience in mock interviewing, strategic positioning, and persuasive writing.

Drew Albers PhD, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Drew Albers, PhD.

Formerly at Saint Louis University School of Medicine

 

3 Years at Saint Louis University School of Medicine Admissions Committee

Drew received his B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Neurosciences, followed by completion of his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Saint Louis University. During his doctoral studies, he was responsible for mentoring pre-medical students on the path to achieving medical school admission. He began his medical studies at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2015 and will graduate with his M.D. in 2019.

 

During his time at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Drew served on the admissions committee, where he was responsible for the evaluation of applicants on interview day and during the final decision at committee meetings. He has extensive experience in writing and editing, including admissions essays and secondary applications. Drew also has specific expertise in research by pre-medical and medical students, including the discussion of research on medical school applications and during interviews.

Ajay Sampat M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

Ajay Sampat, M.D.

Formerly in University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Admissions

 

4 Years in University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine Admissions


Ajay graduated with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Neurobiology and Psychology and subsequently from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine with an MD. He is currently a Neurology resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and plans to pursue a fellowship in Sleep Medicine.

Ajay had extensive experience with medical school admissions during his time at Pritzker. He was one of 9 fourth-year medical students selected by faculty to be part of the Admissions Committee and has reviewed 250+ applications in the process. Additionally, he has interviewed over 500+ applicants during his time at Pritzker and worked closely with the Office of Admissions in coordinating interview days, revisit weekends, and the application process. He has also provided personal advising to students on crafting personal statements, MCAT preparation, and application strategy.

Emal Lesha M.D., Medical School Admissions Consultant

Emal Lesha, M.D.

Formerly at Tufts University School of Medicine Admissions

 

1 Year in Tufts University School of Medicine Admissions 

 

Emal is a graduate of UMass Boston with a degree in Biology. He completed his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine. He is currently completing his residency in Neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. He has extensive research experience in biomaterial engineering, genetic engineering, and endovascular neurosurgery, and has multiple publications including in high impact scientific journals such as Science and Nature.   

 

Emal served as an appointed voting member of the admissions committee at the Tufts School of Medicine, during which time he gained training and experience on medical school application review, interviewed numerous candidates, and reviewed hundreds of applications. During medical school, he worked closely with the Massachusetts Medical Society and American Medical Association, where he held national leadership roles for the medical student section. He served as a Research Scholar for TEDMED, where he evaluated potential speakers and biotech companies for TEDMED 2018, and has coached speakers for TEDx events. His hobbies are soccer and basketball.

Patricia M. Soares, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Patricia M. Soares

Former Assistant Director of Admissions at 

Yale University School of Medicine

 

7 Years in Yale School of Medicine Admissions

 

Patricia is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a B.A. in History and The Ohio State University with an
M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Currently, she is an Independent Educational
Consultant. During her tenure as Assistant Director of Admissions at the Yale School of Medicine, she
counseled pre-medical students and career changers through each phase of the application process. She collaborated with the Associate Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid and Director of Admissions on all admissions committee related activities. Additionally she coordinated on-campus admissions recruiting activities and programs, and participated in the Biomedical Science Training and Enrichment Program (BioSTEP) Admissions Committee through the Office of Multicultural Affairs.


Patricia’s college admissions/enrollment management experience has allowed her to counsel thousands
of prospective applicants through undergraduate, graduate and medical school application and
interview processes. She has provided insight into what admissions committees are looking for as they
engage in the interview, review, and decision making process.

Martins Ayoola-Adeola, Medical Admissions Consultant

Martins Ayoola-Adeola

Formerly at Ohio State University College of Medicine Admissions

 

3 Years in Ohio State University College of Medicine Admissions

Martins graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics with Minors in Mathematics and Chemistry from Wake Forest University. He attended The Ohio State University College of Medicine where he has had the pleasure of serving on the admissions committee for three years. Upon gaining acceptance to medical school, Martins has devoted his time to helping others do the same. As a member of the committee, Martins was tasked with reviewing applications of prospective students he interviewed and taking part in deliberation sessions where final admission decisions were made.  This has equipped him with the knowledge of what makes a student stand out on paper and in person.

Martins is currently a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center with plans to pursue a Gynecologic Oncology fellowship.

Abhi Aggarwal M.D. M.B.A, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Abhi Aggarwal, M.D., M.B.A.

Former Admissions Counselor for the BS/MD Program at St. Bonaventure University/George Washington University School of Medicine

Former Admissions Interviewer for the MD program at George Washington University School of Medicine

 

1 Year in St. Bonaventure University Admissions

1 Year in George Washington University School of Medicine Admissions

Abhi is a graduate of the 8 year Combined BS/MD program at St. Bonaventure University and George Washington University School of Medicine. He earned his MD from the George Washington University School of Medicine where he was awarded several scholarships for his research in Interventional Radiology. He then went on to complete a Surgical Internship from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Chief Resident of the Diagnostic Radiology residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. 

He spent a year as an Admissions Counselor for the Franciscan Healthcare Programs at St. Bonaventure University where he reviewed over 300 applications for the various combined degree programs including BS/MD, BS/DO, DDS, Pharm. D, and DPT. He continued to serve as an interviewer for the MD program while in medical school at George Washington University.

Jonathan Chevinsky, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Jonathan Chevinsky

Formerly at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

 

2 Years in SUNY Downstate College of Medicine Admissions

 

Jonathan earned his B.F.A. in creative writing and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at Brooklyn College as a member of their Coordinated B.A.-M.D. Medical Program, affiliated with SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. He has published multiple first-author papers on eating disorder pathology and sports-related injuries and is set to begin his psychiatry residency at Harvard Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

He served as president of the B.A.-M.D. student committee during college, in which role he coordinated the interviews for the program. He subsequently served as an interviewer for the B.A.-M.D. program in addition to serving as a voting member of the Downstate admissions committee for two years.

 

He has twice served as a student panelist on the annual Downstate Open House Information Session and has led multiple mentoring sessions for junior medical students. Additionally, his background in creative writing has enabled him to excel in personal statement review and assisting applicants in refining their personal narratives, key components of the medical school application.

Jonathan Preminger, Medical School Admissions Consultant

Jonathan Preminger

Formally at Hofstra-Northwell Admission

1 Year in Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine Admissions

1 Year in Hofstra-Northwell 4+4 BA/MD Program Admissions

Jonathan is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Neuroscience. After graduating with Honors, he completed his MD at Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine. Jonathan is currently a resident in Anesthesiology at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell. He has published papers on infection prevention and quality improvement protocols.

 

Jonathan served as a member of the admissions committee at the Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine. He was intimately involved in the application process, interviewing numerous candidates and gained extensive training in application review, both in holistic and MMI approaches. He has worked for multiple years as a medical school admissions counselor and has many successful applicants. He has read hundreds of applications throughout his time in medical school admissions. Jonathan has spent time in healthcare administration and intends to pursue this extensively after completing residency, giving him a unique perspective of the high-level changes in healthcare applicable to incoming applicants. Jonathan has also founded his own start-up company dedicated to infection prevention in the healthcare setting. He was the winner of Innovate LI, Innovator of the Year award for his work on the company.

Jaye Hefner Medical School Admissions Consultant

Jaye E. Hefner, MD

Former Admissions Counselor for the MD Area of Concentration Program

University of Pittsburgh Medical School

Former Admissions Committee Member for the Internal Medicine Residency

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Former Admissions Committee Member for the MD PM&R program

Harvard Medical School 

Massachusetts General Hospital

Brigham & Women's Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

 

12 Years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

15 Years at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Jaye has greater than 30 years of experience in medical education. She has reviewed over 5,000 medical school and residency applications and interviewed over 3,000 applicants for positions in medical school and residency. She is board certified in internal medicine and has received numerous awards for teaching.

Dr. Jaye Hefner attended Texas Lutheran College on a women’s basketball scholarship. She was heavily involved in coaching and tutoring at both the high school and undergraduate level helping students achieve their goal to be successful student-athletes. After graduation, Jaye worked at the University of North Texas on a NASA-funded project to research the effects of zero gravity on human physiology. She earned her MD from Northeast Ohio Medical University where she served as a tutor and admissions counselor for the medical school. She went on to complete a 3-year internal medicine residency program followed by a 2-year medical education fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She served on the admissions committee for both the medical school and the internal medicine residency program for 12 years. Dr. Jaye is currently a practicing internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She served on the admissions committee for the MD PM&R program at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for 15 years.