College Counseling: Who Will Counsel Us?
Dave Berry, Senior Counselor, College Karma
Dave is co-founder of College Karma, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools [link to http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_admissions/elite_colleges.htm] (Random House), and has over 20 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. Thanks to College Karma's "distance counseling" approach, Dave's clients come from many different countries. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessment, and Web-based admissions counseling.
Dave is a College of Arts and Architecture graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns, and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate.
His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence, and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. Dave also won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States.
Dave loves classical music, computers, visiting colleges, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon live in Central Pennsylvania and they have a daughter, son, and (as of this writing) one grandson.
For more information, view Dave Berry's testimonials.
Sally Rubenstone Senior Counselor, College Karma
Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: from the first time the "C" word comes up at the dinner table, until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm-room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges; and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People, and Seventeen.
Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds, and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills, and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens, and Tel Aviv.
As senior counselor and contributing writer for College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college-admissions maze. In 2008 she co-founded College Karma with Dave Berry and continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor.
Although Sally has been dispensing advice to anxious families for more than two decades, she only became a first-time mom herself 12 years ago, at the ripe old age of 45. Now, as her son heads off to middle school, she hopes that she can give the same guidance and comfort to others that she will soon need herself
For more information, view Sally's testimonials.
Susan Taub, Associate Counselor, has nearly 30 years of experience in education. She has taught elementary school as well as both undergraduate and graduate courses in education at five colleges. She has served as a consultant to schools throughout her state and has supervised student teachers. Susan has also been conducting Tufts University college-admissions interviews for a decade. In 2003, she earned a certificate in college advising from the College Confidential Adjunct-Counselor Training Program and has been counseling prospective students ever since. Susan received a B.A. in Child Study from Tufts and an Ed.M. from The Harvard Graduate School of Education. Besides having assisted many students with their college admissions process, Susan has been through the process twice with her two children, who are currently in college--one at an Ivy League university and one in a BFA degree program in Musical Theater. Her college admissions expertise includes, but is not limited to, selective college admissions and performing arts degree programs. Susan devotes individualized effort to help each student to achieve his or her goal of finding the best college “fit” and achieving a successful admissions outcome. Read Susan's testimonials.
Ann Playe, Associate Counselor, worked with Sally Rubenstone in admission at Smith where she served as Associate Director of both Admission and Financial Aid. For more than a decade, she recruited students from public and private schools throughout the United States and evaluated admission files from applicants from all over the world. She contributed her financial aid expertise to Sally's book, Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions, and has herself soothed many a panicked parent and student as they struggled with the college admission and financial aid processes. Until recently, Ann served as Director of South Sales in the Sallie Mae Graduate and Professional Program. Her children, 28 and 25, both readily (and a bit surprisingly) accepted their mother's advice on applying to college, attending and completing their education at their first choice colleges, Amherst College and St. Michael's College. Both are now gainfully and happily employed (!) Ann is a fervent believer in seeking out the best possible student-school matches. Ann received a B.A. in American Studies from Smith College (her first choice college) and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago (which was not her first choice but would have been had she known what she now knows!).
Jessica Mordo, Associate Counselor, brings over five years of secondary education experience and more than 10 years of writing expertise to her College Karma clients. She taught English Language Arts (ELA) in San Francisco Bay Area public high schools, as well as English as a Second Language while living in Paris. Her high school work extended beyond the ELA curriculum, as she counseled a wide range of diverse students, advising them on the finer points of the college admissions process.
Jessica received her college advising certification from the College Karma Adjunct Counselor Training Program in 2009. In addition to her teaching and college counseling experience, her work as a writer has included providing copywriting services for a variety of industries and she has authored numerous articles on travel, health, and lifestyle topics. She uses her educational savvy and writing talents to enable her clients to reveal themselves convincingly through their applications, especially in the challenging area of developing outstanding essays. Jessica received a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Single Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University.
Shanti Menon, Associate Counselor, has a graduate degree in education and nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of teaching, evaluation, and research. She came to understand the complexities of the admission process while working on a research project focused on the retention of minority students at elite colleges. She is a certified College Confidential adjunct counselor and has advised many students who have been accepted at their first-choice colleges. Her clients have included international students, particularly from the Indian sub-continent, and Asian students in America. Having gone through the process with her daughter, an Ivy League student, Shanti helps high schoolers and their families keep their sense of humor while going through the stressful college admissions process.
Sally Hines, Associate Counselor, has close to three decades of experience in the field of education. While a graduate student in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, she taught SAT, GRE and GMAT prep courses for Stanley Kaplan, Inc., and privately tutored students for the GRE advanced biology test. As an elected member of her town's Board of Education since 1995, including two terms as Board Chair, she has been involved in many areas of educational policy. Her responsibilities include advising on the development of high school curricula to meet the needs of the most competitive colleges. Sally received a B.A. in biology from Amherst College and an MBA in Finance and Public Policy from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a certificate in college advising from the College Confidential Adjunct-Counselor Training Program in 2006. In addition to counseling students in the college admissions process, she also has a parent's perspective, having been through the process twice with her own children. Her admissions expertise includes, but is not limited to, highly selective colleges and universities, and she has an additional interest in counseling students with future career plans in the health professions. Sally considers herself an educational matchmaker: she works with each student individually to identify the best college fit and achieve a successful admissions outcome.
If you are considering investing in counseling, whether you need help finding the right school or in developing a winning strategy for the Ivies, you can be assured that College Karma's Dave Berry and his highly qualified staff will provide the highest quality advice.
A Commitment to Honesty. Did you ever see one of those art-school ads that invited readers to submit a sketch of theirs? Remarkably, just about everyone who responded was found to have great talent - talent that could be developed if the person enrolled in a costly art course! Some college counselors can pursue a similar strategy - provide an exaggerated picture of a student's chances in order to earn a fee. College Karma is committed to providing open, honest feedback at every step of the process. While selective school admissions are notoriously difficult to predict for applicants who meet the basic qualifications, we strive to do our utmost to help each student get into his first choice school without building false or misleading expectations.