A Cut Above The Rest

Our hand-selected international counseling team has decades of collective experience and expertise in American higher education. The team is led by seven head counselors, each of whom has evaluated tens of thousands of applications at the most selective universities in the country. 

 

Arun is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable college counselors and admission experts in the US. As an admission officer, he evaluated the files of over 7,500 high school seniors and read approximately 20,000 college essays. He was an assistant director of admission for five years at the University of Chicago (his alma mater) and for two years at Caltech. He spent another two reading for UCLA. That's nine application cycles for three highly selective colleges-experiences that have given Arun a level of deep expertise matched by few in the world. Since joining Collegewise, Arun has guided hundreds of students to their dream colleges through thoughtful one-on-one work. He also conducts professional development for high school teachers and counselors and speaks at seminars that are attended by thousands of students and parents annually.

Arun is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable college counselors and admission experts in the US. As an admission officer, he evaluated the files of over 7,500 high school seniors and read approximately 20,000 college
essays. He was an assistant director of admission for five years at the University of Chicago (his alma mater) and for two years at Caltech. He spent another two reading for UCLA. That's nine application cycles for three highly selective colleges-experiences that have given Arun a level of deep expertise matched by few in the world. Since joining Collegewise, Arun has guided hundreds of students to their dream colleges through thoughtful one-on-one work. He also conducts professional development for high school teachers and counselors and speaks at seminars that are attended by thousands of students and parents annually.

Arun Ponnusamy - Vice President
 

Former Director of Admission, University of Chicago. Former Assistant Director of Admission, Caltech. Former Application Reader, UCLA.
 

Meredith spent nearly 15 years working in admissions and advising undergraduate students at four universities. She served as an associate director of admission at Cornell University for seven years, where she reviewed more than 10,000 applications. She also worked as an academic advisor for international freshmen at Purdue University. Since joining Collegewise, Meredith has guided students to admission at highly selective schools including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, and Emory University. A scientist and a counselor at heart, Meredith is the author of the Collegewise publication STEM’s Many Branches: College Planning for Students Considering Majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Meredith spent nearly 15 years working in admissions and advising undergraduate students at four universities. She served as an associate director of admission at Cornell University for seven years, where she reviewed more than 10,000 applications. She also worked as an academic advisor for international freshmen at Purdue University. Since joining Collegewise, Meredith has guided students to admission at highly selective schools including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, and Emory University. A scientist and a counselor at heart, Meredith is the author of the Collegewise publication STEM’s Many Branches: College Planning for Students Considering Majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Meredith Graham - Head Counselor

Former Associate Director of Admissions, Cornell University. Former Associate Director, University Service Center, Boston University. Former
Academic Advisor, Purdue University.

Lauren received her bachelor's degree in English cum laude from UCLA and her master's degree from NYU, where she attended on an academic scholarship. After working as an essay specialist for a private college counselor and completing a stint as a private SAT tutor, Lauren joined Collegewise, where she has since personally reviewed over 800 applications and essays. Her students have been accepted to schools across the country, including Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia, and The George Washington University. Lauren currently resides in Canada with her equally nerdy husband Michael, an English professor at McGill University.

Lauren received her bachelor's degree in English cum laude from UCLA and her master's degree from NYU, where she attended on an academic scholarship. After working as an essay specialist for a private college counselor and completing a stint as a private SAT tutor, Lauren joined Collegewise, where she has since personally reviewed over 800 applications and essays. Her students have been accepted to schools across the country, including Duke, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Virginia, and The George Washington University. Lauren currently resides in Canada with her equally nerdy husband Michael, an English professor at McGill University.

Lauren Nicholson - Counselor

MA, New York University, English. BA, UCLA, English. Has personally reviewed over 800 applications and essays.
 

Nandita has worked with hundreds of students, guiding them to admission at elite schools including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and many others. Nandita was an admission officer at Stanford University for three years, where she evaluated thousands of domestic and international applications and read over 35,000 essays. During her time at Stanford, she also managed Stanford's alumni interview program. Nandita started her career in finance, working for JPMorgan in New York City. A native of New York and New Delhi, Nandita graduated from Princeton University with a degree in anthropology. Even as an undergraduate, Nandita devoted her weekends to helping students prepare for the SAT and wrote her thesis on college readiness and accessibility.

Nandita has worked with hundreds of students, guiding them to admission at elite schools including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and many others. Nandita was an admission officer at Stanford University for three years, where she evaluated thousands of domestic and international applications and read over 35,000 essays. During her time at Stanford, she also managed Stanford's alumni interview program. Nandita started her career in finance, working for JPMorgan in New York City. A native of New York and New Delhi, Nandita graduated from Princeton University with a degree in anthropology. Even as an undergraduate, Nandita devoted her weekends to helping students prepare for the SAT and wrote her thesis on college readiness and accessibility.

Nandita Gupta - Head Counselor
 

BA, Princeton University. Former Admission Officer, Stanford University. Former Analyst, JP Morgan.

 

Jordan was the first former Collegewise student to later join Collegewise as a counselor, a goal he set for himself soon after arriving on campus at his dream school, Gettysburg College. Jordan worked in the Gettysburg admission office as an intern and later joined The Princeton Review’s Washington D.C. office, where he directed the private tutoring division, growing it to over 1 million dollars in revenue in 2014. There, he also recruited and trained faculty, delivered more than 30 speeches annually at local high schools on the subject of college admission and testing, and completed his college admission certification from UCLA. Jordan expressed his motivation best in his Collegewise counselor application letter, stating that “Collegewise helped me find the right college fit. I hope to have the privilege and opportunity to do the same for our next generation.”

Jordan was the first former Collegewise student to later join Collegewise as a counselor, a goal he set for himself soon after arriving on campus at his dream school, Gettysburg College. Jordan worked in the Gettysburg admission office as an intern and later joined The Princeton Review’s Washington D.C. office, where he directed the private tutoring division, growing it to over 1 million dollars in revenue in 2014. There, he also recruited and trained faculty, delivered more than 30 speeches annually at local high schools on the subject of college admission and testing, and completed his college admission certification from UCLA. Jordan expressed his motivation best in his Collegewise counselor application letter, stating that “Collegewise helped me find the right college fit. I hope to have the privilege and opportunity to do the same for our next generation.”

Jordan Kanarek - Counselor

Admission Intern, Gettysburg College, 2013. Director of Private Tutoring, The Princeton Review, Washington, D.C. UCLA College Counseling Certificate Holder.

After graduating magna cum laude from Penn State University where she studied psychology and worked as a teaching assistant for the course "Psychology of Adolescence", Katie earned a 4.0 GPA while completing two master's degrees at Columbia University in school counseling and psychological counseling. During her time in graduate school, Katie also spent a year in the counseling office at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering in New York City where she guided a caseload of students through the college application process and ran a regular stress management support group for seniors. A former competitive gymnast who can still walk on her hands and do a backflip, she also still holds the district and high school records for pole vaulting back in her hometown.

After graduating magna cum laude from Penn State University where she studied psychology and worked as a teaching assistant for the course "Psychology of Adolescence", Katie earned a 4.0 GPA while completing two master's degrees at Columbia University in school counseling and psychological counseling. During her time in graduate school, Katie also spent a year in the counseling office at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering in New York City where she guided a caseload of students through the college application process and ran a regular stress management support group for seniors. A former competitive gymnast who can still walk on her hands and do a backflip, she also still holds the district and high school records for pole vaulting back in her hometown.

Katie Sprague - Counselor

MEd, Columbia University, School Counseling. MEd, Columbia University, Psychological Counseling. Former College Counseling Intern, High School for Math, Science, and Engineering.


 

Monica is one of America's most highly credentialed educational consultants. She earned a degree in English at Stanford University and a master's in education from Harvard. In her sevenyear admission career—three years at Wellesley College followed by four years as a senior admission and financial aid officer at Harvard. Monica read over 5,000 applications. As a senior voting member of the admission committee at Harvard, she was also involved in determining the admission status of hundreds of international applicants. Since becoming a counselor at Collegewise in 2013, Monica has guided students to admission at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell, University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, Rice, and many other selective schools.

Monica is one of America's most highly credentialed educational consultants. She earned a degree in English at Stanford University and a master's in education from Harvard. In her sevenyear admission career—three years at
Wellesley College followed by four years as a senior admission and financial aid officer at Harvard. Monica read over 5,000 applications. As a senior voting member of the admission committee at Harvard, she was also involved in determining the admission status of hundreds of international applicants. Since becoming a counselor at Collegewise in 2013, Monica has guided students to admission at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Cornell, University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, Rice, and many other selective schools.

Monica Brown -Head Counselor
 

MEd, Harvard University. BA, Stanford University. Forrmer Senior Admission Officer, Harvard University. Former Assistant Director of Admission, Wellesley College.

Maureen has spent her career in college admissions, working at a small private college and large research universities. She spent ten years in the office of undergraduate admission at USC as the Associate Director of Admission. In addition to recruiting students and evaluating applications for admission, Maureen directed the office’s communication efforts, overseeing messaging in print, web and social media platforms. During her time at USC, Maureen supervised the review of applications from a select group of Los Angeles area schools, and she previously reviewed up to 1,800 applications a year from students in California, New England, and Michigan. Before joining USC, Maureen worked in the admission offices at the University of Michigan and Dominican University of California and evaluated applications for UCLA.

Maureen has spent her career in college admissions, working at a small private college and large research universities. She spent ten years in the office of undergraduate admission at USC as the Associate Director of Admission. In addition to recruiting students and evaluating applications for admission, Maureen directed the office’s communication efforts, overseeing messaging in print, web and social media platforms. During her time at USC, Maureen supervised the review of applications from a select group of Los Angeles area schools, and she previously reviewed up to 1,800 applications a year from students in California, New England, and Michigan. Before joining USC, Maureen worked in the admission offices at the University of Michigan and Dominican University of California and evaluated applications for UCLA.

Maureen Gelberg - Head Counselor

Former Associate Director of Admission, USC. Former Senior Admission Counselor, University of Michigan. Former Application Reader, UCLA.

Monica graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and later taught in a high school just north of Boston. Fascinated by all-things-admissions, Monica then moved to the I-Shou International School in Taiwan, where she was responsible for the global admission program for the school's 100 International Baccalaureate (IB) students, a job that required her to understand the requirements for American, British, Canadian, Hong Kong, Australian, Japanese, and European universities. Monica then moved to London where she earned her master's degree at Brunel University and pursued her doctorate in education at the Institute of Education. At the same time, Monica also ran an independent educational consulting business in London and secured her College Counseling Certificate from UCLA.

Monica graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and later taught in a high school just north of Boston. Fascinated by all-things-admissions, Monica then moved to the I-Shou International School in Taiwan, where she was responsible for the global admission program for the school's 100 International Baccalaureate (IB) students, a job that required her to understand the requirements for American, British, Canadian, Hong Kong, Australian, Japanese, and European universities. Monica then moved to London where she earned her master's degree at Brunel University and pursued her doctorate in education at the Institute of Education. At the same time, Monica also ran an independent educational consulting business in London and secured her College Counseling Certificate from UCLA.

Monica Rude - Counselor

PhD Candidate, University College London Institute of Education. Former College Counselor, I-Shou International School, Taiwan. UCLA College
Counseling Certificate Holder.