Livestream Interview Series, Spring 2020

In the spring and summer of 2020, while we all sheltered in place, wondered whether colleges were going to open in the fall and revised our SAT/ACT prep schedules, Magellan decided to leverage all of the relationships we’ve built over the past 10 years and bring you livestreamed interviews to answer your college admission questions.  We had great conversations with college admission deans, parents, students, and other professionals who are involved in the process in some way.  We did this for 14 weeks straight, every Thursday!  And we invite you to watch the playbacks of each of these engaging and informative interviews.

Week 14 – THE FINALE!  I interviewed two former clients:  Alexandra is about to head off to her sophomore year at Georgia Tech, and Sophia is about to start a five year dual-degree program at Tufts.  We talked about how teenagers deal with the internal and external stresses of the college admission process.

Week 13:  I interviewed Julia Surtshin, an independent educational consultant who serves on the board of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners.  We talked about how you can be sure that the educational consultant you choose to help your child through the college application process is well-trained and up to date on all that’s going on in college admission!

Week 12:  I interviewed my colleague Dr. Lesa Weber, who has a DDS degree (she’s a dentist!) and worked in public health before transitioning to college advising, and Dr. Joon Kim, who advises college students on their medical school application process.


Week 11:  I interviewed Mark Presnell, Executive Director of Northwestern University’s Career Advancement Center.  Despite technical difficulties that forced him to join me from his phone, we had a wide-ranging interview about what students and parents should look for in a college’s career center.

Week 10:  My colleague Diana Hanson joined me as we interviewed Cuca Acosta, Assistant Director of Admission at UC Santa Barbara, and Phil Moreno, Director of West Coast Admission for Dickinson College.  We talked about how we help students express themselves in writing, both in personal statements/essays and the UC Personal Insight Question responses, and discussed how writing and activities have become an even more important facet of the college admission process.

Week 9:  I interviewed the Gary Bednorz, Student Recruitment Specialist for the University of New Mexico.  We spoke about tuition exchange programs, college fit and so much more.  No one can rap college admission info like Gary!

Week 8:  I interviewed Dean Melissa Falk from Muhlenberg College about what’s changing In college admission in this very interesting year.  We also discussed holistic admission, as Muhlenberg has been test-optional for over 25 years.

Week 7:  The Parent Perspective.  I interviewed a set of Los Angeles parents who’ve been through the college admission process with their two daughters; one is a rising junior at the University of Wisconsin and one will begin UC Berkeley this fall.

Week 6:  I interviewed Dr. Karyn Koven, founder of a Los Angeles charter school and LanguageBird.  We discussed the importance of extra-curricular activities in the college admission process.

Week 5:  I interviewed Anne Wager, founder of Corsava (the system we use to help students prioritize their wants and “must-haves” for their college experience), and Chuck Liddiard of the University of Delaware.  We discussed ways to determine which colleges are right for you!

Week 4:  I interviewed Lynn O’Shaughnessy, financial journalist and founder of The College Solution, where she hosts an informative blog and also an online course for parents interested in learning how to reduce the cost of college.

Week 3:  I interviewed Libby Browne, Regional Associate Director of Admission at the University of Rochester.  U of R is test-optional, and Libby and I discussed how colleges make decisions about admitting students when they aren’t considering test scores.  A must-watch for anyone interested in this very important aspect of college admission.

Week 2:  I interviewed Suzie Wynne, who has been my colleague at Magellan College Counseling for about 6 years.  Suzie gave us great tips about how to approach the college search and application process – with an eye on maintaining your sanity!

Week 1: I interviewed Jake Adams, founder of PCH Tutors, and we discussed testing, test prep, the AP exams and other testing-related topics that impact college admission.


Get started on your future, contact Magellan College Counseling today.