Tomer Rothschild

  • Wesleyan University (BA)
  • The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)

Tomer graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Philosophy. Later he earned his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. Before founding ESC he worked on Wall Street and was the China country manager of a publicly traded US company. He is the father of three children, and when he is not carefully reviewing essays he can be found playing with his children.


Meet Tomer Rothschild

Stacy Palestrant

  • Wellesley College (BA)
  • University of Chicago Booth School of Business (MBA)

Stacy is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she studied Religion and Political Science. Several years later she received her MBA from the University of Chicago. Prior to founding ESC she was a research associate at Harvard Business School and a management consultant with Katzenbach Partners. Stacy is grateful that she discovered the world of college counseling upon moving to Beijing. She loves helping students tell their personal stories and learn how to be more compelling writers.

Meet Stacy Palestrant

Alexis Krushell

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Pennsylvania

Alexis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After her freshman year, she volunteered at a school in rural China where her passion for international education began. She taught English, Health and Business at a high school in Chongqing after graduating and loved working with students preparing to study abroad. She is thrilled to continue working with Chinese high-schoolers in a one-on-one setting. Alexis especially enjoys helping students push their ideas, from photography to physics, forward through discussion and the writing process. In her free time, Alexis enjoys hiking and listening to podcasts. 

Alec Nash

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Emory University

Alec graduated from Emory University with a degree in International Relations. At Emory, Alec was a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society and maintained the Senator Zell Miller Scholarship, awarded to the top 5% of students in Georgia, for four years.  He also co-founded a student club focused on international relations and conducted research on corporate giving in China and American media narratives about China.

Alec’s professional career has focused on international educational exchange. He has worked at Emory’s international strategy office and a Washington D.C.-based organization granting graduate scholarships to Chinese students. Alec particularly enjoys helping students reflect on and realize their academic passions. In his free time, Alec is an amateur actor and has performed on stage and screen since he was eleven years old. If you look hard enough, you might find him on Youku!


Björn Olafsson

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Chicago

Björn Jóhann graduated with honors from University of Chicago, studying Psychology, Cinema Studies, and Human Rights. His psychology research studied how people’s moods affect their conversations, which he developed at the International Center for Decision Research. He presented his lab’s research at the largest TEDx conference in the Midwest. He won grants to study Mandarin at Shanghai’s Fudan University and History at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Björn developed a passion for teaching persuasive writing skills as captain of his Mock Trial team. He also has experience with SAT test prep with the service IvyBound and is passionate about helping students reach their full potential through writing.


Apart from education, Björn enjoys marathon running and hiking with his extended family in Iceland.

Cierrah West-Williams

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Columbia University (MA)
  • Villanova University (BA)

Cierrah was born and raised in Philadelphia. She completed her undergraduate degree at Villanova University, where she obtained her BA in Political Science. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She worked closely with her sociology professor to present at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference. After graduating, Cierrah was chosen to join the selective teaching program, Teach for America, and taught for 3 years in Washington D.C. She then moved to New York to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, where she obtained her MA in Sociology and Education. At Columbia she served on the Student Advisory Council, where she worked to host events and solve student concerns. She also served as a research assistant with the Center for Court Innovation. In her free time, Cierrah enjoys music-related activities, traveling, and cooking.

Christina Butcher

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Bryn Mawr College

Christina graduated summa cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature and in Chinese. While there, she worked at the Writing Center, helping students to improve their essays, personal statements, and general writing skills. Her academic interests include Latinx feminist movements in literature. She also volunteered as an English as a Second Language tutor working with adults who had recently immigrated to the US. Passionate about travel and learning languages, Christina has worked in Mexico and studied abroad in Chile, Spain, and Kunming, China to improve her Spanish and Chinese. At ESC, Christina enjoys helping her students improve their writing skills and edit their essays in a way that highlights their passions.


Christopher Hester

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Chicago BA
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies MA

Chris developed an interest in language learning from an early age and majored in Linguistics at the University of Chicago. As an undergrad, he also volunteered as an Admissions Ambassador, counseling students from his hometown applying to UChicago. After graduation, he taught English at the elementary and middle schools on a small island in southern Japan. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in International Education at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and has supported higher education programs in California, Pakistan, and all over Asia. This work has made him especially attuned to the needs of students interested in applying to US colleges. He’s passionate about building students’ English writing skills and developing their intellectual passions. Chris is originally from Pensacola, Florida and enjoys connecting with students, learning languages, and visiting new countries.  

Dakota Bowman

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Chicago

Dakota is a QuestBridge Scholar who graduated with honors from the University of Chicago, where he studied International Studies and double majored in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. During his time at UChicago, Dakota traveled to China multiple times and conducted research on US/China environmental relations at the UChicago Beijing Center, covering attempts at collaboration and areas of potential economic competition. Dakota previously worked as a college adviser in Chicago, helping local students with every part of the application process. Dakota has developed a love for working with students to develop their essay writing skills and create a voice that permeates throughout a college application. Dakota has written extensive manuals on college advising in the US, with this material being used to train non-profit employees. Outside of work, Dakota enjoys vegan cooking, media analysis of culturally important works, and studying political theory.

Edward Owen

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Virginia

Edward Owen is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied Politics with research interests in tribal dynamics and medieval political theory of the Middle East. As an avid traveler and linguist, Edward has studied six languages, so far attaining proficiency in four. His travel experiences include learning Wushu in the Shaolin Temple, studying in Egypt, and interning in Israel. Edward enjoys discussing long term academic goals with students and inspiring them to more closely consider their undergraduate education as a first step in their life-long pursuit of learning. He particularly enjoys the process of helping students to develop improved writing skills through interactive self-reflection and analysis. Apart from studying Chinese and Middle-Eastern languages, Edward spends time practicing martial arts and playing piano, as well as reading works of Classical history and philosophy.

EJ Mitchell

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Amherst College

EJ Mitchell is a Questbridge scholar and a graduate of Amherst College, where he majored in Asian Languages and Civilizations with a concentration in Chinese language and contemporary history. At Amherst, EJ worked in the Admissions Office as a telementor and served on the new student Orientation Committee. EJ also studied abroad in Beijing through IES’s intensive language program at Beijing Foreign Studies University and worked for IES after graduating as the head resident advisor, managing residential life and student affairs. Prior to joining ESC, he was a veteran teaching fellow and Dean of Students for Breakthrough Collaborative and taught middle and high school at a top independent day school in Ohio. He is a member of the inaugural Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows cohort and the organization’s executive committee. With years of experience in teaching and cross-cultural communication, EJ is passionate about mentorship and guiding students through the processes of self-discovery and storytelling.

Elaine Poon

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Elaine graduated with honors as a Business Economics major and Entrepreneurship minor at UCLA. During college, Elaine did research on the economic implications behind the import and export of Bolivian quinoa and was published in the school newspaper. Outside of academics, Elaine spent two years working at UCLA Anderson’s MBA admissions office, where she was exposed to application work for the first time. She also volunteered as a mentor for Chinese adoptees through China Care Bruins and became the president of the organization during her junior year. Over two consecutive summers, Elaine was the business and finance teaching assistant for the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth (CTY) site in Hong Kong. Her experiences led her to ESC, where she enjoys pushing her students to explore new activities and discover their academic passions. In her free time, Elaine loves rock climbing, traveling, and captaining her Beijing flag football team.


Emily Davidson

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Davidson College

Emily is from Houston, Texas, and graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Political Science and East Asian Studies. She spent the fall of her junior year studying abroad in Shanghai, and spent her senior year completing a fellowship in the Office of Admission of this selective U.S. college. Emily has interned with the World Affairs Council of Houston, during which she created resources that enable Texas educators to teach their students about important world issues. Emily is eager to pursue her interest in higher education in China, as well as work with ESC’s brilliant students. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy books and learning new board games.

Henry McKenzie

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Vassar College

Henry graduated from Vassar College with degrees in Mathematics & Statistics and Economics. At Vassar, he was a leading actor and director in Merely Players, playing roles such Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, Brutus in an adaptation of Julius Caesar, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. His academic work included research on the applications of Poincaré hyperbolic disks in fractal artwork, Cantor Sets, and using linear regression of health and pollution data to estimate the total social cost of pollution in U.S. metropolitan areas. Prior to joining the ESC community, Henry gained over 3 years of experience tutoring high school and college students in various academic subjects, preparing them for standardized tests, and advising on school choice.

At ESC, Henry loves building rapport with students. In his free time, Henry enjoys studying Chinese and exploring Beijing’s cuisine. 

Jing Hao Liong

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Columbia University

Jing earned his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology & Economics-Political Science from Columbia University and his masters degree in China Studies (concentrating in Literature & Culture) from the Yenching Academy of Peking University. He has researched the racial politics of protests in Malaysia, as well as issues of masculinity and failure in the literary works of Lao She and Qian Zhongshu. Before joining ESC, Jing worked as a Writing Center Editor and Education Consultant where he tutored Chinese high school students one-on-one on a range of IGCSE subjects. Jing is interested in helping students delve deep into their academic interests and helping them express these interests in compelling ways. In his free time, Jing is passionate about trying out new recipes and feeding his friends and family.


Juliette Hautemont

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Chicago

Juliette graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Cinema and Media Studies. Alongside her studies, she served as president of the university’s student film organization, Fire Escape Films. There, she wrote, directed, and produced her own short films, developing her passion for mentorship and creative expression. Throughout college, she also volunteered with non-profit arts organizations and tutored students in English, French, and Spanish. Juliette first travelled to Beijing to study Chinese history and cinema. She later received a Jeff Metcalf grant and worked at a small media agency in Hong Kong. At ESC, she particularly enjoys developing students’ understanding of themselves, expanding their knowledge of creative writing and narrative non-fiction in all forms. Born and raised in San Francisco, she enjoys long walks and conversations.

Kyle Davidoff

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Kyle Davidoff is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied Economics and Cognitive Science. During his time in college, Kyle co-founded a tutoring service and was an active member of the UCLA lacrosse team. He studied abroad at the London School of Economics and Chiang Mai University, where he focused on international trade and international political economy, respectively. Kyle finds it particularly rewarding when he is able to use his skills from years of tutoring, mentorship, and travel to influence the lives of students by helping them develop their academic interests into lifelong passions. Kyle grew up in New York and spends his free time playing various sports and reading about social psychology and philosophy.

Kate Davis

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Wesleyan University

Kate Davis graduated from Wesleyan University, where she majored in Economics and minored in East Asian Studies.  At Wesleyan, Kate planned New Student Orientation, worked in the Alumni Relations department, and served as an academic peer advisor.  She was also a coxswain for the women’s crew team and a board member for the Asian American Student Collective. Kate studied abroad in Beijing through the Associated Colleges in China’s Intensive Language program during the fall semester of her junior year.  Prior to joining ESC, Kate worked for a finance technology company that sold and supported investment management software. Since coming to ESC, Kate has developed a passion for teaching younger students to reflect on their lives and understand how their diverse experiences have shaped their identities.  Kate enjoys reading contemporary literary fiction and snowboarding.

Katie Stewart

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Yale University

Katie graduated from Yale University with distinction in the English major. Her coursework focused primarily on American poetry, and as a freshman, she won the English Department prize for best essay written by a first-year student. Outside of class, Katie edited a literary journal, tutored in a range of subjects (from creative writing to math), and served as a senior mentor to incoming first-years. After graduation, Katie joined the Yale-China Teaching Fellowship and moved to Anhui Province to design and teach an Oral English curriculum at a public high school. At ESC, Katie takes particular pleasure in helping students grow into stronger writers and articulators of their ideas. Katie is originally from New York City and, in her free time, enjoys playing and watching sports of all kinds.

Kelly Smith

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Notre Dame

Kelly graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in History. At Notre Dame, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, an International Scholar through the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and active in student government. Kelly first developed her love of applications through writing research grants to travel to Berlin, Austria, southern Germany, and the UK. She won the Nanovic Institute’s Best Undergraduate Research Proposal award for her senior capstone grant application on rhetoric, disability studies, and genocide. Kelly also worked at Notre Dame’s University Writing Center, where she developed her ability to work with students of all disciplines on their writing. At ESC, Kelly enjoys learning about her students’ diverse interests and building her students’ confidence by creating applications that present the best versions of themselves. In her free time, Kelly enjoys reading, travelling, and visiting museums.

Liza Garrity

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Vassar College

Liza is from Brooklyn, NYC and studied at Vassar College, where she majored in Educational Studies and minored in Chinese. She worked at the Writing Center, meeting one-on-one with her peers to discuss their essays. There, she conducted research for her ethnography on democratic pedagogy in writing instruction. She continues to draw on the concepts from her research in meetings with ESC students. Through volunteering at a community center, interning with educational non profits, and working in classrooms in the US and Denmark, she deepened her interest in social connections in educational settings. Some of Liza’s favorite parts of working with ESC students are learning about their academic and personal goals for college life as well as discussing the cultural quirks of American college classrooms.  In her free time, Liza enjoys watching stand up comedy, learning about different kinds of personality tests, and knitting.

Liana Shallenberg

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Haverford College

Liana graduated with honors from Haverford College with departmental honors in her Psychology major. She researched identity factors that inhibit individuals from engaging with their prejudices for her senior thesis. In addition to research, Liana is passionate about mentorship and mentored dozens of students through multiple years in Haverford’s year-long orientation program for first-year students. During undergraduate summers, she worked closely with high school students at Brown University’s summer pre-college program as a residential advisor and a teaching assistant for a psychology course. At ESC, Liana loves continuing to work with students by discussing their interests and helping them articulate their identities and experiences. In her free time, Liana loves to read, play volleyball, and create art.

London Cluff

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Pennsylvania

London graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Relations. London is a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholar and Point Foundation Scholar. During her time at UPenn, London taught K-12 ESL students in Shanghai and studied abroad at the National University of Singapore. Prior to working with ESC, London managed graduate affairs in Stanford’s Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, where she coordinated PhD admissions and worked closely with faculty. Her experience as a college administrator informs the way that she works with students, and she enjoys helping students get into the university mindset. London has years of experience tutoring writing and helping students express themselves. In her free time, London teaches English Literature to young Chinese students. Currently, she is enjoying teaching Ender’s Game and The Hobbit. 

Matthew Wu

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Bowdoin College

Matthew graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Government and Chinese. At Bowdoin, Matthew worked in the Alumni Relations office and as a recruiter for Bowdoin Athletics. He also played soccer and was a member of the varsity track and field team. Matthew continues to enjoy sports and reading philosophy and literature in his spare time. Having always wanted to visit China, Matthew is very excited to be living and working in Shanghai.

Madeleine Cavanagh

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Vassar College

Madeleine graduated with honors from Vassar College with a degree in Political Science. At Vassar, she was a Tananbaum Fellow, a teaching assistant in the International Studies department, and President of the Vassar Debate Society. Madeleine is proficient in French and spent a semester studying international legal systems and political science at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Before coming to ESC, Madeleine interned at the Ontario Premier’s Office, at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, and at the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver, British Columbia. At ESC, Madeleine enjoys working with Junior Scholars students to uncover new interests and further develop existing ones. In her free time, Madeleine loves to hike, travel, and read.

Maya Grumeretz

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Michigan

Maya graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Asian Studies and Sociology. At the University of Michigan, she was a member of the English Language Institute, an organization on campus to help non-English native speakers’ achieve academic success, where she helped train graduate student instructors. She studied abroad in Beijing, China for a semester, immersing herself in Chinese language and culture by living with a host family. Maya also worked for the University of Michigan Medical School Admissions office for three years and was a summer intern at Greenhills School Ann Arbor Admissions. At ESC, Maya is passionate to help students find programs that fit each of her specific student’s interests. She takes the time to help them develop their literary voice and have the confidence to express themselves in English. During the weekends, Maya enjoys traveling to different countries and regions of China to compete in international Ultimate Frisbee competitions.

Mackenzie Bell

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Macalester College

Mack graduated from Macalester with a Chinese/International Studies double major and Economics concentration. Her capstone research focused on abstraction in art and international politics; today she enjoys visiting Beijing’s art exhibitions where she can continue to contemplate the relationship between art history and international relations. During college, Mack liaised between Chinese and U.S. bone marrow registries as an intern for the non-profit Be the Match, developed her interest in Chinese food and culture as a Chinese Language House resident, and developed an affinity for mentorship by tutoring reading and writing at a local Hmong school. At ESC, Mack strives to help students reflect on past experiences and to discover the greater significance of small moments through writing. In her spare time Mack enjoys sketching, playing guitar, and visiting art museums.

Nick Hawkins

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Wesleyan University

Nick is from Boston and graduated from Wesleyan University with an East Asian Studies degree and a writing certificate. He co-founded a sports media company, for which he published articles, managed a team of writers, and drove social media followership to over one million as Editor-in-Chief. He is an avid soccer player, fan, analyst, and coach and was involved with the Wesleyan Varsity Men’s Soccer program as both a player and coach as an undergraduate. He also sang in two a cappella groups in college and loves to kayak, hike, study Mandarin, try new types of food, and travel. He is passionate about helping students unlock their own interests and find new and interesting ways to pursue them both inside and outside of the classroom.


Paul Irizzary

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Middlebury College

PJ graduated from Middlebury College and majored in International & Global Studies with a focus on East Asia and a minor in Education Studies. At Middlebury, he developed curriculum and led lessons for secondary school students, as well as volunteered in the town’s local student enrichment center for four years. PJ also studied abroad in Beijing with CET’s intensive language learning program, where he developed his language skills and became interested in language learning strategies and access to education for students in the US and China. At ESC, PJ is excited to develop student’s interests and extracurricular activities and help them express their interests in their speaking and writing. 

PJ was born and raised in New York City, and in his free time enjoys swing dancing, going to concerts, and watching comedy shows. 


Peter Chen

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Chicago

Peter, a longtime resident of the Chicago suburbs, majored in History at the University of Chicago and graduated with honors. His primary research focused on the development of Anglo-Flemish identity in twelfth-century England. Throughout all four undergraduate years, Peter was involved with the Neighborhood Schools Program as a teaching assistant and Leadership Corps member, building his interest in working with students. In addition to his work in Chicago, Peter completed an editing internship in Taipei at Academia Sinica’s Institutum Iurisprudentiae, and an internship at ESC in Beijing. Peter’s passion for essay editing has played a major role in his work at ESC. In his free time, Peter enjoys playing badminton and video games. 

Rachel Brodie

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Haverford College

Rachel graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Romance Languages. As an undergraduate she led a chapter of Amnesty International, mentored first-year students as a Peer Awareness Facilitator, toured in the U.S. and Europe with the Chamber Singers, and worked as a creative writing and grammar tutor with local middle-schoolers. She studied sociology at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and spent a year studying at Paris-Sorbonne University. During this time she tutored French students in English as a Second Language. Rachel speaks four languages and loves to travel and play music.  After teaching with Americorps and Breakthrough Collaborative, she enjoys using her experience in education to help students at ESC achieve their own educational milestones. 

Stephen Niesobecki

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Haverford College

Stephen graduated with honors from Haverford College with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Philosophy. At Haverford, he received the Robert J.F. 1961 and Margaret Brobyn Scholarship Fund Award for academic achievement while working part-time on campus. As a rising senior, he was awarded a grant to research the historical development of American contract law. He enjoyed working as a Teaching Assistant in his faculty advisor’s Introduction to Social Theory course and serving as Head of Haverford’s Student Political Network. At ESC, Stephen enjoys working with students to build their critical self-reflection skills and helping them articulate complex ideas. Outside the office, Stephen enjoys visiting historical sites around Beijing, cycling, and reading. 


Sly Yushchyshyn

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • University of Chicago

Sly is an Odyssey Scholar and a graduate of the University of Chicago with an honors degree in Public Policy. He was a research assistant for two years at the Harris School of Public Policy where he researched the political economy of elections in Canada and the United Kingdom.  Sly won grants to conduct research for three months in central and eastern Ukraine on the government’s policies towards internally displaced persons. The data was the basis for his senior thesis which he presented at UChicago’s College Research Week and at the National Collegiate Research Conference at Harvard University. Passionate about original research, Sly enjoys working with students to develop their independent research projects and draft their final research papers. Sly is also interested in social psychology and 20th century European history.

Taylor Weston

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • University of Notre Dame

Taylor Weston is from Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated from the University of Notre Dame where she majored in Psychology and minored in Chinese. During her time at Notre Dame, she researched auditory and visual learning behaviors as well as the use of computerized adaptive tests in increasing student engagement. Taylor has a passion for education counseling and enjoys introducing her students to new educational experiences and possibilities. In her free time, she enjoys cycling to the mountains outside of Beijing and reading science-fiction space novels while eating cookies.

William Halliday

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Wesleyan University

William graduated from Wesleyan University with degrees in Philosophy and Government. At Wesleyan, he worked as a Senior Interviewer in the Office of Admissions, speaking with prospective students and their families. He was also a reporter for The Wesleyan Argus, the country’s oldest twice-weekly college newspaper, and served as editor-in-chief of the paper during his senior year. During the summer after his junior year, William worked as an editorial intern at the Harvard Business Review, where he worked with editors on articles for the magazine’s digital and print editions. At ESC, he enjoys mentoring students through the self-growth of the college application process and helping students improve their communication and critical thinking skills. In his free time, William likes to study Chinese, run, and explore Beijing.  

Zach Do

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Wesleyan University

Zach graduated from Wesleyan University with degrees in Psychology and East Asian Studies. At Wesleyan, he was Co-Chair of the Freeman Asian Scholars Association’s executive committee and an active member in the Wesleyan Refugee Project. Zach volunteered at the Integrated Refugee & Immigration Services in New Haven and the International Refugee Assistance Project in New York City, where he assisted in many Special Immigrant Visa cases. His academic interests include cultural psychology and the use of psychology in law, as well as international politics in the Asia-Pacific. He was awarded a grant for an internship in Beijing, and went on to study there through Middlebury College’s intensive language program at Capital Normal University. Prior to joining ESC, Zach gained one year of experience counseling international students on their applications to U.S. colleges. At ESC, he enjoys helping his students craft application essays that best tell their stories. In his free time, Zach enjoys traveling and photography.


Zoe Wennerholm

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Vassar College

Zoe graduated from Vassar College with degrees in Chinese and Urban Studies. She earned General Honors, Honors in Urban Studies, and won the Man-Sheng Chen Scholarly Award for Chinese Studies. At Vassar, she mentored students in theatrical design and led a discussion group for women and nonbinary people. She studied abroad in Qingdao, China for a summer, immersing herself in Chinese language and literature. In her senior year, she was the academic intern in the Chinese department, assisting professors as well as answering students’ homework questions. Her academic interests include feminist urbanism and queer phenomenology. At ESC, Zoe is passionate about brainstorming and editing personal essays in order to bring out her students’ inner voices.

Zoe grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and in her free time she enjoys painting, reading books, and exploring new places.

Carolyn Sorkin

Director of North American Counseling
  • Brown University (BA)
  • Stanford University (MA)
  • New York University (PhD)

Carolyn has specialized in international higher education for nearly 30 years: in admission at Brown University, education abroad at Wesleyan University and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, area studies and scholarly research at New York University, and professional training and development with USAID-Chile. Carolyn earned a PhD in International Education at New York University with a dissertation on public intellectuals in Chile’s transition to democracy, a dual MA in International Development Education and Educational Administration & Policy Analysis from Stanford University with a thesis on intellectuals and sociopolitical change in Central Europe, and a BA in History from Brown University. Bilingual in Spanish, Dr. Sorkin first fell in love with international education during a semester in Toledo, Spain, and looks forward to helping her twins study abroad in 2025-26.

Catherine Chan

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Fordham University (BA)
  • Fordham University (MA)

Catherine has been involved in education and college advising since 2005. She has four years of international admissions experience as a Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Vassar College, where she recruited and evaluated applicants from China, East Asia, and the Pacific Rim. She has also served as an admission counselor at her alma mater, Fordham University, where she focused on recruiting first-generation college students from New York City. At ESC, Catherine enjoys nurturing her students’ writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Catherine researched Chinese immigration to the Bronx for her undergraduate Urban Studies thesis. For her master’s degree, she explored the aesthetics and economies of Global Chinese Cinema. Catherine received her bachelor’s degree in History and her master’s degree in Public Communication from Fordham University.

Cathy Shufro

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Brown University

Cathy Shufro has taught writing at Yale and Wesleyan universities and for Yale’s English Language Institute. She serves as a Bass Writing Tutor at Yale College, where she works one-on-one with students on academic papers and application essays. In addition, Cathy has been the on-call writing consultant for the Yale World Fellows program, which brings leaders from all over the world to the university.

Cathy writes for magazines including the Yale Alumni Magazine and Johns Hopkins Public Health magazine. She is also a photographer and has traveled widely in Asia. Cathy graduated from Brown University.

Emily Parliman

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Kenyon College (BA)
  • George Washington University (MA)

Emily spent several years in Graduate and Business School admissions at The George Washington University. In 4 years in undergraduate admissions at American University, as well as 2 seasons reading applications for UC Berkeley, Emily read thousands of applications and learned much about how selective universities make admission decisions. Emily has worked as a college counselor at independent schools in Washington, D.C., California, and Ohio. She currently lives near her hometown of Cleveland.

Emily holds a BA in English from Kenyon College and an MA in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University. She first became interested in admissions as a student at Kenyon, where she gave campus tours and interviewed prospective students. She spent her junior year abroad at the University of Exeter, England.

Emma Schoenberger

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Colgate University

Emma is from Princeton, New Jersey. She graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, and a regional concentration in the Middle East. During her time at Colgate, she worked with an on-campus club that helped local high school students with test prep and their college application essays. After graduating from Colgate, Emma moved to Beijing for a year and a half to work for ESC. She is now back in the U.S. and is excited to continue helping ESC students develop as writers and thinkers throughout the college application process.

Greg Nissan

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Brown University

Greg is a New York City native and a graduate from Brown University with degrees in comparative literature and German studies. In addition to managing the weekly newspaper at Brown, he played in several bands and began translating German literature. Greg moved to Berlin after graduation on a Fulbright Grant, a prestigious and highly selective research grant, to work with a linguistics research group. Prior to joining ESC, he spent two years as a private tutor, focussing on creative and critical writing. In his free time he’s often riding his bike or checking out film screenings.

Larry Stokes

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (BS)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)

Larry is native to Atlanta, where he has enjoyed a career in education spanning nearly 15 years. After completing his undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech, Larry taught both social studies and math in independent high schools. He worked extensively in the Admission Office at Georgia Tech as an Admission Advisor, visiting high schools, leading information sessions and counseling individual students about the admissions process.

Larry earned both BS and MS degrees from Georgia Tech in the history of technology, with a graduate focus exploring the intersection of technological change and U.S. government intelligence policy in the 20th century. Larry maintains an active calendar as a church organist and freelance musician in Atlanta. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, cooking, and horticulture.

Pelin Kivrak

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Harvard University (BA)
  • Harvard Alumni Interviewer
  • Yale University (PhD Candidate)

Pelin graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Literature. Since graduation, she has worked as an alumni interviewer for Harvard for many years, helping Harvard’s admissions office evaluate prospective students from around the world. A PhD candidate and an instructor at Yale University’s department of Comparative Literature, her broader research interests lie in various humanities fields including philosophy, history of art, film studies and intellectual history.

She has taught literature and film in diverse settings, ranging from college introductory courses to international summer camps for high school students. Pelin is originally from Istanbul and she is an established fiction writer in Turkey. In her free time she loves jogging, visiting museums and traveling.

Rosemary Jones

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • University of Adelaide (BA)
  • Queens University of Charlotte, North (MFA)

Rosemary Jones is an Australian who graduated from the University of Adelaide and taught in secondary schools before moving to the United States where she lectures in writing at Yale. In addition, she tutors as a Bass Writing Tutor for Yale College, helping individual students with their papers. She has taught for the Yale English Language Institute, as well as the University of Adelaide. In the summer, she teaches for the Warrior Scholar Program, a non-profit organization that assists military veterans transition to college. She received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, North. Rosemary writes fiction and non-fiction. Her stories have appeared in a range of literary journals. She recently won Alligator Juniper’s 2015 national prize for non-fiction.

Amanda Guo

Director of Recruitment
  • University of Sydney

Amanda Guo comes from the beautiful province of Jiangsu. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Communications from the University of Syndey. After graduation, Amanda worked as a counselor at an international student center. She is well experienced in helping international students study abroad. She also holds the CELTA certificate (Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Before she joined ESC, Amanda worked in a large English teaching institute in Beijing. At ESC, she is mainly in charge of communication with parents and students, interviewing new students, and helping parents communicate with counselors.

Louis Von

  • Xi'an Fanyi University

Louis Von grew up in Ningxia Autonomous Region and received his bachelor’s degree in Business English Language from Xi’an Fanyi University. Louis brings to the Recruitment Team a rich experience in student life management, as he helped American undergraduates succeed while studying in China prior to joining ESC. An avid traveler, Louis enjoys exotic food and good drinks, but in the kitchen, he remains faithful to cooking according to his hometown flavor.

Melinda Yang

  • Renmin University of China

Melinda Yang graduated from Renmin University of China with a major in Business Management. Prior to ESC, she worked for many years in the sales and customer services departments at major international companies. At ESC, she enjoys helping students apply to their dream schools. As a Parent Liaison, Melinda coordinates with the counselors to ensure a successful college application, communicates directly with parents about their child’s application, and arranges meetings for counselors and students.

Rita Li

  • Tianjin Foreign Studies University

Rita graduated from Tianjin Foreign Studies University with a major in English. Before joining ESC, Rita worked for 4 years in an English training program for children in Beijing. At ESC, she is in charge of talking with prospective families, answering parent and student questions, and interviewing new students.

Susan Sun

Student Recruitment Assistant
  • Xingtai University

Susan was born in Inner Mongolia and grew up in Shandong province. She graduated from Xingtai University and majored in English literature. With over five years of working experience in office management, Susan is very welcoming and will always support you when you need her!

Christina Hao

Parent Liaison
  • Hebei Normal University

Christina graduated from Hebei Normal University with a major in English Education. She has been working in education for nine years and has experience working at both local and international schools as well as in training others. She has also helped students apply for American colleges and is familiar with the application process. As a Parent Liaison at ESC, Christina coordinates with the counselors to ensure a successful college application, communicates directly with parents about their children’s applications, and arranges meetings for counselors and students.

Grace Ji

Parent Liaison
  • University of Liverpool

Grace graduated from the University of Liverpool with a master’s degree in marketing. She has worked in a multinational joint venture for 2 years, where she used her bilingual skills, cross-cultural study experience and expertise. She is highly familiar with the commonalities and differences between Chinese and Western cultures and society. She devotes her outgoing personality and efficient capabilities into customer service at ESC. She loves traveling and has traveled to many countries in the world. As a Parent Liaison at ESC, Grace acts as a bridge between the family and the counselor, and is responsible for coordinating communication between the counselor and the family to ensure successful applications.

Li Li

Parent Liaison
  • Beijing Foreign Language Study University

Li Li graduated from Beijing Foreign Language Study University with a major in English Teaching Methods. She has twenty years of working experience in multinational companies. Three years ago, she transferred to the International Education industry, in which she has a true passion and enthusiasm. As a Parent Liaison at ESC, she communicates between counselor teams and parents to helps answer parents’ questions and alleviate their anxiety. She acts as a bridge between counselors and parents to ensure that students smoothly and successfully complete college application work.

Lily Feng

Parent Liaison

Lily is a bilingual and multicultural individual with many years of international working experience. She has worked in both the UK and China, has experience working at one of the famous English language educational organizations in Beijing, and has a good understanding of both Chinese and American education systems. As a Parent Liaison, Lily coordinates with the counselors to communicate with parents, updates parents about their children’s applications, and arranges meetings for counselors and students to ensure successful college applications.

Melissa Wu

Parent Liaison
  • University of Ulster

Melissa graduated from the University of Ulster and has worked in education for over three years. Prior to joining ESC, Melissa worked at an English training agency and enjoyed teaching children from the ages of 3 to 12. As a Parent Liaison, Melissa coordinates with counselors to build a bridge of communication with parents, updates parents about their children’s applications, and arranges meetings for counselors and students to ensure successful college applications.

Pingli Li

Parent Liaison
  • Beijing Normal University

Pingli graduated from Beijing Normal University with a master’s degree in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She has been working in education for more than ten years and is very familiar with American education systems and American college culture. As a Parent Liaison at ESC, Pingli coordinates with counselors to communicate with parents, updates parents about their children’s application, and arranges meetings for counselors and students to ensure successful college applications.


Sophia Zhang

Parent Liaison
  • Xiangtan University

Sophia graduated from Xiangtan University in Hunan Province with a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese. After graduation, she worked as a translator and sales assistant in Risu and Murata Electronics. At ESC, she is very familiar with the requirements of American universities and is committed to ensuring the timely submission of application materials for all applicants. As a Parent Liaison, Sophia enjoys working to provide high-quality services for students and parents.

Ruby Wang

  • Communication University of China

Ruby has four years of experience in the field of graphic design and marketing. She attained a masters degree from the prestigious design program at the Communication University of China. After graduation, Ruby worked for Citic Press Group’s Children’s Book Publishing Division. At Citic, Ruby designed covers for 30 children’s books. At ESC, Ruby continues to pursue her passion for creative design and marketing strategy as a member of the Events team.

Neal Sun

New Media Digital and Marketing Coordinator
  • University of Idaho

Neal is originally from the city of Beijing. He received a bachelors’ degree in architecture from the University of Idaho. After graduation, he worked as an architect for one year before transitioning to ESC, where he works as the digital media and event coordinator.  During his free time, he likes to play basketball and explore restaurants all over Beijing.

Christy Ma

Office Manager
  • Tianjin University of Science and Technology

Christy graduated from Tianjin University of Science and Technology with a master’s degree in International Business and Trade. She has worked in administration and human resources for more than ten years and is very familiar with all kinds of office management. As a member of ESC, Christy helps each family when they come into the center with a smile and a helpful, kindly spirit. She works efficiently to support the ESC team in providing help for families and their children.

Frannie Yuan

Office Manager
  • Nanjing University of Finance and Economics

Frannie is from Nanjing, Jiangsu, a beautiful city that carries a long history. At ESC, Frannie is in charge of office management and logistics. Before she joined ESC, Frannie worked in senior-level management training, managing a firm’s support department. Frannie graduated from Nanjing University of Finance and Economics with a major in finance. In her free time she also volunteers in life coaching activities and seminars to help others improve their attitude and state of mind.