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

Brittany Chen

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Pomona College

Brittany graduated from Pomona College with degrees in Cognitive Science and French. At Pomona, she was involved with the Asian American/Pacific Islander community on campus as an intern and mentor, and she cultivated her love of singing as a member of the Pomona College Choir and the Glee Club. She also served as a research assistant in a psychology lab studying parent-child relationships and emotions, which contributed to her senior thesis on maternal language and child cognitive outcomes. Brittany studied abroad in Nantes, France, and her experience as an English Teaching Assistant working with French middle-school students taught her the value of engaging in linguistic and cultural exchange. At ESC, she is passionate about getting to know students and helping them gain confidence in presenting their stories and experiences. In terms of her interests, it’s all “pun and games” with Brittany, who enjoys board games with friends and groan-worthy jokes.

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.

Brillian Bao

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Princeton University

Brillian is a graduate of Princeton University. At Princeton, she majored in Politics and minored in Journalism. Her research focused on the impact of racial messaging on vote choice in the United States. Outside of academics, Brillian was a freelance journalist with the University Press Club, a Residential College Adviser, and a pre-law fellow. She was also a member of numerous political organizations on campus. Brillian received research grants to travel to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul. At ESC, Brillian is passionate about helping her students craft clear narratives about their interests and aspirations. In her spare time, she enjoys designing graphics, taking photos, and discovering new music.

Caitlin Harrity

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Pennsylvania

Caitlin Harrity is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Political Science and minored in International Development. At Penn, Caitlin was part of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program and worked as both the managing editor of the International Relations Journal and a critical writing tutor at the Marks Family Writing Center. She was also involved as a Research Assistant in the Political Science Department of the University of Pennsylvania, conducting research on militant group alliances as well as the global diffusion of advanced military technology. Caitlin enjoys traveling, hiking, and exploring new restaurants with friends. She was drawn to ESC because of her passion for working one-on-one with students, helping them to improve their writing skills and gain confidence in their academic abilities.

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, 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.


Christian Kildal-Brandt

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • University of Pennsylvania

Christian graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Christian tutored Penn students one-on-one in Microeconomic and Macroeconomic theory. Christian also contributed to research on the modeling of Decision Theory principles through MATLAB. Additionally, he was a member of Penn’s Track and Field team, where he ran sprints. During his time at Penn, he started his own business, Ninth Street Jerky, which collaborated with local Philadelphia food manufacturers to produce and market traditional beef jerky. Christian enjoys monitoring the latest news in economics, as well as running and biking.

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.  

Christine Zheng

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Wesleyan University

Christine Zheng is a Mellon Mays Fellow who graduated with honors from Wesleyan University, where she studied Religion and Art History with a concentration in South Asian traditions. During her time at Wesleyan, Christine worked as an arts editor for her school literary magazine and served as an English and Mathematics tutor for local middle-school students. Passionate about academia, she received funding from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to do research at the University of Chicago on Hindu traditions and Kathmandu University in Nepal for Sanskrit studies. In her senior year, she was awarded the Griffin Prize for excellence in the Department of Religion as well as highest honors for her senior thesis on Hindu notions of purity and impurity. At ESC, Christine is passionate about assisting students in articulating their ideas and encouraging them to cultivate their academic passions. In her free time, Christine enjoys making experimental music, cooking, and refining her Chinese and Sanskrit language skills.

Daniel Curry

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Vanderbilt University

Daniel graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in Anthropology and Asian Studies. As an undergraduate, he was the co-president of Global China Connection Vanderbilt chapter, one of the largest nonprofits connecting young professionals with China’s emergence in the world, and he also served as a mentor for incoming international students. While at Vanderbilt, Daniel conducted research on China’s political discourse in the context of globalization and neoliberalism. Daniel enjoys working with the Junior Scholars team to help younger students develop their intellectual interests and find areas in which they excel. Outside of ESC, Daniel enjoys playing table tennis regularly and reading poetry.

Deirdre Quinn

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Haverford College

Deirdre is a graduate of Haverford College, where she majored in the History of Art with a particular focus in architectural history. At Haverford, she was a staff member of the college’s Women’s Center, and she was involved extensively in the Office of Admission. She was awarded a grant by Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship to complete a summer internship in Berlin, Germany and spent another summer researching the politics of nationalism for the Department of German. Before joining ESC, Deirdre worked as an Admission Counselor for Drexel University and Mills College, where she reviewed thousands of college applications. At ESC, Deirdre enjoys helping her students gain access to institutions that will nurture their potential and expose them to life-changing opportunities. In her spare time, she is an avid hiker who enjoys reading history and trying different street foods.

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.

Haleigh Copley

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Tufts University

Haleigh graduated with honors from Tufts University where she studied Chinese, Entrepreneurship, and Peace and Justice Studies. She is a Questbridge Scholar and recipient of the Honos Civicus Award for her leadership in promoting sustainability, philanthropy, and peaceful US foreign diplomacy. At Tufts, Haleigh enjoyed performing with the Chinese dance troupe Wuzee, interning for startups, and mentoring students. Haleigh also spent a summer volunteering as an English teacher in Qinhuangdao and a year in Taiwan as a NSLI-Y Scholar, conducting award-winning research on Taiwanese students’ English learning perspectives. Post-graduation, Haleigh taught at a Vietnamese college as a Princeton in Asia Fellow.

Haleigh is passionate about leveraging her international education experience to empower ESC students to explore their intellectual curiosities and personal growth. Haleigh enjoys studying Asian languages and exploring cultures through food and dance.

Janine Sun

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Dartmouth College

Janine graduated from Dartmouth College with degrees in Asian Studies Modified with Film and Media Studies and Asian Languages and Literatures with a concentration in Chinese and Japanese. At Dartmouth, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Presidential Scholar, a Japanese Language Apprentice Teacher, and a Japanese Culture Learning Fellow. Janine studied Korean language at Seoul National University for a winter and spent six months studying Japanese culture, art, and linguistics at Keio University in Tokyo. She conducted research on pre-1949 Shanghai cinema and worked on a multilingual film term dictionary for two years, later receiving a grant to return to Tokyo to research Japanese animation. Janine enjoys getting to know her students’ interests and guiding students’ process of self-discovery through discussion and introspection. In her free time, Janine likes visiting museums, exploring restaurants, indulging in East Asian cinema and television, and making her own art and animation.

Jimmy Selent

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Tulane University

Jimmy is a Dean’s Honors Scholarship recipient and graduate of Tulane University, where he double majored in Chinese History and Asian Studies with a focus on China. At Tulane, Jimmy was involved with multiple New Orleans-centric volunteering agencies including the New Orleans Sports School and helping out with tutoring at various charter schools. Jimmy also studied abroad in Beijing through IES’s intensive language program at Beijing Foreign Studies University and worked for IES after graduating as a resident advisor, managing residential life and the IES homestay program. Prior to joining ESC, Jimmy has spent several years working in Beijing at various educational institutions, including acting as a Writing Center Instructor at Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University as well as managing marketing, communications, and bilingual craft beer education at Great Leap Brewing. In his free time, Jimmy enjoys reading both fiction and non-fiction historical novels and doing Sudoku puzzles.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mack 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 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.

Maya Ahmed

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Haverford College

Maya graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Economics and a minor in Environmental Studies. Her senior thesis research investigated the effects of retail choice policy on renewable electricity prices. At Haverford, she co-founded the club Womxn in Econ for underrepresented identities in Economics, worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Economics department, and served as a Peer Awareness Facilitator in the College’s year-long orientation program. Maya began studying Mandarin in college and studied abroad in Shanghai during her junior year. As a mentor, Maya loves helping students view academic subjects in a new light and develop confidence with large-scale projects. Maya will show off her five pet guinea pigs to anyone who asks. In her free time, Maya enjoys hiking, reading history and science fiction, and collecting retro iconography.

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.


Nicholas Lombardo

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Columbia University

Nicholas earned his Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in East Asian Studies, studying interdisciplinary approaches to gender dynamics in China. He received grants for immersive Japanese study in Sapporo and for an internship managing English teaching programs in Beijing. Having served on the executive board for the Columbia Japan Society, supported his school’s Chinese Conversation Club, and worked for a non-profit ESOL program, Nicholas is committed to community building and cross-cultural communication. At ESC, Nicholas enjoys working both in workshops and one-on-one with students, engaging and encouraging them to foster their diverse and exciting interests. When he is not studying languages or reading, you can find Nicholas cycling through the city or conversing with friends over great food.

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. 

Paul James Irizzary

Counselors for Junior Scholars
  • Middlebury College

Paul is a Middlebury College graduate with a degree in International & Global Studies (with a focus in East Asian Studies) and a minor in Education Studies. Paul has been involved with many diverse educational communities, and has been fortunate to work with students of a variety of ages and backgrounds. This includes being a teaching assistant at Middlebury’s local children center, as well as working as a mathematics and Chinese teacher at an independent private school in his hometown of New York City. In his free time, he also enjoys partner dancing, swimming, and attending concerts.

Sandra Chung

Consultant for Junior Scholars
  • Wellesley College

Sandra graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. At Wellesley, Sandra was part of the International Relations Council, an on-campus organization that facilitated lectures about global issues. She was also part of the Korean Student Association and a fellow of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs. In college, she worked as a Korean tutor and a peer counselor. After an internship with the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, Sandra found her passion for education consulting and Chinese. At ESC, Sandra enjoys working with ESC students to help discover the best college for them.

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.

Taikye Wright-Brown

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Harvard University

Taikye received his bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University. During college, he co-founded the Undergraduate Robotics Club, and he served as vice president of the Harvard Black Men’s Forum. Taikye has worked in Japan as an advisor for the Future
Global Leaders Program, during which he educated high school students on college admissions and campus life, and helped improve their English writing skills. Additionally, he has developed competitive positioning strategies for industry-leading brands. At ESC, Taikye enjoys encouraging and preparing students to confidently embrace challenges, and he takes particular joy in helping students competitively position themselves in college application essays. In his spare time, Taikye enjoys exploring new recipes and restaurants, studying Mandarin, and watching anime to improve his Japanese language skills.

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.  

Theresa Tian

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Amherst College

Theresa graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English. During her time at Amherst, she founded a community service club, led initiatives for Women in STEM, and played violin in the symphony. She also completed a short story cycle exploring the dislocation of lives on the margins of society, for which she was awarded the departmental prize for excellence in prose fiction. For three years, she mentored students with the literacy nonprofit Reader to Reader Inc., leading book discussions to develop writing skills while fostering a love of reading. At ESC, Theresa helps students engage with writing not as an end result but rather a process that bridges reflection, discovery, and action in the ongoing narrative of their lives. Theresa’s interests include going for scenic runs, trying new recipes, and reading endlessly.

Yuxi Xia

Consultant for Senior Scholars
  • Wellesley College

Yuxi graduated from Wellesley College as an environmental studies major and anthropology minor. At Wellesley, she worked as a writing tutor and a research assistant. She won the Katherine Malone Sophomore Prize for academic excellence. Outside of Wellesley, Yuxi has studied and traveled in Cambodia and Germany while pursuing her interests in sustainability. She won the School for Field Studies’ Distinguished Student Researcher Award for her research on non-timber forest products in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia. She also received a grant to research veganism in Shanghai. Yuxi is passionate about the transformative potential of international education and experiential learning. She values the holistic development of her students, and enjoys guiding students to tell their stories through robust writing. In her free time, Yuxi enjoys long walks, traveling, and plant-based cooking.

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.

Chuck Bush

Consultant for Scholars in North America
  • Harvard University (BA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (MBA)

Chuck hails from Princeton, NJ. He majored in Economics at Harvard, where he was Associate Design Editor of The Harvard Crimson newspaper, and received his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

With over 25 years of management consulting and investment banking experience, Chuck is an EdTech and FinTech entrepreneur and an award-winning adjunct professor of finance.

Chuck loves helping people map their educational and career goals to their passions. In his free time, Chuck enjoys running, hiking and camping with his family. His wife says Chuck has never gone anywhere without meeting someone interesting.

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)
  • Yale University (PhD)
Pelin graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Literature and Yale University with a PhD in Comparative Literature. She has worked as an alumni interviewer for Harvard for many years, helping Harvard’s admissions office evaluate prospective students from around the world. She has taught literature and film in diverse settings, ranging from college introductory courses to international summer camps for high school students. Her broader research interests lie in philosophy, history of art, film studies and intellectual history.

Pelin has also been working as a concept developer and content writer at a Los Angeles-based art collective producing works at the intersection of architecture, multimedia art, and artificial intelligence. The collective’s immersive and interactive projects have been exhibited in numerous countries, including Germany, France, US, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Italy, China and South Korea. 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.

Suzi Nam

Consultant for Scholars in North America

An accomplished admission and college counseling professional with over 20 years of experience, Suzi is dedicated to helping students find opportunities to thrive, maximize achievements, and realize their aspirations. Holding a master’s degree from The University of Chicago in the social sciences and a bachelor’s degree in history from The College of New Jersey, Suzi is a recognized expert in the field, speaking frequently at conferences including the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Having been director of admission at Swarthmore College and director of college counseling at prominent private schools in the US, Suzi has a keen ability to identify students’ distinctive qualities and an exceptional understanding of how best to guide them through the college process. Suzi grew up most of her life in New Jersey and now, in her free time, enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family, cat, dog and fish.

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.

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.

Cara Liang

Parent Liaison
  • Cesar Ritz Colleges

Cara graduated from Cesar Ritz Colleges in Switzerland with Master’s degree in International Business in Hospitality and Tourism Management. With her experience working in bilingual companies in both the hospitality and education industries, Cara brings an air of professionalism to her interactions with ESC’s families through her role as a Parent Liaison.

Cara brings her skills as an experienced cross-cultural communicator to her role as a Parent Liaison at ESC. In order to ensure the application process runs smoothly, Cara coordinates with ESC’s counselors to help students realize their application goals, facilitates communication between parents and counselors in a timely manner, and helps all parties maintain an effective working relationship.

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.

Allen Zhang

Parent Liaison

Experienced in cross-cultural communication, Allen has lived and studied in Australia, and is passionate about travel and sports. He focuses on American undergraduate and graduate admission, and has extensive experience with the differences between Chinese and American education, student life, and career development.

As a parent liaison, Allen is gret at communicating and problem-solving, sa well as sharing student progress and parent nconcerns, in order to help students submit strong, successful college or graduate-school 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.

Yiying Wang

Parent Liaison
  • University of Houston

Yiying is bilingual and multicultural working experience. She graduated from University of Houston in the major of higher education management and worked in both U.S. and China campuses. She earned rich experiences by serving freshmen of top Chinese universities in the international organizations and obtained good understanding of both American and Chinese cultures. As the Parent Liaison, Yiying coordinates with counselors to communicate and update parents about student’s application, and arranges meetings for counselors, students and families to ensure successful college applications.

Sunny Shi

Parent Liaison
  • Monash University

Sunny graduated from Monash University in Australia with a double degree of Arts and Secondary Education. She has been working in education field for almost 8 years with experiences in Australian schools as well as international school in China and training  centers. She once was the class advisor of Grade 12 students to help them finish their senior year successfully. As a Parent Liaison at ESC, Sunny is dedicated in facilitating accurate and efficient communication between counselors and families to ensure each student finish their application smoothly. She also coordinates and interprets family meetings.

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.