Tomer Rothschild

Co-Founder
  • 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

Co-Founder
  • 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

Alex Hui Bon Hoa

  • New York University(B.A)
Alex graduated from New York University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Creative Writing. During college, he avidly wrote articles for the Washington Square News. After graduating, Alex volunteered at a vocational college in Guiyang, Guizhou, where he discovered his passion for teaching, mentorship, and counseling. Inspired by the teenagers there, he co-founded a non-profit project with his sister, giving him the rare opportunity to work with children from marginalized communities across South East Asia.
At ESC, Alex is enthusiastic about mentoring and empowering students throughout the college application process, shaping them into young adults ready for the exciting new challenges of university and beyond. When Alex isn’t flicking through school lists on his phone, he will be flicking forehands on luscious grass fields, competing in Ultimate Frisbee tournaments. Alex also volunteers and helps with children with autism or cerebral palsy. Sometimes he can be found at parks, training his puppy, Shiro, for the next obstacle course.

Adam Mahler

  • Yale University (B.A)
  • Harvard University(PHD)
A native of Bedford, New York, Adam Mahler is pursuing a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. The recipient of a Fulbright research grant, he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, where he studied creative non-fiction and participated in student journalism and cooking initiatives.
With more than three years of experience as a writing tutor, Adam specializes in helping students craft compelling personal narrative, both on and off the page. In his free time he enjoys cooking, hiking, and translating his favorite authors into English.

Annie Wang

  • Vassar College
Annie graduated from Vassar College with dual degrees in Education and Media Studies. She earned general honors, departmental honors for both of her majors, and a Phi Beta Kappa induction. At Vassar, she was on the student committee at the on-campus art center for all four years and in a dance group. For her senior thesis, Annie researched Asian American sexual literacies in family, schooling, and media, focusing on the experiences of women and gender non-binary people.
She has worked with students in varying capacities as an art teacher, tutor, student leader, and academic intern. Having been an intern and teaching fellow at ESC, Annie has returned to help students hone their unique interests and foster intellectual curiosity. Annie loves helping students weave their personal narratives into creative pursuits from crafting portfolios to interdisciplinary research.

Bill Hutchison

  • University of Chicago(PHD)
  • University of Chicago(M.A)
  • University of New Mexico(B.A)

Bill comes from the high desert of New Mexico, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy at University of New Mexico. He received an MA in Humanities and a PhD in English at University of Chicago, where he studied human interactions with and through technology. Bill has taught classes on science and technology studies, British and American literature, and visual culture.

He has worked with high school students from around the world, helping prepare them for college-level classes, as well as helping students prepare for and apply to graduate school. One of the things Bill most enjoys is working with students who are expanding their writing abilities at the same time they are pursuing their intellectual and personal interests. When he is not working with students, Bill enjoys talking about movies and books with friends, writing stories, and taking care of his pets.

Björn Olafsson

  • 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.

Deirdre Quinn

  • 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.

Cindy Marie Jenkins

  • New York University (B.A.)
Cindy writes, consults, parents, and travels — sometimes at the same time. Her family recently spent two years in Beijing, where she served as Deputy Managing Editor of Jingkids International, formerly Beijingkids. While there, she mentored teen writing interns, moderated a panel at their JISE (Jingkids International School Expo), and was Acting Editor for the Jingkids School Choice Guide, carefully communicating with over 60 international schools. Hailing from Massachusetts and New York before moving to California, education and mentoring teenagers has always called to her.
Cindy especially enjoys doing mock interviews with her students! She is known for her workshops in arts marketing and personal branding. In the past, she has been a content marketing expert and ghostwriter for international corporations, as well as managing websites and blogs for many entrepreneurial businesses and nonprofits. Cindy is a published essayist, and short story author. A proud member of the Author’s Guild and the Nonfiction Writers Association, she’s thrilled to be an ESC counselor! Cindy puts all of her background towards helping students discover their best selves within their college applications.

Catherine Chan

  • 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. Beyond the application, Catherine is excited to help her students build upon their executive function skills through time management, organizing school breaks, and college research.

Cathy Shufro

  • 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.

Carolyn Sorkin

  • Brown University (BA)
  • Stanford University (MA)
  • New York University (PhD)

Carolyn has specialized in international higher education for over 35 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.

Cierrah West-Williams

  • 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. At ESC, Cierrah is eager to apply her wealth of experience to helping students develop their social emotional skills and as well as their interests. She enjoys building relationships with students while helping them to grow into the best version of themselves.

EJ Mitchell

  • 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.

Emily Davidson

  • 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.

Greg Nissan

  • 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.

Graham Boswell

  • Washington University in St.Louis (BA)
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Graham earned his Bachelors degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating, he spent time working with international students teaching storytelling and narrative creation, so he is an expert at helping students shape their stories in a second language. Graham has years of experience working as a writer, resource creator, and data expert for college admission information engines, so he is deeply knowledgeable about opportunities in top college programs.
He loves helping students find their particular niche and engage their intellectual curiosity, shaping their interests into compelling application themes. In his free time, he loves to play guitar, read, and go to concerts in Los Angeles where he lives.

James Milan

  • Pitzer College (B.A)
  • UCLA (JD)
  • Tufts University (MA)
James has spent his academic and professional life immersed in work and study that revolves around language and written expression, from his BA in European Studies/Literature to his law degree to his graduate work in U.S. and Latin American History.
In his 23 years as a teacher and college counselor in an elite Boston-area high school, James has worked with hundreds of students (in both high school and college) to hone their writing skills, to find their distinctive voice, and to enhance their ability to express what is most meaningful to them. For James, doing this work is always compelling, often demanding, and sometimes simply magical. In his 20 years of working as a college counselor, James has shepherded more than a hundred students through the application process, with a commitment to reducing the stress that attends that process as much as possible for both his students, and their families.
He has had a lot of success in doing so, even as his students have consistently set their sights on the most competitive colleges and universities in America, including the Ivy League, the top public universities, and excellent liberal arts colleges all across the country.

Jason Milan

  • Middlebury College
Jason holds a BA Cum Laude from Middlebury College and has more than five years of experience mentoring dedicated students to gain entry to elite undergraduate programs. He has advised students from Asia and Europe, and he has an affinity for working with ambitious applicants who are non-native English speakers. He prides himself on helping students craft compelling personal stories that communicate their identities, showcase their passions, and crystalize their visions.
Jason studied film and specialized in screenwriting at Middlebury, which gives him the unique ability to help students write compelling essays. At Middlebury he was also a captain of the nationally-ranked Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. In his free time, Jason can be found reading, writing, watching movies, playing ultimate frisbee, and drinking coffee.

Leigh Johnston

  • Smith College
Leigh grew up in Massachusetts and Hawaii before attending Smith College, where she studied Sociology and Environmental Science. During her time at Smith, she partnered with the Admissions Office and Office of College Relations to strategize ways to recruit and yield more students. She was also the Alumnae Admissions Coordinator for Smith applicants from China.
After graduating, Leigh worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taitung Taiwan, and later at NYU Shanghai as a Writing Fellow and Communications Specialist. Leigh is thrilled to work with ESC students to map out their academic and professional goals. In her free time, Leigh enjoys reading, baking sourdough bread, and playing with the Shanghai Women’s International Football Club.

Pelin Kivrak

  • 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.

Peter Lido

  • Emory University (B.A)
  • Emory University(M.A)
  • University of Chicago (PHD)
Originally hailing from south Florida, Peter received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. There he produced his Master’s thesis on the major plays of Tennessee Williams. Peter holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he taught several courses on American literature and visual media, mentored senior undergraduates undertaking thesis projects, and served in programs that prepared Chicago-area high school students and incoming UChicago freshmen for success at the college level. He also worked for three years at the Regenstein Library’s Special Collections Research Center.
He enjoys collaborating with students to develop their scholarly interests, as well as helping them refine their voices as young writers. In his spare time, Peter enjoys playing piano, exploring archives, and thinking about cinema and games. Two of his freelance articles have appeared in Kill Screen, a print and online magazine about gaming and interdisciplinary play.

Rosemary Jones

  • 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.

Sandy Chan

  • Darthmouth Medical School (MD)
  • Cornell University (BS)
Sandy is originally from New York City. She graduated from Cornell University (BS) and from Dartmouth Medical School (MD). Throughout her academic career, Sandy has been involved in education and mentorship, including summer programs at Cornell University with female students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Sandy is passionate about academic research in life science and received an undergraduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation to investigate the results of blood thinners on small strokes in the brain in a biomedical lab, as well as funding to study genomes of single-cell fungal species at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Sandy is interested in exploring underrepresented groups and has done research at Cornell University on the role of women artists in hip-hop and graffiti culture. At ESC, Sandy will use her background to encourage students to delve into the STEM fields and medicine. In her free time, Sandy loves kickboxing, traveling to different countries, and hiking at national parks.

Shalin Mehta

  • Columbia University (B.A)
  • Columbia University (MIA)
Shalin was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science and Biology. While at Columbia, he worked as a research assistant at the medical school and wrote a thesis on US/China trade relations. Following college, Shalin worked as the Head of Business Development at a newly developed Engineering company which he helped transform into a nationally recognized expert in central utilities systems. Shalin later attended Columbia University’s School of International and Public Relations, falling in love with International Education.
He spent time in the Dominican Republic creating vocational programs for at-risk teenagers and lived in Lucknow, India where he helped develop and implement Non-Formal Education Centers to serve neglected children and those who had not yet enrolled in formal schools. Shalin later moved to Chengdu, China to work with top high school students in achieving their goals to attend prestigious American universities. Shalin loves helping students reach their potential and enhance their creativity; he believes that the college application process can in fact be enjoyable to everyone involved. In his free time, Shalin enjoys participating in athletics, dining on spicy food, and spoiling his two dogs.

Zoe Wennerholm

  • Vassar College (B.A.)
Zoe was born and raised in Boston, and currently resides in Shanghai. She graduated summa cum laude from Vassar College with majors in Urban Studies and Mandarin Chinese, and received General Honors, Departmental Honors in Urban Studies, and the Man-Sheng Chen Scholarly Award for excellence in Chinese. Her academic interests include feminist urbanism, history, and community archives.
As an application consultant, Zoe enjoys helping students discover their inner voices through writing. In her 4+ years of professional experience, her students have been admitted to top college programs across subject areas, from fine arts to computer science. Zoe has also worked at NYU Shanghai as a Writing Fellow, helping undergraduate students elevate their writing and gain admission to competitive graduate programs. As a counselor, she is organized, efficient, and encouraging. In her free time, Zoe enjoys browsing bookstores, traveling across China, cooking, and painting.

Sydney Gehrking

  • Cornell University (BA)
  • University of Oxford (MSc)

Sydney is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from Cornell University (BA) and from the University of Oxford (MSc) with distinction. Throughout her academic career, Sydney was involved in a variety of extracurricular clubs and volunteer organizations, most of which focused on bettering the lives of students of all ages and backgrounds through after-school programs and peer mentor groups. She was also dedicated to academic research and is familiar with both quantitative and qualitative research methodology.

At Cornell, she worked in a biomedical lab that studied Alzheimer’s Disease, and while at Oxford she researched national-level policy changes and their impacts on the education system in China. At ESC, Sydney hopes to use her background to help students realize their full academic potential and give them the tools necessary to compete in the global marketplace. In her free time, Sydney loves traveling, reading, spending time outdoors, and drinking coffee!

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

Recruiting
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Tommy Li

Parent Liaison
  • Ocean University of China

Tommy has been working in the education industry for 9 years and has extensive experience in teaching English and applying to universities. As a Parent Liaison, he is responsible for assisting counselors to ensure that students’ college application process goes smoothly, communicating directly with the parents regarding the students’ application status, arranging and coordinating meetings between counselors and students.

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.

Esther Zou Haoran

Parent Liaison

Hi! My name is Esther and I’ve been working in the education industry for 6 years. I love doing exercises and reading when I’m free.

As a parent liaison at ESC, I’m responsible for communicating with parents about student’s application progress, answering parents’ questions about application, and helping families get success! I’m always here to help and support you, and you are welcomed to come to me for any questions!

Mina WangJingJing

Parent Liaison

Mina is bilingual with many years of multicultural work experience in the education and training industry. She has a good understanding of the difference between Chinese and American cultures, is familiar with the college application process and cares about the growth of every student.  As a Parent Liaison here at ESC, Mina aims to ensure the communication between counselors and parents go smoothly, provides support to families as they need it, and ultimately sees students succeed in their college applications and grow to be successful college students.

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.

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.