Audit/Review Committee Team Members

The members of the Audit/Review Teams are diverse not only by geography but also by the type of school and expertise they can bring to your questions. Below are the biographies of some of the members.

Pam Appleton
Pam serves as Associate Director of College Counseling at Phillips Exeter Academy. Appointed to the Exeter faculty in 1997 after working for eight years on the Board of Admission at Wellesley College, Pam is dedicated to the field of college admissions. While at Wellesley, Pam was a leader of recruitment and admission evaluation and was the campus liaison to the Consortium of Educational Excellence through Partnerships. Since joining the Exeter faculty, Pam has served as a faculty member to New England Association for College Admission Counseling's (NEACAC) Summer Institute and The Advanced Secondary School Counselors Summer Institute, two vital professional mentoring programs.  From 2013 to 2015, Pam was an Assembly Delegate to the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) as well as she served on the New England region’s Governing Board and Nominating committee.  In 2014, Pam was awarded Phillips Exeter’s Rupert Radford Faculty Fellowship Prize. Pam holds a B.A. from University of New Hampshire and a M.Ed. from Boston College. In addition to her college counseling role at Exeter, Pam advises day students, serves on the Academy’s Admission committee, and guides the Academy’s beekeeping club. Pam is a member of NACAC, NEACAC, ACCIS, and EISSCAP.
2016-17 School Profile

Brennan Barnard
Brennan Barnard is the Director of College Counseling and Outreach at The Derryfield School, a coeducational, independent college preparatory school, grades 6-12 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Brennan also serves as the Director of College Counseling at US Performance Academy, an online independent high school for elite athletes. He has worked as teacher, dorm parent, advisor, coach, admission officer and student affairs administrator at a number of independent high schools and colleges, including Westtown School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Hyde School, Franklin & Marshall College and the University of Vermont. Among other roles, he has counseled students for college admission at the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, The Royal Thai Scholars Program and New Hampshire's “I Am College Bound” initiative. Brennan serves on the Advisory Board for Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project and the New Hampshire College and University Council’s New Hampshire Scholars Program. He is also on the Executive Committee for the Institute for Character in Admission and is a past Regional Council member for the College Board. Brennan presents regularly on athletic recruiting, mindfulness, discipline and other topics in college admission. He has written about college admission for the New York Times, Forbes, Washington Post, HuffPost, Concord Monitor, Journal of College Admission and other publications. He has also been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press and an occasional featured guest on New Hampshire Public Radio. Brennan was named a 2017 Professional of the Year by the New England Association of College Admission Counselors (NEACAC). A native of suburban Philadelphia and practicing Quaker, he is a graduate of Westtown Friends School. Brennan earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont. The father of two lives in Hopkinton, New Hampshire where he is a volunteer firefighter.
School Profile available upon request

Gretchen Bergill
Gretchen recently assumed the role of Director of College Counseling at Kents Hill School in Maine after 13 years working as an associate director at Phillips Exeter Academy. Interested in issues of equity and inclusion and environmental awareness, Gretchen supports ACCEPT: Admissions Community Cultivating Equity and Peace Today and
has attended a number of diversity and inclusion conferences. In 2017, Gretchen rotated off the ACCIS Leadership Team after serving as Founding Schools Chair for four years. In August 2010 she was Director of the first-ever ACCIS Summer Colloquium; she also helped to plan the first two ACCIS Summer Institutes. Gretchen’s other professional experience includes four years at Sage Ridge School in Reno, NV, where she was the Director of College Counseling and at times Registrar and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid; eleven years working in retail management for Patagonia, and an early stint in college admissions at Colby, her alma mater. She is excited to join Kents Hill’s Leadership Team, to work with its dedicated college counseling office, and to help shape the school’s goal of capitalizing on its almost two hundred years of tradition while also embracing the opportunities offered by a forward-thinking 21st Century small boarding school experience. 
School Profile available upon request

Ali Bhanji
A first-generation, international applicant to college, Ali came to the USA from Kenya in 1987. After earning his BA in English but before earning his Ed.M in higher education administration, he spent two years working with first-year students at Middlebury College as they adapted to college life. Following graduate school, he worked as a college counselor, English teacher, and dorm parent at Concord Academy (MA). Having also directed the college counseling programs at The Roxbury Latin School (MA) and The Potomac School (VA), Ali has spent two decades in independent schools which span day, boarding, and single-sex environments. Beyond his professional life at school, Ali presents at ACCIS, NACAC, and College Board national conferences. He has read scholarship applications for The Presidential Scholars program, The Point Foundation, and The Aga Khan Foundation, and he served on the ACCIS Executive Committee from 2006-2010. Philosophically, Ali is committed to finding ways in which independent school students can remain at the center of their own college searches in the face of overzealous adults and aggressive marketing practices — the ever-present forces that often complicate what should be an important period of self-reflection in a young person's life. 
School profile available on request.

Rhody Davis
With many years of experience in college counseling and college admissions, Rhody Davis has served as director of college counseling at Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California since 2008. Ms. Davis’s previous positions have included director of international admissions at the University of Chicago, director of college counseling at the Latin School of Chicago, and associate director of college counseling and English teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston. Ms. Davis has presented on a variety of topics at national conferences including NACAC, College Board Forum, SACAC, and WACAC. She has published articles in The Choice blog of the New York Times and in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She was also interviewed on Access College, a Los Angeles-area NPR radio show KPFK (90.7 FM) that is dedicated to helping students and families gain better information about college admissions and improved access to higher education. Ms. Davis has held national positions in the profession that include chair of the Board for ACCIS and co-founder of the annual Clambake Institute. She also helps to lead the Direct Support Initiative of ACCEPT: Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today. Ms. Davis has participated in two audits and led one committee.
2016-17 School Profile 

Betsy Dolan
Committed to the field of education for over thirty years, Betsy's career is one of service to young people and their mentors. Betsy began her profession as a secondary school teacher and a coach at R.L. Thomas High School, in New York. She then completed her Masters degree in Clinical Psychological Counseling from Tufts University, in Massachusetts, while earning a position on the United States Field Hockey squad. During graduate school, Betsy coached the university's field hockey and lacrosse team and acted as an athletic liaison to the admissions office. At the time, her clinical research, which focused on stress management for adolescents and young adults, became her hallmark as a therapist. Combining a variety of skills, Betsy then committed herself to college admissions at Tufts, where she remained for ten years. Becoming one of their senior associate directors, she was responsible for the development and implementation of policy, enrollment management and financial aid for their undergraduate admissions office. Now in her twentieth year at Phillips Exeter Academy, Betsy directs the College Counseling Office and is using her diverse experiences to make a difference at the independent school level. Beyond advising students, parents, faculty, alumni, and college admissions colleagues about the journey associated with the college admissions process, Betsy is one of the co-founders of the national organization ACCIS - Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. In 2014, Betsy was honored with the Marty Elkins Award for excellence in college counseling and supporting the growth and development of her professional colleagues by ACCIS. Whether conducting workshops or panels on the college admissions process at the national and local level, or participating in discussions about the developmental issues associated with adolescents, Betsy has established herself as an active participant in the lives of young people and their mentors.
2016-17 School Profile

Scott Herrmann-Keeling
Scott began at Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS) in 2010. In addition to college counseling duties, he plays clarinet and saxophone in the pit orchestra for school musicals, serves as an AP Coordinator, and conducts admission interviews. He has also taught an Ethical Reasoning class, co-sponsored the Environmental Club, and has been the Site Coordinator for Global Online Academy. Prior to his move to St. Louis, he spent ten years in the admissions office at Trinity College in Hartford, CT where he was the primary liaison between the admissions office and the athletic department. There, he also chaired the admissions office's Social Media Outreach Group, dedicated to enhancing its presence on a variety of social networks, and was the Transfer Coordinator. Scott holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology and an M.A. in Social Psychology, both from the University of Connecticut. Scott's work with ACCIS includes serving on a visiting team of the Audit and Review Committee on three separate occasions, organizing a tour of Midwest colleges, and currently chairing the Governance and Nominating Committee on the Board of Trustees.
School profile: 2017-18 School Profile

Julie (Heitzer) Hertz
Julie joined the Shady Side Academy College Counseling office in 2008 and was named Associate Director of College Counseling in 2012.  Julie was first bitten with the college counseling “bug” as a student worker in the admission office at Penn State University, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science.  After college, Julie served as Assistant Director of Admission at Carnegie Mellon University, where she worked closely with their student ambassadors as well as summer pre-college programs.  Julie has also worked with the Tepper School of Business at CMU, reviewing applications for the MBA and Computational Finance Programs.  At Shady Side, Julie serves as an advisor, sits on the Independent Study and Senior Project Committees, and coaches varsity cheerleading.  Professional development has always been an interest, and Julie has served the Pennsylvania ACAC on the conference planning (registration chair and secondary school counselors chair), membership, and communications committees.  Julie has also presented workshops at PACAC and PAISTA (Pittsburgh Area Independent School Teachers Association) conferences, and at the Pittsburgh National College Fair.  A counseling-based, student-centered approach is very important to Julie, who has her Master’s degree in School Counseling from Duquesne University.  When not writing recommendation letters or new cheers, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter.
2017-18 School Profile

Peter Jennings
Serving as Director of College Counseling at Concord Academy for over a decade and a half, Peter’s professional career has always centered on the transition to college. Beginning in the admissions office mail room of his alma mater, Connecticut College, Peter’s career officially began with a five-year stint at Pomona College as Assistant Dean of Admissions. Peter followed that with three years as Dean of Juniors and Seniors at Harvard-Westlake School, where he also taught tenth-grade English and coached cross-country and track. In addition to shepherding students and families through the college process at Concord Academy, Peter has been active with coaching, serving as a residential house parent, teaching English, and advising the International Student Organization. During a 2009-2010 sabbatical, Peter joined the Tufts University Staff as Admissions Officer and Counselor-in-Residence. Concord Academy’s college counseling program is distinguished by its consideration of economic equity in the college process, its on-going work with young alumni, and the prominence of students taking gap years (typically 10% of each senior class). Peter's ACCIS involvement includes leading a visiting team of the Audit and Review Committee, serving as faculty on the Training and Support committee, and currently serving as chair of the ACCIS board.
2016-17 School Profile

Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Jones joined The Hockaday School in 2012 and recently returned to college counseling as Associate Director, after serving as Hockaday’s Assistant Head of Upper School. Prior to Hockaday, Elizabeth lived and worked abroad at The American International School in Abu Dhabi, a K-12 International Baccalaureate day school. She initially served this community as the College Counselor and ultimately transitioned into the role of Assistant Principal. As a member of the administrate team in her latter role, Elizabeth oversaw the College Counseling Department, developed and monitored personal growth plans for teachers, co-created the advisory curriculum, and spearheaded student leadership initiatives. Elizabeth began her career in college admissions as a Regional Director of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, she managed both a domestic and international territory of secondary schools, chaired the admission committee for the College of Arts and Sciences, and served as a liaison for Penn’s Office of Student Financial Services. Elizabeth is an active member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling (TACAC). She Co-Chaired TACAC’s Dallas DriveIn professional development program in 2013 and oversaw the organization of these workshops throughout the state in 2014. Elizabeth received TACAC’s 2014 Rising Star Award for spearheading professional development opportunities for counselors in the Rio Grande Valley. Elizabeth earned her B.S. in education and psychology from The College of New Jersey and her M.S.Ed in counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. 
2017-18 School Profile

Sean Kennedy
Sean Kennedy became the Co-Director of College Counseling at Ravenscroft School in 2014. After graduating from Chadwick School, an independent school in suburban Los Angeles, he earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In addition to past service as Upper School Director at Forsyth Country Day School in North Carolina, Sean has been involved in college admissions for over 15 years with experience accrued at independent schools in California and North Carolina and at the University of California, Los Angeles as freshman application reviewer. He attends annual regional and national college admission conferences and has been a presenter and session presider at the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) conferences. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions. Sean has been published in The Journal of College Admissions and was one of 70 independent school educators to receive the E.E. Ford Fellowship through NAIS in 2004.

2017-18 School Profile

Ginny Maddux
Ginny Maddux currently serves as the Director of College Counseling at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, TN. She has worked in the college admissions field since 1990 when she started in the admissions office of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. After working for her Alma mater for five years, she moved to Bell Buckle, TN and started her career in college counseling at The Webb School. In 1998, she moved to Nashville where she continued to expand her knowledge of college admission and independent school options through her job as director of College Counseling at The Harpeth Hall School, an all-girls day school. When she learned of an opening at Shady Side Academy in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, she applied and was fortunate to be able to work at Shady Side Academy for four years. She returned to Nashville in 2008. 
School Profile: Available upon request

Nikki Magaziner Mills
Currently the Director of College Counseling at St. Albans School, an all-boys independent school in Washington DC, Nikki Magaziner Mills has worked in the field of college counseling and admissions for her entire career. Prior to her arrival at St. Albans in 2005, Nikki was for seven years the Director of College Counseling and an English I teacher at TASIS, The American School in England, where she worked with both American and international students as they applied to universities all over the world. She has had the opportunity to serve on two different Curriculum Committees and on two school Administrative Committees, and she has presented at conferences in both Europe and the US. Before moving abroad, she was an Assistant Director of Admissions, supervisor of student recruitment services, and scholarship coordinator in the admissions offices of Rice University and her alma mater, Washington and Lee University. Although she has worked on both sides of the Atlantic ocean and on both sides of the college admissions desk, in both an international, co-ed, boarding school setting and in a single-sex day school setting, she has learned that when working with students applying to college, one thing always remains constant: the college search and application process works best when the student is empowered to take charge, engage, reflect, and grow.
2016-17 School Profile

Eric Monheim
Eric Monheim joined St. Mark’s as the Director of College Counseling in July of 2013. Eric comes to the position after thirteen years in Washington D.C. where he served as the Director of College Counseling at Sidwell Friends and Bullis. Eric served ACCIS as the Executive Director for three years, as well as in a variety of other tasks within the Executive Committee through the early years of the organization. He previously served as a college counselor, history teacher and basketball coach at The Northfield Mount Hermon School and a number of other private and public schools in Pennsylvania and New York City. Additionally, he served on the admissions staff at Kenyon College in the late 80’s. A promising, but short-lived, career as a sports writer, dish man, landscaper, and house painter followed a year of graduate school at Teachers College at Columbia where he met his wife Tricia. Tricia and Eric have two sons (Aidan & Liam). BA Gettysburg College, MAT Teachers College, Columbia University.
School Profile: Available upon request

Maria Morales-Kent
Maria is a graduate of Occidental College. She earned a BA in English and is also a graduate of the Coro Foundation’s Fellows Program in Public Policy in Los Angeles. She has served as Director of College Counseling for the Thacher School in Ojai, California since 1997. Prior to this, she worked for the University of Pennsylvania (1984-90) as an Associate Director and then Director of the Western Regional Office. From 1993-97, she returned to her alma mater as Director of Transfer Admissions. In Los Angeles, Maria worked for former Mayor Tom Bradley as a policy analyst and advisor, and she helped found College Marketplace, a nonprofit that developed a curriculum in college admission and counseling for inner city schools. While at Thacher, Maria was also a founder of ACCIS – a national, professional organization for independent school counselors. Starting in 2014, she served on the Advisory Council for the National Merit Corporation for four years. She now serves on the Advisory Council for Colorado College and the University of Chicago. As Director of College Counseling at Thacher, Maria leads a small staff that is focused on guiding and supporting students through the often-daunting college search and application process. Her primary goals for this work are to help students find the right fit for their personal and educational growth beyond Thacher. Maria serves on Thacher’s Administrative Team, is an advisor for senior boys and Latinos Unidos, and is the school’s Ombudsman.
School Profile: Available upon request

Gunnar Olson
In 2016, Gunnar Olson became the Director of College Counseling at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, OH. Prior to that appointment, Gunnar served for 13 years as Director of College Advising at the Indian Springs School, an 8-12 grade day/boarding school outside of Birmingham, AL. In addition to his college advising duties at Indian Springs, Gunnar was the assistant PSAT/AP test coordinator and served on various committees, including the Academics Committee and senior administrative Cabinet. Additional duties have included coaching and serving as both grade team chairperson and as an admissions representative. Gunnar has served as Chairperson of the NACAC College Fair in Birmingham and consulted in the creation of a college advising program at a local private high school for students with learning differences. Before Indian Springs, Gunnar worked as a Dorm Parent and College Counselor at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX, and in the admission offices of Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Adelphi University in New York. A graduate of a boarding school in Maine, Gunnar has participated at various national and regional conferences and presented on such topics as college fairs, recommendation writing, and surviving board-mandated evaluation audits. Gunnar holds a B.A. in German from Gettysburg College and a M.L.I.S. in Information Studies from the University of Alabama.
School Profile: Available upon request

Katie Ryan 
Currently Director of College Counseling at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, Katie has over 30 years of experience in the field of college admissions and college counseling.   She began her career in education at her alma mater, Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she served as Assistant Director of Admission, then moved to Cate School in Carpinteria, CA where she was Associate Director of College Counseling.  In addition to college counseling at CWA, Katie has served as Academic Dean, assisting the Upper School Head with all aspects of the academic program including academic advising, scheduling, and curriculum.    She has also worked with admissions, advised the student council, and she runs the senior internship program.  Katie has been a member of NACAC and its regional associations for 30 years, served as Director of the Summer Institute in 2015 and is a former elected member of the Guidance and Admission Committee of the College Board Western Regional Council.
2016-17 School Profile 

Jenny Schneider
Jenny Schneider currently serves as the Director of College Counseling at San Francisco University High School, an independent day school for grades 9-12. She began her career working as an admissions officer at her alma mater, Middlebury College. She continued her journey at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, earning a degree with an emphasis in Human Development and Psychology. She is also currently earning a Masters degree through Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English. Jenny landed her first college counseling position at Thayer Academy in the winter of 2011, and during her three and a half years there, she also taught English and coached cross-country. At University High School, Jenny has worked to address equity issues around support for students applying from underrepresented backgrounds, particularly through the financial aid process and for students eligible for fly-in programs. Her counseling practice is undergirded by a desire to treat the college process as an important rite of passage, but also to address the common misconception that it is the most important one young people will experience.

2017-18 School Profile

Tracy Stockard
Since 2010, Tracy Stockard has served as the Director of College Counseling at Gilmour Academy, an independent, Catholic, co-educational, day-boarding school. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Director of College Counseling at Hawken School, a neighboring independent school, both located in Gates Mills, Ohio. Graduating with a Master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Education, Tracy knew she wanted to work in higher education and accepted a position in the Office of Admissions at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio as an Assistant Director.  Within seven years she worked her way up to Senior Associate Director and eventually transitioned to the college side so she could focus on building relationships with families and helping each student with his/her individual college process. In addition to supporting her students, Tracy loves to travel to colleges and her Pinterest Board documents her visits to almost 150 colleges and universities across the country and abroad. While in college counseling, she was an inaugural member of the ACCIS Training and Support Committee where she helped create the curriculum and co-lead the New Counselor Workshops and monthly sessions pertaining to our field.  Tracy earned her undergraduate degree in English from Allegheny College and her master’s degree from Indiana University in Pennsylvania.  She resides in the Cleveland area with her husband and six-year-old daughter. 
School Profile: Available upon request

Jake Talmage
Since 2000, Jake has served as the first full-time Director of College Counseling at St. Paul’s School, just outside Baltimore, MD. Starting as a co-ed school in kindergarten, St. Paul’s graduates approximately eighty boys per year and is an International Baccalaureate School. In addition to his work at St. Paul’s, Jake is actively involved in PCACAC where he serves in the Presidential cycle 2017-2020 and previously served as Secretary, Delegate, Admissions Practices Chair, and Co-chair of Professional Development. He regularly presents at regional and national conferences. Jake has also previously served as the chair of the Baltimore Area AIMS College Counselors, a group of counselors from over thirty independent schools. This group meets quarterly and sponsors joint efforts, such as HBCU nights, financial aid nights, and an annual college fair among the schools. Prior to coming to St. Paul’s, Jake was a college counselor at Pine Crest School for five years and worked in college admission at Johns Hopkins and University of Vermont for eight years. He is a graduate of William and Mary (BBA) and University of Vermont (MPA).
2017-18 School Profile