I have a vivid memory of my own college essay writing process. I had always done well in school, and English was my strongest subject, but I found the college essay writing process so frustrating and confusing that I did what I had never done before: I reached out to a tutor and professional writing coach. Thanks in part to this person’s insight and guidance, I got into UC Berkeley (my top choice), where I would eventually earn my PhD in Education.
Writing is hard.
I know because I’ve been a professional writer for over 15 years. I’ve written books, academic manuscripts, grant proposals, web articles, and corporate reports. So, when I say that the personal essay is likely the single most difficult genre of writing, you can trust that I know what I’m talking about. It is a short, high stakes document that is supposed to give a stranger a window into your personality, life, values, and aspirations—all while making the case that you would be a welcome addition to the campus community. And in only 500-700 words!
The good news is that I know how to do for you what my writing coach did for me: to make the college essay a less daunting, more enjoyable, and ultimately successful experience. My goal is to help you get into college, certainly, but I also want you to learn more about yourself and grow as a writer.
In addition to my skills as a writer, my clients benefit from my years of experience working as a high school tutor and from my inside knowledge of what admissions officers are looking for in their applicants.
- PhD, Cognition and Development (Education), University of California, Berkeley, 2017
- MA, Education, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
- BA, Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
- Graduate School Instructor, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2016– 2017
- Researcher, Fieldwork in Remote Region of Papua New Guinea, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2014 – 2017
- Researcher, Language and Autism, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2012 – 2015
- Researcher, Learning Mathematics Through Representations, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Education, 2010 – 2014
- Writer of Consumer Guides, Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby, San Francisco, CA 2010 – 2017
- Administrative Manager and Senior Academic Tutor, The Tutoring and Learning Center, Fairfax, CA , 2007 – 2010
- Staff Research Analyst, Conceptual Narratives, American Environics, Oakland, California, 2006 – 2007
- Staff Research Associate, Political Cognition, Rockridge Institute, Berkeley, California, 2005 – 2006
Honors & Awards
- Spencer/National Academy of Education Dissertation Fellow, 2015-2016
- Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship, 2015
- University of California Berkeley Fellow, 2010–2012
- Research in Cognition and Mathematics Education Fellow (RCME), 2010-2014
- Conference presentation selected for Awards Panel (“Most Innovative Research”) at UC Davis Symposium on Language Research, May 2015