Thanks to Anna Paez, University of Pennsylvania, '19, for working at my picnic table.

Web design & photo credit: Anna-Elyse Schwabacher



I help students find their best essay topics by asking a million questions.  When their answers make me want to hear more, I know we're on to something good.  Then I put on my reporter's hat and create targeted questions that stimulate memory, emotion and the words that express them. Their answers are the essay's raw material, the point at which they begin to craft an essay that's warm, authentic and clear.  

So many students tell me, "I have nothing to write about." I know I've done my job when they realize that their stories are worthy of the effort it takes to merge their experience with language, in a way that reflects their best self and demonstrates their readiness for college.  


After numerous drafts, extensive comments, and detailed emails from me, students submit essays they are proud of and they enjoy a sense of closure when they hit send!  


My husband and I are empty-nesters. We miss our kids (Jack/Middlebury,'15 and Barbara/Pomona, '19) but we love watching our favorite shows uninterrupted, and going out to eat whenever we want.  I have a bachelor's degree in theatre and English from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. 

Digital: Grown & advice on  admissions essays for parents 

Radio: WAMU 88.5. Personal essays & NPR: This I Believe

Print: Wall Street Journal: Op-ed; Washington Post: KidsPost

Books:  Author: What You Can Do for Your Country: An Oral History of the Peace Corps (William Morrow/Doubleday); Contributing Editor: The Infinite Journey: Eyewitness Accounts of NASA and the Age of Space (Discovery Books).