Meet Our Panel of Experts

Jon Boeckenstedt

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Marketing at Oregon State University

Jon Boeckenstedt joined Oregon State University in July of 2019. Jon has over 35 years of experience in higher education, including supervisory responsibility for admissions, financial aid, graduate recruitment, registrar, new student orientation, career services, higher education opportunity programs, community outreach and academic support. 

Jon is a frequent contributor to the national discourse on the state of college admissions and financial aid. Most recently, he served as Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at DePaul University.

At Oregon State University, Jon is responsible for setting and fulfilling OSU’s enrollment goals. He oversees the offices of admissions, financial aid, the registrar, and scholarships as well as degree partnership programs and precollege programs. 

Sylvia Borgo

Independent Educational Consultant

Sylvia Borgo is a California-based independent educational consultant with over 24 years of educational experience. She received her BA from UCLA and her certificate in Independent Educational Counseling from the University of California, Irvine.

Sylvia helps students and families navigate the college search and application process and helps them find colleges that are good academic, social, and financial fits. In addition to her private practice, she volunteers with first-gen, underserved students to help them access their higher education goals. Having visited six continents and 48 countries, she is passionate about instilling a sense of discovery and a curiosity for exploring the world.

Tom Campbell

Community manager at The College Essay Guy

Tom Campbell is community manager at The College Essay Guy. Tom is an enthusiastic and creative higher education professional with a passion for college access, inclusion and mentorship.

Betsy Chapman, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Family Communications at Wake Forest

Dr. Betsy Chapman is the Executive Director of Family Communications at Wake Forest, her alma mater. That title is just a fancy way of saying her job is to communicate with Wake Forest parents and families across a variety of platforms: email, web, and social media. She is the author of the Daily Deac blog, which covers a variety of Wake Forest activities, news, and college-parenting advice, and helps give parents and families a glimpse of campus life each weekday; it is cited by Wake Forest parents and families as a key resource. She has been at Wake Forest for almost 23 years, serving in a variety of roles supporting alumni, parents, and families. In 2019, she earned a doctorate in Higher Education from UNC-Greensboro; her research focused on parent and family interactions with the college related to blog readership.

Rick Clark

AVP Undergraduate Enrollment| Author | Speaker

Rick Clark is the AVP of Enrollment Management and Executive Director of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Tech. In this role, he directs the Institute’s recruitment and enrollment efforts, manages the review and selection of all undergraduate applications, and leads the admission team. Under his leadership, the Institute has dramatically increased brand awareness, improved overall academic class profile, and exceeded strategic goals. Prior to coming to Tech, Rick was on the admissions staff at Georgia State, The McCallie School and Wake Forest University.

Nicole Curvin

Dean of Admission at Middlebury College

Dean of Admission at Middlebury College since 2014, Nicole Curvin She gained valuable perspective working in academic advising, career counseling as well as continuing education. Her career has spanned more than two decades and includes work with a variety of student populations, from high school students and adults returning to school to artists and designers at the New School (Parsons and Eugene Lang College), Marlboro College, New York University, and the University of Vermont.

Nancy Dunn

College Access Advisor at College Now Greater Cleveland

Nancy Dunn is an experienced College Access Counselor who understands the issue of how to pay for college. She grew up in eastern North Carolina in a family whose unwritten rule was everyone will go to college. Taking advantage of an affordable public college tuition and the generosity of her parents, Nancy graduated with a BA in Religious Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill.

She earned a full tuition scholarship to attend Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University where she graduated with her Masters of Divinity degree. After working in ministry for 15 years, Nancy returned to school for her Masters in Social Work from the University of Akron which she paid for with the help of student loans. Since the fall of 2016, Nancy has assisted high school seniors as they navigate the waters of college admissions, scholarships, and financial aid. She currently works for College Now Greater Cleveland as the Top Scholar College Access Advisor.

Timothy Fields

Educator and Best-Selling Author

Timothy Fields is veteran college admission professional that is the co-author of The Black Family's Guide to College Admissions: A Conversation about Education, Parenting, and Race and Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission at Emory University. He received Morehouse College, M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Timothy lives in Atlanta with his wife Britney and twins, Alexander and Carter.

Tim Gorrell

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority Executive Director

Tim is responsible for leading the agency, recommending and implementing the investment strategy as approved by an 11-member OTTA investment board, and managing the overall operations of Ohio’s 529 College Savings Program.

Jenn Jessie

Nationally Recognized College Admissions Consultant

Jenn Jessie, also known as Jenn The Tutor, is a nationally recognized expert in Test Prep and College Admissions. She works with students in Northern Virginia as an independent and pro bono counselor on SAT/ACT prep and advises students on Test-Optional/Test-Free practices, college admissions, and scholarships.

Mark Salisbury, Ph.D.

Creating Price Transparency in Higher Ed at

Mark Salisbury has spent over 25 years in higher education, as a soccer coach, an admissions counselor, an academic administrator, and a director of institutional research. Mark earned his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Iowa and studies issues of college access, student success, learning outcomes, and how students make choices about college options. His research and commentary has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and TED.

Nat Smitobol

Master College Admissions Counselor at IvyWise

Nat is a former Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Multicultural Recruitment at his alma mater, Skidmore College. Nat also served as a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at New York University and, most recently, at the hyper-selective NYU Abu Dhabi. 

While at Skidmore, Nat pioneered many new recruitment techniques, including the integration of Facebook in college admissions. At NYU, he worked on diversity initiatives and served as a member of the scholarship committee. 

Nat specializes in students seeking K-12 admissions, student athletes pursuing the recruitment process, international students, underrepresented minorities, and students interested in a wide range of schools.

Allison Slater Tate

Director of College Counseling for Lake Mary Preparatory School in Lake Mary Florida and College Consultant for Dunbar Educational Consultants

Allison Slater Tate advises college-bound students and their families to help them find college homes where they will thrive and grow. She splits her time between Dunbar Educational Consultants and Lake Mary Preparatory School, where she is the director of college counseling. She is also a freelance writer who covers college admissions for national outlets. 

She graduated with a degree in English Literature and American Studies from Princeton University.

With extensive experience in test prep and personal essay writing, Allison focuses on finding the fun and the positive in what can be a stressful process. She loves to help each student find their voice and their story through the college application journey.

In her former life, she worked in television, film, and even musical theater in New York and Los Angeles. 

Neeta Vallab

Founder of MeritMore

Neeta Vallab is a NYC public school parent and technologist. Frustrated with the lack of tools and data designed just for parents, she built MeritMore, a free set of tools including personalized merit aid search, application task tracker and an appeal letter generator. Neeta is interested in bringing the voices and perspectives of students and families to discussions around college admissions and affordability. She recently published this opinion in Inside Higher Education.

Susan Valverde

Chief Franchise Operations Officer at Sylvan Learning

After first working with Sylvan Learning as a franchisee for 14 years, Susan Valverde brought her passion for education and her deep knowledge of the system to the brand’s corporate team.

Sherrá Watkins, Ph.D.

Associate VP of Student Health and Wellness at the University of Utah

Dr. Sherrá Watkins (she/her/hers), is the Associate Vice President of Student Health and Wellness at the University of Utah. A leader in the mental health and substance use field, her passion is to transform systems that perpetuate decreased access and utilization of counseling services towards historically marginalized populations.

Belinda J. Wilkerson, Ed.D.

Founder of Steps to the Future and Vice President of Ethics and Professional Practices for the Independent Educational consultants Association

Belinda Wilkerson has more than 30 years experience in education ranging from a social studies teacher to a school counselor at the secondary level to the coordinator of the Rhode Island School Counseling Project, a statewide school counseling program.

Now, she has come full circle as an independent educational consultant, providing a direct service to students that assists them with attaining their educational and career aspirations. As the founder of Steps To the Future, Wilkerson helps families eliminate random acts of college planning. 

Active in her community, she currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cumberland County Public Library and information Center and the Vice President of Ethics and Professional Practices for the Independent Educational consultants Association.