TEAM BIOS

Elizabeth Levine

Founder

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IECA's Mentorship Program

Elizabeth Levine

My background consists of a successful career in the corporate arena for over 30 years in varying managerial and director positions. I’ve demonstrated success in project coordination and organization development and am a creative problem solver with the ability to generate new ideas and initiate change.

I have three children who, over a ten-year period, have been through the many stages of the college admissions process. I managed each of their college journeys successfully using all resources available to me. I am happy to say that they all graduated within four years, are gainfully employed, and living on their own. Over time, I had other parents and students come to me for guidance with their college admissions journey, successfully helping each of them with their college selection and admissions direction.

Through my interactions with students and their families, I realized how passionate I was to help them navigate this journey. Understanding their college choice will be one of the most important and significant decisions they will ever make, I wanted to pursue this career as an Independent Educational Consultant, where I could help others on an individualized path to success. I earned my certificate in College Admissions Counseling, have visited over 300 colleges, and counting, and began my journey of helping families through this daunting process.

Certifications and Associations

Graduate from Boston University, Business Administration
UCLA College Admissions Counseling Certificate
Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) – Professional Member
IECA Summer Institute for College Admissions Counseling
IECA Mentor

Meet the Signature College Counseling Team

Karen Cestari

Karen Cestari

Essay Coach

Karen Cestari

Karen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and received her law degree from Harvard Law School with cum laude honors. She served as Chairwoman of the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network for the Hudson Valley region for the past 10 years and has interviewed hundreds of student applicants as an alumni representative of both Ivy League institutions.

Following graduation from law school, Karen clerked for a federal judge in New York and thereafter joined the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where she became proficient in the skills of concise, powerful writing and effective communication. Karen has co-authored articles for newspapers, law journals, practice guides and other academic publications, and is co-editor of The Handbook on Insurance Coverage Disputes, one of the most comprehensive and preeminent sources of insurance law content in the country.

Karen works with students on virtually all aspects of the essay-writing process: brainstorming creative, unique and personal ideas for essay topics; working closely with students to formulate essay outlines; and leading productive editing sessions. She understands that the best and most memorable essays are those that are genuine, organic and in the students’ own true voices. She has also spent many hours working with students on interview preparation, easing nerves, building confidence, creating strategies for conversation and conducting mock practice sessions. Having spent many years interviewing students on behalf of Harvard and Cornell, Karen has a unique advantage in imparting interview strategies that showcase each student’s personality and achievements.

Jodi Glaser Taub

Essay Coach

Jodi Glaser Taub

Jodi Glaser Taub is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied communications and theatre arts. A former contributor to PBS Sprout for Parents, Jodi has written professionally on such parenting topics as fostering positive reading habits, handling separation anxiety, celebrating holidays with children, and navigating the sometimes daunting New York City school admissions process.

She was formerly the Assistant Director of Publicity at Simon and Schuster Books and on the publicity staff for Hyperion Books and Golden Books Family Entertainment.  As a writer, she has written professionally for ABC-TV, ESPN, and for such acclaimed personalities as Joe Torre, Joy Behar, Donny Osmond, John Walsh, Jane Seymour, and Nancy Cartwright (the voice behind the infamous Bart Simpson).

For over fifteen years, Jodi has worked as a private college essay consultant.  Many of her former and current students are from high schools in the New York City area, including Saint Ann’s, Poly Prep, Brearley, Hunter, Riverdale, Columbia Prep, Brooklyn Friends, BASIS, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, Beacon, and Laguardia. She resides in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and son.

John Calella

Application Specialist

John Calella

John is a graduate of LeMoyne College with a Bachelors in Accounting. He is happily married and the father of two daughters who are both gainfully employed after earning their Masters degrees. He is retired from IBM, after 35 years of service, holding numerous jobs in Accounting, Finance, and Business Operations. In addition to working with students on their applications through Signature College Counseling, in his spare time, he likes to read, travel and volunteer at Meals on Wheels.

Flori-Doyle-Headshot

Flori Doyle

Essay Coach, Interview Prep Coach, Application Specialist

Flori Doyle

Flori graduated from Ithaca College with a BFA in Drama, taking graduate courses at NYU and The School of The Visual Arts and earning her Master of Teaching at Manhattanville College. She taught high school English and drama for twenty-nine years at Ardsley High School.

In addition to teaching twelfth grade English and a variety of senior electives, including AP Literature, Flori is also experienced with the college essay process throughout her teaching tenure and beyond. Her enthusiasm for writing includes memoir writing, playwriting, as well as teaching the research paper. In addition, she assisted in developing the curriculum for a critical writing and research course. Prior to teaching, she worked in advertising and theatre.

Flori loves working with students, guiding them through the college essay process bringing out their true selves through their work.

Michelle Sale

Essay Coach

Michelle Sale

Michelle has been helping students with their college application essays for more than a decade. She holds a Masters degree in Teaching from The New School and a B.A. in History and Journalism from the Pennsylvania State University. In addition to helping students write their college application essays, Michelle tutors students for high-stakes exams such as the SAT and ACT, and works with students as an academic writing coach.

MJ Hanley-Goff

Essay Coach

MJ Hanley-Goff

MJ began her career as feature writer at Newsday (1992-2002), and after a move to Orange County, continued writing feature stories for, among other publications, the Times Herald Record and Orange Magazine (2002 – 2015). After a stint as editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine, and self-publishing a novel and self-help book, MJ founded the home-based writing business, MJWRITES, INC. to help others start or finish their first book.

Since 2013, MJ has been coaching high school students on their college admission essays and is of the belief that “everyone is a writer.” She particularly enjoys working with students to look back over their lives to find that one experience that lights up their face, which in turn answers their essay prompt. When that happens, she says, “we’ve struck gold.” You can learn more about MJ at www.needhelpwithbook.com.

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