Peeling Back the Layers of the Signature College Counseling Team

Signature College Counseling’s team is deep with talent, years of experience and expertise. You can read about our depth in our previous post Signature College Counseling By The Numbers. Beyond being professionals in our field, there are many layers to our talents that lie below the surface. It is these attractions to life’s joys that we bring to each and every student. I am pleased to share with you a behind the scenes peek into our lives, when we aren’t making your college journey easier to navigate.

Jodi, Essay Coach, is an avid theatergoer, singer, fitness enthusiast, author, dancer, and sports fanatic; Go Bills! And you might not notice by working with her over Zoom by her exuberant presence, but she stands 4’ 11” tall.

Michelle, Essay Coach, plays on Broadway, loves to travel and do yoga, takes long walks, loves sour beer, espresso martinis, the sound of a crackling fireplace, plays pickleball and tennis, enjoys Thai food, and discovering vintage stores in tiny towns.

She proudly rides a bicycle while summering in Avalon, NJ, decorated with streamers and motivational stickers reminding her that she is badass.

Flori, Essay Coach and Interview Prep Coach, theatre has always been her passion. She was a high school English and acting teacher, and drama director. Flori took her performance and training from the stage and transcended it into triathlons. She completed four half Ironmen and since has become a certified Spinning Instructor, Level 1 Triathlon Coach and certified Yoga Coach.
She is an avid reader and loves history, drama and literary movies, along with streaming series.

You can find her discovering eclectic coffee shops, walking in the woods or at the beach, or searching for that perfect chocolate morsel.

MJ, Essay Coach, has been the “book whisperer” for many years, assisting local authors in getting their books finished, and self-published. When not working with authors, MJ is writing stories for

She is “maniacally curious” and wears out her friends with endless questions, which is a quality that comes in handy when working with her high school students.

MJ enjoys hiking, cycling, playing tennis, visiting bookstores, and taking long drives with a large coffee. Coffee just might be her greatest passion.

She has recently taken up golf and moved to Florida to enjoy the climate so she can continue the above-mentioned outdoor activities all year long.

Karen, Essay Coach and Interview Prep Coach, is obsessed with the NY Times Connections game, any word hunt games, reading fiction (both trashy beach reads and historical works), travelling with her family, and most recently, casual bartending. Karen has taken a couple of classes and has learned to make a variety of phenomenal gin drinks.

Marie, Essay Coach and Application Specialist, enjoys exercising, running, 5K races, hiking and is one of those rare human beings that looks forward to pull ups.

She loves to travel and touring local historical sites.

Marie homeschooled her four children and still enjoys testing their patience with lectures on history and politics that they only partially understand. She loves reading memoirs, some fiction, and magazines, especially the NY Review of Books. Marie likes watching comedy.

She managed to write a play that was staged last year, and is committed to write at least a couple of books.

Tanja, College Counselor, loves watching movies with her husband and two sons, playing games and competing with one another. Whether playing Boggle, Munchkin, King of Tokyo, Croquet or Fantasy Football, they thrive on competition, talking smack and having fun!

Liz, Founder, loves organization and project management. Whether it is a closet or pantry, her kitchen, her to do lists or her business. Liz is also a pretty darn good whistler. She can’t sing a lick, but can whistle with excellent relative pitch.

You don’t want to interrupt her or schedule anything to interfere with her watching football. The title Football Fanatic best describes Liz. You don’t want to be in the room with her when the Giants are losing, which is more often than not lately.

You will find Liz during the cool weather seasons traveling to the Caribbean. St. Thomas is her home away from home. Most people will find this odd because if you ask her, she will tell you that she doesn’t like the sticky sand, getting wet or the heat of the sun.

Liz enjoys traveling beyond the warm weather destinations as well throughout Europe and plans to re-discover Switzerland in 2025, where her mom was born and raised.

She loves to cook and has set a goal to take cooking classes to expand her horizons.

Exercising is the core to her existence. Every day you will find her either at Orange Theory Fitness or walking for miles, or both.

Paul, Copy Editor and Ghost Writer, you will find exercising 3-5 hours every day since he sold his cycling business and retired two years ago. He joins Liz in Orange Theory Fitness, walks, hikes, kayaks, cycles, goes to the gym and then naps.

He has cycled over most of the world’s iconic climbs. His cycling travels have been through France, Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden.

His new passion is car racing and working on his damaged racecar. When not at the track or working on his car, you will find him in his Race Simulator.

Traveling with Liz to the Caribbean is where Paul gets to rest and recover. Albeit he does love the water, playing corn hole on the beach, and sailing.

His true love is his granddaughter, Aubrey Gwyn, who he watches twice a week and takes her indoor rock-climbing. She is also the only one who can be Paul’s boss.

I hope that peeling back our layers has opened up our lives, dreams and passions to you, as we are privileged that you allow us to see below the surface of who you are and who you want to be. Everyone has his or her own journey and potential, and we are proud that we can assist you in achieving your dreams.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students via Zoom, over the phone and by email.

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