• Hello, there. Let's introduce ourselves.

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    Alex Ellison, Founder & Head Guide

    Alex Ellison launched her independent consulting practice in 2013 under the name Dunce, LLC, just to add some levity to what can be a stressful topic: college & career planning. She writes and lectures extensively on the subject of careers and college readiness and has been a featured speaker at SXSW and TedX. She is the author of Go Your Own Way: 7 Student-Centered Paths to the Best College Experience and the creator of the Go Your Own Way Student Archetype Quiz used in schools and by individuals to jump-start their college search. She is co-author of Your Hidden Genius (hitting shelves fall 2024!). Alex holds a BA from Northwestern University, a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension School. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

    Check out more of her work at alexellison.com

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    Application Specialist, Rachel Zimmerman

    After a decade working in the college and career readiness industry first as a teacher, then for Kaplan and Naviance, Rachel became an independent education consultant. She manages her practice on Chicago's north shore. We're lucky to have Rachel's expertise as an Application Specialist. Her figure-it-out, positive attitude, and project management background make her a major asset to students in the thick of the college application process. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Education from DePaul University, and a certificate in college counseling from UCLA Extension School. She lives in Chicago, IL.

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    Nikki Roderman, Education Access and Resource Consultant

    Nikki Roderman works as an Accommodations Coordinator at Barnard College's Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services and we are thrilled to have her as a consultant for our students as well! Nikki's expertise lies in facilitating the transition of students with disabilities from K-12 to the college environment, offering tailored executive function support to those requiring organizational assistance. She possesses a deep understanding of the registration and accommodation request procedures, observing students thrive as they advocate fiercely for themselves, thereby ensuring equitable access.


    Nikki earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology, Elementary, and Special Education from Marist College and an M.A. in Special Education with an emphasis on High Incidence Intervention from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She previously served as an elementary school teacher for students with disabilities in New Jersey and Nashville. She spends her free time trying new restaurants and cafes.