ABOUT US

Meet Our Team of
World-Class Experts

Our Senior Leadership

Lisa Frankel, M.T.S.

Executive Vice President

MPG

Mary Pat Gritzmacher, M.A.

VP & Director of Enrollment

Michelle Adelman, M.F.A., M.S.

Senior Director & Head Writing Specialist

Bethany Ely, M. Ed.

Senior Director of Communications & Programs, College Counselor

Selena Douglas

Director of Marketing

Some of Our Amazing Counselors

Jean
Wall

College Counselor

Stuart
Titus

College Counselor

Jennifer
Murlless

College Counselor

Rebecca
Bliss

College Counselor

Kathy
Cleaver

College Counselor

Roz
Estrada

College Counselor

Erin
Hugger

College Counselor

Carol
Bernstein

College Counselor

Kristen W.
Miller

College Counselor

Melissa
Robinson

College Counselor

Julia
Hixson

College Counselor

Kierstin
Streitel

College Counselor

Our Counseling Team

For over 20 years, Premium Prep has helped students fulfill their college dreams. Our team comprises about fifty nationally recognized experts from around the country. We strongly believe that the most qualified and successful independent counselors are those who not only have college admissions experience, but have spent many years in private high schools as college counselors, working intimately with students and families, advising them throughout their high school careers, and personally guiding them through the college process with supreme composure, sensitivity, and professionalism. This is what distinguishes us. We hire only the best, most experienced counselors, each exceptionally skilled and dedicated to our method, and each with an extensive track record of success.

Our Writing Specialists

Our Writing Specialists are carefully vetted teachers with extensive experience working with both college and high school students. Many of our specialists are themselves published writers who deeply understand the entire writing process, from brainstorming to finished phases. All of our specialists have graduate degrees and specialized training in essay writing and teaching.

Alyse Levine

Alyse is one of the foremost college counseling experts in the country and the Founder & CEO of Premium Prep. Prior to founding the company, Alyse was Associate Director of College Counseling at The Dalton School in New York City for over 10 years, was Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Washington University in St. Louis, and was Associate Director of College Counseling at the Dwight–Englewood School, in Englewood, New Jersey. Alyse also served on the selection committee for the prestigious Robertson Scholars Program, a highly selective full-tuition scholarship collaboration between Duke University and the University of North Carolina, and was recently invited to participate in the Advisory Council for East Chapel Hill High School and BBYO Women’s Leadership Initiative. A professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC), she was named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of North Carolina for 2022 by Women We Admire.

Lisa Frankel

Lisa is one of our most experienced and accomplished professionals, having worked in college counseling for nearly two decades. Before joining Premium Prep, she was the Director of College Counseling and Academic Advising at a private high school outside of Philadelphia, where she built an individualized and highly successful college counseling program. Lisa attended Harvard University on a full scholarship for her master’s degree and obtained a Core Credential from Harvard Business School. While a graduate student at Harvard, she served as an Academic and Resident Advisor for Harvard College and as an advisor on the Bureau of Study Council, where she reviewed student applications. In addition, she was Treasurer on the executive board of the Pennsylvania Association of College Admissions Counseling, and a member of various committees for several college admissions-related organizations across Pennsylvania. Lisa is particularly knowledgeable about selective and highly selective colleges, and she understands what it takes to be competitive at these institutions.

Mary Pat Gritzmacher

Mary Pat, a member of Premium Prep’s leadership team, is one of our most versatile and knowledgeable counselors. With over twenty years of experience as both a counselor and teacher, she says she loves working with high school students during this exciting period of reflection, discovery, and growth. Mary Pat was the Associate Director of College Counseling at Westminster School in Connecticut, where she was also an AP US History Teacher. A former Division 1 athlete, she attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree, and has coached swimming, diving, and field hockey. In addition to working with students, Mary Pat leads Premium Prep’s Sales and Customer Acquisition operations.

Michelle Adelman

Michelle has extensive experience teaching writing and literature at the college and high school levels. She was an instructor and writing center consultant at Columbia University and the Cooper Union in New York, as well as an English teacher and Senior Class Dean at Francis Parker School in San Diego. Michelle is also a published author—her first novel, Piece of Mind, was published by Norton in 2016—and has worked as a professional editor and reporter at various magazines. Michelle holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Bethany Ely

Having visited over 100 college campuses, in more than a decade of experience, Bethany possesses an exceptional understanding of a wide range of students, geographic regions, and college communities. She previously worked as an undergraduate application reader at Northeastern University, and was the Assistant Director of Admissions at Elon University. In addition, Bethany was the founding Director of College Counseling for Next One Up, a community-based organization in Baltimore, where she created a comprehensive college counseling program, and Associate Director of College Counseling at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Maryland. She is an active member in both regional and national professional college admissions organizations (PCACAC and NACAC), serving on multiple committees and as an elected official. Bethany has specialized experience assisting IB students, as well as those applying for service academy nominations, merit-based scholarships, honors programs, and need-based financial aid.

Selena Douglas

In Selena’s role, she builds partnerships, plans public events, and implements strategies to spread awareness of Premium Prep. With prior experience in database management, graphic design, and event planning, she brings a keen eye for detail and artistic vision to each project she leads. Prior to joining Premium Prep, Selena was Director of Summer Programs and a member of the admissions team at The Webb School in Tennessee. She was also a Literacy Support Specialist for Metro Nashville Public Schools, helping students foster a love for reading.

Jean Wall

Jean has helped countless students and families in her almost four decades in this profession. She possesses an unparalleled understanding of a wide range of students, regions, and communities, having worked as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Harvey Mudd College, Director of College Counseling at Brentwood School, and Director of College Counseling at Tampa Preparatory School. Jean is experienced working with a wide range of student interests, especially STEM fields, business, fine and performing arts, and liberal arts.

Stuart Titus

Stuart brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his work at Premium Prep, having worked for over three decades at prestigious independent schools in the Northeast. He was the Director of College Counseling at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, and a counselor at Tabor Academy in Massachusetts and San Francisco University High School in California. Stuart, who was a three-year letter winner on the football team at Bates College, was also a College Counselor, English teacher, football and tennis coach, and dorm parent at St George’s School in Rhode Island.

Jennifer Murlless

Jen possesses an exceptional ability to adapt to the needs of a wide range of students, with a nuanced understanding of different geographic regions and college communities. Currently Director of Counseling at Charlotte Catholic High School, she was a college counselor at top high schools in Arizona and North Carolina. She was also a member of the Division 1 volleyball team at Bucknell University, and has specialized experience assisting students with fine and performing arts portfolios, those applying to service academies, recruited student-athletes, and those seeking accommodations for learning differences.

Rebecca Bliss

Rebecca has worked for two decades in a variety of admissions and deans roles at Brown University, Dartmouth College, Carleton College, Georgetown University, and Dickinson College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she also served as a member of the University’s Alumni College Advising program, guiding over 300 alumni families from across the country and world each year through the college admissions process. She loves to work closely with individual students and their families, each of whom benefits from her extensive experience with a wide range of students, regions, and communities.

Kathy Cleaver

Kathy is one of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the field of college counseling. She has worked in undergraduate college admissions at both Duke University and Southern Methodist University, was the Dean of College Counseling at Durham Academy in North Carolina for 28 years, and was the former Assistant Director of College Counseling at Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles. She is passionate about her work with young people and their families, and has helped countless students find opportunities to thrive, maximize their potential, and realize their aspirations in her almost four decades in this profession.

Roz Estrada

Roz is one of our most distinguished professionals, having worked for more than 25 years in college counseling, college admissions, and higher education. She worked in a range of admissions and counseling roles at Skidmore College, New York University, and Washington and Lee, served on the advisory board at Ithaca College, and was the former Associate Director of College Counseling at Montclair Kimberley Academy and Morristown Beard School in New Jersey. Roz, who treasures her close relationships with students and families, also recently earned a certificate in mindfulness-based stress reduction for teens.

Erin Hugger

Erin has a deep sensitivity to the specific needs of students with learning and attention challenges, and an exceptional understanding of how best to guide these students through the college process. Currently the Director of College Counseling at Churchill School, where she developed a comprehensive college counseling program, she previously worked in college counseling at The Chapin School in New York. Erin is a recognized expert in the field, serving on a university counselor advisory board and presenting on the admissions process at conferences nationwide.

Carol Bernstein

Carol brings decades of experience, expertise, and warmth to the college application and writing process, with an exceptional ability to quickly connect with students. She previously worked in admissions at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, University of San Francisco, and Whittier College, and is currently an Advisory board member for undergraduate admission at University of Michigan. She was also a College Counselor and Director at four different independent schools in California: Chadwick School, Sage Hill School, Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools, and Westerly School. In addition, Carol was appointed to the Board of Directors and is the co-chair of the scholarship committee for the Marcus J. Bradshaw Foundation in Chicago.

Kristen Wong Miller

Kristen has over a decade of experience working as a trusted counselor and advisor. Based in the Philadelphia area, Kristen was the Associate Director of College Planning at Friends Select School and the Associate Director of College Guidance and Director of Studies at Abington Friends School. She also taught Calculus at both Abington and Germantown Friends Schools. In addition, she serves as an independent counselor for American Scholars LLC, which provides counseling services for high school seniors, most of whom are first-generation college students. Kristen earned two Bachelor’s degrees–in Economics and Mathematics–and her Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Melissa Robinson

Melissa is an incredibly experienced counselor who brings years of expertise to the college application and admissions essay process. She served as Co-Director and Director of College Counseling at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Maryland, where she also worked as an Upper School Class Dean and English Department Chair. Melissa earned her Master’s in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins and her Bachelor’s from Hamilton College. She is currently finishing her MA in Counseling from Wake Forest University.

Julia Hixson

Julia has extensive experience guiding students through the college counseling and admissions process. She was the Director of College Advising at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Assistant Director of College Placement at Miller School of Albemarle in Virginia, where she was also an English and French Teacher. In addition, she taught French and AP Art History at Charleston Catholic High School in Charleston, West Virginia. She received her master’s in Education from Wake Forest University and her bachelor’s in French from University of Mary Washington.

Kierstin Streitel

Kierstin has spent over ten years counseling and advising students in prestigious high schools, and brings a distinctive blend of sensitivity and support to every family she works with. She was the Director of College Counseling at Midtown International School, in Atlanta, GA; a college counselor at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, in Richmond, VA (one of the top ten public schools in the country); and a career Consultant at Ohio State University. She was also a school counselor at Metro Early College High School in Columbus, OH. Kierstin, who currently lives in Atlanta, received her MA in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University, where she also earned her BS in Psychology with Honors Research Distinction.