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Institute

OUR TEAM

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Leah Beasley, Ph.D.

PRESIDENT, FOUNDER & CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. Tufts University, Sociology, Minor in Communications
M.A. University of Michigan, Higher Education
Ph.D. Michigan State University, Higher Education

  • Former Asst. Dean of College Counseling, Cranbrook 

  • Former Undergraduate Admissions Officer, University of Michigan 

  • Former Alumni Interviewer & Admissions Asst., Tufts University

  • Former Admissions Asst., Harvard University

  • Reviewed thousands of admissions applications

  • Former Educational Consultant, College Ambition Program, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, & Princeton Review

Leah brings over 20 years of selective college admissions and college counseling to our practice. Leah has spent her entire professional career working in selective college admissions and college counseling. 

 

Leah worked in the admissions offices at Harvard, Tufts and the University of Michigan where she evaluated thousands of domestic and international applications. Leah served as Assistant Dean of College Counseling at Cranbrook helping usher hundreds of families through the college admissions process. In her 15 years of independent counseling, she has counseled hundreds of families and visited over 200 college campuses. Her students have gained admission to every top 100 college in the country and many more. 

Leah served as a consultant for state-wide higher education initiatives, college access programs as well as local and national media. She developed and implemented college counseling programs at various U.S. high schools. She is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, the Higher Education Consultants Association and the National Association of College Admission Counselors.

 

Leah holds a B.A. in Sociology from Tufts University where she served as an admissions assistant, marketing/advertising intern, Panhellenic leader and held multiple volunteer roles. She received her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. 

 

Leah is dedicated to and passionate about helping students and their families make sense of the college search and application process. She brings her energy, enthusiasm and encouragement to all she does to ensure students are engaged throughout the process.

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Sarah Beasley, Ph.D. 

VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES &

CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. Harvard University, Psychology

M.Ed. Harvard University, Higher Education

Ph.D. Boston College, Higher Education

  • Former Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Concord University

  • Former Director of Statewide Academic Initiatives and Research & Policy Analyst, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  • Former Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard University

  • Former Co-Director Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, Harvard University

  • Former First-Year Proctor/Advisor, Harvard University

  • Former Alumni Interviewer, Harvard University

  • Peer Reviewer and Institutional Actions Councilmember, Higher Learning Commission (regional higher education accreditor)

Sarah has over 20 years of higher education experience in college admissions and financial aid; university administration; educational policy, planning, and data analysis; writing, administration, and evaluation of grants; and university accreditation.

 

Most recently, she worked as Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students at Concord University. Prior to Concord, she served as Director of Statewide Academic Initiatives and as a Research & Policy Analyst at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. She worked for six years as a Sr. Admissions Officer at Harvard, where she reviewed thousands of applications, essays, and alumni interviews from students worldwide. She served as Co-Director of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, whose efforts included expanding recruitment, financial aid, and student services for low-income students. Through her work as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, she has visited and reviewed colleges and universities across the country. Throughout her career, she has secured over $25 million in federal, state, and foundation grants related to college access and success. 

 

Sarah holds a B.A. in Psychology with honors from Harvard University, where she ran varsity track & field, played junior varsity basketball, and was active in community service, intramurals, and her residence hall’s student government. She later received an Ed.M. from Harvard University in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, followed by a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Boston College. Her research on college access and success of rural, first-generation students won a national award by the National Rural Education Association. 

 

Sarah’s mantra in higher education is “Students First!” She has spent her career advocating for students and putting their needs first. Her vast higher education experience, genuine enthusiasm, and desire to help students make her a great fit with Beasley College Consulting.

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Julie Simon, M.A.

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL CONTENT &

CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. Ohio University, Sociology & Psychology
M.A. University of Michigan, Higher Education

  • Former Asst. Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Michigan

  • Former Asst. Director of Undergraduate Admissions, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan

  • Reviewed over 20,000 admissions applications

  • Former Manager/College Consultant at Collegewise

Julie has over 20 years of experience in selective college admissions. In her 16 years at the University of Michigan she held the position of Assistant Director of Admissions for Undergraduate Admissions and the School of Kinesiology and evaluated over 20,000 college applications.

 

Most recently, Julie worked at Collegewise where she managed a team of college counselors while consulting with her own students, helping them gain admission to a variety of colleges from small, liberal arts institutions like Dartmouth and Amherst to large, research institutions like the University of Michigan and the University of California—Berkeley and many more.

Julie is a frequent guest on local and national news media outlets, consulting on higher education issues. She is also a member of state and national organizations including the National Association of College Admission Counselors and the Michigan Association of College Admissions Counselors where she recently served on the Professional Development Committee.

As a first-generation college student, Julie is dedicated to ensuring that deserving students reach their educational and career goals. She understands the complexities of the college admission process and aims to create a stress-free experience for families by getting to know students, engaging them through the process, thoughtful planning, and of course, a lot of humor.

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Maureen Gelberg, M.A.

COLLEGE CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. University of California, San Diego, Sociology
M.S. California State University—Long Beach, School Counseling

Certificate in College Counseling 

  • Former Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Southern California

  • Former Senior Admissions Officer, University of Michigan

  • Reviewed over 15,000 admissions applications

  • Former Application Reader, UCLA

  • Former Faculty, UCLA College Counseling Certificate Program

Maureen has spent her career in college admissions and counseling, working at a small private college, large research universities and a private college consulting company. She spent 10 years as the Associate Director of Admission at the University of Southern California. During her time at USC, Maureen supervised the review of applications from a select group of Los Angeles area schools and personally reviewed up to 1,800 applications a year from students in California, New England, and Michigan. Before joining USC, Maureen worked in the admissions offices of the University of Michigan and Dominican University of California and evaluated applications for UCLA. In her time in admissions, Maureen has evaluated over 15,000 applications. 

 

Maureen also has served as a college counselor at Collegewise and Princeton Review, helping students gain admission to a variety of colleges from small, liberal arts institutions like Bates and Colgate to large research institutions like the University of Michigan and the University of California—Berkeley and many more.

 

Maureen is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Western Association of College Admission Counseling (WACAC), where she served as the chairman of professional development. She is an active member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA).

 

Maureen was an instructor for the College Counseling Certificate Program at UCLA Extension. She also serves on the board of the College Access Plan, which focuses on helping underserved students in the Pasadena area pursue higher education. 

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Emma Butler

COLLEGE CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. Middlebury College, Biology and Psychology
Harvard Institute on College Admissions, Certificate

  • Former Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Davidson College

  • Former Admissions Counselor, Davidson College

  • Seasonal Admissions Application Reader, Selective Liberal Arts Institution

  • Experienced Independent College Counselor

  • Former High School Teacher, Westchester Academy

  • Reviewed thousands of applications

Emma spent over six years at Davidson College as Assistant Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, where she developed a keen eye for what it takes to be admitted to top national colleges. She also served on the merit scholarship interview committee and was the head athletic liaison for the admission office, evaluating the applications of Division I athletes and working directly with coaches.

 

Later, Emma transitioned to the other side of the desk to work with students and families from all over the country as an independent college counselor. She loves working with students to guide them through this critical time in their lives and help them tell their stories about what makes them unique. 

 

Emma has also been a tremendous advocate for high school students by helping school districts understand the college admission process. She also helped schools develop new academic profiles to highlight the strengths of the schools to college admission counselors. Additionally, Emma has created high school programming aimed at attracting and supporting visits from college admission counselors from across the country. 

 

Emma is an active member of several professional groups, including the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the Ohio Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC). She has a certificate from the Harvard Institute in College Admissions, and she graduated from the Summer Training Institute for Independent Educational Consultants. 

 

She graduated from Middlebury College, where she captained the Middlebury field hockey team. 

 

As a lifetime educator, Emma has dedicated herself to helping students find the college or university that is the best fit for them to succeed. She looks forward to doing that for your child as well!

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Meghan Balding, M.A

COLLEGE CONSULTANT

Education and Experience

B.A. UCLA, History, Minors in Classical Civilizations & Political Science
M.A. University of Southern California, Communication Management

 

  • Director of Business Development, Viterbi Admission & Student Engagement, University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering

  • Marketing Specialist/Marketing Manager, Graduate & Professional Programs, University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering

  • Admissions Coordinator, Admissions & Student Affairs, University of Southern California School of Dentistry

  • Freshmen Scholarship Reviewer, UCLA 

Meghan's experience sits perfectly at the intersection of admissions, marketing, and STEM. She began her career in admission at USC's Ostrow School of Dentistry, and during grad school, moved across campus to become a marketing specialist for the Viterbi School of Engineering. For 10 years, Meghan served as USC Viterbi's Director of Business Development, focusing on online grad programs where she counseled prospective students, served as primary liaison to the admission team, managed corporate partnerships, and implemented a recruiting strategy that increased enrollment. Through her various roles at USC, Meghan had the opportunity to visit and explore numerous college campuses throughout the U.S.

Meghan recently served as a college counselor at Collegewise, helping students from around the world gain admission to a variety of colleges, from liberal arts colleges to public flagship institutions. She also volunteers for the College Access Plan, which focuses on helping underserved students in the Pasadena area pursue higher education.

 

Meghan earned her bachelor's in history with a minor in classical civilizations and political science from UCLA before heading to USC for her master's in communication management with an emphasis in marketing communications. An Alumni Scholar at UCLA, Meghan still enjoys staying connected to her Bruin roots as a reviewer for freshman and transfer scholarship applicants. 

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Dana Speelman

CLIENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

Education and Experience

B.A. UCLA, Business Economics

Minors in Accounting & Education

  • Project Control Analyst, Northrop Grumman Space Systems

  • Tax Associate, Price Waterhouse Coopers

  • Inactive Certified Public Accountant

Dana has over 15 years of experience in various accounting fields. She worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for two years, specializing in tax accounting and earning her CPA license. Dana then worked in finance at Northrop Grumman, focusing on project cost control for advanced systems such as the James Webb Space Telescope (she loves seeing the images sent back from space!).

 

After taking some time off for her young family, Dana is excited to be on the Beasley College Consulting team now to coordinate the
onboarding and administrative needs for clients throughout their experience with their consultant.

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Jerry L. Beasley, Ph.D. 

OF COUNSEL

Education and Experience

B.A. Harvard University, History

M.Ed. Harvard University, Higher Education

Ph.D. Stanford University, Higher Education

  • President Emeritus & Former President, Concord University

  • Vice President for Development, West Virginia Wesleyan College

  • Vice President for Development & Planning, Waynesburg College

  • Former Admissions Officer & Alumni Interviewer, Harvard Undergraduate Admissions

  • Reviewed thousands of admissions applications

Jerry brings over 50 years of selective college admissions, higher education policy and administration experience to our practice.

 

Jerry is a former admissions officer at Harvard University Office of Undergraduate Admissions as well as an alumni interviewer. He also served as Vice President of Development at West Virginia Wesleyan College (WV) and Vice President for Development and Planning at Waynesburg College (PA). Most recently, he served as the President of Concord University (WV) for 23 years. He has also served as a consultant and evaluator for the North Central Accrediting Association.

 

He has extensive experience as a higher education consultant and with higher education policy, especially regarding college access and affordability.

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