Navigate the US College Admissions Pathway transition through COVID with Experts

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Are you looking to attend a U.S. College?

Meet U.S. College Admissions representatives and guest speakers at our
Virtual U.S. Colleges Admissions Networking Event
Thursday, October 28, 2021
6:00pm - 8:00pm EDT


Meet these inspiring guest speakers and more
at the Virtual US College Connect 2021

Understand all aspects of the US Admissions process, from selection, application, financing and student athlete considerations.

Richard Zhang
NYU & MIT Grad

Richard is a physicist, a mathematician, and now a seed stage investor. He is the Chief of Staff to Mar Hershenson and the Director of Accelerator at Pear VC He completed his PhD at MIT Mathematics under Prof. Gilbert Strang, where he focused on the physical modeling of microfluidics. During his PhD, he also worked with Massachusetts General Hospital on using efficient ML algorithms to optimize hospital operations and have published in high-impact journals such as Nature. He fell in love with the venture world after an internship with Pillar VC. Outside work, Richard is a community organizer at heart who cares deeply about the mental health and well-being of students and entrepreneurs. Together with six MIT grad students and postdocs, Richard co-founded FAIL!, a nonprofit aimed to de-stigmatize failures and foster psychological safety in hyper-competitive workplaces. FAIL! invites well-established individuals (eg. George Church, Rodney Mullen, Amy Edmondson, etc.) to openly share their stories of failures and moments of vulnerabilities. In addition, Richard sits on the leadership board of MIT Alumni Club of Northern California.

Karena de Souza
Author & Motivational Speaker
TILT the Future & FUTUREcasting

Karena de Souza is parent to Andrew de Souza Harvard class of 2023. She is a Future of Work strategist, speaking to GenZ, educators and employers. She specializes in advising parents on how to prepare themselves and their children for the changing world of work. And how to position them to thrive within it. She recently published a decision-making book Contours of Courageous Parenting - Tilting Towards Better Decisions.

Kevin Chao
Senior International Recruitment Coordinator
Arizona State University

Born in Taipei, Taiwan. I spent some of my childhood in Taiwan until 4th grade, then transitioned to Phoenix, Arizona and have been living in Arizona ever since. I am an alumnus of Arizona State University and received my MBA in 2008. I spent most of my professional career in higher education for the past 17 years.

Marina Adlivankina Sais
International Admissions Counselor
Woodbury University

Over the past 10 years, Marina has worked in many areas of student service at various higher education institutions. She comes to Woodbury University with over 7 years of experience in international education. As the International Admissions Counselor, Marina is committed to helping international students find the right program at Woodbury University and have a seamless admission process.

Jim Smith
Director of International Admissions
High Point University

For the past thirty years I have dedicated my life to working with international students. During my tenure I have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America. Working at High Point University, which is recognized by US News & World Report as the #1 regional and innovative college in the South, is distinctly gratifying for me. Knowing that our students are some of the top scholars in the United States enthuses me as I present HPU to students from around the world. It is rewarding to know that HPU graduates are entering their career choices or enrolling in graduate school. If you want to attend a university where the student is prepared for success and excellence, look no further than High Point University!

Vishan Persaud
Director of Citizenship Content & Activations
Royal Bank of Canada

Vishan provides overall leadership and strategic direction across Corporate Citizenship to increase the awareness of and engagement in key global Citizenship initiatives and programs through multi-channel content and activation strategies and efforts to advance the charitable sector. His focus the past few years on the Citizenship team has been on RBC’s youth programs including Future Launch – RBC’s $500 million commitment to preparing youth for the future of work.

Vishan spent the first 14 years of his career at RBC Insurance and held a variety of positions within the Insurance Advice Centre, Underwriting, Operations and Internal and Strategic Communications. He’s also a very active volunteer for many causes and held leadership roles on the RBC Insurance Employee Giving Caucus and has been involved with Employee Resource Groups including RBC NextGen and Pride.

Vishan had the opportunity to travel across Canada as an RBC ambassador during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Torch Relay, he was recognized as a 2013 RBC Convention & Leo Award recipient and earned a 2016 RBC Global Citizen Award giving him the opportunity to travel to Kenya with the rest of the RBC award recipients.

RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With a focus on networking, skills development, practical work experience and mental wellbeing supports and services, the initiative aims to help break down the barriers facing young people. In 2020, RBC committed to investing $50 million from now to 2025 through RBC Future Launch to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for up to 25,000 BIPOC youth with investments in areas such as skills development and mentoring.

Erin Abbey
Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance
University of Notre Dame

Erin is currently in her 6th year at the University of Notre Dame serving as the Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance. Her duties and responsibilities include managing the overall athletics financial aid for the University’s 26 sport programs of approximately 700 student-athletes and a budget of $22 million dollars. In addition, she is responsible for NCAA, ACC, and institutional rules education efforts, interpretations, violation and waiver reporting for coaches, student-athletes, and staff. Further, she services as a compliance liaison to multiple departments internal and external to Athletics. In addition to her compliance duties, she serves as the Sport Administrator for the Women’s Rowing program.

Prior to her current role, Abbey worked in a compliance capacity at multiple Division I institutions, including the University of Virginia, University of Oklahoma, and The University of Texas at Austin. She earned her Juris Doctorate in 2010 from Indiana University Maurer School of Law--Bloomington. A native of Millbury, Ohio, she earned undergraduate degree from Huntington University (IN) in 2003, where she competed for the Women’s Soccer and Women's Track & Field teams. She was inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Rod Lovett
Director of Championships & Sports
National Junior College Athletic Association

Rod Lovett joined the NJCAA staff in 2018 as the Director of Championships & Sports after nearly 30 years of service at Parkland College. As a coach, Lovett won 501 games while taking the Cobras to the NJCAA World Series for the first time in 2001 and winning their first national title in 2002.

During his tenure as Athletic Director, Parkland achieved unmeasured success throughout conference, region, and national levels with Cobra teams winning four national championships while finishing as the runner-up on six occasions. In addition to his work at Parkland, Lovett was extremely involved on the national level, having served as the NJCAA Men’s Region 24 Director and as a member of the NJCAA Executive Committee. He was the long-time chair of the NJCAA Division II Baseball and NJCAA Championship Events committees while also serving on numerous other committees.

At the NJCAA National Office, Lovett serves as the primary championships contact for football, DI men's basketball, and DI baseball.

Darren Morenstein
True North Esports

High School teacher, coach, camp director, digital producer and entrepreneur. These are the professional titles Darren has worn with honour over the last 20 years. As a teacher and coach in Quebec and Ottawa, he was able to provide his students with an optimum environment for their personal success. As a camp director, Darren was afforded the opportunity to witness these students in an environment outside of the classroom and watch them develop as they played with passion. In more recent years, Darren transitioned to an online profession, and co-founded one of the more successful digital brands on YouTube where he helped shape the digital industry by designing a 360° business model for digital influencers. True North Esports is the perfect blend of his previous experiences and has made it possible for Darren to continue working with students in an educational environment while having them lean into their passion and the benefits of gaming.

April Shandor
Admission Counselor
Bard Academy and Bard College at Simon's Rock

April Shandor is a higher education professional with skills in admissions, student services, program coordination, and academic advising. She also has experience teaching international and domestic students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. April began working as Admission Counselor in the Office of Admission at Bard College at Simon's Rock in October, 2020 and supports international and domestic students and their families during admission and enrollment processes.

Jared Rosenberg
Associate Director
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jared Rosenberg is Associate Director of Admissions and Evaluation at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jared currently manages the review of all first year and transfer applications. He is responsible for the philosophical direction of evaluation and training readers each year. Jared has worked in Undergraduate Admissions for almost 25 years, spending the majority of that time at UNC. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership & College Student Personnel from Miami University (OH). Jared is originally from Miami, FL but has lived in Durham, NC for the last 20 years.

Carla Salas
Assistant Director
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carla Salas is an Assistant Director within the office of Undergraduate Admissions at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carla’s primary responsibilities include recruitment, evaluation, and financial aid. Carla has worked in the office of Undergraduate Admissions for 3 years, and has prior experience in College Advising through the Carolina College Advising Corps. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University.

Howard Lee
Associate Director of External Relations and Recruitment
University of California, Los Angeles

Howard Lee is the Associate Director of External Relations and Recruitment for UCLA Summer Sessions. Howard grew up in Los Angeles but have lived in various cities for the past 10 years, including brief stints in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seattle. Howard love working in student recruitment because he get to represent his institution and speak with parents and students from all over the world. In his past work, he have recruited students for language schools, colleges, and universities. Howard look forward to meeting you, and answering any questions you have about UCLA!

Joanna Severino
Educator, Founder & President
Prepskills & US College Expo

Joanna Severino is the Founder & President of PREPSKILLS and the US College Expo. Joanna has been an educator for over 25 years, helping students to excel in achieving important milestones in education. For many Canadian families, applying to private schools and US colleges can be daunting. PREPSKILLS helps navigate this process by giving families the tools, resources and connections to maximize opportunities. Joanna created the US College Expo in Canada and PrepConnect events to help families explore their educational pathways. Education is really about resourcefulness. As a certified teacher and passionate mom-preneur (mother of 3 boys ages 15, 12, 9), Joanna is always looking for ways to ensure that students connect with these opportunities and get the valuable information they need to make informed decisions about education.



Join us! Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

See you there on Oct 28!

US College Expo Team