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Professionals & Educators

Writing Specialist

Alex Heller
B.A. in Creative Writing, Northwestern University

Alex received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing for the Media from Northwestern University, where she received the the Roy V. Wood Scholarship, the highest honor of the School of Communications. She was also funded by Northwestern to study bulling prevention in Scandinavia, and her research was recognized throughout the Chicago area. As a student, Alex directed a sitcom pilot produced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld, SNL, Veep), worked as a writing intern at The Onion, and wrote and directed a thesis film that screened at the Oscar-qualifying Chicago International Film Festival. Alex was also a pre-orientation counselor for college freshman and also mentored high school students with learning disabilities. Her tutoring experience includes ACT prep, as well as ESL remotely to Chinese students. Alex's experience with writing, mentorship, and working with international students is what makes her passionate about helping international college applicants achieve their dreams.

Alyssa Carlson 
B.A. in Creative Writing & Mathematics,Hamilton College 

Alyssa graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in Creative Writing and Mathematics. Through her interdisciplinary work she has cultivated a style of writing that merges analytical problem-solving with creative storytelling. She strives to bring this same mindset to her work with students to help them achieve engaging, poignant, and strategic writing. Alyssa is the editor of a collection of short stories and the recipient of the Rose B. Tager Prize in Fiction. She has experience writing and editing a wide range of copy, with work in journalism, internal communications, public relations, and media marketing. Alyssa recognizes that language, both written and spoken, is at its core an art form of communication, and she hopes to cultivate this ability for expression in her students.

Ani Poladian
M.A. in Psychology, Indiana University

Ani is currently pursuing an EdS degree in School Psychology at National Louis University. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University with a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies and a minor in Theatre in June 2014. She received her MA in Psychology, with a clinical focus, from Indiana University in October 2016 At IU, Ani also served as an Associate Instructor. In this role, she was responsible for grading undergraduate assignments, primarily essays. Her writing has been published in peer reviewed journals and in textbook chapters, including an upcoming chapter in an American Psychological Association Handbook focused on contemporary family psychology. Ani is very happy to have the opportunity to help students improve their writing with the Apolish team.

Ashley Perry
M.A. in Cultural Anthropology & Literature, Amherst College

Ashley is an alumna of Amherst College, where she studied cultural anthropology and literature. During her time at Amherst, Ashley developed an interest in the intersection between education and international development, which has led her to study abroad in both Morocco and Germany. Ashley has worked as an editor at an American magazine based in Rabat, Morocco, and an English teacher with a focus on communication and business English, as well as a college advisor and developmental editor for college essays written by international students. In addition to her work as an Editing Specialist, Ashley is presently working at a trilingual preschool and pursuing a certificate in Research Methods for the Social Sciences. Ashley plans to study international education, development, and public administration at the graduate level in the future.   

Ben Frazer
Political Science, University of Rochester

Ben is currently a student at the University of Rochester studying Political Science. During his time there, his passion for theater and debate led him to take a directing role in a program that teaches debate and oratory skills to local high school students. Through organizing and hosting interscholastic tournaments and coordinating speakers to talk to students about college admissions, he has developed the skills to teach others how to communicate their personal values and the value of their ideas. In addition, he serves as a peer mentor for poetic writing with a focus on spoken word poetry. Through these mediums he has nurtured a passion for teaching, for storytelling, and for self-advocacy that will continue to play an integral role in his life.

Ben Krusling
B.A. in East Asian Studies, Columbia University

Ben received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Columbia University with a concentration in East Asian Studies. At Columbia, he was a Kluge Scholar and was included in the Dean’s list for four consecutive semesters. He was a Senior Editor of the Columbia East Asia Review and hosted two radio programs at Barnard College. In addition to his academic work, he has worked in an editorial capacity for multiple nationally-recognized music journals in New York City. He specializes in academic and creative writing and has extensive experience tutoring both. His broad range of interests and experiences in art, history, politics, and literature have helped him work well with students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. In his three years at Apolish, Ben has helped students receive acceptances from some of their top dream schools, including Columbia University and Cornell University.

Cameron Lee 
Senior, major in Creative Writing & minor in Visual Arts  , Columbia University

Cameron Lee is a senior at Columbia University, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Visual Arts. She has gained extensive experience with editing and creative analysis during her time at Columbia, both through her coursework and as co-Editor-in-Chief of Quarto, the official literary magazine of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Department. Cameron further honed her writing and editing skills through her work with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, as well as with other organizations dedicated to education and student support. Cameron is passionate about writing and its power to inspire change. She plans to use her knowledge and creative instincts to help Apolish students find and use their own unique voices.

Eamonn Conner
B.A. in Media  & Culture Studies, University of Melbourne

Eamonn received his Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications and Screen and Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne. He subsequently completed an Honours Degree in Philosophy, in which he completed a dissertation on evolving communicative practices within cinema. Eamonn’s interest in the field of cinema and cultural studies has informed his work as a narrative and linguistic strategist for several organizations. He also works in Melbourne as a video artist and photographer and has exhibited his work at a number of galleries. He has a wide range of writing and editing experiences, in subjects including environmentalism, cinema, literature, and the arts. Eamonn hopes to impart his passion for writing’s communicative and expressive potential to his students.

Ethan Plaue
B.A. in English Literature & Art History, Columbia University

Ethan received his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University where he graduated magna cum laude with degrees in English Literature and Art History. During his time at Columbia, he received Honors from the English department for his senior thesis on poetic autobiographies mediated by technology and the spectacle. He also won several awards for his poetry and playwriting while serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Columbia Review, the oldest college literary magazine in the United States. He looks forward to working with Apolish students in cultivating creative and critical approaches to essay writing.

Erin Hunt
​M.S. in Professional Writing,  New York University

Erin graduated with honors from NYU with a Master of Science in Professional Writing and has a BBA in Management from Saginaw Valley State University. During her time at NYU, Erin dedicated her 80-page master’s thesis to learning how animal welfare organizations use social media to fulfill their missions and goals. Additionally, she wrote an Emergency Fire Plan for her local county animal shelter, in Michigan, to ensure that the lives of over 100 animals would be safe in the event of a fire, at any given time. Erin has been working “behind the scenes” as an online teaching assistant, providing feedback and grading essays, research papers, and AP mock exams for students across the U.S. Erin will be returning to SVSU to teach First-Year Writing in the fall. She is excited to share her expertise to help incoming freshman and international students become effective writers. She’s ready to “go to the head of the class” to instruct and inspire the next generation of writers and professionals. 

Jessica Moss
International Studies, Vassar College

Jessica attends Vassar College, majoring in International Studies with a Russian Studies correlate. Jessica believes that her interest in international affairs began with her orchestral performances in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg with the Norwalk Youth Symphony in 2016, and her interest in writing about international concerns formed during her time as the News Editor for her high school's newspaper, JJHS Focus. At Vassar, Jessica has become heavily involved in her college's newspaper, The Miscellany News, for which she is the Copy Editor. So far, her favorite class was a seminar focused on the successes and failures of international governance organizations' regulation of cross-national issues such as air pollution, human rights violations, and the ongoing refugee crisis. As a Writing Specialist for Apolish, she is looking forward to forming cross-cultural connections and helping students find their voices.

Kameron Fisher
B.A. in International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

Kameron graduated from UPenn with a BA in International Relations. In her first year at UPenn, Kameron created and ran an after-school program at a local elementary school, with classes ranging from English and debate to art. She also was a summer intern at the Earth Rights Institute in Santa Monica, California, where she created, coordinated, and sought funding for various human rights projects. She anticipates taking Arabic in the coming semesters at Penn. In high school, Kameron spent time participating in numerous study abroad programs in France and was a member of the French and US Academic Honor Societies. She also was awarded the National Hispanic Award and AP Honor Student Award, both from the College Board. She was president of the Student Ambassadors, leading a group of eighty students in aiding the admissions department. Kameron looks forward to taking more classes in International Relations and economics and studying abroad in the Middle East.

Lauren Delapenha
B.A. in English, Amherst College

Lauren graduated from Amherst College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, focusing on fiction writing and film. During her schooling in the US, she was the recipient of the Davis Scholarship—a six-year partial tuition grant recognizing academic excellence and an eagerness to give back to the global community. Her writing achievements were also recognized when she won the Senior Creative Writing Prize at The Lawrenceville School, and later, the Armstrong Literary Prize in college. She has also studied in Jamaica, Tanzania, France, Argentina, and the US. Her passion for languages and literature extends far beyond the classroom. As an Editorial Intern at Interlink Publishing in Massachusetts, she honed her editing skills while close-reading manuscripts for publication. She has also launched a blog of personal essays, stories and poems, entitled “Lamb That I Am.”

Linda Wang
B.A. in Health Policy, Brandeis University

Linda graduated from Brandeis University with a major in Health Policy and a minor in Legal Studies. Through her studies at Brandeis, Linda has honed her writing, editing, and analytical skills. Outside of the classroom, she has applied those skills in her work as a research assistant for the Brandeis Politics Department, an editor for Jaded Magazine, and as a special programs assistant for INTO OSU. Throughout her academic and professional career, Linda has gained extensive insight into the application process for college scholarships, internships, and extracurricular leadership positions. As an immigrant, Linda hopes to share her experiences with young English learners and help others attain the same professional and academic opportunities that she was afforded.

Nick Simpson 
B.A. in Physics, Juniata College

Nick graduated Juniata College with a degree in Physics. During his time at Juniata he took several classes in Philosophy, English, and creative writing. He has worked as a landscaper, a freelance essay writer, and a marketing copywriter. Studying physics and then pursuing a career in writing and editing has given him an eye for detail and a love of story. Nick is excited to be able to use his skills to help students on the path to higher education.

Kevin Wang
MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University 

Kevin is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Skidmore College in 2017 with a BA in English. In addition to tutoring at the Skidmore Writing Center, Kevin has taught English in Hong Kong, at a Massachusetts boarding school, and as a volunteer. He studied for a year at Oxford University to advance his work in literary criticism and translation. His essays and translations of Chinese poetry have been published in several literary magazines. Kevin is eager to help students express themselves using their fullest voice.

Nicolas Baird
B.A. in Science & Society and Visual Arts, Brown University

Nicolas grew up in Arizona and received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 2014. After  exploring many majors, he graduated with a double concentration in Science & Society and Visual Art. He recently completed his master’s degree at Imperial College London where he also wrote for the campus newspaper and science communication magazine (and hosted a radio show). He has worked as editor-in-chief of a literary journal, a researcher at the Natural History Museum, a naturalist in the Rocky Mountains, a writer for a health-care blog in Los Angeles, and an education specialist at a space-age environmental research center in rural Arizona.

Oluwatomisin Onabanjo
B.A. in History and Africana Studies, Brown University

Oluwatomisin (or Tomi) received his B.A. from Brown University, where he double concentrated in History and Africana Studies. At Brown, Tomi won numerous awards for his writing ability (most notably, the W.E.B. DuBois Award for Best Honors Thesis). Moreover, Tomi has worked in a variety of professional roles, which have included interning for UNESCO in South Africa, teaching English as a second language in Brazil, and aiding with educational market research in Britain. These diverse experiences are linked by his passion for using education to bring people together, regardless of their nationality. At Apolish, Tomi hopes to combine his writing skills with his international background to help students better understand themselves and to use writing as an effective means to tell their own unique stories.


Phil Yakushev
PhD in Comparative Literature,  Rutgers University

Phil Yakushev is currently pursuing his PhD in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. His research focuses on narrative, cultural, and legal approaches to mental illness in the United States, Russia, and Germany over the past thirty years. Previously, he had worked as a grant writer for a New York City-based social services nonprofit, securing funding from a variety of private and public funders. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from The New School in 2016 and is currently finishing his first novel, which is an intergenerational story of a Russian-American family. He received his BA from New York University, having studied Literature, Politics, and Philosophy. In addition to his work as an Editing Specialist, he also works as a freelance writer and educator. Phil is passionate about helping young people develop their voices and hopes to support students to craft their stories and navigate the institutional nuances and complexities of their college application essays. 

Ryann McQuaid
M.S. in Political Science, London School of Economics

Ryann graduated from New York University (NYU), having majored in History and Politics. During her time at NYU, she was editor of two student journals: The Historian and Brio. She was also very involved in student government, serving on both the all-university council and within the College of Arts and Sciences. She also worked part-time in consulting, communications, and city government. She graduated with honors after completing a dissertation with distinction for the department of history. Following her time at NYU, she completed a Master of Science in Political Theory program at the London School of Economics. During her time in London, she had the opportunity to travel to many amazing locations around Europe and take part in a global finance conference in Cyprus. In addition to her educational achievements, Ryann enjoys volunteering in her local community.

Sarah Kaplan
B.A. in History, University of Southern California

Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California, majoring in history and minoring in psychology and screenwriting. Her favorite class at USC was a small, research-focused history course that let students explore American politics in the twentieth century through film. While studying at the University of Southern California, she was a residential advisor for first-year students as well as a language and cultural mentor to international graduate students. She is currently a writer, teacher, and editor. Sarah is excited to help Apolish students improve their writing skills and find their own written voices.

Sarah Lawson
B.A. in Linguistics, Boston University

Sarah attended Boston University, majoring in Linguistics with minors in Spanish and Medical Anthropology. During her time at Boston University, her studies specialized on the use of language in the social world. This concentration led her to travel to Ecuador and Bolivia to conduct research on Spanish and Quechua language contact.  During her time abroad, she tutored indigenous students at a local non-profit, where her passion for cross-cultural exchanges of knowledge and creative solutions formed a love for teaching and education. She now works in the arts and education industries, and has a particular interest in film, literature, and poetics. Her formal training in the study of language accompanies a dedication to the literary arts, which she has pursued through the writing of poetry and non-fiction.

Sivan Battat
B.A. in Theatre, Wesleyan College

Sivan graduated from Wesleyan University, majoring in Theatre with a certificate in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory. During her time at Wesleyan, she was heavily involved in theatre - primarily directing and developing new work. Her interest in cross-cultural performance and civic engagement also led her to run a Middletown-based community service program for fifth graders focused on stereotype and prejudice reduction. Sivan spent a year working in Wesleyan Admissions, both interviewing applicants and reading applications for admission. She honed her understanding of the undergraduate admissions system and was inspired by the countless motivated prospective students she met. Following her time at Wesleyan, she worked at Studio Theatre in DC, where she served as the resident assistant director, and contributed extensive writing and literary support for the theatre. In addition to her work as a Writing Specialist, she is currently a freelance theatre director and writer. Sivan is passionate about storytelling and the importance of cross-cultural intersections and hopes to continue to support young voices in telling their stories and sharing themselves. 

Sophia Ioannou
MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University

Sophia completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, where she specialized in English, Philosophy, and Creative Writing. During her time at NYU, she interned at publishing houses which increased her desire to work in an English-adjacent field. After she graduated, she attended Columbia University where she completed her MFA in Creative Writing. During those two years, she also taught Creative Writing at a hospital. Since graduation, she has worked with children with special needs and with ENL (English as a New Language) adults. She is passionate about teaching people the skills to communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly and persuasively.

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