Ross Blankenship is an admissions expert, educational expert, and Founder of Top Test Prep. Ross attended the NMH School, Cornell University and Washington University School of Law. Ross has a tremendous amount of experience in higher education. He assisted with Cornell recruiting and admissions and is an active member of the Cornell Alumni Association, serving as former Vice President of the Cornell Annual Fund. Ross also was elected to Cornell’s Educational Policy Committee and Academic Integrity Hearing Board, where he helped develop courses and maintain academic integrity amongst the student body. While working on these committees, his passion for test prep and academic achievement grew further. Ross’ educational expertise comes through real-life experience and hundreds of articles on topics such as the SSAT and ISEE exams, how to improve SAT and ACT scores in schools, advice for parents on how to prepare their children for college, how to simplify the college application process, college financial aid, and how students can write better college admission essays. Additionally, Ross has written on prep school and graduate school admissions topics on themes such as improving GRE and GMAT standards and new standards for law school entrance exams. Ross loves hearing stories of Top Test Prep students achieving higher scores, and he personally helps students get into top schools (K-12), colleges, Ivy League schools, and graduate schools. Ross leads both the admissions consulting and private tutoring programs for Top Test Prep. Ross Blankenship is also the Co-Chairman of the Private School Advisory Board, which represents private schools through policies recommendations to the College Board and ACT. He is also the Chairman of Study Hall Inc, an online learning and course management platform, and Founding Partner of Stonehawk Investment Group – and education-focused, private equity and venture capital fund.
Mike Blankenship graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, an elite boarding school in New Hampshire. He then went to the University of Rochester, where he studied Economics. After Rochester, he received his MBA at Syracuse University and his JD at Rutgers School of Law, where he received a scholarship for his strong academic performance. Mike also received the Award in Finance during his MBA studies. Mike brings great experience and depth to Top Test Prep, as he has also studied at Oxford University. In addition, he studied Mandarin Chinese while living in China. As brothers, Mike and Ross both value education and care deeply about the students they help at Top Test Prep.
Dov Landau grew up in Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Criminology. Dov joined the Top Test Prep team after spending 4 years at a think tank in DC conducting research projects and consulting work for federal law enforcement agencies. In his free time, Dov can be found at the gym or watching his Baltimore Ravens as they aim to repeat the 2012 season. Dov is a leader on the Top Test Prep Admissions team and helps families find the best program to ensure academic success.
Bobby is a graduate of Boston University with a degree in international relations. He is a DC native who graduated from St Albans School in 2008. He has lived and worked in Seoul, where he did foreign relations work for several companies. Bobby has attended 3 private and 3 public schools in his life, and he is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience of the application process with other students.
Anh graduated from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in 2010, and is now a rising fourth-year biology major and Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia. In her free time, she can often be found in her favorite research lab, where she studies mechanisms of regenerative growth in D. melanogaster. She is a closet audiophile (and a not-so-closeted foodaholic) and has a passion for funny webcomics. At university, Anh is involved in student government, journalism, tutoring, and promotion of undergraduate research. Post-graduation, Anh plans on pursuing a dental school education.
Zach attended boarding school in Lynchburg at Virginia Episcopal School, before making his way to Middlebury College. While at Middlebury, Zach studied German, Spanish, Chinese, and History. His time there also included significant study abroad in China at Yunnan University in Kunming. Zach joined our team after working with Top Test Prep as a private tutor and admissions counselor. He now brings those experiences and his extensive contacts at NESCAC and boarding schools into the office to help our students succeed. He enjoys sweet tea, rugby, and travel to Asia. Additionally, Zach is an expert on boarding school, private school and college admissions counseling.
Winslow graduated from Bowdoin College, and currently studies at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine. She also advises Top Test Prep’s Founder in dual capacities, as a wonderful wife and medical school admissions counselor. Winslow’s talents are in her sharp intellect and ability to counsel others as they prepare to apply to top medical schools. Winslow is an avid runner, yoga attendee, and dog lover. Both Ross and Winslow have a beautiful Australian Blue Heeler, “Tita,” who is the unofficial Top Test Prep mascot. In addition to her medical school admissions counseling, she also advises Top Test Prep and its curricula team on MCAT test preparation.
Originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Mary Kate Holman is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she majored in English, with French and Theology minors. At Georgetown, she worked as a Writing Center tutor for academic papers, admissions essays, and cover letters. She was also involved in student theater, particularly acting and directing. As a student, she interned with the American Bar Association and the French Embassy. She is fluent in French after a semester abroad in Strasbourg, France, and she is currently learning Latin. Mary Kate is an Admissions Counselor and Admissions Manager for Top Test Prep, and she particularly enjoys helping students allow their own voice to shine through applications and admissions essays.
Spending most of her childhood trailing along on fieldwork or in the classroom with her volcanologist father, Beryl gravitated toward both the outdoors and ecology at an early age. After studying abroad in France during high school, Beryl moved from her home in Moscow, Idaho to Williams College to pursue research. There, she travelled to the Galapagos, continental Ecuador, and Australia to study sustainability and ecology. She also completed a senior honors thesis in physiology, for which she received national recognition from the American Physiological Society. At Williams, Beryl was recognized for her leadership in student government, athletics, and academics. She is now a fellow in pediatric oncology research and will be attending medical school beginning in the fall of 2012.
Andrew graduated from Georgetown University with honors with a Bachelor’s in History before going on to complete a Master’s in Comparative Politics of Empire at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He received his PhD in History at McGill University in Montreal with the highest distinction. Andrew has more than a decade’s worth of tutoring, training and admissions counseling experience. He has served as an AP reader for the College board on a number of occasions, and taught courses ranging from middle-school to university level as a sessional lecturer at McGill University. He currently trains Top Test Prep tutors for the SSAT, ensuring that they attain the highest level of teaching skill. Andrew has himself received over 100 hours of standardized test training, and enjoys teaching others how to improve students’ test taking skills. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing with his dog and traveling.
Daniel Ybarra graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge. He is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who served on active duty and Reserves for a total of 5 years. Daniel has been accepted to several medical schools including Cornell, UCSF, USC and others. He endured the application process over the last year and obtained useful information from his own experiences, and that of other applicants. Some of his personal hobbies include baseball, football, basketball, golf and hanging out with my beautiful wife and 3 month old daughter.
David was a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, and received his PhD in Political Science from Harvard University. He brings more than a quarter of a century of inside experience as a professor and administrator at universities and small liberal arts institutions to his advising role with Top Test Prep. David currently teaches in the Political Science Department at George Washington University and has taught a variety of international courses. He published one of the first comprehensive works on US African policy and also published works on American ethnicity and the foreign policy process. In addition to working collaboratively with the US Institute of Peace and chairing an interdisciplinary international relations program, David served as Director of the Governor’s School for International Relations in Memphis, Tennessee. He has long-term experience as a political commentator on international and American topics with the electronic and print media. David runs in his spare time and as an empty nester he and his wife relish their son’s trips home from Bowdoin College.
Mark D’ Agostino, M.D., MS, MSc is a Marshall Scholar and medical school admissions counselor for Top Test Prep. Mark received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship. Before medical school he was one of forty American students awarded a 2003 Marshall Scholarship. In Great Britain he earned a Master of Science (MS) in Biochemistry at the University of Nottingham Medical School, and a second Masters degree (MSc) in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics. During medical school Dr. D’Agostino conducted research at Brown and the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Mark has also reviewed medical school applications for Brown University.
An actual, former customer of Top Test Prep, Michael decided to join forces and help the company reach out to students and parents facing the same situation as he once did – trying to find the best test prep and tutoring company. Well, Michael met his match, going on to attend Cornell University, Columbia and Johns Hopkins, where he received his B.S., and Masters from both schools. After going through a TTP program, he was hired as a consultant.
Monika Adamczyk is a graduate of Yale University and certificate recipient from Oxford University, graduating with distinction in political science and environmental engineering. Monika is on the admissions counseling team at Top Test Prep. During her time at Yale, she was heavily involved in admissions activities and high school outreach programs by serving as a Yale student ambassador to local high schools, interviewing students for college admissions, and coaching debate at local high schools. Additionally, she was involved in a variety of tutoring and advising programs by working for the Yale Science and Quantitative Reasoning Center as a private tutor in mathematics and the sciences, advising Yale students on career planning and internship searches as a Peer Adviser and counseling incoming freshmen as a Freshman Counselor. She has a plethora of experience with applications for competitive programs and scholarships, receiving a full merit scholarship for college and becoming one of 50 National Coca Cola Scholars. In her free time, Monika is an avid tennis fan and social ballroom dancer.
Wasif completed his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University. While at Cornell, Wasif also led several international affairs initiatives and worked extensively with the Cornell administration. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Wasif was a research petrophysicist at Shell in Houston, TX. Wasif has been involved in educational consulting for several years and has extensive experience in college admissions as well as graduate/professional school admissions. Wasif is still very involved with Cornell through various capacities.
Carmen grew up in Chicago, Illinois and attended Georgetown University. She graduated cum laude with a major in Theology and a minor in English. After college, she attended the University of Notre Dame, earning a Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in Systematic Theology and a certificate in teaching. While in college, Carmen taught English to new immigrants in the District of Columbia; because of this experience she developed a passion for teaching reading and writing skills. Carmen currently teaches high school religion and enjoys working with students to help them reach their highest potential. Carmen is a fan of Georgetown basketball and enjoys completing Sunday crossword puzzles as quickly as possible.
Lyuba graduated with an A.B. in History and certificates in Eurasian Studies and Russian Language and Culture from Princeton University, and is currently a law student at New York University. She spent the time between graduating from Princeton and beginning law school as a Research Assistant for the Rockefeller Foundation and as a tutor. Lyuba speaks Bulgarian, Russian, German, and Spanish, and finished 7th at the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship in 2009 Tutors for the SAT, ACT, and LSAT.
Maggie studied Chemical Engineering at MIT, with minors in Biology and Theater Arts. Outside of the classroom, she wrote and edited for MIT’s student paper, The Tech, and ran Cross Country/Track and Field. As a new DC resident, Maggie has been discovering all that the District has to offer, and on the weekends she thoroughly enjoys exploring Rock Creek Park, either by bike or by foot. She became interested in tutoring after a five-month stay in Belgium, where Maggie tutored a student in Chemistry in return for French lessons. Tutors for the ACT and SAT and helps with curricula development. Maggie is also a star on our test prep YouTube Channel (Tutoring and Test Prep)!
Graham Akeson received his B.A.s in biology and music from Oberlin College in 2011. Since then, he has been pursuing an MS degree in physiology at Case Western Reserve University and is currently applying to medical schools for admission in the fall of 2014. Of his interest in medicine, he states, “We are in the twilight of the antibiotic era, this is an exciting and essential time for medicine, biotechnology and humanitarianism.
Kent grew up in the Boston area. While studying pre-med and working on his B.A. in Music at Tufts University, he was also given the unique opportunity to tour the world with his collegiate singing group. Since graduating in 2012, he has worked as an EMT, Medical Assistant, personal trainer, and private tutor. He plans on entering medical school in 2014 to pursue a career in emergency medicine.
Zaynah graduated from The Taft School in 2006 and from Brown University in 2010 with a B.A. in Chemistry. She completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at Yale School of Public Health in 2012. She has worked as a Research Analyst at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and is currently applying to medical school. She has successfully tutored peers in college and underserved children in Washington, DC and New Haven, CT. She has taken way too many standardized tests (SSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, etc.) and is happy to share her test-taking expertise!
Elly was a National Merit Scholar, and graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Arabic Studies. She is currently getting her M.A. in Developmental Economics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Elly has extensive teaching and curriculum development experience as the Mathematics Department at Abaarso Tech University, and as an instructor for English language and computer courses. Tutors for ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, SAT and ACT.
Michael has taught and tutored students for most of his adult life; he has worked with students on many tests and subjects and has done everything from private tutoring to helping set up programs helping inspire students learn math in Philadelphia middle schools. Michael enjoys various subjects and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and attended Georgetown Law School–he feels that having a wide variety of academic interests helps him teach various subjects and parts of test with efficiency and a high level of understanding.
Sam was a National Merit Scholarship finalist, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently working on circadian rhythm research, and previously conducted research for the University of Michigan’s Department of Surgery. Sam is an outstanding MCAT, GRE, SAT, and ACT tutor, who got a perfect score in SAT Math and both ACT verbal sections. Curriculum Director and Private Tutor for several exams.
Tutors for SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, SAT, ACT, MCAT, and College and Medical School Admissions.
Robert received the Rensselaer medal for excellence in mathematics and scientific studies, and went on to receive a bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering from the distinguished University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering. Currently pursuing his masters in Sustainable Energy Engineering with a focus on solar power and storage systems, he has interest and involvement in research and development of these renewable technologies. Tutors for the SAT and ACT, and also advises on admissions.
Chris is a recent graduate from VMI. He receiving his BS in Biology along with a biochemistry and molecular biology concentration. Although medicine always interested him, he decided to take after his parents and pursue dentistry. He is currently taking graduate courses at Virginia Commonwealth University while also preparing his application for dental school in the Fall.
Isaac graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, and is now a junior studying in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He plans on receiving certificates from both the Portuguese Department and the Latin American Studies Department. As one of the co-presidents of SURGE, a student environmental group, Isaac is actively involved in the divestment movement at Princeton. When he is not working, Isaac enjoys kayaking, swimming and watching Brazilian telenovelas. After growing up watching his mother teach high school history, he became interested in tutoring.
Nisha graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Washington & Lee University in Virginia and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Nisha has worked as a Teacher’s Assistant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and in the Mathematics Department at Georgetown University. She enjoys applying her understanding of neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory to create efficient strategies for mastering test material.
Bryan received a B.S in physics and a B.S. in biochemistry with departmental honors from the University of Washington. At the University of Washington he did research with the Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering Departments and was published in Applied Physics Letters for his efforts. Since graduating in 2011, Bryan has traveled around the world to pursue his passions in rock climbing and traveling. He is now living in Seoul, South Korea, learning Korean, teaching English, and applying for medical school.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Ashlie graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Chemistry. Most of her undergraduate career was spent preparing for medical school, but after assisting other students with their dream to become a doctor, she discovered her passion for admissions consulting. She went on to complete her Masters degree in Higher Education Management (Magna Cum Laude) while working for the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business MBA and Computational Finance Admissions Team. After two years there, she transitioned to working in admissions for The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where she worked as an International Admissions Specialist. Throughout her career, Ashlie has traveled all over the world and consulted over a thousand students on how to achieve their dreams of pursuing higher education at top-tier institutions. In her spare time, Ashlie enjoys salsa dancing and teaching her one year old Pomeranian new tricks.
Victoria is a research scientist from Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from Western University with a BSc in Chemistry and then attended McMaster University, earning a Master of Science with a concentration in medicinal chemistry. She conducts research for the development of new medical imaging and therapeutic agents. Throughout university, she has tutored and mentored many students and developed a passion for teaching chemistry and getting students interested in science.
Joju received his B.A. in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in 2011. After graduating, he decided to take some time off, during which he completed three feature length screenplays. He moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 2012 to try and fulfill his dreams of being a (paid) screenwriter. Joju tutors students for both private and boarding school admissions exams and college admissions exams.
Annie is a recent graduate of Stanford University, where she completed a degree in history with honors as well as a minor in creative writing. When she wasn’t doing homework, Annie taught a political education class for low-income high school students and advised Stanford students on the benefits of studying abroad in Oxford. Currently living in Paris, Annie is enjoying writing in cafés and discovering French cuisine. She has tutored in various capacities for the past six years, and fell in love with it after tutoring adults in computer skills on a volunteer trip to Fiji.
During the course of his undergraduate studies in civil engineering, Sean was introduced to biological systems through his work in environmental engineering. After conducting research on the development of an ecological wastewater treatment system, Sean was coauthored on a publication titled “Optimizing Performance and Maximizing Beneficial Reuse in an Ecological Wastewater Treatment System Exposed to Variable Loading Inputs.” Sean’s involvement on the project inspired his decision to pursue a medical education and he is currently applying to medical schools for fall 2014.
Michelle Blumsack graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently an adjunct instructor at Texas Christian University. Michelle is also the director of the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Children’s Choir. Tutors for ACT, SAT, ISEE, HSPT, and SSAT.
Michael is one of Top Test Prep’s college admissions counselors and a dedicated team member. He has served in various capacities over the last two years.
Elizabeth is an alumna of Cornell University, where she graduated magna cum laude in English with a minor in French. She has since been living in Madrid, Spain and now Paris, France as a teacher and tutor of English as a foreign language, while interning at an international NGO and pursuing her passions for foreign language learning and travel. She hopes to put her experiences to good use next year when she begins a master’s in international affairs. In her spare time she enjoys reading, playing tennis, singing, and playing the piano.
Gianmarco received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology as well as a B.A. in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations from Rice University. He is currently a research associate in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been published in the Journal of Bacteriology, and was previously a Teaching Assistant at Rice University. Tutors for the MCAT, SAT, and ACT, and also advises on admissions counseling.
Raluca is originally a Romanian native. She received a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University. Though she pursued her interests in politics, international affairs, and model UN in college, her passion was always medicine. She is currently attending Georgetown University School of Medicine. She will soon graduate and pursue a career in Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery. She has been on the Top Test Prep team as a MCAT tutor and is now ready to make the leap into admission counseling. Counselor for Medical School Admissions.
Tyler recently graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Economics and Government and he just finished his first year at Columbia Law School this past May. He ran several student organizations at Hamilton and gained a lot of experience teaching and mentoring younger students. Tyler really enjoys getting to know his students and he likes to bring a sense of humor to his lessons to help keep them engaged. Tyler has tutored students ranging from 3rd grade to seniors in college and has experience tutoring a variety of subjects, but he also enjoys law school admissions counseling. Outside of tutoring, Tyler enjoys basketball, football, hiking and the outdoors, movies, and cooking.
Harishni graduated with honors from the University of Toronto with a major in Human Biology and a double minor in Physiology and English. She has volunteered for many years with health care professionals and has a passion for pursuing a career in this field. Harishni has traveled abroad to teach students English and Science and is motivated to continue aiding students in following their dreams and goals. After having written the MCAT and undergoing the process, her goal is to ease the anxiety and stress that comes along with thinking about applying to medical school for all students.
Eileen McFarland received her B.A. in English from Georgetown University in 2012. She has extensive tutoring and teaching experience, ranging from a summer job tutoring students with learning disabilities to teaching English to four-year-olds during study abroad in El Salvador. Eileen is excited to view the world of standardized tests from a different perspective.
After graduating cum laude from the George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs, Tae Min became a Program Associate at the Results for Development Institute (R4D) in the Health Analytics and consulting department. He likes to incorporate the skills learned in the consulting field to his tutoring process. Tae Min also holds a De Base Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan.
Tim attended high school in New York City before travelling to the University of Oxford for his BA in History & Politics.
Ariel Mitnick recently graduated Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with a degree in Neurobiology and is now pursuing a masters degree in Violin Performance at New England Conservatory. An experienced educator, Ariel tutored college students through the Harvard Bureau of Study Council for three years in a variety of subjects including biology, chemistry, psychology, and economics. She has also worked with high school students on college applications and SAT/subject test preparation. Ariel’s academic interests are broad, ranging from biology to English to economics to philosophy to computer science to electrical engineering. She is also a concert violinist, having performed internationally and at renowned venues such as Lincoln Center’s Rose Studio and Alice Tully Hall.
Ren earned his BA in Political Science at the University of Chicago, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 2011. His research interests were in political psychology, public opinion, and racial politics. After Chicago, he completed premedical coursework at Bryn Mawr College, and his recent professional experience includes managing the launch of a community health center and working in a research lab at a major teaching hospital. He plans to start medical school in Fall 2014.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Zehra Hashmi studied Anthropology and History, with a focus on South Asia, at Columbia University. While at Columbia, she was a Global Scholar through the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program. Zehra also served on editorial boards of journals such as Awaaz (dedicated to South Asian issues), Fabric (a History journal) and Extension (Columbia Journal for Undergraduate Anthropology). She worked at the Oral History Research Office and interned at Parwaz Playhouse in New York. Upon graduation in 2012, she was selected for a travel fellowship, the Fifth Year Fellows program, through the Columbia Global Centers.
Originally from Michigan, Adam graduated cum laude with a BSE in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2010 and earned his Master of Public Health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale School of Public Health in 2013. While at Yale, he served as a teaching fellow for biostatistics and engineering courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. Adam currently works for a healthcare consulting firm where he performs research for Chief Medical Officers and Oncology executives from the nation’s leading hospital systems.
Kai Larson graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Social Psychology in 2010. She moved to Paris, France the summer after graduation and completed a bilingual MA degree in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development from the American University of Paris in partnership with La Sorbonne Paris I – Panthéon in 2013. With diverse instructive experience, she loves to teach and help her students reach their full potential. Kai is also a competitive salsa dancer and performer, has earned her black belt in Taekwon-do and has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old.
Three Levels - Boarding, College, and Graduate school admissions counseling; Top Test Prep’s admissions consulting help students gain admission to the best private schools, colleges and grad schools with resume, essay, interview and recommendation assistance.
Detailed application consulting that improves, enhances, and refines boarding school, college and grad school applications and essays with specific advice for improvement and application help.
Top Test Prep has over 50 trained admissions expert consultants who monitor the progress of every admissions counseling program. You will work with former admissions officers who know the entire application cycle, from start to finish.
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