The FLEX Team

Meet the Team

Anjali Vaswani

Master Consultant

Ben Robbins

Master Consultant

Carmen Kwan

Master Consultant

Cherisse Theriault

Associate Consultant

Christine Lee

Senior Associate Consultant

Elizabeth George

Senior Associate Consultant

Gower Lee

Associate Consultant

Jay Zhang

Master Consultant

Yvonne Kwan

Master Consultant

Greg Czarkowski

Master Consultant

Janet Kwon

Master Consultant

Sunny Song

Master Consultant

Josef Durand

Master Consultant

Judy Liang

Master Consultant

Lydia Ahn

Master Consultant

Nicole Jackson

Master Consultant

Paul Lin

Master Consultant

Robert Thompson

Associate Consultant

Shaun-Teka Joyner

Master Consultant

Austin Haynesworth

Master Consultant

Whitney Enwemeka

Master Consultant

Arshia Malek

Associate Consultant

Anjali Vaswani

Master Consultant

Anjali is a former Bruin Ambassador and worked on staff in the UCLA Office of Undergraduate Admissions for three years. As a Bruin Ambassador, she gave presentations on UC Admissions, represented UCLA at college fairs, and assisted prospective students in the application process. Anjali was tasked with developing personal relationships with individual high schools to recruit students for and provide information on UCLA. Anjali also served as an Arts Ambassador for the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture, Office of the Dean.

Additionally, Anjali previously worked as a College Advisor at an online learning center for underprivileged high school students. She helped dozens of students navigate the admissions process by researching colleges, editing personal statements, and managing timelines.

Anjali has over 8,000 hours of dance education, created and designed lesson plans in art, and choreographed a repertoire of dance pieces. She is inspired to work with children and make a difference through education and art.

Education
B.A. Dance, Minor in Visual and Performing Arts — UCLA

Ben Robbins

Master Consultant

In his time at Yale, Ben mentored and counseled other students through his campus activities. His published senior thesis explored how local culture influences the college applications of students in urban versus rural settings, inspired by his experience growing up in rural Nebraska.

As a Yalie, Ben knows first-hand what Yale is looking for in their students, as well as the challenges students face once on elite campuses. His counseling style takes a holistic perspective, and he has coached students into many competitive schools including Cornell, NYU, Santa Clara University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and USC, as well as selective Aviation and Art programs. Ben is dedicated to helping students pursue their passions while still in high school, as well as finding the perfect college for them.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys keeping up with family and friends around the globe (London to Singapore!), singing with others, and understanding the stories that motivate us.

Education
B.A. Sociology — Yale University

Carmen Kwan

Master Consultant

Carmen graduated magna cum laude from UCSD and went on to earn her Master’s in School Counseling and PPS School Counseling Credential at California State University, Long Beach.

Carmen has over eight years of experience working with students from 6th through 12th grade and beyond. From working with middle school students as they explore college and career options to assisting high school students as they navigate athletic and academic scholarship pathways, Carmen is able to successfully guide students through the college application, essay and selection process.

Her former students are Gates Millennium Scholars and have gone on to top-tier universities including Cornell University, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Education
B.S. Psychology — UC San Diego
M.S. School Counseling — CSU Long Beach
P.P.S. School Counseling Credential — CSU Long Beach

Cherisse Theriault

Associate Consultant

During her time at UC Santa Barbara, Cherisse was heavily involved in the Education Abroad Program (EAP). While working in the EAP office, she advised students interested in studying abroad, developed orientation and outreach strategies, and guided prospective students through the application process. Cherisse herself studied abroad in both Germany and Thailand.

Cherisse also worked for several years as an English instructor in Busan, South Korea. Her experience in Korea included developing lesson plans based on curriculum related to the TOEFL exam, as well as advising and preparing students for various academic competitions.

Education
B.A. Global Studies — UC Santa Barbara

Christine Lee

Senior Associate Consultant

Before joining FLEX, Christine served as the Coordinator of Accreditations and College Readiness 9-12 at Halstrom Academy’s District Office. In this role, she created the college-counseling curriculum for 15 schools and trained 5 regional college counselors. Christine also managed NCAA and UC/CSU approved courses and implemented the Naviance program for a school network.

Christine has helped students get into many competitive schools including Babson, UCLA, Wellesley, and Stanford. But most of all, Christine is passionate about helping students find a college that matches their personality and academic strengths. Christine loves helping students find unique and interesting ways to present themselves on their personal statements. With thousands of post-high school options, she believes that there is a perfect school for everyone.

Education
B.A. Political Science and Education – Wellesley College
Teaching Credential in History – Massachusetts
M.A. School Counseling [in progress] – NYU

Dan Kwon

Principal Consultant

Dan Kwon is a Principal Consultant at FLEX and has over 7 years of experience working with students interested in a wide range of schools. His students have been placed at top-caliber universities, including all of the Top 20 Private schools.

A Bay Area native, Dan graduated from Mission San Jose High School. He attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a BA in English and then earned a JD at the Santa Clara University School of Law. While at SCU, Dan was a Judicial Extern for a United States District Judge. Prior to joining FLEX, he previously worked at a speciality scientific instrumentation technology company.

uring his collegiate years, Dan played volleyball for both UC Berkeley and SCU earning a League Championship and 2nd Team All-American Honors. Later he went on to coach at Mission San Jose High School and Archbishop Mitty High School earning league, section and state championships. Dan also co-founded and directed a successful junior club volleyball program that earned multiple JO bids.

Dan specializes in working with high-level students, athletics, and Ivies.

  • B.A. English – UC Berkeley
  • JD – Santa Clara University School of Law

Danny Byun

Chief Principal Consultant

Danny Byun is the Chief Principal Consultant at FLEX and is one of the top college admissions experts in the world. He is the founder and President of FLEX and has helped thousands of families find the right college fit and navigate their way through the complex American college admissions process.

Danny began his career in consulting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers & KPMG. He worked in the Mergers & Acquisition department of a Fortune 300 company and was the founder of a boutique human resource and executive recruitment firm.

Danny is also the author of “Getting In”-a book on insider tips on college admissions for immigrant families. He has been a columnist at India West, Korea Daily and the World Journal newspapers.

Danny specializes in working with high-level students, digital humanities, Ivies, international students and student entrepreneurs.

Elizabeth George

Senior Associate Consultant

Prior to joining FLEX’s domestic team, Elizabeth spent a year in FLEX’s Bangkok center, where she worked with international students of all backgrounds. She has written for numerous publications and published research on what it takes for female students to succeed at elite universities.

As an admissions consultant, Elizabeth takes an honest, hands-on approach rooted in research as well as experience. She is highly knowledgeable about what selective schools are looking for, and she’s also empathetic to the pressure that puts on students. She holds her students to high standards, preparing them for college-level responsibilities while supporting them every step of the way. She believes in guiding students to long-term success by ensuring they find the best fit for their personalities, goals, and individual needs.

Elizabeth’s students’ college placements include Duke, Princeton, UPenn, UCLA, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Emory, Northwestern, and more.

Elizabeth speaks fluent Spanish and has lived in Spain, Turkey, and Thailand. In high school, she trained as a ballerina, and she maintains a love for the arts. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, trail running, and cheering on Duke basketball.

Education
B.A. English (Honors), High Distinction for critical thesis — Duke University
B.A. Spanish — Duke University

Gower Lee

Associate Consultant

Gower has a wide breadth of experience as an educator, from K-12 and adult education to program development. Prior to joining Flex, she served as a middle and high school English Language Arts and ESL teacher in Los Angeles, working primarily with immigrant and historically underrepresented communities. She has also worked as a trainer, designing and delivering professional development training for student teachers.

Her understanding of the challenges that come with navigating the school system – particularly for immigrant families – enables her to provide support specific to each student’s needs. As an Essay Specialist, her approach is to validate her students’ unique personal histories and equip them with the tools necessary to clearly articulate their stories into the written word.

Gower graduated with distinction from UC Berkeley, earning a BA in English with minors in Asian American Studies and Education and was awarded the English Department’s James Phelan Prize. She also holds an M.Ed. from UCLA, with concentrations in Urban Education and Secondary English Instruction.
In her spare time, Gower enjoys road trips with family and friends, learning new recipes, and reading a good book. She is an avid NPR listener, and hopes to one day “make it big” as a contestant on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. She lives in Orange County with her husband, Daniel, and their three children.

Education
B.A. English – UC Berkeley
Master of Education (M.Ed.) – UCLA

Greg Czarkowski

Master Consultant

Greg previously served as an Admission Counselor at Santa Clara University’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. In addition to recruiting students, reading applications, and giving presentations, he helped to create and found SCU’s first Student Ambassador Program.

As a consultant, Greg brings over a decade of higher education and admissions experience to FLEX and has worked with an extensive variety of students. From the student looking to transfer to the first-generation student to the student who has not yet achieved their full potential, Greg’s experience and knowledge can successfully lead the process. Greg’s vast knowledge of public and private universities throughout the United States allows him to effectively work with families to find the perfect fit for their sons and daughters, always striving to ensure that each of his students is happy with the college of their choice.

Education
B.A. Political Science – Santa Clara University
J.D. – Santa Clara University School of Law

Janet Kwon

Master Consultant

Janet previously served as an Admissions Interviewer for Harvard College, providing detailed reports and attending annual meetings to discuss interviewees in the North Orange County Region.

Janet was born in Seoul and immigrated in first grade. She went on to graduate from Irvine High School and attend Smith College, where she earned a B.A. in Education with a certificate in Elementary Teaching and minor in Religion. Janet later attended Harvard Graduate School of Education, earning an M.Ed. with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy.

During her time at Harvard, Janet worked as a research intern for the Boston Plan for Excellence researching new teacher retention at the Boston Public Schools. Janet continued working in the education field for UCI as a Program Coordinator for the Early Academic Opportunity Program, guiding underrepresented middle and high school students and families in Orange and Los Angeles counties. She continued working at UCI as a Scholarship Coordinator for the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Janet joined FLEX as a counselor after having worked in all stages of education. Janet’s students’ college placements include University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Pomona College, Carnegie Mellon University, NYU, USC, Boston College, all University of California campuses, and more.

As an immigrant and a child of immigrant parents, Janet understands the challenges that face immigrant parents and children. Her philosophy of counseling is one of relationship building, providing guidance through the high school education and college application process. She believes that students need help to develop the skills and sense of responsibility through this process and take ownership of their education.

Janet and her husband enjoy raising their two boys, traveling, trying new restaurants, and attending church. She is involved as a volunteer at her children’s school, serving as the Room Parent for multiple years. She is the Founder and President of the Running Springs Education Foundation, a non­profit organization providing funding to help supplement public education efforts.

Education
B.A. Education – Smith College
M.Ed. Administration, Planning, and Social Policy – Harvard University

Jay Zhang

Master Consultant

Jay has extensive experience working with a wide range of students including international students and transfer students with college admissions, as well as younger students with private middle and high school admissions. He is a certified Strong Interest Inventory counselor who can help students explore their academics interests and determine a suitable major for college admission.

Jay has been with FLEX since 2012. In this time, he has worked with hundreds of students throughout Northern and Southern California and internationally to help them get into their dreams schools. Jay has supported students to gain admittance to colleges including Columbia University, Brown University, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, NYU, USC, Boston College, and all UC campuses.

Education
B.S. Microbiology – UCLA
M.S. Global Medicine – USC

Jon Wei

Master Consultant

Mr. Jon Wei studied Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and later at Northwestern University for his master’s degree. He began his career in IT, working for companies like Kaiser Permanente and Oracle. During this time, Mr. Wei found himself consulting numerous students for their graduate school applications, providing them with valuable advice from his own experiences. This ignited his interest in admissions consulting and prompted him to begin working as a college admissions and guidance counselor in 2004. Mr. Wei went on to earn his certificate in College Planning and Applications from UC Berkeley.

Over the years, Mr. Wei has been a featured guest speaker on Chinese TV and radio, as well as at numerous educational seminars. He is passionate about students’ college readiness and has helped more than 100 students gain admission into top tier universities.

  • B.S. Electrical Engineering – Carnegie Mellon University
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering – Northwestern University
  • College Admissions and Counseling Certificate – UC Berkeley

Josef Durand

Master Consultant

Josef Durand is from Nutley, NJ, where he began leading football teams on the gridiron at age six. A dozen years later, after scoring the 2009 National Championship title with the Don Bosco Prep Ironmen and graduating valedictorian in 2010, Joe attended Harvard College as a John DeC. Blondel Memorial Scholarship Fund Recipient.

During his four-year undergraduate career, Joe obtained a bachelor’s in Psychology, as well as interned at WME (Summer 2011), Nasdaq OMX (Summer 2012), and Showtime’s “Homeland” (Summer 2013). Moreover, Joe was a four-year manager at Harvard Student Agencies (HSA), even founding his own Harvard student-run talent agency, HSA Talent, in 2012-2013 that eventually merged with HSA Video to form Harvard’s first-ever student-run production company: Mt. Auburn Productions.

From 2013-2015, Joe, as CMO, helped a classmate found a social media start-up, Spayce, and not only spearheaded a national bus tour campaign, but also helped fundraise $2.5 million. From 2014 until now, Joe has been an educational consultant, helping students learn multifarious academic subjects, successfully navigate the college application process, and reliably write acceptance-worthy essays.

To date, Joe has helped get numerous students into competitive schools, including Ivy League universities and prestigious undergraduate-graduate medical programs.

Education
A.B. Psychology – Harvard College

Judy Liang

Master Consultant

Judy has over 16 years of experience as an educator, working with students spanning preschool to high school graduates. A native of the San Gabriel Valley, she graduated at the top of her class from La Canada High School, going on to earn her B.A. in Social Studies magna cum laude from Harvard University. At Harvard, she was awarded the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Travelling Fellowship to teach English at a private boarding elementary school and magnet high school located on the outskirts of Beijing.

Upon returning to the US, she became a founding teacher at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy near Downtown Los Angeles and received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. In addition to her public education experience, she taught high school history and human rights at Wildwood School, an independent school in West Los Angeles. During her tenure at Wildwood, she also worked with students on the college application process. Judy later attended UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute, earning her M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Preliminary Administrative Credential.

Judy has been at FLEX since 2014. She loves building relationships with students, drawing out their stories and mentoring them. Her students’ college placements include MIT, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Cal Poly Pomona’s Honors Engineering Program, and more.
Judy’s experience with her own three daughters, combined with her teaching and counseling experience, allows her to observe the educational spectrum from birth to high school graduation. She strives to support families and students to make informed choices and to attend a university that best fits their talents and personality.

Education
B.A. Social Studies – Harvard University
M.Ed. Educational Administration and Preliminary Administrative Credential – UCLA

Lydia Ahn

Master Consultant

Lydia is a college counselor certified through the UCLA College Counseling program and has been with FLEX since 2012. She has enjoyed assisting college-bound students since her college years at the University of Pennsylvania and graduate studies at Harvard University. Now a dedicated college counselor with a strong sense of commitment, she has worked with a broad array of students ranging from inner-city schools to private school students in the Los Angeles area.

Lydia is a current alumni interviewer for UPenn and a member of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling. She continues to learn and stay informed on the latest admissions news by attending counselor conferences and workshops at the regional and national level.

As a bilingual counselor, Lydia has the strengths to help Korean immigrant families navigate the often-puzzling college admissions practices. Having been an international student herself, she also enjoys guiding international students through the application process.

At FLEX, Lydia has worked with students who have been admitted to Brown University, Boston University, Case Western University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvey Mudd College, MIT, Northwestern University, Occidental College, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Washington University at St. Louis, all of the University of California campuses, and more.

Education
B.A. Architecture – University of Pennsylvania
M.S. Architecture – Harvard University
College Counseling Certification – UCLA

Nicole Jackson

Master Consultant

Nicole Korgie Jackson, EdD has over 25 years of experience in college preparation, early outreach and college admissions. Nicole has worked as an Admission Officer for UC San Diego and currently serves as an admission application reader for UC Berkeley.

Having worked for Cal State University, University of California, and several private universities in California, Nicole has acquired extensive expertise in California college admissions and financial aid programs. Additionally, Nicole has many years of experience in private college counseling, specializing in helping students apply to competitive colleges for majors in Engineering and Computer Science.

Nicole’s approach to college counseling is based in realistic expectation. High school students need expertly trained adults to guide them in achieving their academic and career goals. Whatever those goals may be, Nicole will help students find a way to get there.

Education
A.S. Business Administration – San Diego Mesa College
B.A. Art History – San Diego State University
M.A. Educational Counseling – Point Loma Nazarene College
M.Ed. Higher Education Administration – USC

Paul Lin

Master Consultant

Paul has over 19 years of years of teaching and counseling experience, 12 in a university setting and 7 in a private academy. As a former professor in American Cultures and Asian American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Paul understands the expectations and rigors of college life and strives to prepare students for that next stage of their educational journey.

Paul believes that fit is more important than ranking when it comes of choosing a college and that success is defined more by one’s achievements than by a school’s academic reputation. That said, his students’ college placements include Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Penn, Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, USC, Carnegie Mellon, and more.

Paul graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a BA in English (Honors) and a minor in Art History. As an undergraduate, he also studied abroad at the University of Kent at Canterbury, where he earned a University Diploma, with merit, in English and American Literature. While in graduate school at UC Irvine, Paul also attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University. He has delivered numerous conference papers around the country and has published a scholarly article on James Joyce and Irish colonial subjectivity.

In his spare time, Paul likes to travel, eat good food, and learn about wine.

Education
B.A. English (Honors), Minor in Art History – USC
M.A. English – UC Irvine
Ph.D. English (Candidacy) – UC Irvine

Robert Thompson

Associate Consultant

Robert has been with FLEX since 2013, and in this time has helped hundreds of FLEX students achieve their college dreams. Robert has worked with students who have been admitted to Stanford University, Brown University, NYU Stern, Santa Clara University, University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, and all University of California campuses.

Robert has a passion for working with students. He has led Spiritual and Diversity Retreats at Los Altos High School and Archbishop Mitty High School. Robert has wide knowledge of private schools in the South Bay, and he personally attended Archbishop Mitty High School. Robert graduated from Santa Clara University cum laude, with a double major in Psychology and Philosophy. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara.
Robert enjoys backpacking and Ultimate Frisbee in his free time, previously coaching the SCU Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. He has hiked and backpacked in California, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Montana.

Education
B.A. Psychology and Philosophy – Santa Clara University
M.A. Clinical Psychology [in progress] – Santa Clara University

Shaun-Teka Joyner

Master Consultant

Shaun-Teka Joyner is a graduate of the University of Southern California with over 15 years of experience assisting students with admittance to college, both as an Admission Reader at UCLA and a nonprofit executive. Over the course of her career, she has read and made recommendations for over 7,000 college applications at UCLA.

In addition to her professional experiences, Shaun-Teka is the author of Don’t Get Rejected: How to Get into the College of Your Dreams, a comprehensive education guide that helps students in grades 6-12 and their parents understand what it takes to become a competitive college applicant.

Her dedication to ensuring the success of youth is infused into everything she does. Shaun-Teka will continue to work to ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to excel in college and beyond.

Education
B.A. English – USC
M.A. Public Administration – USC

Sunny Song

Master Consultant

Sunny has been with FLEX since 2013. Before this, Sunny worked as an Admissions Counselor at Shepherd University. She also worked for a non-profit organization to develop English teaching materials for underprivileged children around the world. During her master’s program at Biola University, she travelled to China for two years to teach English to high school students.

Sunny’s college placements include all the UCs, Princeton, USC, U Michigan, Santa Clara, Purdue, UIUC, Case Western, University of the Pacific (Pharm), Northeastern (Pharm), Cal Poly-SLO, Occidental, Colgate, Brandeis and more.
Sunny strives to be a nurturing counselor at FLEX and also has a soft spot for students who immigrated to the U.S. in adolescence. She herself came to the U.S. at age 15 as an international student from Korea. Sunny’s years of experience working with children of all ages show how much she enjoys interacting with and helping students.

Education
B.S. Biology – UC Berkeley
M.A. Education – Biola University

Tiffany Lu

Principal Consultant

Tiffany has been with FLEX since 2007, where she started as a science and math instructor. Her previous work experiences include positions in land development, children’s ministry, and oncology research. Tiffany spent her undergraduate years at Stanford University, where she majored in the Biological Sciences and minored in Economics. She also holds masters degrees in counseling and history from Westminster Seminary. An avid reader, she is always up for a good hike and enjoys noodles of all shapes and sizes.

While Tiffany has guided hundreds of students to top-caliber schools in her tenure at FLEX, she most enjoys finding the best fit school environments for each individual student. She encourages students to focus not only on application strategy and outcomes, but also on personal growth through the application process and on long-term goals beyond the undergraduate years.

Her specialties include STEM, digital humanities, international school students, motivational challenges, scholar athletes, and building personal narratives.

  • B.S. Biology, Minor in Economics – Stanford University
  • M.Div. Counseling – Westminster Seminary

Yvonne Kwan

Master Consultant

As the valedictorian of her senior class, Yvonne chose to attend UC San Diego and later graduated cum laude in psychology and ethnic studies (with special honors distinction in ethnic studies). Yvonne went on to earn a M.A. in education at UCLA and a M.A. in sociology at UC Santa Cruz. She also completed her Ph.D. in sociology—and received many research fellowships and distinctions for her work on Asian Americans, trauma, mental health, and education.

Yvonne is currently a Society of Fellows postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College. She joined FLEX in 2012 and has worked as an SAT/ACT instructor and curriculum expert, college essay specialist, and counselor.

Yvonne has been working in counseling and education for over 11 years. In addition to previously serving as a supervisor in a program run by the California Student Aid Commission, she has been an instructor and teaching assistant for numerous courses at UCLA, UCSC, and Dartmouth College. Yvonne is also a reader for the UCLA Alumni Scholarship program. Yvonne’s students’ college placements include Boston University, Case Western, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Oberlin College, NYU, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, USC, UT Austin, Washington University at St. Louis, all UC campuses, and more.

Yvonne tends to be more assertive in her counseling style. She sets clear but high expectations and challenging deadlines for her students, but she also recognizes the need for holistic counseling that involves candid discussions about academic, family, and individual pressures. As a first generation college student who has not only worked extensively with high school and college students, but also conducted systematic research on educational access and inequities, Yvonne enjoys working with a wide array of students who may have very different backgrounds and interests.

Education
B.A. Ethnic Studies and Psychology – UC San Diego
M.A. Social Science and Comparative Education – UCLA
M.A. Sociology – UC Santa Cruz
Ph.D. Sociology – UC Santa Cruz

Arshia Malek

Master Consultant

Bio coming soon.

Whitney Enwekema

Master Consultant

Bio coming soon.

Austin Haynesworth

Master Consultant

Bio coming soon.

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