THE FLEX TEAM

Meet the Team

Corbin Chu

Master Consultant

Corbin graduated from Williams College with a degree in Comparative Literature, certificate in Spanish, and concentration in Africana Studies. With more than ten years of experience counseling students from middle school to applying for medical school, Corbin’s college placements include: all Ivy League schools, UChicago, Rice, and all of the UCs—in addition to top 20 engineering and business programs, also helping students earn millions of dollars in scholarships. 

He is a caring, yet firm, counselor whose approach is methodical, creative, and strategically personalized to each student’s needs and goals. Having worked at his college’s Writing Center, at a local high school, and at a test prep academy, Corbin additionally brings multiple years of teaching experience to the FLEX team.  Given his background growing up in a multicultural family in Southern California, Corbin gets along well with students and families from diverse backgrounds.

Those who know Corbin think of him whenever there is good sushi. When not advising students, he can be found traveling across the globe, listening to podcasts, or brushing up on his Japanese and French.

Areas of Specialization:

  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective universities and liberal arts colleges
  • Students with artistic talent and/or interest in creating supplemental portfolios
  • Crafting effective application essays
  • Students undecided on their college major
  • International students
  • Private K-12 schools
  • Students interested in graduate school

Languages:

  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Hokkien/Min Nan Dialect

Education:

  • Williams College – B.A. in Comparative Literature (Spanish Certificate, Africana Studies Concentration)

Dan Kwon

Principal Consultant

Dan has over 7 years of experience working with students interested in a wide range of schools. A Bay Area native, Dan graduated from Mission San Jose High School. While at the Santa Clara University School of Law, Dan was a Judicial Extern for a United States District Judge. Prior to joining FLEX, he worked at a speciality scientific instrumentation technology company. 

During his collegiate years, Dan played volleyball for both UC Berkeley and SCU earning a League Championship and 2nd Team All-American Honors. He later 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’s students have been placed at top-caliber universities, including all of the Top 20 private schools.

Areas of Specialization

  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools
  • Students seeking admission specifically to the Ivy League
  • High-level students
  • Athletes

Language(s)

  • English

Education

  • UC Berkeley – BA in English
  • Santa Clara University School of Law – JD

Jaimie Joo

Associate Consultant

Since her days as an undergraduate, Jaimie has had an insider’s perspective of the college admissions process at the University of California system. She has worked as a Campus Representative in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and as an Academic Advisor in the School of Humanities at UC Irvine, where she gained invaluable insight into the admissions
and counseling process. Because of these experiences, Jaimie understands the importance of fit when selecting and applying to colleges. Additionally, she has been able to work with a diverse group of students, including international students and first-generation students.

With all of her students, Jaimie strives to help them gain entrance to a college or university that will not only set them up for career success, but will also help them find joy in learning. She hopes she can help her students feel empowered in their own skills and abilities.

Jaimie is also a FLEX College Essay Specialist, which allows her to bring out her students’ most authentic and compelling selves. She has a proven track record in producing high-quality storytelling with her students and finds that writing is a necessary strength for any major.

In terms of admissions, Jaimie has worked with students who have been granted admission to John Hopkins, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine.

During her free time, Jaimie volunteers for an Asian American art collective. She enjoys
reading, writing, and talking about pop culture.

Languages

  • English (native proficiency)
  • Korean (conversational)

Education

  • UC Irvine: MA in Art History
  • UC Irvine: MA in Art History with a minor in English

Judy Liang

Principal Consultant

Judy has over 21 years of experience as an educator, working with students spanning preschool to high school. A native of the San Gabriel Valley, she graduated at the top of her class from La Cañada High School and went on to earn her BA in Social Studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard. There, she was awarded the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship to teach English at a private boarding elementary school and magnet high school on the outskirts of Beijing, China.

Judy’s experience with her own three daughters — combined with her elementary and high school experience and her years at FLEX — allows her to observe the educational spectrum from birth to high school graduation. As a daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, Judy understands the challenges many immigrant families face as they navigate the educational system in the US. She strives to help families and students make informed choices and attend a university that best fits their talents and personality.

Judy’s college placements include but are not limited to Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, Princeton, UChicago, Cornell, Brown, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and NYU. During her “free time,” Judy is busy taking care of and driving her daughters, elementary and middle school-aged, to their activities. When she has time to herself, she loves to exercise, eat out with her husband or friends, and serve the special-needs adults at the church she attends.

Areas of Specialization

• Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools
• International students
• Transfer students
• Connecting students with local groups and businesses
• Crafting effective college application essays

Language(s)


• English
• Mandarin (basic conversation)
• Taiwanese (basic conversation)
• Spanish (conversational)

Education


• Harvard University – BA in Social Studies, magna cum laude
• Cal State LA – Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, K-8
• UCLA – M.Ed in Educational Administration, Preliminary Clear Administrative Credential

Paul Lin

Principal Consultant

Paul has 24 combined years of teaching and counseling experience, 12 in a university setting and 12 in the college prep and educational consulting industry. He is a former professor in American Cultures and Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University and has also taught courses and advised students at UC Irvine. He has also delivered numerous conference papers around the country and has published a scholarly article on James Joyce and Irish colonial subjectivity.

Given his extensive experience, Paul has a deep understanding of what colleges are looking for in a student. As an admissions consultant, he takes a direct, honest, and strategic approach with his students. His objective is always to guide students toward the college that’s the best fit for them — rather than just the best known one — because he believes doing so will better set them up for future success.

Paul’s college placements include but are not limited to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, UChicago, UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, and Carnegie Mellon.

During his free time, Paul likes to travel, eat good food, and learn about wine.

Areas of Specialization:

  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools
  • Underrepresented students
  • Transfer students
  • Students who have experienced personal challenges in their lives
  • Crafting effective college application essays

Language(s):

  • English

Education:

  • Cornell University – School of Criticism and Theory, with distinction
  • UC Irvine – PhD in English (ABD), emphasis in Critical Theory 
  • UC Irvine – MA in English
  • University of Southern California – BA in English (Honors), cum laude, minor in Art History
  • University of Kent at Canterbury, UK – University Diploma, with merit, in English and American Literature

Tiffany Lu

Principal Consultant

Tiffany has over a decade of experience at FLEX as a science and math instructor and academic counselor. She has previous work experience in the fields of land development, children’s ministry, and oncology research.

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

An avid reader, Tiffany is always up for a good hike and enjoys noodles of all shapes and sizes.

Areas of Specialization:

  • Students seeking best fit school environments
  • Students interested in interdisciplinary fields
  • Scholar athletes & scholar musicians
  • Building personal narratives

Language(s):

  • English

Education:

  • Stanford University – BS in Biological Sciences
  • Westminster Seminary – MDiv in Counseling and History

Justin Obcena

Master Consultant

With over 10 years of teaching experience in higher education, Justin knows what it takes for students to succeed and thrive. After receiving his BA from UCSB, Justin went on to earn his MA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. Justin has also enjoyed his time at the University of Cambridge and Columbia University. Privileged to travel to over 25 countries, Justin brings a unique global lens to the work that he does: seeing problems from multiple angles and finding new solutions and insights.

Justin’s mentoring experience includes roles in student affairs, research assistantships, university teaching, as well as serving as a resident advisor, where he helped freshmen navigate the crucial transition to college life. At FLEX, Justin has worked as an essay specialist in addition to his position as an admissions consultant. Justin’s mentoring style is one of tough love and high expectations. He calibrates his feedback accordingly while still pushing each student to be the best versions of themselves. Justin’s students can expect honest, prompt, and detailed appraisals that will push them past their comfort zone so that their college applications can shine.

Justin’s students have been accepted into schools such as: CalTech, MIT, Columbia, Dartmouth, UPenn, all UCs, USC, John Hopkins, NYU, Northwestern, CMU, Swarthmore, WashU, CalArts, Pitzer, UBC, and UMich.

When he isn’t mentoring students, you will likely find Justin engrossed in books, savoring delicious food, watching an NBA game (go Warriors!), or jamming out to show tunes.

Areas of Specialization:

  • Students seeking admission into highly selective, research-oriented universities and programs
  • Students seeking to build a strong research profile
  • Crafting exceptional scholarship and admissions essays
  • Social sciences/humanities students, especially those interested in sociology
  • Students managing and navigating adversity
  • First-generation college students
  • Students who are driven to do social justice/activist/community work

Education:

  • B.A. Sociology – UC Santa Barbara
  • M.A. Sociology – UC Santa Cruz
  • Ph.D. Coursework & Research – UC Santa Cruz

Daisy Oliver

Master Consultant

Daisy Oliver has 16 years of higher education and career counseling experience, 11 in a university setting and 8 in the college admissions consulting industry, respectively. She is a former UCLA Admission Officer — specializing in freshman, transfer, and international admissions — and has reviewed almost 20,000 UCLA freshman and international student applications. Over the last several years, she has delivered hundreds of presentations and workshops to thousands of students and parents in the US and China.

Daisy has also worked as a Community Director in UCLA Residential Life and as a Career Counselor at Long Beach City College, where she gained experience in program and project management, community organization administration, strategic planning, and leadership development. She is devoted to preparing generations of young adults for various career pathways.

As an Admissions Consultant, Daisy has extensive insider knowledge of what colleges look for in students. She has helped thousands of students from various backgrounds thrive in collegiate settings. She takes an honest, clear, and intentional approach with students. Her desire is to connect them to various resources and guide them to the college that best matches their personality, dreams, and career aspirations. 

Daisy’s college placements include but are not limited to all of the UC’s, Cal States, USC, CMU, UPenn, Duke, Stanford, Columbia, Tufts, NYU, University of Chicago, Northwestern, WashU St. Louis, Rice, Harvey Mudd, UMich, BU, University of Iowa, Pomona College, and Emory.

In her spare time, Daisy serves as Strategic Planning Chair of a non-profit organization in south central Los Angeles. She also enjoys tanning at the beach, playing the guitar, and exploring new restaurants.

Areas of Specialization

  • Guiding students in competitive high schools determine their academic and personal path
  • Academic counseling and career exploration
  • Specialized majors: Engineering, Arts/Architecture, Theater/Film/Television, Nursing, Business
  • Mentorship and strategic major selection
  • Transfer and international students
  • Students who have overcome challenges and obstacles in academics and their personal lives
  • Helping students write compelling college essays
  • Mental health, social and emotional learning resources
  • UC Admission expert and best practices for filling out the college application 

Education

  • University of Southern California – Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • University of California, Los Angeles – BA in Psychology (Honors), minor in Education

Ben Robbins

Principal Consultant

Ben has been in college admission consulting since 2015, but his interest in the nexus between high school and college started during his time at Yale. His published senior thesis explored the local cultural factors that affect the college application behaviors of rural high-achieving students in Nebraska, his home state. In addition to his work as an admission consultant, since joining FLEX he has served as a College Essay Specialist, ACT/SAT Curriculum Developer, and all-around verbal instructor. He is currently the Director of Admissions Consulting, managing both the NorCal and SoCal Consulting teams.

Between his time as an undergraduate at Yale and his years of consulting experience, Ben knows what sets apart the most competitive applicants for elite colleges, among others. With his background in teaching and creative mindset, he helps students to understand how they can explore different interests deeply. Ben is very intuitive and can put even shy or nervous students at ease.

Ben’s college placements include but are not limited to Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Rice, Pomona, Brown, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, NYU, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, as well as selective Aviation and Art programs.

Ben enjoys keeping up with family and friends around the globe (London to Singapore!), singing in a men’s chorus, and understanding the stories all around him.

Areas of Specialization

  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools
  • Students seeking admission specifically to Yale, Cornell, Brown, NYU, UC Berkeley, or UCLA
  • Humanities and Social Science students
  • Transfer students
  • Students needing guidance with high-level writing in college application essays

Language(s)

  • English

Education

  • Yale University – BA in Sociology (Intensive)

Bernadette Saldana

Associate Consultant

Bernadette has been working with high school and university students for 10 years. She holds a multiple subject teaching credential and has taught English in countries such as China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. Since 2010, she has worked with students in Southern California as a piano and violin instructor. Prior to joining FLEX, Bernadette counseled international high school students on navigating the college application process in the US.

Growing up in Southern California, Bernadette understands the difficulties and challenges coming from a high school in California. As an admissions consultant, she takes an honest, holistic, and nurturing approach. She works collaboratively with parents and students to help students get into their dream school and to find the best fit for them.

During her free time, Bernadette enjoys listening to music, playing the piano and violin, and watching movies.

Areas of Specialization

  • Students seeking admission specifically to the University of California
  • Students who have experienced personal challenges in their lives
  • International students
  • Crafting effective college application essays

Language(s)

  • English

Education

  • University of California, Irvine – MA in Teaching
  • University of California, Irvine – BS in Biological Sciences

Sunny Song

Master Consultant

Sunny has been with FLEX since 2013 and worked with over 140 students to help them achieve their different educational goals. Prior to that, she worked for a non-profit organization developing English language teaching materials for underprivileged children around the world. While completing her master’s program at Biola University, Sunny spent two years in China as an English language teacher and counselor for less fortunate high school students.

As a counselor at FLEX, Sunny’s goal is to help students find the right college by navigating them through high school and the college application process. In doing so, she strives to be a nurturing mentor who encourages students to grow in all aspects of their lives. Sunny believes that the high school years are an important time for students, not only to prepare for college academically but also to grow holistically so they can become more independent and responsible and eventually be prepared to leave their parents’ nests. 

Sunny has assisted students interested in Health, Business, Journalism, Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Arts, Education, and more. Her college placements include but are not limited to Princeton, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, USC, University of Michigan, University of Texas-Austin, and all the UCs.

In her free time, Sunny enjoys doing simple sewing projects, spending time with family and friends, and hiking at Big Basin Redwoods Park.

Areas of Specialization

  • Students seeking admission into health-related majors
  • Underrepresented students
  • International students
  • Students who have experienced personal challenges in their lives

Language(s)

  • English and Korean

Education

  • UC Berkeley – BA in Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Biola University – MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
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Jay Zhang

Principal Consultant

Jay has over 9 years of experience working as a consultant in college admission. He has previously served as an application reader and interviewer for the UCLA Alumni Scholarships Program. In addition, Jay is a certified Strong Interest Inventory counselor who can help students discover and explore their interests to determine possible majors and careers.

Having gone through the process himself, Jay understands the difficulties and challenges coming from a competitive high school in California. As an admissions consultant, he takes an informative and nurturing approach. Jay aims to work collaboratively with parents and students to craft an individualized plan to help students get into their dream school or program.

Jay’s college placements include but are not limited to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, UChicago, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Emory, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Boston College, Michigan, Georgia Tech, UIUC, and all the UC campuses.

During his free time, Jay likes to run, watch movies with friends, and discover new food to eat. 

Areas of Specialization

  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools
  • Students seeking admission specifically to the University of California
  • Students seeking admission to BS/MD or BA/MD programs
  • International students

Language(s)

  • English
  • Chinese

Education

  • New York University – MA in School Counseling
  • University of Southern California – MS in Global Medicine
  • University of California, Los Angeles – BS in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, minor in Chinese
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Lynea Diaz-Hagan

Principal Consultant

Lynea has 17 years of experience helping domestic and international applicants gain admissions to highly competitive universities.

Her students have an excellent track record of success, including undergraduate acceptances to Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, and Duke. Her graduate applicants have been equally successful, having gained acceptance to Oxford University, Columbia School of Arts & Sciences, Columbia Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Johns Hopkins University, Weill Cornell Medical School, UCLA’s School of Film, Theater, & TV, among other highly regarded programs.

Having worked with families in Silicon Valley and San Francisco for over a decade, Lynea is deeply familiar with the Bay Area educational ecosystem and the unique pressures that students here face. With this understanding, she strives to support her students—and their families—in a way that sets a high standard, but also helps students maintain a healthy perspective and sense of well-being throughout the admissions process.

Lynea also enjoys and is experienced in supporting the unique needs of international students, athletic recruits, and conservatory applicants.

When not working with students, Lynea coaches young entrepreneurs, writes plays, sings, and spends time with family and friends.

Areas of Specialization

● Students seeking admission to Ivy League and highly competitive universities
● Students seeking admission specifically to the University of California
● Students seeking admission to honors and specialized programs
● International students
● Transfer applicants

Education

● Yale University—BA, English Language & Literature
● UCLA, School of Theater, Film & TV—MFA, Screenwriting
● San Jose State University—MA, Music (Jazz Studies/Voice)

Ryan Vatan

Master Consultant

Since 2016, Ryan has been helping students at every level gain entry to selective colleges. He has extensive experience guiding students through the complicated pre-collegiate process — from advising them on high school courses, extracurriculars, college selection, and admissions essays, to everything in-between.

Many of his students have been accepted into some of the world’s most competitive institutions. These include traditional universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and USC, as well as more unique schools like West Point, Rhode Island School of Design, and Amherst College. Ryan works to ensure that his students matriculate to schools that are not only a good academic fit but also provide a supportive and empowering community.

Ryan is an inspiring and motivating counselor. It is crucial for him that his students do not experience the college application process as only stressful but as an exciting time of opportunity. He works closely with his students to take advantage of local resources to develop a bespoke unique admission strategy for each of his students.

In his free time, Ryan works with his local LGBT Center and the International Rescue Committee, helping to ensure that those who need it most have access to higher education. He also likes to explore the world through travel, D&D, SCUBA, and backpacking with his friends and family.

Areas of Specialization

• Crafting unique admission strategies
• Art students and students submitting a portfolio/audition
• Students with complex high school situations
• Students applying to top-50 schools
• Students with special needs
• International and transfer students

Education

• BA in Political Science, minor in Conflict Studies –
University of California, Irvine

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Yvonne Kwan

Master Consultant

Yvonne has 14 years of teaching and counseling experience: 10 in university settings and 6 in the private college prep and consulting industry. She is currently ladder-rank faculty at San Jose State and teaches classes in sociology and Asian American studies. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College where she taught, conducted research, and mentored students. 

Given her research and experience, Yvonne approaches college prep and admissions through a personalized and holistic lens—all the while keeping a keen awareness about students’ local context, college admissions trends, and family needs. Yvonne takes a hands-on approach with all her students. Her objective is to have students learn about themselves, their passions, and practical needs as they navigate the tumultuous process of determining the right college fit.

Yvonne’s college placements include but are not limited to Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, NYU, Brown, Pomona, CalTech, MIT, Georgia Tech, Michigan, CMU, USC, BU, BC, Vanderbilt, Rice, Wake Forest, Emory, and the UCs.

During her free time, Yvonne makes wheel-thrown pottery, rock climbs, serves on the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Task to build support for SJSU students, and advocates for immigrant rights. She works hard to not only give back to the communities that have been integral to her scholarly and personal growth but also impart critical thinking skills to all her students.

Areas of Specialization

  • Students who have experienced personal and/or academic challenges
  • Underrepresented and/or first-generation students 
  • Transfer students
  • Students in need to direct feedback and guidance in writing effective college application essays
  • Students seeking admission to highly-selective schools who ultimately value fit more than prestige
  • Students seeking admission specifically to UCSD, UCLA, UCSC, UIUC, University of Michigan, Duke, and Dartmouth.

Language(s)

  • English
  • Cantonese

Education

  • UC Santa Cruz – PhD and MA in Sociology
  • University of Michigan – Certificates in R Programming; Bayesian Analysis; Intermediate Regression Analysis; and Statistics, Probability, and Advanced Calculus
  • UCLA – MA in Education
  • UCSD cum laude – BA in Ethnic Studies (Honors Distinction) and BA in Psychology
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Nick Solasteas

Senior Associate Consultant

Nick has nearly 6 years of experience supporting students from all backgrounds in their quests to attend their dream schools. He has helped scores of college aspirants located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and since 2020, he has counseled students in Arizona, Texas, Washington DC, and Taiwan via remote learning.

After a career in the performing arts, Nick found his true passion in supporting up-and-coming youths, and he taught history, theater, design, economics, and civics before becoming an admissions counselor. With his students, he leverages his skills as a storyteller to make sure each college applicant presents their best self.

In his role as a consultant, Nick strives to help students identify their own strengths and bring them front and center during the application process. He believes that there is no substitute for purposeful engagement, and that everyone is capable of amazing things when we are properly motivated and advised.

As a lifelong student, Nick spends his free time learning about philosophy, history, and the art of storytelling. He also can be found rolling dice with his tabletop gaming group on the weekends.

Areas of Specialization

  • Transfer students
  • International applications
  • Arts portfolio/audition review
  • Catholic university admission strategies
  • Students seeking admission to the University of California
  • Students seeking admission to prestigious humanities programs

Language(s)

  • English

Education

  • Santa Clara University – BS in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations