THE TEAM

Amy Morgenstern, Founder, CEO and Editor in Chief

Dr. Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice. Fluent in German, Dr. M served as a Dissertation Fellow at the Bergische Institut in Germany for two years. An award-winning writer, Dr. M is celebrated as a master interpreter of culture. She researches major trends in admissions and academic culture, and continues to share her findings in professional presentations like this recent lecture for the AAPA.

As part of her extensive experience in education and admissions, Dr. M conceived of and implemented the Wright State University Honors Institute. There she led dual roles as an associate director and lecturer, guiding students in obtaining competitive national fellowships such as the Truman and Goldwater and teaching interdisciplinary seminars.

Dr. M went on to found Blue Stars Admissions Consulting in 2010. Blue Stars currently rivals the most established and credentialed high-end admissions firms in prestigious college acceptances, delivering its service with distinctive energy and creativity.  Dr. M guides her team in administering a high-performance, life-coaching style of counseling that leads to profound personal growth and an exciting array of college, art school, and grad school options. Blue Stars’ integrated approach to academic coaching incorporates intellectual advancement and community engagement that encourages high-level success in their students.

The Team

Dr. M leads a team of distinctive mentors who give students that special edge by infusing every learning experience with dynamic energy and a wealth of knowledge. Our team members are not just outstanding editors and mentors; they are wildly creative and intellectually intense. They enjoy taking students beyond what anyone might have expected from the process of preparing for college, inspiring personal growth and academic development. It is with great pride that Blue Stars introduces its team members for 2021!

Book a FREE consultation today with one of our stellar counselors and learn what Blue Stars can do for you!

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FULL-SERVICE COUNSELORS

Helen Ingernson

Helen Ingerson, Counselor & Editor

A National Merit Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University, Helen Ingerson has worked for over a decade as a tutor, teacher, coach and editor to students all over the Bay Area. The expertise and wealth of experience she brings to admissions essay coaching has helped students gain entry to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, Northwestern, USC, CalTech, and Berkeley, many on an Early Decision or Early Admission basis. In addition, Helen’s curriculum and teaching methods as an SAT instructor regularly assist students in achieving score increases of 200-600 points. Indeed, many of her students have achieved perfect SAT scores. Helen has additionally served as a San Jose Teaching Fellow, instructing ESL middle schoolers while earning both California Single and Multiple Subject teaching credentials. Earlier in her career, Helen was one of two administrators of the largest division at St. Ann’s, a New York City private school named by the Wall Street Journal in 2004 as the school most successful at gaining admission for students to the most exclusive colleges in the U.S. With an MBA from Simmons College, Helen has also had a successful career in the venture capital and social venture sectors. She has travelled in Europe, Asia, and Africa, where she was a volunteer for Crossroads Africa, a summer program modeled on the Peace Corps.

Laura Schadler, Counselor & Editor

Laura Schadler is a San Francisco-based writer with 15 years of teaching experience in diverse educational environments. She grew up in the mountains of Virginia, studied filmmaking and writing at Bard College, and earned her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. A recent MacDowell Colony Fellow, Laura’s fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, was featured on KQED’s Writer’s Block as well as Litquake, and was chosen as a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She just completed her first novel, Map of the Invisible, and is hard at work on the second. Laura blogs about popular culture for KQED, critically examining the social and cultural impact of music, movies, and television. A yoga instructor, Laura additionally created the I Speak workshop, a writing series that combines yoga and writing to explore, among other things, the mind-body connection.

Laura’s approach to coaching focuses on writing as an opportunity for young people to find their voices and tell their stories as they reflect and prepare themselves for the transformative experience of college. In addition to essay consultation, Laura has assisted students in all areas of the college application process, from initial research to finding a school that is the perfect fit. Her students have received admission to many prestigious colleges and universities, including Columbia, Stanford, MIT, Duke, Cornell, UC Berkeley, Middlebury, Wesleyan, Occidental, and Barnard.

Stacy Johnson, Counselor & Editor

Stacy Johnson is a Success Coach with ten years of experience helping students break through roadblocks that hinder success. She builds dynamic relationships based on professionalism, honesty, and collaboration that allow students to tap into their greatest potential. Through discussions and exercises, students achieve positive, transformative results.

Stacy grew up in the Bay Area writing short stories in the margins of her notebooks and taking pictures of the California Coastline. She earned an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College where she graduated with honors. As the recipient of the Mary Merritt Henry Prize for excellence in poetry, Stacy combines photography and poetry to explore the intersections of visual and verbal learning styles.

Stacy’s admissions experience is wide-ranging. Her experience as an Associate Director of Admissions has valuable application in guiding the college search and completing the admissions process. She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counselors (NACAC), Bay Area Graduate Admissions Professionals (BAGAP) Secretary, East Bay Consortium Board Member, and PEN America. Even as an undergraduate, Stacy was concerned with college success and wrote her senior undergraduate thesis about factors contributing to college graduation rates.

Stacy is writing her first novel, a redemption story chronicling the lives of three women as they overcome life’s challenges in the 1950s. Stacy studies photography under the leadership of award-winning photographer and author, Matt Herron.

ART MENTOS

Aliza Cohen, Art Mentor

As a high school art teacher for 7 years, Aliza brings a deep understanding of how to build a strong art portfolio to the Blue Stars team. She also brings an intimate knowledge of the contemporary art world as a practicing artist.

Aliza grew up in the Bay Area and earned her BA in Painting from UC Santa Cruz. She went on to pursue an MFA in Painting at Boston University where she studied with British painter John Walker. She began her career as an artist and educator in the Boston Area.

Aliza has taught AP Studio Art for several years and has developed a strong understanding of the qualities of a successful portfolio. She has coached many students through building cohesive portfolios in preparation for admission to top art college and pre-college programs.

In her own career as a visual artist and painter, Aliza has exhibited her work across the US, and is currently represented by Uprise Art in New York City and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery. She has been invited as an artist in residence to the Vermont Studio Center, Jentel Foundation, Kala Art Institute and Object Limited. She lives in the East Bay with her partner, two children, and dog Juno.