Dr. M Blue Stars College Admissions

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 bring decades of teaching, admissions, and writing experience to their work with Blue Stars students. She selects academic counselors through a rigorous application process (very much like an admissions journey) that includes several essays and interviews. After getting to know each finalist well, she chooses those most qualified to put her high-performance, holistic methodology into practice. Dr. M then personally trains each counselor through an in-depth apprenticeship program. As a team leader, she makes sure her staff remains up-to-date on the latest admissions trends and news. She and her team collaborate closely as a group, exchanging information and insight, on a regular basis.

As a result, Blue Stars counselors are not just outstanding editors and mentors. They are also superior strategists and life coaches who excel at helping students find their unique path to college while gaining confidence and calm along the way. 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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Helen Ingernson

Helen Ingerson, Counselor & Editor

A National Merit Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University, Helen has worked for over a decade with students all over the Bay Area as a tutor, teacher, coach, and college admissions essay editor. Her admissions students appreciate her ability to make them feel heard and her ability to preserve the meaning of their words while still challenging them to produce concise and effective final drafts, gaining them admission to top schools. Helen’s SAT curriculum and teaching methods regularly assist her students in achieving score increases of 200-600 points, as well as perfect scores.

Helen earned both California Single and Multiple Subject teaching credentials as a San Jose Teaching Fellow, instructing middle school ESL students. Earlier in her career, Helen was one of two administrators of the largest division at St. Ann’s, a New York City private school once cited by The Wall Street Journal as the school most successful in 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 venture capital. She has traveled in Europe, Asia, and Africa, where she volunteered for Crossroads Africa, a summer program modeled on the Peace Corps. In her free time, Helen does Pilates, volunteers for Local Majority, and spends time with friends.

Laura Schadler, Counselor & Editor

Laura Schadler is a San Francisco-based writer with 20 years of experience as an educator and college admissions consultant. 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. Awarded a MacDowell Fellowship, Laura has published work in numerous literary journals and was featured on KQED’s Writer’s Block, and in the Litquake Festival. Additionally, she was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and Best New American Voices.

Laura’s approach to the admissions process focuses on helping young people find their voices and tell their stories in the most compelling and effective way possible. In addition to essay coaching, Laura assists students in all areas of college preparation, including summer planning, profile development, and finding a school that is the perfect fit. Her creative and methodical approach has helped her students carve out a unique path for themselves and receive admission to their dream schools.

When she isn’t working with students, Laura is immersed in writing a climate fiction novel about a group of people protecting California’s water supply in the year 2050. She also leads yoga classes and workshops, volunteers for educational nonprofits dedicated to college access, and spends time in her urban garden.

Jennifer Turfler Blue Stars Admissions Consulting

Jennifer Turfler, Counselor & Editor

An educator for the past 20 years with a master’s degree in education and counseling, Jennifer Turfler brings extensive experience as an undergraduate advisor and a high school instructor to her work at Blue Stars.

For over a decade, Jennifer taught British Literature, World Literature, and Humanities at one of the highest performing secondary schools in California through a tailored approach encouraging self-reflection and authenticity. She additionally developed a six-week curriculum for high school seniors focused solely on personal statement writing, guiding them in finding their unique voice.

Jennifer’s inherent ability to motivate students led her to become an academic advisor at UC San Diego, where she helped students select extracurricular activities such as fieldwork, internship, and research opportunities to complement their majors and set them on a career path. She most enjoyed guiding students in making their college studies rich and purposeful.

Jennifer has helped hundreds of students gain entrance to their dream colleges and select majors that bring them personal and professional fulfillment. When she’s not working with students, she enjoys reading at the beach, playing tennis, writing, traveling, and spending time with her husband, her two daughters, and their rescue dog Bella.

Sara Brody Blue Stars college counselor

Sara Brody, Counselor & Editor

Sara Brody is a writer and educator with extensive experience mentoring students in preparation for college admissions and success in academia. She holds an MFA in Fiction and an MA in English from San Francisco State University’s prestigious creative writing program, which she was invited to join after her success in her undergraduate studies. At SFSU, she was awarded the Clark-Gross Award for Best Novel and the Jim Highsmith Award for LGBTQ Playwriting. Sarah has published several short stories and essays in literary journals, and she loves bringing her creative writing background to the college essay process, encouraging students to utilize literary craft tools to optimize the quality of their work.

Sara’s approach to the admissions process focuses on building confidence and intellectual curiosity in young people, while also empathetically helping students navigate the various stressors in their lives. Since college admissions can be daunting, she aims to demystify the process, break down goals into navigable steps, guide students in activating their talents and interests, and offer holistic support throughout the journey. Having taught writing at the university and high school levels, Sara values creativity and work ethic equally, driving home the point that methodical, dedicated work towards a goal must accompany talent in order for a student to truly reach their full potential. When not working with students, she enjoys urban hiking, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with her cat.


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.