You serve as an important link between prospective Pitt students and the University. Helping students make the right college choice is complicated; we thank you for supporting future Pitt Panthers and for your partnership with Pitt.
Check out the update on the Fall 2023 application and review process.
Our Advisory Board is comprised of school and independent counselors and CBO leaders who we look to for advice and expertise on how we can improve what we do for them and their colleagues, and of course for the students and families who are considering the University of Pittsburgh. If you would like to learn more about the Advisory Board, express your interest in joining the group, or meet former board members, email Barry Duerr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022-2023 Counselor Advisory Board
- Aimee Thomson
- College and Career Counselor at Hillsborough High School
- Aimee has 18 years of experience in Admissions and College counseling, starting at Rider University in 2004 and moving to Delaware Valley Regional High School in 2011. She received her Master’s in Counseling Services from Rider University and her Bachelor’s in Management from Rutgers University. She resides in Flemington, NJ, with her husband and two sons. Aimee is an avid reader in her spare time and particularly enjoys historical fiction.
- Matt Fitzsimmons
- School Counselor & Guidance Department Head at Western Wayne High School
- Matt has worked in school counseling between Western Wayne High School and Western Wayne Middle School for 23 years. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for his Bachelor’s in Psychology before attending the University of Scranton for his Master’s in Secondary School Counseling. Now, he lives in Lake Ariel, PA, with his wife and three sons. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of how things turn out.”
- Demetra Durham
- College and Career Coordinator at L.V. Berkner High School
- Demetra has been in the business for 16 years, from Admissions at Midwestern State University, UT Austin, and Texas A&M to College Advising at YWLA-Grand Prairie ISD. She received her education from Midwestern State University. Now, in Plano, TX, Demetra loves to spend free time with family and friends or get creative with crafting.
- Wendie Lubic
- Independent Educational Consultant – The College Lady
- Formerly a professor at American University and parent educator, Wendie has spent the last 12 years as “The College Lady,” an independent educational consultant in Washington, DC. She attended Tufts University for her Bachelor’s degree and Columbia University for her Master’s but has been a lifelong student with additional courses taken at American University and UC Irvine. Now in DC with her husband and dogs, she’s originally from Squirrel Hill and a family who are proud University of Pittsburgh alums. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver.
- Joe Izzo
- School Counselor at POBJFK High School
- With 28 years in education, Joe has been a Social Studies Teacher and Middle School counselor before his current role as counselor at POBJFK High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and currently lives on Long Island with his wife and children, who all share a love of travel and world cuisines. Joe says the only job that might be better than a school counselor is a major league shortstop.
- Ebonee Mahone-Todman
- Associate Director of College Counseling at The Paideia School
- Ebonee has served with Community Organizations like the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and C5 Georgia and in Georgia schools for 21 years, putting her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Child Development from Spelman College and her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis to good use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and baby boy, where she enjoys travel, shopping, and quality time with her friends and family.
- Ross Wolfson
- Assistant Director of School Counseling PK-12 at Waltham Public Schools
- From Guidance and School Counselor to Counseling Department Head, Ross has just begun a new chapter of his 18-year profession as Assistant Director of School Counseling. From a Bachelor’s in Studio Art from Binghamton University to a career in accounting, he earned his MSEd in School Counseling from Long Island University Post and an Advanced Certification in Educational Leadership and Management from Fitchburg State University. Now in Acton, MA, with his wife, daughter, and son, his love for camping brings his family out for adventure every summer.
- Christina Thomas
- School Counselor at Brashear High School, PPS
- Christina began her 25-year career in education as a German teacher with Pittsburgh Public Schools, having received her Bachelor’s in German Secondary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in German Literature from Bowling Green State University. She earned her Master’s in School Counseling from Indiana State University and has found a new niche as School Counselor for the last seven years.
- Sima Misquitta
- School Counselor at Baldwin High School – Baldwin-Whitehall School District
- With a Bachelor’s in Business and a Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh, Sima has worked in School Counseling for 28 years, 27 of which have been with Baldwin High School. Now in Upper Saint Clair with her husband and two younger children (Sima’s eldest now works as an Engineer), Sima loves traveling, photography, and gardening. Sima is also a huge Star Wars fan and celebrates May the Fourth every year. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.
- Sara English
- Post-Secondary Counselor at Adlai E Stevenson High School
- From a Bachelor’s in Mathematics Education from Bowling Green State University to a Master’s in School Counseling and School Leadership from Northern Illinois University and Olivet Nazarene University, Sara has been in college counseling for 18 years. Now in Lincolnshire, IL, with her three children, Sara enjoys baking, gardening, and photography in her spare time.
- Sean Burke
- School Counselor at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
- After a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wittenberg University and a Master’s in School Counseling from SUNY Brockport, Sean has been a school counselor for 23 years. A family of academics, his wife Jayne works at the same school as an Art Teacher. Sean also serves as a club and high school level Soccer Coach.
- Kelly Cushner
- High School Counselor at Dougherty Valley High School
- Kelly is originally from Boston, and after 12 years of School and College Counseling experience, her Bachelor’s from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, her Master’s in Social Work from Boston University, and PPS Credential, she’s lived in the Bay Area for 25 years. Kelly spends much of her free time with her friends and family, including her husband, three sons, and two doggies. She enjoys traveling and learning Spanish.
- Jennifer Kirk
- High School Counseling Curriculum Leader at Upper St. Clair High School
- From School Counseling with Middle and High School students to her current role, Jennifer has been in the education profession for 24 years now. With a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Master’s in School Counseling, and Principal’s Certification in Administration and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, she is currently working on a Doctorate in Teaching, Curriculum, Learning, and Leadership from Northeastern University. She loves to stay active, spending free time at the gym and watching her two children play their favorite sports. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Lauren Lieberman
- Director of College Counseling at Shady Side Academy
- Lauren received her Bachelor’s from the University of Chicago and began her education career in Admissions there. With a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Lauren has continued her 20-year career in Pittsburgh. Lauren and her family are loyal Pittsburgh sports fans, and Pitt Basketball fans, but are much more likely to spend their free time outdoors in parks and nature trails, than at stadiums.
- Will Peck
- High School Counselor at Methacton High School – Methacton School District
- From a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice to a Master’s in Secondary School Counseling, Will has been a school counselor with middle and high school students for 27 years. His two sons are currently pursuing their college degrees, and Will is reconnecting with an old passion for woodworking and building a woodshop in his basement. In his free time, Will enjoys the outdoors: fishing, hiking, and hunting.
- Dr. Ramona Crawford
- Senior Director of Programs at Crossroads Foundation
- From a Bachelor’s degree at Florida State University, a Master’s at Nova Southeastern University, to a Doctorate at Duquesne University, Ramona has dedicated 14 years to her studies and student and family services at community organizations. Currently, she serves as the Senior Director of Programs at Crossroads Foundation. Ramona works to strengthen programs and suggest enhancements that best meet Crossroads scholars’ academic, personal/social, college, and career needs. Dr. Crawford enjoys cycling, reading, listening to music, and traveling with her friends and family in her free time. Occasionally, you can find Ramona hiking. She pretends she is into it so her friends can stop asking her to join.
- Karina Hirschfield
- School Counselor at Kennett High School
- From Hofstra to Fordham, with 20 years of higher education experience, Karina has begun anew at Kennett High School this year. Karina wears many hats in her day-to-day life, approaching each day not only as a School Counselor but as a teacher, advisor, innovator, colleague, and friend. She believes in every child’s potential and is passionate in her work to provide each student with the tools they need to find success. Based in Phoenixville with her spouse, teens, and puppy, Karina loves to spend her free time traveling and absorbing the cultures of the world.
- Deb Bergen
- Interim Director, PLA, and Transfer at Bucks County Community College
- Deb Bergen came to BC3 with a Bachelor’s from Ithaca College and a Master’s Degree from Rider University. She’s worked in higher education for 22 years, directing advising and transfer services for students for over half of that time. Deb lives according to her belief that “you never know who you influence.
- Fanny Liu
- Professor and Counselor at Community College of Allegheny County
- A University of Pittsburgh alumnus, Fanny is a 30-year professional in academia and education, with 23 years at CCAC under her belt. Ever learning she is now learning to cook. In her free time, Fanny likes reading and gardening. She believes “every day you understand your life differently.”
- Mindy Nitch
- Director for the Student Success Center at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
- Maria Loffredo Med. NCC
- Transfer Counselor at Westmoreland County Community College
- In her 11 years in the industry, Maria has worked as a counselor with high school and college students. She received her Bachelor’s from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master’s from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband of 10 years, John, have two young sons who keep her busy outside of her work with students. Still, she finds time to dedicate to her church community, running and organizing mom’s support groups. She loves incorporating music therapy into her work whenever she can, and she is a certified Drum Circle Facilitator!
- Devin Patterson
- Counselor at Community College of Allegheny County
- After a Bachelor’s from Cheyney University and a Master’s from Chatham University, Devin has been working towards a PsyD degree at California Southern University and plans to be “Dr.” Patterson by December of this year. “No man is free who is not a master of himself.”
- Amanda Bitkowski
- Associate Professor, Academic Counselor & Student Mental Health Team Lead at Community College of Beaver County
- With degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Edinboro University, Amanda took root as a Licensed Professional Counselor before moving into academia and student services. Now in Hopewell Township, Amanda and her husband, son, and two cats, await their newest family member to join them in January! Amanda loves being active by running and biking, binging The Office on repeat, and volunteering to support new moms in the Pittsburgh Area with NuturePA.
- Natacia Owens
- Butler County Community College
- Lisa Slagle
- Counselor at Community College of Allegheny County – Boyce Campus
- With two degrees in Counseling Psychology from Gannon University, Lisa has worked as a college counselor near the Pittsburgh area and is such an avid Pittsburgh sports fan! Lisa enjoys an active life of hiking, biking, gardening, and travel. With 3 grown children, Lisa lives with her husband and dog and loves Fall, festivals, and baking for family and friends.
- Megan Crane
- Community College of Allegheny County
2019-2020 Counselor Advisory Board
- Amy Balcer, Mount St. Joseph Academy, Flourtown, PA
- Rob Becker, Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL
- Nicole Bent, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA
- Sinead Crews, Lingston Public Schools, Livingston, NJ
- Nelissa Dominguez, St. Mary’s School, San Juan, PR
- Loren Gordon, Central Catholic High School, Pittsburgh, PA
- Michael Griffin, Diversity and Education Solutions, Cincinnati, OH
- Kashif Henderson, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, PA
- Jasmine Holliday, Pine-Richland High School, Gibsonia, PA
- Marjorie Ireland, Westtown School, West Chester, PA
- Erica King, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, Erie, PA
- Jeff Knox, Independent Counselor, Bethesda, MD
- Jon Mamula, Highland Park High School, Dallas, TX
- Jane Mathias, Nardin Academy, Buffalo, NY
- Tim McLister, Fox Chapel Area High School, Pittsburgh, PA
- Will Peck, Methacton High School, Eagleville, PA
- Dennis Reynolds, Walter Johnson High School, Rockville, MD
- Chris Sharp, Brentwood School, Los Angeles, CA
2017-2018 Counselor Advisory Board
- Rick Grychowski, Cathedral Preparatory School, Erie, PA
- Cristina Rabayda, Council Rock High School North, Council Rock, PA
- Julie Sitko, Moon Area High School, Moon Township, PA
- Tom Shorrock, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL
- Janet Kobosky, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA
- Crystal Fatyol, Chambersburg High School, Chambersburg, PA
- Christine Zona, Penn-Trafford School District, Harrison City, PA
- Randy Mills, Greenhill School, Addison, TX
- Jillian Shadis, Bernards Township School District, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
- Art Mandel, Roslyn Public Schools and Schechter School of Long Island, Long Island, NY
- Branden Ballard, We Promise – Office of Equity with Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, PA
- Eric Roberts, Parkland High School, Allentown, PA
- Kevin Thompson, North Allegheny Senior High School, Wexford, PA
- Jean Whalen, Pine Richland High School, Gibsonia, PA
- Edward L. Walker, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, MA
- Beth Schneider, Mt. Lebanon School District, Mt. Lebanon, PA
- Lyndel Niles, Dunbar High School, Washington, DC.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Pitt
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion—in classrooms, offices, residence halls, laboratories, and every other place where people work, research, and learn. The Pitt community is rich in diversity, which is an essential component of its excellence.
At Pitt, students are connected with new experiences, supportive mentors, and a vibrant community. Learn more about the various resources and organizations that will be available to you and read up on the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s efforts to make our campus a more equitable and safe community.
Counselor Relations at Pitt
Very few universities devote an entire team to counselors, but we do because we value what you do for your students, their families, and us. We are dedicated to getting to know your prospective Pitt students throughout the search, application, and decision-making process.
You bring important insight into our holistic review of applicants, and we appreciate and value your advocacy for your students. We encourage and look forward to your emails and phone calls.
Counselor Relations Team:
- Barry Duerr, Associate Director of Admissions
- email@example.com | 412-624-7173
- Jane Smith, Enrollment Services Manager
- firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-624-7783
- Lyndee Feick, Enrollment Services Manager
- email@example.com | 412-383-0362