Meet The College Advisers

Allie Brickey, VCAC Adviser

Allie (Robinson) Brickey

College at Wise 2017 | Communication Studies and Leadership
Wise County

Being a college adviser is such a wonderful opportunity. Working in the Admissions Office at UVA-Wise allowed me to work with incoming students and help them with the admissions process. I am so excited to give students the help and guidance that they need to go to college that they may not get elsewhere. I hope to be able to work with a college or with students after my time with the Advising Corps.

Allyson Clement, VCAC Adviser

Allyson Clement

CLAS 2016 | American Government
Henry County

Being from Patrick County, VA, I serve as a college adviser in order to impact students that are from other rural areas. I believe that a postsecondary education is achievable for any student that is given the proper resources. I am a college adviser in order to be that resource for my students at Bassett High School.

Ryan Coyne, VCAC Adviser

Ryan Coyne

CLAS 2017 | Economics
Amelia County

I had taken several classes about education in America and the divide between college and high school graduates that was contributing to income inequality as well as the fact that the rich were getting richer while the poor got poorer. Helping kids get to college can help alleviate this issue and provide opportunities for many amazing people.

Benjamin Lane Goins, VCAC Adviser

Benjamin Lane Goins

CLAS 2017 | Anthropology Sciences and Biology
Henry County

The importance of being a college adviser is giving back to my community by using the knowledge I have gained throughout my years as a student. It is vital, in my eyes, to help the students uncover their potential endeavors, and devise a plan on how to accomplish them.

Katelyn Hebel, VCAC Adviser

Katelyn Hebel

CLAS 2015 | English and Religious Studies
Nelson County

When I was applying to college, I had a strong support network in my parents, teachers, counselors, and peers. There was never any question that I was going to college because my parents went to college and my friends were all going to college. My goal in VCAC is to be that kind of support network for the students at Nelson County High School because I believe that everyone should have the chance to reach their full potential.

Keri Holt, VCAC Adviser

Keri Holt

CLAS 2017 | Psychology
Pittsylvania County

I applied to be a College Adviser because I am a first generation college student and I know how overwhelming and confusing the college application process can be. There are things that I have learned over the past four years that I wish I would've known when applying for colleges and financial aid because it would have made a pretty big difference. I want to give my students this advantage and this information going in so that they can have the best possible opportunities.

Julie Kusnerik, VCAC Adviser

Julie Kusnerik

CLAS 2015 | Sociology and Women, Gender & Sexuality
Caroline County

I am a college adviser because I believe in all of the amazing things that my students can accomplish. I care about helping them set and achieve the best post-secondary education goals for themselves. Being an adviser means being a resource for all students. It means not only teaching and advising students, but helping to inspire them. The work that VCAC has accomplished is truly amazing and I am excited to be a member of this wonderful team!

Megan Madler, VCAC Adviser

Meghan Madler

CLAS 2017 | Kinesiology and Philosophy

My school had lots of students, but only a few school counselors- I think I saw mine for maybe 15 minutes total over the four years I was in high school. There was a push to get students graduated, but little guidance for what happens after that. Thankfully, I had parents and teachers who reminded me about certain deadlines, and we were able to figure a good portion of the application and financial aid process by ourselves. I had classmates pushed into colleges that were not the best fit, or they did not get scholarships and financial aid because the information was not easily available. As a result, some are still in college, taking on large student loans, or dropped out because the financial burden was something they could not handle. Being a college adviser means that I can do my best to prevent this from happening to my students.

Abigail Osei, VCAC Adviser

Abigail Osei

CLAS 2017 | Psychology and Religious Studies

In college, I had the opportunity along with five other UVA students to pilot a peer mentoring program at Albemarle High School. Through this program, I was able to work with students and visited colleges they may be interested in, talked about their post-secondary plans, helped them with questions and served as resources. From this experience of working with high school students from various backgrounds, I recognized the need for a college adviser and how the college application process can be stressful if one doesn't have someone that is supportive and can help them with the process.


Kiley Overstreet, VCAC Adviser

Kiley Overstreet

CLAS 2017 | Spanish and Psychology, Minor in Global Sustainability
Greene County

Being a college adviser means that I can make a difference in a community. Many students don't have the resources that I did when I was applying to colleges, and I think it's important that I give back and help them find a plan for themselves.

Shamecca Perkins, VCAC Adviser

Shamecca Perkins

CLAS 2017 | Psychology, Spanish

I applied to CAC because of my personal experience with living in a low-access area. I know how that impedes opportunity and creates or perpetuates cycles of poverty in families and communities. Being a College Adviser means I have the chance to make a difference in someone's life. I have the responsibility of being a trustworthy and reliable source for my students to help them into the next chapter of their lives.

Amy Pressey

CLAS 2017 | Biology and Anthropology
Charles City County

I applied to the College Advising Corps program because it is the perfect service opportunity to introduce me to the world of education and allow me the chance to experiment with my passions. As a college adviser, one of our missions is to encourage and increase a college-going culture among communities of first-generation, low socioeconomic, and minority demographic groups. From my perspective, there is no better holistic way to change the educational landscape here in Virginia other than providing access to post-secondary education for those who historically have no access.

Jenna Rieden, VCAC Adviser

Jennifer Rieden

CLAS 2017 | Psychology and Youth, Social Innovation Media Studies and French

This program allows me to gain hands-on experience in the school counseling field while focusing on access to higher education, an area I am passionate about. I particularly enjoy working with high school students and was drawn by the near-peer model of College Advising Corps. Being a college adviser means forming relationships with students, faculty, and community members to best increase access to higher education and to better understand the barriers students face on their paths to higher education, whatever that path may be (four-year/two-year college, trade school, etc.).

Marcus Rini, VCAC Adviser

Marcus Rini

CLAS 2016 | English
Fluvanna County

I believe in the mission of the Advising Corps, and I am excited to help create opportunities for students who may otherwise not have had these same opportunities. My job will be to help high school students transition from high school to post-secondary, whether that be 4 year college/university, 2 year college, the armed forces, vocational/trade school, etc.  It is about helping students find the right program for them personally, whether that is at a university or otherwise.  It is about creating a college-going culture in schools and communities.

Lindsey Rosenthal, VCAC Adviser

Lindsey Rosenthal

CLAS 2016 | Linguistics
Patrick County

I serve as a college adviser to help decrease inequality in access to higher education. I want to make sure all students at PCHS have the resources and individualized attention they need to plan for success after graduation, and I'm thrilled to work alongside each student in their exploration of post-secondary opportunities.

Lyons Sanchezconcha, VCAC Adviser

Lyons Sanchezconcha

CLAS 2016 | Spanish

I serve as a college adviser because I believe in equal opportunity for all, and because my greatest passions are education and helping others. Many of my students' struggles parallel my own when I was considering post-secondary options, and I want to help them realize their potential and succeed after high school.

Sass Sloce, VCAC Adviser

Sass Sloce

College at Wise 2016 | Sociology, Minor in Business

I serve as a college adviser because I want to help my students find the best path for their future. Whether it be going to college, in to the work field, or other path, I want to be able to help them along the way.

Lucy Gordon Smith, VCAC Adviser

Lucy Gordon Smith

CLAS 2017 | American Studies
Buckingham County

I would not be at UVA if it weren't for the tremendous support from my high school. I see myself making a difference for under-represented students but also helping everyone find the best fit for them after graduation, whether it is going into a trade or going to a 4-year college.

Sierra Swisher, VCAC Adviser

Sierra Swisher

CLAS 2017 | Youth and Social Innovation

I love the idea of helping young people see their full potential by assisting them in the process of pursuing education after high school.  Also, being a first generation college student myself, it means a lot to me that the College Advising Corps wants to target young people who may not have higher education on their radar.  Because without the people who encouraged me in high school, I don’t know if I would have come to UVA. To me, being a college adviser means that I get to encourage and work alongside young people, no matter their backgrounds, to figure out how they can continue their education and work towards the goals they have set for themselves. 

Shweta Tembe, VCAC Adviser

Shweta Tembe

CLAS 2017 | Psychology
Louisa County

I want to be that extra encouragement for youngsters who do not have someone else to turn to in times of need or uncertainty. I myself have had my fair share of hardship, and this lens will help me advise the students positively. I applied to CAC because I foresaw myself in a helping/counseling position with young, underprivileged people. I see this experience influencing my future path significantly.

Morgan Tyree, VCAC Adviser

Morgan Tyree

CLAS 2017 | Psychology, Youth and Social Innovation
Pittsylvania County

I applied to the program because I think that it works to meet students where they are and provide them with the resources and opportunities they may not have otherwise. I want my students to be able to pursue their dreams, no matter the form they take, and I intend to provide them with the best aid they need to get there.  As a college adviser I get to serve students in a very personal, active way and that means I will be able to help them make their dreams become a reality.

Laura Widener, VCAC Adviser

Laura Widener

CLAS 2016 | Women, Gender, & Sexuality with a Concentration in Gender Studies, Minor in English

While attending UVA, I discovered my ability to act as a resource to other students through my participation in various student organizations. VCAC allows me to interact with high school students as a resource to help them reach their post-secondary educational goals. I am excited to provide Charlottesville High School students with the tools to achieve those goals!

Donnell Wright

Donnell Wright

CLAS 2016 | Sociology

I serve because I was once in their shoes. A first generation student who wanted to do something with my life, but did not know how. I want to help mold their dreams and aspirations as they matriculate into higher education.

Robin Yeh, VCAC Adviser

Robin Yeh

CLAS 2016 | Media Studies

I’m very thankful for the support system of friends and family throughout my college application process. However, I recognize that many students do not have equal opportunities to achieve their postsecondary goals. I serve as a college adviser because I want to support them during a potentially stressful and confusing stage in their lives. I am excited to be a resource to help students reach their full potential.