47 Top Entrepreneurs & CEOs With Liberal Arts Degrees

ceos with liberal arts degrees

Every liberal arts major has heard the joke before:

Q: What did the philosophy major ask the STEM major?
A: Would you like fries with that?

Turns out, however, that liberal arts majors can do much better than flipping burgers. The critical thinking skills, broad perspective, and lifelong learning habits of the typical liberal arts major lend themselves well to a wide variety of career pathways and goals.

Including the goal of making bucket loads of money.

We found this out by poking into the Inc 5000 list – Inc.’s list of America’s top entrepreneurs, year by year.

Inc ranks American entrepreneurs according to the percentage revenue growth of the companies they’ve helmed over the last 4 years. To qualify, each company must have had at least $100,000 in revenue in 2014, and at least $2 million in revenue in 2017. These are phenomenal companies, led by the best entrepreneurs and CEOs in America.

CEOs with Liberal Arts Degrees: What We found

Now, if you were to look at the top 250 entrepreneurs on Inc’s list, how many of them would you expect to have liberal arts degrees?

Perhaps you have no idea, so let’s do some estimating.

Around 12% of all graduates major in liberal arts, and only 11% of them go into business – which means that liberal arts majors who go into business make up about 1.3% of all graduates. Business majors, meanwhile, make up about 19% of all graduates.

Purely by the numbers, then, we’d expect no more than 12 liberal arts majors in the top 250 entrepreneurs: approximately 1 for every 19 business majors.

Well, our expectations were thrown out the window when we discovered more than twice that many. No less than 29 out of the top 250 entrepreneurs have liberal arts degrees!

Based on this research, an estimated 11.6% of top CEOs have liberal arts degrees – more than half what we would expect.

And if you don’t believe us, take a look for yourself:

ENTREPRENEUR #1

Dave Barnett

CEO & Founder
B.S in Philosophy from Emory University

COMPANY: PopSockets makes self-adhesive, collapsible, expandable cell phone grips to help take selfies, text with one hand, and avoid dropping your phone.


ENTREPRENEUR #2

Ryan Peterson

CEO of Flexport
B.A in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley

COMPANYFlexport moves freight globally by air, ocean, rail, and truck for the major brands.


ENTREPRENEUR #3

Maria Molland Selby

CEO & Founder
B.A in Economics from Northwestern University

COMPANY: THINX creates options and products that overcome the taboos about menstruation and reproductive health.


ENTREPRENEURS #4 & #5

Trina Spear

Co-Founder & Co-CEO
B.A in Economics from Tufts University

Heather Hasson

Co-Founder & Co-CEO
B.A. Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

COMPANY: FIGS creates and sells stylish scrubs and other medical garb directly to health care professionals.


ENTREPRENEUR #7

David Schlanger

CEO
B.A. Economics from Georgetown University

COMPANY: Progyny is a fertility benefits management company that combines clinical and emotional guidance, science, technology, and data to provide comprehensive fertility services for self-insured employers.


ENTREPRENEUR #8

Jeff Kupietzky

CEO
B.A. Economics from Columbia University

COMPANY: PowerInbox is an e-mail based, personalized content recommendation platform that increases reader engagement while providing incremental revenue for e-mail publishers.


ENTREPRENEUR #9

Paul Bertozzi

President & CEO
B.A. Economics from Auburn University

COMPANYLive Oak Contracting is a general contracting firm offering multifamily and commercial development, design/build, renovation, rehab, and tenant improvement projects.


ENTREPRENEUR #10

Benjamin Miller

CEO
B.A. Economics from the University of Pennsylvania

COMPANY: Fundrise develops an online platform that offers a simple, low-cost way to invest in real estate.


ENTREPRENEUR #11

Name: Steve Sidel
Company: Mindoula
Inc’s description: Deploys case managers, care managers, community health workers, psychiatrists, and peer support specialists for those facing mental health challenges.
Position: CEO & Founder
Degree & College: B.A. Political Science from Brown University


ENTREPRENEUR #12

Stuart Landesberg

CEO & Co-Founder
B.A. Economics from Amherst College

COMPANY: Grove Collaborative is a subscription-based service that delivers eco-friendly, natural home and personal care products to members.


ENTREPRENEUR #13

Kory Stevens

CEO
B.A. Linguistics Brigham Young University

COMPANY: TAFT is a direct-to-consumer men’s footwear brand.


ENTREPRENEUR #14

Robert Reffkin

CEO & Founder
B.A. Economics-Philosophy and History, from Columbia University in the City of New York

COMPANY: Compass is a subscription-based service that delivers eco-friendly, natural home and personal care products to members.


ENTREPRENEUR #15

Jim Sullivan

CEO & Founder
B.A. Economics from the State University of New York at Binghampton

COMPANY: HealPros helps health plans close care gaps for plan members with critical conditions like diabetes by providing in-home mobile testing.


ENTREPRENEUR #16

Steve Vierra

COO & Co-Founder
A.A. Psychology from Saddleback College

COMPANY: SkillSet Group provides senior technical staffing and outsourced HR services to a diverse range of industries.


ENTREPRENEUR #17

Kerry McGonigal

Managing Partner
B.A. Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley

COMPANY: Hyperion Partners specializes in consulting and business development for mobile technologies.


ENTREPRENEUR #18

Andrew Josuweit

CEO & Founder
B.S. Economics from Bentley University

COMPANY: Student Loan Hero helps borrowers understand, manage, and repay their student loans.


ENTREPRENEUR #19

Bryan Goldberg

CEO
B.A. Economics from Middlebury College

COMPANY: Bustle Digital Group publishes Bustle, Romper, Elite Daily, and other sites targeted to millennial women.


ENTREPRENEUR #20

Andrew Fischer

CEO & Co-Founder
B.S. Economics from Vanderbilt University

COMPANY: Choozle provides a digital advertising platform that uses detailed consumer data to power real-time programmatic campaigns across display, mobile, social and video mediums.


ENTREPRENEUR #21

Bob Kapadia

CEO
B.S. Economics, Biology from Northwestern University

COMPANY: Linea di Liara sells European-inspired wall lamps, ceiling lights, and chandeliers.


ENTREPRENEUR #22

Patrick McKenna

 Founder
B.A. English from Washington State University

COMPANY: Strike Social develops artificial intelligence software that powers social media advertising campaigns for major brands.


ENTREPRENEUR #23

Kade Wilcox

CEO
B.A. History from West Texas A&M University

COMPANY: Primitive Social helps businesses tell their story online through their websites and social media and generates leads to ideal customers.


ENTREPRENEUR #24

Joseph Dalton

CEO
B.A. History from University of California, Berkeley

COMPANY: ODL Services provides aviation, intelligence, technology development, logistics, and special operations support to government and commercial clients.


ENTREPRENEUR #25

Jeremy Bodenhamer

CEO
B.A. English from Westmont College

COMPANY: ShipHawk develops a platform for retailers of all sizes to help them manage shipping and reduce costs.


ENTREPRENEUR #26

Patrick Maloney

CEO & Founder
B.A. Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics from University of Pennsylvania

COMPANY: Inspire offers personalized energy management services to help consumers adopt clean energy and smart home technologies.


ENTREPRENEUR #27

Pat Strader

Founder
B.A. Sociology & Anthropology from West Virginia University

Company: Digital Relativity offers traditional and digital marketing and advertising services.


ENTREPRENEUR #28

Andrew Stalbow

CEO & Co-Founder
B.A. International History & Politics from the University of Leeds

COMPANY: Seriously develops the Best Fiends mobiles games and related consumer products.


ENTREPRENEUR #29

Mitchell Cho

President
B.A. Government & International Politics from George Mason University

COMPANY: FedWriters helps government and commercial organizations develop a range of documents including technical reports, research studies, regulatory documents, user manuals, marketing materials, newsletters, and online and multimedia content.


This list has hopefully convinced you that liberal arts majors can excel in business – even outside the Inc 5000, liberal arts majors play a major role in business. Here are more business leaders with liberal arts degrees!

BUSINESSWOMAN #30

Anne Iezzi

Vice President
B.A. History & Sociology from Eastern Connecticut University

COMPANY: Voya helps you plan, invest, and protect your savings to and through retirement.


BUSINESSMAN #31

Danny Nicholson

President
B.A. Communications from Charleston Southern University

COMPANY: Connie Maxwell Children’s Home has a long history of caring for children and their families, and has continued to develop new programs with individualized services that provide stability and Christ-centered support during their time of need.


BUSINESSMAN #32

David O’Reilly

Founder and Co-Owner, Owen Rowe Winery
B.A. Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College

COMPANY: Owen Roe Winery produces beautiful wines from superior sites in the Pacific Northwest.


ENTREPRENEUR #33

Emily Johnston

Founder
B.A. Art History from Sweet Briar College

COMPANY: The London-based blog Fashion Foie Gras is the place for women to get all their daily fashion news.


BUSINESSWOMAN #34

Gretchen Hall

President & CEO
B.A. Economics from Lyon College

COMPANY: The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Little Rock, charged with marketing and selling the city as a meeting, sports and leisure travel destination.


ENTREPRENEUR #35

Harpreet Bedi

Co-Founder, Managing Director, Legal Counsel
B.A. Economics & International Relations from Sweet Briar College

COMPANY: Garcha Hotels is a luxury hotel group founded in 2015. The group consists of a chain of boutique hotels, many of which are located in Singapore.


BUSINESSMAN #36

J. Eric Wilson

CEO
B.A. English & Economics from Lyon College

COMPANY: Noble Impact is an education non-profit that exposes students to relevant experiences and tools that enable them to navigate a world defined by uncertainty.


BUSINESSWOMAN #37

Jane Nemcova

Managing Director, Artificial Intelligence
B.A. Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College

COMPANY: Lionbridge creates, transforms, tests, and trains content across a wide variety of industries – from text, voice, audio, video, to structured & unstructured data.


BUSINESSWOMAN #38

Jane Nielsen

CFO
B.A. Economics from Smith College

COMPANY: Ralph Lauren offers luxury and designer men’s and women’s clothing, kids’ clothing, and baby clothes.


BUSINESSWOMAN #39

Janice Deskus

CHRO
B.A. Psychology from Eastern Connecticut University

COMPANY: Staples helps the world work better with work solutions that deliver industry-leading products, services and expertise across office supplies, facilities, breakroom, furniture, technology, promotional products, and print & marketing services.


BUSINESSWOMAN #40

Millicent Lann

Managing Partner
B.A. Speech, Communication, & Rhetoric from Charleston Southern University

COMPANY: Premier Care provides a specialized treatment program for opioid dependent adults, ages 18 and over, who require physician-monitored methadone or suboxone treatment in addition to comprehensive counseling and crisis intervention services.


BUSINESSWOMAN #41

Pamela Craig

Board of Directors & Chair, Audit Committee
B.A. Economics from Smith College

COMPANY: Akamai keeps digital experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats farther away.


BUSINESSMAN #42

Ray Simpson

Owner
B.A. English Language & Literature from Lyon College

COMPANY: Simpson Galleries has been serving Houston’s need for the very best in antique sales venues for more than fifty years.


BUSINESSWOMAN #43

Sarah Lynn Oquist

COO
B.A. English from Lyon College

COMPANY: Sapientia Law Group was formed by a group of experienced lawyers from “big firms” to small, who independently arrived at one conclusion: The old law firm model is broken; there has to be a better way. This sentiment was not confined simply to the age-old criticism of billable hours, but extended to traditional firm infrastructures, value systems, compensation models, and an inability to achieve meaningful diversity.


BUSINESSMAN #44

Shawn Meaike

Owner
B.A. Sociology from Eastern Connecticut University

COMPANY: Our mission at Family First Life is to make the families we protect and the families of our agents our number one priority.


BUSINESSWOMAN #45

Stephanie Lee Berger

Co-Founder
B.A. Political Science and Anthropology from Sweet Briar College

COMPANY: RISE is an international consulting firm providing advice, support and training to NGOs, philanthropic organizations and political and community leaders in the Middle East and Europe.


BUSINESSMAN #46

Stephen O’Keefe

Partner
B.A. History from Christendom College

COMPANY: Virtual Service Operations is an end-to-end hybrid-cloud service management company, giving you the peace of mind to hand over projects and allowing you the freedom to scale your operation.


BUSINESSMAN #47

Tim Halisky

President
B.A. History from Christendom College

COMPANY: RLA Mid-Atlantic partners with retail brokers to find innovative solutions to challenging insurance needs.


Hopefully, if you still had financial concerns about liberal arts degrees, this list has helped to clear them up.

To be sure, we don’t advocate the liberal arts for all students.

Liberal arts are, however, a choice that many students should seriously consider and explore.

As the individuals in this list have shown, a liberal arts major is often a step on the pathway toward a wildly successful career.

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Senior Associate Admissions Consultant

Tracy comes to FLEX with several years of experience as a college admissions consultant and career coach. She attended Vanderbilt, where she double-majored in Human and Organizational Development and German Studies. She then pursued her Master’s in International Comparative Education at Stanford. This combination of roles and achievements equips Tracy with a broad perspective on education and career readiness, enabling her to offer comprehensive guidance to students navigating the complex process of college admissions. 

 

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  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics
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Akimitsu Makino

Master Instructor

Aki graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Biology and Asian Studies.  Upon graduation, he gained experience in ophthalmic clinical research, where he was fortunate to co-author publications and co-invent a patent.  While working in the clinic, Aki pursued a master’s degree in the biological sciences at CSU East Bay, where he completed a biotechnology certificate and was one of the few students to be granted a visiting scholar position at UCSF as part of his master’s research for one year.

Aki’s passion for helping students overcome challenges in math and science is demonstrated in his extensive tutoring experience.  From supplementing a student’s school curriculum to designing a customized course; for nearly a decade, he has helped students realize their goals.  In his free time, Aki enjoys learning new subjects and topics, all of which he utilizes when teaching students.

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Education
  • B.A. Psychology & B.A. Criminal Justice – University of Maryland
  • M.A. Legal and Forensic Psychology – UC of Irvine
Subjects
  • SAT English
  • ACT English
  • English
  • AP Psychology

Sarah Kim

Associate Instructor

Sarah Kim graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice/Criminology. She currently studies at the University of California, Irvine pursuing a Master’s in Legal and Forensic Psychology. There, her research focuses on rapport and support building in interviews with adolescent victims of sex trafficking. She takes her research focus on rapport building to reach students individually in a gentle but focused manner. When not working or doing school work, she loves to read, dance, and spend time with her dog.

Sarah has been tutoring for 7 years with experience in K-12 general English as well as SAT/ACT Test Preparation. She specializes in the reading writing components of standardized tests. Her extensive background in tutoring has allowed her to be considerate of all students’ needs–whether that be young children learning how to read or high schoolers wanting to succeed on their SAT. Sarah believes that each student should be met where they are and strongly believes that every student can succeed.

Education
  • B.S. Economics – Arizona State University
  • M.A. Educational Leadership and Administration – UC Davis
  • Master of Education – Arizona State University
  • Ph.D. Sociocultural Studies and Educational Policy – Arizona State University
Subjects
  • English
  • Spanish
  • AP Spanish

Carmina Mendoza

Master Instructor

Dr. Carmina Mendoza is an education scholar with 25 years of experience in the public education sector. Her research and teaching have focused on Spanish instruction at different levels–elementary, secondary, and higher education.  Dr. Mendoza has decades of experience, both as a teacher and as a researcher of Spanish immersion programs in Arizona and California. 

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Education
  • B.A. Social Sciences, Emphasis Sociology – New York University
Subjects
  • ACT English and Reading
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP European History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP US History
  • SAT Verbal

Sara Delgado

Associate Instructor

Sara has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with an emphasis on sociology from New York University, and an Associates of Art in Sociology from Fullerton College. Sara’s past experiences as an educator and tutor range from Elementary to College age students. She provided peer-led supplemental instruction during her time at Fullerton College; during this supplemental instruction, she assisted students with understanding concepts and assignments in English courses taught at the school. She currently works as a long-term substitute teacher for local high schools. Sara’s main motivation to pursue a career as an educator is to support students and provide them with a fun and conducive learning experience that will set them up for future success.

Education
  • B.S. Computer Game Science – UC Irvine
Subjects
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Computer Science: C/C++
  • Computer Science: Java
  • Computer Science: Python
  • Math, Lower Level (Alg2 and Below)
  • Pathways – STEM Coding

Theodore (Teo) Lee

Associate Instructor

Theodore (Teo) Lee graduated from the University of California-Irvine with a B.S. in Computer Game Science. He has been tutoring computer science for the last 5 years, helping those new to the field understand and develop their computer science skills. In addition to tutoring, Teo is President of the local Association for Computing Machinery. He has led many team projects developing software, and he has won numerous prizes in the many competitions he has attended.

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Education
  • B.S. Business Administration in Marketing and Finance – UC Berkeley
  • M.S Education – CSU East Bay
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential – CSU East Bay
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential English, History Social Science, Science – CSU East Bay
Subjects
  • AP Macro and Micro
  • ACT English Reading Science
  • SAT Verbal
  • AP Gov
  • APUSH
  • AP Lit and Lang
  • AP Environmental Science

Rick Denny

Master Instructor

Rick attended San Francisco’s Lowell High, qualifying as a National Merit Finalist. After graduating from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Denny spent 15 years marketing and managing tech startups that were acquired by Amazon, Microsoft, Time Warner, and others for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Seeking to make a meaningful difference in students’ lives, Rick earned an MS in Education, and seven California teaching credentials including single subject English, history and social science, and science. Since 2007, Denny has taught and tutored diverse learners in English through AP Language and AP Literature; social science through AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, and AP US History; and science through AP Environmental Science. Rick has also mentored students in individual college-level research projects.

Since 2013, Denny has helped students excel on standardized tests, especially the SAT and ACT.  Rick particularly enjoys individual tutoring because he likes getting to know his students and their interests, customizing instruction to meet their needs, and contributing to their growth and success. His tutoring superpowers are listening, analysis, patience, and humor.

Education
  • B.A. English, Philosophy – University of Hartford
  • Ph.D. English – UC Irvine
Subjects
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP Psychology
  • FRMC – Humanities

Michael Mahoney

Master Instructor

Dr. Michael Mahoney holds a PhD in English from the University of California-Irvine, where he has extensive experience teaching university courses in College Writing, English, Philosophy, Film, and History. Michael is widely recognized for his ability to engage students. He has received multiple campus-wide awards in recognition of his excellence as an instructor. In addition to his teaching, Michael’s research has also been recognized for its innovative approach to interdisciplinarity. His doctoral work has received support from endowments in fields as diverse as literary criticism, medical humanities, and science and technology studies.

Michael believes strongly in a student-centered approach to teaching, one that emphasizes active engagement with core concepts in order to achieve specific learning outcomes. His goal is to equip students with the skills to think critically, meaningfully, and independently about texts, ultimately helping them gain a sense of mastery and command over their use of language. Drawing on nearly a decade of experience teaching college writing in various disciplines, Michael also aims to help students reach their full potential in developing compelling and insightful essays.

Elijah
Education
  • B.S. Mathematics – Harvey Mudd College
Subjects
  • AP Calculus
  • College Math
  • SAT Math
  • Math (lower and upper level)

Elisha Dayag

Associate Instructor

Elisha Dayag is a PhD student in Mathematics at UC Irvine. He received his BS in Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. For the past five years, he has taught and tutored a wide range of students and topics: everything from 6th graders to college students doing calculus and beyond.

As a tutor, Elisha feels that math instruction should be tailored to a student’s specific needs and help soothe any anxieties they may have regarding mathematics. He further believes that anyone can be proficient in and, more importantly, find joy in doing mathematics given enough practice and the right guidance.

Education
  • B.A. English, Minor in European Studies – UCLA
  • M.A. English – CSU Long Beach
Subjects
  • ACT English and Reading
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP European History
  • AP US History
  • AP World History
  • Pathways – English & Writing
  • SAT Verbal

Chelsea Gibbons

Associate Instructor

Chelsea Gibbons holds a B.A. in English with a minor in European studies from UCLA and an M.A. in English from Cal State Long Beach, where she specialized in 18th century British literature. While pursuing her Master’s, Chelsea worked as a managing editor for the school’s academic journal and taught as a graduate assistant for numerous literature and history classes. Outside of the university setting, Chelsea has instructed high school students across the humanities, and specifically in the test prep environment: her teaching background includes AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP European History, AP US History, AP World History, college application essays, and standardized test prep (ACT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT).

Chelsea views the classroom as a democratic space. Her students are active participants in their own learning, guided as they are through thoughtful discussions and assignments. She strongly believes that the development of critical thinking and the promotion of a global perspective makes humanities classes crucial to every student’s education, no matter what their major or academic focus.

Education
  • M.S. Physics – New York University
  • M.S. Applied Mathematics – CalPoly University, Pomona
  • M.S. Physical Chemistry – CalPoly University, Pomona
  • B.S. Physics – CalPoly University, Pomona
Subjects
  • AP Calculus AB/BC
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science: Python
  • Math, Upper Level (Trig and Up)
  • Pathways – STEM Coding

Andres Cardenas

Principal Instructor

Andrés Cárdenas is an accomplished scientist and STEM teacher. He holds multiple Master’s degrees: one in Computational Physics from NYU, another in Applied Math from CalPoly, and one in Physical Chemistry, also from CalPoly.

After working as a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Andrés spent 8 years teaching AP Physics at New York City high schools. His passion for science, in part, explains his love for teaching: his classroom enthusiasm is immediately visible,  something his students find contagious. Andrés believes that a robust STEM education starts with a student’s sense of wonder and a desire to discover; and his curriculum work reflects an emphasis on connecting concepts with theory organically—be it in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or computer science.

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Maikel-Masoud
Education
  • BSC. Mechanical Engineer – University of Alexandria
  • A.S. Mechanical Engineering – Diablo College
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering – UC Berkeley
Subjects
  • AP Physics
  • Math (lower and upper level)
  • SAT Math
  • ACT Math and Science
  • AP Calculus

Maikel Masoud

Associate Instructor

Michael holds a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and another from Alexandria University in Egypt. And he is currently pursuing a Master’s in Robotics at the University of Maryland.

Michael is passionate about education. He believes that he can help make every student love Mathematics and Physics – even those who have had a hard time coping with the nuances and complexities of these fields. Michael has taught widely throughout the Bay Area. He has been an instructor and STEM tutor at Diablo Valley College, as well as working in that capacity with students in private schools in San Francisco and in Berkeley. Having served in the US Army as a Combat Medic Specialist, Michael is experienced in aiding individuals when they are under extreme stress and in need of a calming, motivating presence. Michael is generous and kind, and particularly enjoys connecting to different cultures and people of all backgrounds.

Flex College Prep
Education
  • PhD Sociology – University of Southern California

Alfredo Huante

College Essay Instructor

Alfredo Huante holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California. He has taught several undergraduate courses, introducing students to or advancing their understanding of the social world. Alfredo has published works in academic journals and
websites and has ample editing experience. Alfredo excels at helping students translate their experiences into engaging, written essays by adjusting to each student’s specific needs.

Flex College Prep
Education
  • B.A. English – Stanford University

Cristina Herrera Mezgravis

College Essay Instructor

Cristina graduated from Stanford University with Distinction and awards both in fiction and nonfiction for exceptional work in Creative Writing. Her application essays were published in 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays and 50 Successful University of California Application Essays.

She taught English to elementary school students while studying abroad in Paris, ran a creative writing program for high school students during her senior year at Stanford, and currently volunteers as an ESL tutor with the Palo Alto Adult School. Cristina worked for two years at an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup, prototyping a new mobile app for teachers and students, and curating unpublished books, stories, and deleted scenes by New York Times bestselling authors.

Her experience in admissions consulting began by helping friends and family highlight the passions that set them apart as individuals and select the colleges that were a right fit for them. Students she advised were admitted to Stanford University, USC, and UC Berkeley, among others.

sara-fernandes
Education
  • B.A. English – Santa Clara University
  • Masters of Library and Information Science – San Jose State University

Sara Fernandes

Assistant Director of College Essay

Sara attended UC Berkeley and transferred to Santa Clara University after deciding she wanted the opportunity to work with faculty on research. While at Santa Clara University, she helped Professor Judy Dunbar research and edit her book The Winter’s Tale: Shakespeare In Performance . Sara then went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University and graduated in the top 1% of her class.

She has used her undergraduate and graduate education to pursue her passion of teaching research and writing to students. Sara has over five years of experience teaching and coaching, over two of which are with FLEX College Prep. At FLEX, Sara has successfully taught classes in SAT Verbal, ACT Verbal, middle school writing and English classes, college essay, and AP English Language and Composition.

She is committed to staying current with trends in test prep and college admissions as well as setting realistic goals for each student so that he or she can achieve success.

NicholasD
Education
  • B.A. US History and Philosophy – UC Davis
  • M.A History – San Francisco State University

Nicholas Dawes

College Essay Instructor

Nick Dawes earned his BA in US History with a philosophy minor from the University of California, Davis, and an MA in History with a concentration in cross-cultural contact from San Francisco State University. While Nick was growing up, many in his family were teachers and school administrators across the South Bay, including Fremont Union High School District, so he is intimately familiar with the academic landscape of the Bay Area.

While in graduate school, he lectured in undergraduate courses, acted as an associate editor of an academic journal, and published his own original work. After graduation, Nick worked in standardized test prep, AP subject tutoring, and he most recently taught at a Bay Area private school for five years. He believes that students learn and work best when they have a productive relationship with their instructor.

In his essay coaching, he works to help students dig deeper into who they are as individuals and what motivates them in order to find the compelling, unique stories in each student. Nick has worked with students on their college admissions essays for the last 9 years, helping students gain admission to top UCs and other prestigious top 20 public and private institutions across the country.

Flex College Prep
Education
  • Doctoral study in Human Development and
  • Psychology – Harvard University
  • M.A. Applied Child Development – Tufts University
  • B.A. Anthropology – Boston University

Martha Crowe

Master Consultant & Instructor

Martha Crowe has worked with, for, and on behalf of youth for three decades, as a social worker, child advocate, nonprofit director, consultant, and for the past eight years, as a professor, researcher, and medical writer at SDSU. Helping people tell their stories has been at the heart of each phase of her career. Martha loves getting to know young people — to hear about what they care about, what they are good at, and what their dreams are for their futures. And magic can happen when they trust her enough to help them tell their stories in an authentic and compelling way that both honors who they are and convinces admissions counselors to accept them.

 

Martha believes in taking a personalized approach with each student, tailoring her time with them based on their individual writing skills and learning needs. Her approach is always based on genuine care and concern combined with concrete action items and deadlines. For the past four years, Martha has helped students get into a variety of colleges, as well as honors programs within those colleges, from tiny to huge, rural to urban, California to the East Coast: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UC Davis, Northeastern, UMass Amherst, University of Michigan, Syracuse, Macalester, Santa Clara University, Pepperdine, University of San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Cal Lutheran, Cal Arts, Claremont McKenna Colleges, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois-Urbana Champagne, among others.

 

Martha grew up in Kansas City and joyfully left for Boston after high school, attending Boston University, Tufts, and Harvard for undergraduate and graduate school. She moved to SoCal in 2004 to spend time with her brother after graduation, and like so many others, forgot to leave. Most importantly, she’s a mom to three kids, who are, at the time of this writing, 18, 16, and 12, and an auntie to 58 nieces and nephews (true story) and too many great nieces and nephews to count. In her spare time, Martha volunteers with High Tech High, Miracle League, and Meals on Wheels, is an avid reader, and loves hanging out with her kids.

Flex College Prep
Education
  • B.S. Mathematics – UCSD
  • M.S. Psychology – King’s College London (In Progress)

Helena Chen

College Essay Instructor

Helena is a Masters student in Psychology with extensive experience in the education sector, where she has worked as a teacher, consultant and student advocate. She started tutoring students in high school and supported herself in college as an SAT instructor. With a mathematics background but still very much interested in pedagogy and mentorship, Helena decided to leverage her analytical mindset and ability to problem-solve by continuing to work in college admissions consulting–advising high school students and their families on the complex college admissions process. Through this work, she continued her passion for teaching others how to write and hone their narrative voice, which brought her to FLEX as a college essay instructor.

Flex College Prep
Education
  • B.A. English/Creative Writing; Minor: Music Industry and Cinematic Arts – University of Southern California

Gabriel Block

College Essay Instructor

Gabriel graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a BA in English/Creative Writing. He honed his writing skills through writing-intensive programs at USC and the University of Melbourne in Australia. After graduating, he spent four years in the music industry working for Sony Music Publishing, where he engaged in daily writing assignments and excelled at working with others and building trusting relationships. Gabriel has years of teaching experience; he brings a warm energy and first hand expertise in writing successful college essays. In the classroom, Gabriel values trust and joy. With a genuine interest in others, he builds trust through keen listening and clear and open communication, and asks for the same, in return. By having fun with the material and leading with positive reinforcement, he brings his best to the classroom and gets the best from his students. Most importantly, Gabriel believes in pursuing what you love. He can’t wait to learn what makes you who you are and to help you convey your authentic self to your dream school.

Northern California Info Banks September 17th

An Inside Look at Flex College Admissions
jaimie
Education
  • UC Irvine – MA in Art History
  • UC Irvine – BA in Art History with a minor in English
Language(s)
  • English (native proficiency)
  • Korean (conversational)

Jaimie Joo

Associate Consultant & College Essay Instructor

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.

dickson
Education
  • B.A. Computer Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley
Subjects
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Computer Science: Java
  • Computer Science: Python
  • Math, Lower Level (Alg2 and Below)
  • Math, Upper Level (Trig and Up)

Dickson Tsai

Master Instructor

Dickson Tsai graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Computer Science and Linguistics, and he is currently a software engineer. While at Berkeley, he worked as a teaching assistant for numerous computer science courses. In addition to teaching undergraduates, he also tutored high school students online in AP Computer Science and on the SAT, reaching the Top 10 in “Super Helpful” ratings at a top online education service platform.

Dickson cares most about cultivating a growth mindset in students, since an internal desire to improve leads to a stronger, healthier motivation than any external reward. He emphasizes a mastery of fundamentals through highly interactive activities like drawing program visualizations for AP Computer Science. 

Through this and other activities, Dickson works to accurately assess his students’ understanding and provide timely, actionable feedback. That way, students can gain the confidence to reason on their own from first principles.

AshleyR
Education
  • B.A. Creative Writing – SFSU
Subjects
  • English Enrichment
  • College Essay

Ashley Rodriguez

Associate Instructor

Ashley attended San Francisco State University where she received her BA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry. As an avid writer, Ashley developed an interest in poetry at a very young age, after immersing herself in the collections of Edgar Allen Poe and William Shakespeare. Throughout her college experience, Ashley participated in numerous workshops where she was able to sharpen her skills in playwriting, poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. She worked as an Editor for Transfer Magazine, SF State’s literary publication, where she read and edited hundreds of submissions and selected the best pieces to be published. After college, Ashley worked as an Editor for an appraisal firm, interned as a writer for a travel magazine, and became the lead writer for a video game startup, here in the Silicon Valley.

Her passion for writing developed into a drive to educate youth on the English language. From Creative Writing to grammar and vocabulary, Ashley enjoys helping students hone their writing skills and prepare them for college. For over 5 years with FLEX, she has tutored students in essay writing for college and graduate school applications, with a focus on Architecture, History, Interior Design, Art, STEM, Social Sciences, and more! Ashley is a taskmaster who ensures her students complete coherent, authentic, and strategic essays well before application deadlines.

MattL
Education
  • B.S. Mathematics – Stanford University
  • M.S. Mathematics – San Jose State University
  • Ph.D. Mathematics – UC Santa Barbara
Subjects
  • SAT I & II Math
  • ACT Math
  • AP Calculus AB and BC
  • Computer Science (Java, C++, & Python)

Matt Lazar

Principal Instructor

Matt Lazar specializes in mathematics, including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics. He is also familiar with higher level mathematics including abstract algebra, complex analysis, real analysis, differential geometry, differential topology, and point set topology. In addition, he has experience in editing math textbooks. Matt Lazar is capable of teaching introductory computer science languages, including the languages of C++, Java, and Python. Within the area of computer science, Dr. Lazar specializes in two dimensional and three-dimensional computer graphics.

At FLEX College Prep, Dr. Lazar would like to transfer his skills in mathematics and computer science to his students, so that his students can become successful in their education and their careers. Matt’s exceptional teaching ability is also shown in his AP track record, where the average AP Calc BC score of his students is 4.9, with 90% of his students earning 5s. His passion for math has enabled students across the ability spectrum to achieve their Calculus learning goals.