Meet our Founders
Sallie Traxler, MBA – Navigation Guru and Founder
For nearly 20 years Sallie has been the strategic mind behind organizations identifying and achieving their goals through thought partnership, innovation and transformation. She is committed to creating the space for people to move from vision to implementation and transcend more than they ever thought possible. Sallie has led many initiatives aimed at rethinking how organizations meet the needs of their customers.
In 2015, she founded ResultsTrax, LLC, a management consultancy dedicated to helping address some of today’s most difficult business challenges. While working on a university project, she and her colleagues noticed that families and students needed help on their journey from high school to college. This ultimately led to the founding of My College Navigation Hub. Sallie knows how to connect people’s needs to resources. She understands that every family situation is different, and that different students need different things to succeed. My College Navigation Hub was created to meet that need.
Sallie has served in senior leadership positions for the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I), the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), and the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). She has an MBA from The Ohio State University, an MA and BA from Morehead State University, and an AA from Shawnee State University. She enjoys her family, especially her grandchildren, and is learning to sail.
Mark Koepsell, MS Ed – Navigation Guru and Founder
Mark is a visionary leader bringing over 25 years of experience in establishing organizational effectiveness across diverse organizations. Known for both strategy development and providing corporate vision, he is recognized for his entrepreneurial mindset with creative problem solving ability combined with operational effectiveness. At the end of the day, what he does is convert strategic plans into reality, implementing new programs and services that enable organizations to serve their clients.
Mark has spent most of his professional career working in and around Higher Education. That work centered on building the space that supports students in their own development. He is now bringing those talents to My College Navigation Hub. Mark understands what soon-to-be college students need to know to really succeed in their college career and has a passion for helping them get there.
After spending 15 years working on various college campus, most recently Mark has served in senior leadership positions for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values, and as CEO of an organization built to serve non-profit associations. He has a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Eastern Illinois University and a triple major (Organizational Communication, Public Relations, and Music) from Carroll University. He is the proud dad to two beautiful teen daughters – deep in that journey to college themselves!
Meet our Education Consultants
Meredith Biesinger, M.Ed.
Areas of Specialty: College Essay, College Search and Application, Financing College
Meredith is passionate about helping you with this exciting chapter in your life: college! As an experienced high school English teacher, college instructor, and school administrator, she has provided guidance to many students on admissions essays, grants, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities ensuring that students and their families accomplish their goals. She believes that one of the most important aspects of this journey is that you are comfortable and confident with the choices you make.
For the past six years, Meredith has worked as a college consultant for undergraduate and graduate students about how to fund college; without going into student loan debt. She also specializes in admission essays. Her students have attended Ivy League schools, state schools, and community colleges across the country. Meredith believes that there is a school that is just right for you, and she is ready to help you find the right fit.
Meredith has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education/Creative Writing from Utah State University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Cincinnati. She has taught high school and college English and college education courses. She is a former K-12 administrator and College Academic Dean. She is also a published author of children’s literature, and variou education articles. Meredith designed and implemented Service Learning curriculum for high school students for the state of Utah, which helped high school seniors find a career path through service in their community. She is also a member of The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi—specializing in grants for women to attend college.
Meredith lives in South Mississippi with her husband and three sons. She enjoys singing in the University of Southern Mississippi civic chorale, cooking, and DIY home projects.
Bradley Blankenship, Ph.D.
Areas of Specialty: Homeschool Curriculum Development, College Search and Application, Transcript Authentication, LGBTQ College Search, Transfer Admissions, Gap Year Planning, Co-Curricular Experiential Education
For more than a decade Bradley has worked with families to develop and implement unique academic curriculums that meet their needs. As former faculty, administrator, and college admissions officer, he has experience working with students at both the university and high school levels. Whether for a high school homeschoolers, students on academic probation or suspension, or overachievers who need a little extra guidance, Bradley works with students and their families to identify the best solutions to their academic situations.
Finding, applying, and enrolling in a college or university can be overwhelming, particularly if you are a homeschool student. Assisting in the college search and application process, creating and authenticating transcripts, developing comprehensive home school portfolios, and helping to brainstorm creative and unique service-learning experiences that compliment your unique curriculum are just a sampling of Bradley’s skill sets.
Bradley has a B.A. George Mason University (Psychology), M.S. Indiana University (Higher Education), and a Ph.D. Indiana University (Higher Education).
He is an avid cyclist, dog lover, and aspiring puppeteer. In addition to a career in higher education and education consulting, Bradley sits on the board of a local literacy non-profit and writes children’s picture books, two which have won national awards in the area of early readers. He lives in Chicago, IL.
Jeison Diaz, M.A.
Areas of Specialty: Community College Selection and Admissions, Transfer Planning and Bilingual/Bicultural (English/Spanish)
Over the past ten years, Jeison has focused on helping students acclimate and learn the language of higher education. He is passionate about working with students who choose to begin their path to a bachelor’s degree at their local community college. He assists you in identifying transfer options, determining the required courses and in planning your semester-by-semester course work to fulfill your transfer school’s requirements and meet your goals.
Jeison spent his first two years at a community college taking general education courses, not knowing exactly what he wanted to major in. However, after his first semester exploring courses in psychology and sociology, he discovered that he loved helping/service oriented roles and decided to major in Sociology and Higher Education Leadership. After several hands-on experiences in higher education; it became clear that a career advising college students was what he enjoyed the most and where he could best contribute his skills and values.
Jeison has an Associate of Art from the College of Lake County, a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and Master in Higher Education Leadership, from Northeastern Illinois University, and is working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.
In his free time, Jeison enjoys biking, traveling and reading about world history. He lives in the Chicagoland area.
LizNoel Duncan, MSW, M.Ed.
Areas of Specialty: IB/High School Course Selection; Counseling Third-Culture Kids (TCK); University Counseling for TCK; International Applications; Personal Statement vs Personal Essay
Over the past 20 years, LizNoel has worked as a secondary school counselor, university counselor, clinical social worker, school social worker, costume/wardrobe supervisor, and photographer. She has lived in New York City, Cairo, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kuwait, Cairo (again), and Tel Aviv.
LizNoel originally received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Hunter College CUNY in 1991, and worked as a social worker in New York City, San Francisco, and Baltimore. While in San Francisco, she decided to return to college to get an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design (because she could), and then worked as a costume designer and wardrobe supervisor in independent films and community theater until taking time off from everything to stay at home with her young children. After moving to Baltimore, LizNoel returned to part-time work as a mobile crisis clinical social worker, where she worked until her family moved overseas.
Once overseas, LizNoel worked as an adolescent therapist, and then decided it was time to return to working in schools, but this time as a school counselor. After working for a year as a middle school/high school/university counselor in Kuwait, she moved to Cairo, Egypt and returned to school for a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling and a Certificate in College Counseling. Her life has not been a straight line. It hasn’t even been a smooth, curvy line. Her life has jumped back and forth, trying to move forward, but sometimes in a very crooked way that isn’t always clear. What has always remained consistent, though, is her love of working with teenagers, and desire to help them figure out what direction they are going in and how to get there…eventually.
Sandra Gardella-Cherry, M.Ed., A.C.C.
Areas of Specialty: High School Academic Planning, NCAA and College Athletes, Guidance for Families during Transition, College Search and Admissions
Sandra is here to partner with you through your college journey. This life adventure is exhilarating and at times frustrating. Her job, as your advisor, is to help you define your goals, as well as, identify your best college fit. The willingness to actively pursue your dreams and turn them into your reality will become one of your fondest accomplishments.
Since 1993, Sandra has been a Licensed School Counselor. She has assisted thousands of students and their parents navigate the college process. She believes that success comes when people are willing to be open minded and investigate different options. In 2016, Sandra earned her Professional Life Coach certification through the International Coach Federation (ICF). The coaching process is a powerful technique that creates a pathway to one’s goal. The combination of these life experiences has led her to develop an advising style that enables people to reach their goals.
Growing up just north of the Boston, Sandra has always been around sports. She has participated in sports, has family and friends whom have reach competitive sporting levels and has watched as Title IX has changed the face of women’s sport. So in 2001, when she relocated and started her career in a large community outside of Washington, D. C., it was natural for her to be drawn to the highly competitive and successful athletic programs in the schools. Due to the level of athleticism, many of our students were seeking athletic scholarships or were being recruited by colleges. Through her passion and experience, she has assisted many students and families navigate the world of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Sandra has a B.A. from Westfield State College, in Westfield MA, and a M.Ed. from Cambridge College, in Cambridge MA. Over the years, she has enjoyed working students and families in her community. More recently, she has lived the college search journey with her own children. Her daughter, who could be a perpetual student, is completing her undergraduate degree while simultaneously working on her master’s degree. While, her son is living his dream as a Division l baseball player in the New England area. Sandra is eager to be a part of your college search.
LaRae Snoddy, M.A.
Areas of Specialty: 1st Generation Students, Early College Planning, Low-income Students, Selective Schools, Private Schools, College Search and Application, Scholarships
LaRae is excited to help you navigate the college process. Her personal experience as a 1st generation student has guided much of her work with students and has shaped her to be a passionate advocate for helping students find their right fit—for the lowest cost.
For the last 13 years, LaRae has helped students in Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, New York, and now Virginia with all phases of the college process. She specializes in working with 1st generation, low-income students, and students who want to get an early start on the college planning process. Additionally, she assists students looking for selective and test optional schools to craft their personal essays and shape a story that makes them stand out in the admissions process.
Some of her former students are currently attending or graduates of schools such as Dartmouth, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, DePauw, St. Johns University, Howard, Radford, University of Buffalo, University of Illinois, and Old Dominion University –just to name a few. LaRae has assisted students through the process of applying to elite programs including: Posse and the Millennial Gates Scholarship. She truly believes that college can be an amazing and life changing experience and that every student deserves a strong and knowledgeable guide to help them navigation options. The college experience lays the foundation for future career success and I am excited to help students begin their journey.
LaRae is a graduate of Lawrence University (BA in Philosophy & Spanish) and Edgewood College (MA in Education). She currently serves as Program Director for TRiO Program. She previously worked with The Bronx Institute, Lehman College as a (college access) Project Associate and Program Coordinator for South Bronx GEAR UP. In addition, she served as an Admissions Counselor at Edgewood College where she was responsible for counseling, recruitment, and Pre-college programs. LaRae is a member of the Council for Opportunities in Education, Mid-Eastern Association of Educational and Opportunity Program Personnel; and the Virginia Association of Educational and Opportunity Programs where she has presented on strategies to increase high school students’ enrollment in college. She is a 1st generation college graduate; one of eleven siblings; an avid traveler, and passionate foodie, who currently lives in Virginia with her four-year-old twins, Micah & Lelah.
Meet our Interns
Class of 2018
Jazz Girard, University at Albany, State University of New York, NY – Communications and Content Creation Intern
Jazz is a sophomore at the University at Albany, State University of New York, in Albany, NY, and is triple (yes, triple) majoring in Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Informatics with a concentration in Interactive User Experience. While Jazz’s plate is constantly full, she has made her commitment to social justice and activism well known. As a student on the pre-law track, Jazz has an unending passion and dedication to serving communities that are in need, and providing a voice of justice and solidarity to those who feel theirs are not heard. In her free time, Jazz enjoys spending time with friends, catching up on her favorite shows, and writing. Jazz has been an active member of the Huffington Post writing community for seven years, and is moving onto writing with the New York Times in the future.
Gershon Harrell, Kent State University, OH – Communications and Content Creation Intern
Gershon, Shon for short, is a sophomore at Kent State University with a major in journalism and minor in digital media production. Writing, telling stories, and spreading creativity is a huge passion of his. He is excited by the opportunity to work with College Navigation Hub to expand his horizon, help him become a stronger writer, develop media savvy skills, and gain experience working in a professional and creative environment. He also gets to do two of things he loves; writing and helping young college students like himself navigate their way through this beautiful but chaotic force we call life.
Meghan Lupo, Northwood University, MI – Communications and Content Creation Intern
Meghan is a senior currently enrolled at Northwood University where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business administration with a major in Marketing. Throughout her college career she was hesitant about solidifying her decision to pursue business, but the decision became very easy after a few business classes that left a lasting impression on her. As a student-athlete, mentor, and someone who has experienced the trials and tribulations college entails she is ecstatic to become a part of our team and share her journey with others in order to help them grow, excel, and enjoy all that college has to offer.
April Pickens, Purdue University, IN – Communications and Content Creation Intern
April is a senior at Purdue University, and has been writing short stories since the age of three, so it’s probably a good thing that she is majoring in Professional Writing! She plans to work in publishing and editing, and knows that this experience will further the skills she will use in future jobs and opportunities. As an intern with My College Navigation Hub, she looks forward to sharing her collegiate experiences with others (even the mistakes and slip ups), and hopefully helping students make their college years the best they can be!
Our Previous Interns
Class of 2017
Zachary Garner, State University of New York College at Oswego, NY – Communications and Content Creation Intern
Manisha Maramreddy, Northern Illinois University, IL – Web Development and Special Projects Intern
Molly Metzger, Ohio University, OH – Communications and Content Creation Intern
Dan Zhu, St. Charles Community College, MO – Web Development and SEO Intern