Countdown to College Expo

Saturday, Sep 16, 2017 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Whether you’re just getting started in the college process, or you’re currently living and breathing college, the Countdown to College Expo has you covered. This free event will feature small workshops, personal college essay and Common Application review appointments, practice SAT and ACT tests, and a panel of speakers covering topics from study skills and stress management to choosing the test that’s right for you. Free; register online for appointments and practice tests.

The Westport Library strives to help students meet their goals as they prepare for college. This series, Countdown to College, aims to provide resources for students and parents to help students to prepare academically, socially and emotionally for college.
Link to resource guide on these topics.



Bios of speakers listed below schedule.

9:30-10AM: Breakfast and coffee

10AM-12PM: Small Workshops

  • 10-11AM: Navigating the Pathway to College Acceptance for Visual and Performing Artists
    Presented by Joan Franklin and Vicki Boudin of College Docs
  • 11AM-12PM: College Financing Basics
    Presented by Lee Rawiszer and Traci Saxon of Paradigm Financial Partners

10AM-12PM: Personal Essay Appointments

A chance for students to make a 15-minute appointment to have their essay reviewed by a college essay specialist


  • Liz Waltzman of Write Ahead College Essays
  • Carey Field, College Essay/Writing Tutor

10AM-12PM: Common Application Review Appointments

Make a 15-minute appointment to have your Common Application reviewed by a College Counselor. Ask questions, get advice or simply utilize a second set of eyes to calm your nerves.


  • Amy Chatterjee and Paige Peterkin of Collegewise

12:30-2:30PM: Speaker panel

Speakers will have 20 minutes to address their topic. This will be followed by a general Q&A from 2-2:30PM.

  • Managing Stress & Wellness During the College Search
    Grace Mulliken of
  • ACT vs SAT
    Mike Newcomer of Lion Academy Tutors
  • The Common App
    Amy Chatterjee of Collegewise
  • Study Skills
    Michelle Sagalyn of Successful Study Skills 4 Students
  • The College Essay
    Bobbi Crocker of Crocker College Consulting
    The College Essay is the one opportunity for a student to write about who they are, their world and experiences. Her discussion will be about the importance of writing an essay that will reflect a teenager’s voice as well as approaches to making their story distinct.
  • Choosing the Right College

12-4PM: SAT, ACT, and/or PSAT Practice Tests

Administered by C2 Education of Westport


Nancy Arseneault: center director at C2 Education of Westport

Vicki Boudin, Psy.D., co-founder & educational consultant at College Docs, has been a clinical psychologist and educational consultant in Fairfield, CT for 30 years. She is a co-founder of College Docs, where she helps students and their parents navigate the college admissions process. 

Amy Chatterjee, director of Collegewise of Westpor,t is a graduate of Villanova University where she earned a master’s degree in secondary school counseling. She has been a college counselor for 16 years working in the New York City public schools, as coordinator of collegiate programming at the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and now as the director of Collegewise Westport, the nation’s largest college counseling company.

Bobbi Crocker of Crocker College Consulting is an independent educational consultant with an in-depth knowledge of the college admissions selection and application process. Bobbi worked for Wheaton College as an Admissions Reader and member of the admissions committee and has experience reading over 1500 applications. She now brings that expertise to students by helping them craft their perfect college essay. 

Carey Field, independent writing and college essay tutorworks, works with high school seniors in the CT/NY/NJ area, helping them craft compelling, memorable and meaningful college essays. She loves the writing process, and working with students to help them find their voice. 

Joan Franklin, Psy.D., co-founder & educational consultant of College Docs, is a clinical psychologist and educational consultant, who has been working with adolescents and their families for over 25 years. At College Docs she guides students and their families through the often stressful college planning process, working personally with every client to ensure they get the best information and direction for their individual needs. She strategizes to set realistic goals, and helps students present themselves to their best advantage on their applications to achieve acceptance into colleges they desire. 

Grace Mulliken, of The College Counselor, LLC, is a licensed school counselor and the founder of The College Counselor, LLC in Westport. She works with students to try to take the anxiety out of the college process and to help discover their own best personal attributes to highlight in school applications. 

Mike Newcomer, founder and tutor at Lion Academy, who holds a PhD in Biophysics from Yale, was inspired to create Lion Academy after discovering his love for helping students to succeed academically and understand complex subject matter. 

Paige Peterkin is a college counselor at Collegewise Westport, where she works with students and their families to encourage a healthy and successful college admissions process. She is a graduate of Williams College and is proud to be a part of Collegewise, and she stands by its mission to “help students find, apply to, and attend the right colleges.”

Frederick Rainville

As an independent financial advisor, Lee Rawiszer, managing principal at Paradigm Financial Partners, believes that financial planning is a process that should reflect the client’s vision, values and goals. He designs strategies that are flexible and takes into account that nothing remains static; people’s lives change and plans need to be adjusted on an ongoing basis. 

Michelle Sagalyn founded Successful Study Skills 4 Students, (S4), with a mission to unlock the power of learning to improve, enhance, and support students’ academic careers. The evidence-based S4 Study Skills program teaches students the tools and strategies in notetaking, organization ,time management, and executive functions, needed to approach school with confidence achieve their personal best.

Traci Saxon, J. D., Financial Advisor at Paradigm Financial Partners, is an independent financial advisor drawing upon her twenty years’ experience as a divorce litigator, consultant and mediator. The experience that she derived from her work as a divorce attorney, combined with her commitment to zealously represent each of her clients, translates to a highly personalized and effective approach to financial advisory.

Liz Waltzman, of Write Ahead College Essays, has coached high schoolers through essay brainstorming/writing and the college application process since 2013. With experience as a school librarian 25 years strong, Liz has helped teens formulate, research, and organize ideas, always recognizing the student’s story and voice are paramount.

Yearsley Winkler (Staples '03, Yale '07), is the director of Meliora Education, Fairfield County's only "buy-one give-one" college admissions service. Yearsley has 10 years of experience helping students from across Fairfield County gain admission to the most competitive schools in the country.


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