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Our People
Stacey Riley Baker Stacey Riley Baker
B.A., English/Creative Writing, DePauw University, 1991
M.S. Ed., College Administration, Northwestern University, 1992
From her undergraduate days as a peer advisor and student admissions counselor at DePauw to her professional experience evaluating and selecting candidates for admission to Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Stacey has spent virtually her entire life in the world of admissions, where her successes led her to pioneer the unique four-year program that is now Riley Baker's hallmark. Students and parents alike find Stacey to be eminently relatable, warm and trustworthy, an attentive listener who can be counted on for straightforward assessments and recommendations. Stacey's skill at navigating the college journey means students typically choose to begin work with her in the freshman year of high school.
Matt Baker Matt Baker
B.S., Education, University of New Hampshire, 1994
M. ED., Special Education, University of New Hampshire, 1998
As a former teacher (in Westport, Connecticut, and Northfield, Illinois), college counseling intern (at the Francis Parker School), and Division I athlete and assistant coach (lacrosse), Matt has an experiential understanding of the pressures students confront in school as well as in selecting a college, stresses that are often multiplied for the student-athlete. Matt's calm nature and play-by-play approach prove very reassuring to students as they formulate and execute winning application strategies. Still a competitor at heart, Matt spends his free time running, skiing, coaching soccer and teaching his daughters to conquer the black diamonds. Students usually team up with Matt beginning in the freshman year of high school.
Dan Hales Dan Hales
B.A., Economics, Hillsdale College, 1993
Certificate, College Counseling, UCLA Extension, 2010
Since Dan joined the Riley Baker team in 2010, he has logged thousands of miles exploring and assessing colleges across the country--often as many as 50 a year. An astute observer and intuitive communicator, Dan interacts with students on each campus to gather their true impressions and experiences so he's confident in the recommendations he makes to each of our students, whether they're seeking a targeted pre-professional education or an enriching liberal arts experience. An associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants' Association (IECA), Dan has a talent for working with international students and those interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.
Georgia Schmit Wern Georgia Schmit Wern
B.S., Sociology/French, University of Notre Dame, 1990
M.S., Counselor Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
School Counselor Certification, Loyola University, 2005
With more than 10 years of educational consulting experience, including seven years as a college counselor at Loyola Academy, Georgia transforms the college admissions process into a life experience that helps her student grow and excel. To identify the colleges that are best for each student's abilities, talents and interests, she continuously visits campuses and researches academic programs, merit scholarships and honors programs. Her inspiration is the positive feedback she regularly receives from students: "You're not just a college counselor, but a positive, supportive personal mentor, too." Georgia carefully tailors services to specific student and family needs, and students may begin working with Georgia during any year of high school. Georgia also specializes in the college transfer process.
Barb Perce Barb Perce
B.S., Political Science, Miami University, 1989
M.S.W., Loyola University, 1993
Certificate, College Counseling, UCLA Extension, 2014
With a Master's Degree in Social Work and a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA-Extension, Barb's four years of in-the-trenches experience at Riley Baker make her an ideal consultant for getting the job done quickly and efficiently. Her calm, yet enthusiastic manner assists in guiding students through the college search and application process with ease. Barb visits 25-30 college campuses per year and has experience working with artists, musicians, engineers, business majors and athletes, along with international students locally and abroad. Barb also specializes in the college transfer process.
Carolyn Duffy Marsan Carolyn Duffy Marsan
B.A. English Literature/Speech Communications, Boston College, 1986
M.S.J. Journalism, Northwestern University, 1987
Certificate in College Counseling, UCLA Extension, 2016
Carolyn’s goal is to help minimize the anxiety around college admissions by helping students find a variety of schools that are a good fit academically, socially and personally. She helps students select a high school curriculum that is challenging but not overwhelming, establish a logical standardized testing plan, and compile a balanced list of potential colleges. An award-winning journalist, Carolyn enjoys working with students on their college essays and views this part of the process as an opportunity to teach them how to write engaging stories about their experiences, opinions and goals. Carolyn is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA).
A Note to Parents