The mission of Real College Matters is to equip families with an understanding of the college admissions process as it pertains to their student through counseling services that preserve the integrity of each student. We act as a team and use an integrative and collaborative approach to meet the needs of our students.
YOUR FUTURE, YOUR TERMS…OUR TEAM
COLLEGE LIST DEVELOPMENT; SPEAKER; BLOGGER; PODCASTER
Leigh is an alumna of Vanderbilt University, having received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Mathematics (1989). After teaching high school and college math for several years in the greater Nashville area, she earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine (1998) at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, where she also completed her Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency (1999).
Following her kids to Highlands Latin School in 2009, Leigh returned to the classroom. In addition to teaching algebra and geometry, she found an opportunity to develop and expand the initiatives of the HLS college counseling office. In doing so, she discovered the particular work she finds both exhilarating and fascinating–working with students to identify and pursue their post-secondary objectives.
Leigh draws daily collaboration, support, and inspiration from fellow college admissions professionals, both locally and across the country. She completed the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions in the summer of 2011 and prioritizes frequent professional development and campus visits. She is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (as well as its regional affiliate) and is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. In late 2016, Leigh joined Denise Park Parsons and Scott Prince in founding the highly collaborative Consortium of Louisville Independent College Counselors.
When not practicing yoga or working on a never-ending renovation, she spends most of her free time with her husband, Robert, and her children–Bob (19), Mac (18), and Jane (15). Road warriors, all.
Dana grew up in Louisville in a family that valued education; for as long as she can remember, she wanted to be in an education-related field. Dana decided the University of Florida would be a great fit for her, and in 1989 she earned her BA in elementary education. Upon graduation, Dana returned to Louisville and began her teaching career. Later, she began evening classes at the University of Louisville earning her master’s degree in reading in 1995. Then in 2016, Dana completed a certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from the University of California, Irvine, allowing her to add college advising to her growing business.
Dana teaching career spanned twenty years at independent schools in Louisville, KY. She worked with a student from Pre-k to 8th grade as a classroom teacher, math specialist, ESL coordinator, and mentor to new teachers. Dana was also working hard to raise two children and instill in them the importance of a solid foundation in education.
After two decades of teaching, Dana found her true calling – helping students grow, evolve and flourish. In 2007, she started a business in which she individualized instruction to build students’ confidence and reduce their stress. Dana’s job was to offer support, be a good mentor, and steward the whole person. As a consultant, Dana worked closely with other consultants in Louisville and college admissions personnel across the United Stated through professional organizations, conferences, and college tours offered by NACAC and HECA.
As Dana began helping her son with the college search, she realized the process was much different than when she applied to college. Where many parents struggle with the process, Dana looked at it as guiding her kids through a maze or scavenger hunt. It was fulfilling to Dana to act as a mentor and witness her kid’s self-discovery and growth during the application process.
For more about Dana and Leigh, listen into Ryan’s interview with them both:
Denise Park Parsons has over thirty years of management and consulting experience, the last ten years of which have been devoted exclusively to guiding students to the college of their choice as an independent college counselor. Her professional experience has been augmented by her having lived in other regions of the country, where she developed a broad knowledge of institutions of higher education.
Ms. Parsons is the principal of College Admissions Planning LLC and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. She has had careers in both the airline industry as a Regional Manager of Personnel in Baltimore, Maryland and education, serving as a regional education consultant in Dayton, Ohio.
Ms. Parsons is a coauthor of “Phenotype and Management of Aicardi Syndrome: New Findings From a Survey of 69 Children” (Journal of Child Neurology, February 2007) and the author of her first memoir, Touchstone: A Life Unseen (Ab Initio, 2014).
Denise currently serves on the boards of Eastern Area Community Ministries and the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation. She has been a resident of Louisville for more than twenty years and lives there with her husband.
Louisville native Ryan Perry provides RCM with a millennial perspective on all things related to collegiate education.
A two-year varsity soccer captain, Ryan graduated from the College of William & Mary (’16) with a degree in Government before returning to the University of Virginia for a master’s in Commerce. While at UVa, he also worked in the admissions office, an experience he draws upon to better help students tell their stories. Ryan continues his affiliation with UVA in service on the McIntire Young Alumni Council.
Ryan’s lifelong affinity for the arts took him to Los Angeles, California where he now lives and works in the film industry. Storytelling falls into his job description, and Ryan applies many of the principles from his own writing as he guides students. RP enjoys working with each applicant to identify the nuance of their own story.
To learn more about Ryan, listen to our podcast interview here:
Ginger Mayfield – Mayfield College Advising
Located in Birmingham, AL, Ginger Mayfield is an Independent College Advisor who is committed to helping families approach and navigate the college admissions process with purpose and confidence.
Ginger’s passion for helping students and families started a young age after watching her father, Cleve Latham, start the college guidance office at the McCallie School in the late 1970s. For two decades, he changed the course of young men’s lives by offering them personalized and comprehensive college guidance. Watching her father at work taught Ginger that there are many exciting paths after high school and that finding a college that is a good fit for a student is critical to academic success and emotional health.
After graduating from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN in 2001 and earning an undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, Ginger began to pursue a Masters in Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With this degree, she was then able to follow in her father’s footsteps and work as a college guidance counselor in a school setting. Soon after, she and her husband, Tommy, co-founded Wyndy, a mobile app that connects parents and college babysitters.
Ginger is now excited to be back in the college admissions process and is excited to help students and families through Mayfield College Advising. Ginger is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and a Provisional Member of the Higher Education Consultants Association. She participates in several conferences and tours a year to stay up to date on college admissions trends. She visits 25 colleges per year. Ginger is married to Tommy Mayfield and they have two daughters, Polly and Louise.
Jennifer Wathen worked for nearly a decade as a College Counselor at a private high school in Louisville, KY where she helped students earn admission to hundreds of top colleges around the country. She received her Master of Education degree in School Counseling and Personal Guidance (k-12) from University of Louisville and a B.A. in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
When her first daughter was born, Jennifer left her role as a school-based College Counselor and began working independently with students who needed extra guidance and accountability throughout their college planning and application processes. This individualized work inspired her to start her own consulting business, using her knowledge and experience in college admissions to help students with the often overwhelming process of applying to colleges.
Jennifer is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. She collaborates with other counselors, participates in continuing education, visits college campuses, and reads endless news about higher education to keep up with the ever-changing trends in college admissions. In full support of a student’s family and school counselor, Jennifer excels at guiding students through their application process until all materials have been reviewed, refined, and submitted.
Jennifer and her husband, John, have two daughters. They live in Louisville, Kentucky.