Meet the Team

A-List UK Management and Client Service Team

Ed Smallwood—Managing Director. Ed grew up in the UK and attended Harrow School before moving to the US to study at Harvard University for his undergraduate degree. Subsequently he received a Masters from New York University and his MBA from Columbia Business School and London Business School. A founding partner at A-List in New York City, Ed brings all the expertise and excellence of our US operations to the European market. A-List now serves more than 50,000 students globally across its private client and institutional programs. Ed moved back to London in 2012 to set up A-List UK with the objective of providing A-List guidance to international students seeking to pursue higher education in the US.

Arthur Crumlish—Dean of Academics, Tutor. Arthur, a founding partner at A-List US, serves as Dean of Academics for A-List UK overseeing our clients' academic progress and our tutors' development. He has been preparing students for the US standardised tests for over 20 years and has personally taught thousands of students with great success. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Arthur is a highly experienced tutor who has worked with young men and women of a wide-ranging variety from third-graders at a private school in Manhattan to college-level students seeking assistance in writing skills and text analysis. In addition, he has worked with students having special needs such as children for whom English is a second language and ones with learning disabilities. Arthur has prepared students for the SAT, SAT II, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, GRE, the Hunter High School Admissions Test, and offered his skills as a homework tutor, a peer counselor, art instructor, and business English coach while living in Europe. In addition to pursuing a professional career as a visual artist, dividing his time between teaching and painting, making exhibitions and attending workshops in New York and various cities abroad, Arthur remains a dedicated mentor whose reputation for "going the extra mile" with his students is well deserved.

Charlotte Houghteling—Director of College Advising, General Counsel. Charlotte received her BA from Harvard University magna cum laude, her M.Phil in Modern European History from Cambridge University, her LL.M from the London School of Economics and her JD from Columbia Law School.  She was a founding partner at a successful litigation firm in New York.  Charlotte's interest in the admissions process began when she served as a tour guide for Harvard and introduced the university to thousands of prospective students from around the world. Charlotte loved her experiences as a student in both the US and UK and, as the head of A-List UK's college advising practice, enjoys helping clients to navigate the US university application process.

Greg Quee—Client Service Team, Schools Liaison. Greg graduated from Queens’ University, Belfast with a First Class Hons in Education. After his initial teacher training he furthered his career at a leading British Preparatory IAPS school in Kenya. During this period, Greg was part of the Senior Management Team and he led the Learning Support Department. After developing a particular interest in special educational needs provision he undertook a post graduate programme in Inclusive Education with the Institute of Child Education and Psychology in Europe. Greg specialised in Dyslexia and ADHD support and found this invaluable in order to further inform his teaching and support student’s individual needs. After leaving Africa, Greg returned to teach in one of London’s top day schools and has since joined the A-List team. Greg places huge value on the importance of building student confidence and self belief. He also appreciates the importance of the collaborative role in education with pupils, parents and education staff and he enjoys supporting this at A-List Education. 

Nicole McMahon—Client Service Team, HR Liaison. Nicole is excited to share her knowledge of the US university application process with A-List's clients. During her time in the international admissions department at Northeastern University Nicole reviewed applications, welcomed prospective international students and helped guide accepted students through the university's application procedures. Most recently Nicole worked on the exchange programmes and interantional partnerships at Glasgow Caledonian University administering the British Council's Erasmus programme. Nicole loves the outdoors and in her spare time enjoys wildlife and landscape photography in Scotland and beyond.

Tasha Thomas—Client Service Team, University Admissions Liaison. Tasha has an Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as B.A. and M.A. degrees from SUNY Binghamton University. She has broad knowledge of the U.S. Higher Ed system and many years of experience at Harvard University; having worked for various departments and schools there, including the Harvard Kennedy School (where her tasks included everything from speech writing, to event planning, and the preparation of briefings & confidential correspondence). Tasha is joining us, most recently, from Spelman College as the Alumnae Programs Coordinator, where she coordinated the daily office operations, assisted in logistical planning, and managed the budget.  Tasha is excited to be joining A-List UK and looks forward to working with its many diverse clients. She enjoys sci-fi and action movies, and is patiently waiting for Game of Thrones to return.



UK-Based Tutors & College Advisors

Anita Zarska—Senior Tutor. Anita graduated summa cum laude in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University and holds a Masters in Biological Sciences from the University of California, San Diego. Currently working in the special needs department at one of London's top sixth form colleges, Anita helps students with learning difficulties access their A-level curriculum. She enjoys helping students reach their goals and has tutored a variety of students and subjects at both the secondary and collegiate level.

Brittany Blackstone—Tutor. Originally from New Jersey, Brittany graduated from Yale University with honours in political science. While at Yale, she enjoyed four years of teaching in New Haven public schools. After graduating, she built a successful career as a management consultant in New York, specialising in healthcare companies, before moving to London. She is currently pursuing her medical degree at Kings College London. Brittany has loved studying and teaching both in the UK and the US, and is excited about the chance to help students meet their goals. In her spare time, Brittany loves to spend time with her Pomeranian, Bear.

Dr Carolyn Tate—Essay Editor. After graduating from Pomona College with a BA in English, Carolyn worked as a seventh-grade language-arts teacher in Baltimore through the Teach For America program. Her love of teaching literature and writing led her to earn a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia where she also taught freshmen writing, queer studies, and seminars on gender and the history of the novel.  Subsequently, she taught at independent schools in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Having originally come to England to do archival work at the British Library in London and at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, she recently decided to relocate to London permanently to live with her British partner.  When not helping students with their college essays, Carolyn writes about representations of Victorian culture and literature in contemporary media and works for the education department at the Dickens House Museum.

Chapman Knott—Senior TutorA founding partner at A-List, Chapman is from Charleston, South Carolina. He studied philosophy at Princeton before helping to set up A-List in New York in 2005. After ten years in New York City, Chapman relocated to London; he has found his loud American attitude to be useful in preparing students for the SAT, ACT, and various subject tests. Besides teaching, his interests include food and nutrition, and ringing the bells of St. Martin-in-the-fields.

Charlotte McKechnie—Tutor. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, Charlotte received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Literature from Harvard University in 2015. While at Harvard, Charlotte sang with Harvard College Opera and the University Choir; was a Business Director for Harvard Model United Nations; and received the Franklin D Roosevelt Global Fellowship, the Global Health Institute Summer Fellowship, the Harold Bolitho Undergraduate Research Scholarship in Australian Studies, and the Seven Sisters College Conference Book Award and Scholarship for essay writing. After graduating, Charlotte became the Managing Director of Juventas New Music and works as a professional opera singer, director, and producer. As a singer, Charlotte has performed frequently with the BBC, and has recorded for Radio 2 and Radio 4.  Her recent operatic roles include Amore (Orfeo ed Eurydice), Cobweb (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), and Prilepa (Queen of Spades).

Dan Rubins—Tutor. Originally from New York City, Dan Rubins graduated from Yale University with a BA in English and Education Studies. He is currently studying an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and will be pursuing a second MA in Elementary Inclusive Education at Teachers College, Columbia University next year. While at Yale, Dan founded Hear Your Song, an organization which partners undergraduates with pediatric hospital patients, helping kids to write their own song lyrics which their undergraduate collaborators set to music and record. In addition to teaching and Shakespeare, Dan currently enjoys singing with two choirs in London.

Eliza Gray—Essay Editor.  A graduate of Groton School in Massachusetts, Eliza received her BA from Harvard in English cum laude in 2008, and her MA in political journalism from Columbia University in 2010. She has worked as a journalist in Brussels, Washington D.C., New York City, and London, most recently as a staff writer for TIME and The New Republic, where she covered a range of topics from politics to higher education, and wrote several cover stories. Her writing has also appeared in Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. She developed a passion for college essay advising in her work as a teacher and mentor at the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program. Eliza loves helping students find their own unique voices in the university essay writing process. 

Emily Turilli—High School Admissions, Student Athlete Consulting and College AdvisorOriginally from New York, Emily received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University.  While at Harvard, Emily was a member of Harvard's competitive Division I lacrosse team.  Upon graduating, Emily worked at The History Channel, where she wrote educational content and organized events with politicians, educators and museum directors across the United States.  Emily also holds a Masters of Science in Education from Fordham University.  She taught and worked in admissions at two of Manhattan's top private schools, as well as tutored privately.  Emily has worked as an admissions consultant and essay editor for both secondary school and college applicants.  She loves to travel with her husband and two young children and enjoys distance running in her free time.  

Eric Sirakian—Tutor. Eric graduated from Yale University with a distinction in English and Theatre Studies having attended Phillips Academy Andover for high school. Eric is currently enroled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in an acting program.

Jacqueline Ly—Tutor. Originally from sunny San Diego, Jacqueline considers herself to be a New York transplant, having graduated with a B.A. in Memory and Truth (ask her about it!) from NYU and an M.A. in International and World History from Columbia University (half of a dual-degree programme). During her five years in New York, Jacqueline worked as an SAT tutor, a museum educator, and a freelance editor. Jacqueline recently completed the second-year of her dual-degree Master's programme at the London School of Economics. In short, Jacqueline is a huge nerd, and she particularly enjoys geeking out over History and Spanish. Although she arrived in London a year ago, Jacqueline still considers herself a tourist and enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of London and the UK.

Jez Marston—Tutor. Jez graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He grew up in Jamaica and the UK and is currently working at a marketing firm in London. Jez has experience tutoring for the SAT and SAT Subject Tets including Chemistry, Math, and Spanish. Having also attended Deerfield Academy, Jez has a wealth of experience with the US admissions process.

Josh McTaggart—Senior Tutor. Originally from the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, Josh moved to the US in 2009 to study History and English Literature at Harvard University.After graduating in 2013, Josh returned to the UK to undertake a Graduate Teaching Fellowship in the English and Drama Department at Eton College. Josh joined A-List in 2014 and has taught ACT and SAT classes at Wellington College, Harrow School, and Putney High School, as well as working with a plethora of one-to-one students on test prep and essay editing. Josh has been a Senior Tutor at A-List since 2016, where he specialises in the English and Reading sections of the examination.

Outside of A-List, Josh is the co-founder of The Bunker, an off-west end theatre in London Bridge that was built in the shell a transformed underground carpark. The Bunker opened in October 2016 with a season of theatre, music, and dance that was critically acclaimed, and its second season of work opened in February 2017. Alongside A-List, Josh works as a theatre director, dramaturg, and producer.

Jonathan Ilori—Student Athlete Consultant, RightTrack Sports. A product of America’s best collegiate sports league - the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Jonathan traded his days on the Royal Hospital School’s playing fields for the world class facilities of the University of Missouri. There he amassed a plethora of accolades during his college career, most notably a bronze medal at the SEC Championships in the triple jump and a berth at the NCAA Championships, earning an All-American Honourable Mention in the process. Off the track Jonathan was heavily involved in the university community. In addition, he is a keen drummer and actor; starring in a Mizzou theatre production.

Kitt George—College Advisor. After graduating from Dickinson College, Kitt taught English, advised students, and coached field hockey and lacrosse at Collegiate School in Richmond, VA. Her next stop was Emma Willard School, in Troy, NY, where she designed and taught a variety of English courses to grades 9-12, served as a college counselor to 11 seniors, advised students, and coached field hockey and lacrosse. Since Emma, Kitt has worked as a Program Manager in charge of marketing, events, and membership at a nonprofit in Cambridge, MA, and is thrilled to be joining the A List team here in London. She and her husband love to explore the city with their one-year old son.

Laura Weigand—College Advisor. Laura recently joined A-List UK after previously founding her own technology consulting company in New York. She has worked extensively in the financial services industry, both for her consulting firm and previously as an equities trader. Although she grew up in the US, she finished high school at the American School in Moscow, Russia and has since lived in Bangkok, New York, London and Paris. She received her BA with Honors from Stanford University and her MSc from the London School of Economics.  Laura has a real love of acting and the theater and performed in over a dozen theatrical productions as a student at Stanford.  She also acted in off-off Broadway productions and independent films in New York.  Laura loved studying in both the US and overseas and is excited to be helping students explore their options and find their own path.

Lesley Lim—College Advisor.  Lesley graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut and subsequently went on to earn a MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex and a MEd at Nova Southeastern in Florida. She is also CELTA qualified and, in her varied areas of teaching, has concentrated on helping students with EAP. She worked for ten years as a teacher in the International Baccalaureate program at a high school in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2012, she took up the post of college advisor at an independent school which also functions as a pre-college preparatory institution. In this role, she was responsible for developing and running the college counselling arm of the institution. As part of a career development initiative, she is in the process of completing UCLA’s online certificate course in College Counseling.  She aims to help students produce applications that highlight their individual qualities, talents and accomplishments.

Nana Owusu—Student Athlete Consultant, RightTrack Sports. Nana's wide range of academic and athletic interests have taken him across the globe. Hailing from Ghana he grew up in the UK and attended Eton College before embarking on university studies in America. During his junior year at Princeton, he studied abroad in Argentina learning Spanish and Latin American History. On the athletics track he was a 2x All-Ivy selection including the 2015 Outdoor Triple Jump Champion. As a student-athlete he helped the team win 8 Ivy League Championships in four years including two triple crowns. Nana also spent the last year in Nashville, Tennessee pursuing his athletics interests training at a professional level.

Nick Ichien—Tutor. Originally from a suburb of Los Angeles, Nick received his BA in psychology from NYU and then spent two years working as a lab manager in a social neuroscience lab. He is currently pursuing an MSc in the philosophy of social sciences at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Rhianna Shaw—Senior Tutor, Math Expert. Rhianna received her BA from Brown University with honours in Literary Arts.  At Brown she took leadership roles for her class, an entrepreneuriship course, an a capella group and the club field hockey team amongst other enterprises.  Having been through the English indepedent school system as a student at Bedales School, Rhianna has first hand experience of the US admissions process as an international student and balancing SAT preparation alongside A Levels. At the age of 16 she achieved an A in A Level Maths (there were no A*s back then!) and another in Further Maths at 17. In addition to the US entrance exams, Rhianna tutors for GCSE, A level and IB Maths and English.

Ruth Eichinger—Tutor. Ruth received her BA in Biochemistry from Smith College. She is currently completing her Master's at the University of Oxford in Integrated Immunology. Ruth is an experienced tutor spanning a wide range of academic levels in Biology, Chemistry and German.

Sam Sokolsky-Tifft—Tutor. Originally from the foothills of Williamstown, Massachusetts, Sam did his BA at Harvard, where he studied History, Literature, and Philosophy and graduated summa cum laude. He then moved to Cambridge, completing an MPhil in poetry and philosophy. Now he is pursuing a PhD at Cambridge. He loves Motown music and cows and teaching and reading.


Sara Calian—Essay Editor. Sara graduated from Brown University with a BA in Public Policy having served as the executive editor of the Brown Daily Herald and Chair of the Brown Orientation and Welcoming committee. Sara has over twenty years experience as a professional editor and writer including Communications Consultant for J.P. Morgan, global private bank EFG International, freelance writer for Financial Times, corporate communications for Russell Investments, journalist with the Wall Street Journal, commentator for CNBC and financial analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston.

Stephanie Abbott-Grobicki—Tutor. Stephanie has recently graduated with honours from Dartmouth College in Theatre and Government. She grew up in South Africa and France, attended Atlantic College in Wales for her IB, and has recently moved to London to pursue her acting career. Stephanie is a passionate and dedicated tutor, excited to be working for A List. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking and making copious amounts of tea.

Ursula Durand—Senior Tutor (Switzerland). Ursula received her BA from Cornell University, her M Phil from Oxford University and her PhD from the London School of Economics. She is an experienced and dynamic tutor and has taught regularly at university level. Ursula is responsible for overseeing the academic progress of A-List UK's students and tutors many in a wide range of subjects.  

Veronika Lipkova—Tutor. Originally from the Czech Republic, Veronika moved to Wales to take the IB at United World College of the Atlantic for the final two years of secondary school. From there Veronika received a full scholarship to attend Princeton University from where she graduated magna cum laude in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Veronika is now completing her MSc in Public Health from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She teaches the SAT, ACT and SAT Subject Tests in Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Victoire Courtenay—Tutor. Half-British and half-French, Victoire graduated from Yale University with a BA in Political Science and is currently enrolled at BPP University studying the Law Conversion course. Before that she attended the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle and Westminster School, and therefore has experienced the difficult task of studying for both A-Levels and SATs. Victoire speaks five languages fluently (English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese), and tutors for A-List Education in all levels of French. 

In addition to our UK-based tutors, we have a global team of educators working from our offices in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Zurich, Istanbul, Dubai and Shanghai.

US-Based College Advisors & Essay Editors

Anjana Bala—Tutor and Essay Editor. Anjana Bala received her BA from Stanford University in Human Biology and recently completed an MSc in Medical Anthropology at University College London. She is now enroled in a joint PhD programme in Medical Anthropology at Berkeley and UCSF. Anjana loves working with students to help them innovate alternative paths to reach their goals. She is passionate about integrating the arts and sciences, and also loves hip-hop.

Anna Marie Smith—A-List US Director of College Advising.   Originally from Shelbyville, TN, Anna Marie Smith studied theatre and ancient architecture at Davidson College. She served as the Associate Director of an arts non-profit in Houston, Texas, before moving into the college admissions world. Her experience in the Office of Admission at Rice University and New York University includes reviewing undergraduate applications, recruiting students, and conducting admission interviews for prospective students. In addition to working as a client coordinator and college advisor at A-List, Anna Marie recently completed her MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts. Her design studies emphasize architecture and urban planning, and her thesis is on tiny houses in rural America and microapartments in New York City. Anna Marie has a very strong sense of smell and often carries a video camera on her person. 

Julie Saranow—Essay Editor.   Julie is originally from Chicago and graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology.  After working for a couple of years, Julie studied at Columbia Law School in New York where she was a Managing Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  After law school, Julie clerked for a U.S. federal judge in Chicago and then practiced law at a large law firm in the Bay Area for nearly 7 years.  Julie has always enjoyed writing and editing and has successfully assisted students in gaining admission to top universities, including law schools and business schools.  When Julie isn't practicing law or editing essays, she keeps busy exploring the Bay Area with her husband and two young children.

Melissa McViney—College Advisor. Melissa has extensive experience working as an educational consultant in the US, helping both domestic and international students with the college application process from start to finish. Melissa attended Trinity College in Connecticut, where she received her B.A in Sociology. In her junior year, she studied at The University of Edinburgh, taking honors courses in sociology and anthropology. Prior to working in education, Melissa earned a JD from The Catholic University Columbus School of Law and spent several years working as an attorney.

Rachel Booth—Student Athlete Consultant.   After graduating as a student-athlete in cross country from Northwestern University, Rachel took the opportunity to finish out her NCAA collegiate eligibility and ran Track and Field at Florida State University while pursuing a Masters in Sports Administration. During her collegiate career at Northwestern, Rachel earned All-Big Ten honors, led Northwestern to a berth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, and individually qualified for the NCAA Championships. While at Florida State University, Rachel qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the 5000m run and the Outdoor Championships in the 10000m run. Rachel has coached at the collegiate level at both Northwestern University and the University of the Pacific. Additionally, she has run professionally and competed in the 2012 USA Olympic Marathon Trials setting a personal best time of 2:37:59. As a coach, Rachel has had to recruit, advise, and guide student-athletes not only on the course, but also during their day-to-day challenges in life and in the classroom. After years of living abroad, Rachel currently works at the University of Virginia.

Radha Sarkar—Essay EditorRadha is from New Delhi, India, and studied the IB at the Mahindra United World College of India - one of a network of 15 international boarding schools across the world - before moving to New Jersey, USA, to attend Princeton University. She graduated magna cum laude in political science, with a minor in Latin American studies. She recently completed a master's degree in comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, after which she hopes to do a PhD and extend, for as long as she possibly can, her time in university.


"A-List delivered a great tutoring service for my son—thank you."

Parent of son attending Harvard University, Class of 2018

"I can't recommend A-List enough. You really feel that you can use as much or as little from what they offer to suit your needs. I will certainly be using them for my other two children!"

—Parent of son attending New York University, Class of 2018

"I really struggled with the SAT to start but with A-List's help I was able to bump up my scores considerably and got offers from the unis of my choice."
Student attending Northwestern University, Class of 2017
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