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Alina Mervis
College Admissions Counselor
English/Language Arts Instructor


Bates College (B.A. in Theater with Honors, French minor, German concentration)
Washington University in St. Louis (M.A. in Theater and Performance Studies)

Counseling Experience:

Alina has experience mentoring a wide range of individuals, from counseling high school students on their college admissions process to coaching high-achieving global professionals during their application process to international MBA programs. During her time at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota, Alina also got to advise undergraduate students on their academic progress. Learning about her students’ aspirations and then helping them turn their dreams into reality, has always been Alina’s favorite part of counseling.


Counseling Philosophy:

"I believe that the process of applying to colleges is just as important and exhilarating as receiving that bulky “you’ve been accepted” package in the mail. As any period of transition, applying to colleges can bring up a lot of uncertainty, fear, and self-doubt. Yet, at the same time, this transition between one chapter of your life to the next – high school to college – is inherently filled with potential for self-discovery, growth, and personal transformation. The college application process is an exciting journey on which you will not only learn about your values, passions, and strengths, but also gain vital life skills that will help you far beyond getting into the school of your choice. It would be an absolute privilege and gift to travel alongside you, as your guide and cheerleader, helping you unearth and build on your strengths and achieve your dreams."


Teaching Experience:
Alina loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with others. While an undergraduate at Bates College, she peer tutored in biology and Russian language. Later, she enjoyed working as an ESL instructor, preparing international applicants to take and ace their TOEFL exam. Alina also helped teach undergraduate classes at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota. She got to create and lead lectures for up to 150 students at a time as well as more intimate discussion sections, where students would break down and dig into complex ideas. Alina met with her students on a regular basis to help shape their arguments, hone their critical thinking skills, and take their writing to the next level. 

Educational Philosophy:

"'Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.' This saying perfectly encapsulates my teaching philosophy. When working with students, I seek to engage them as active participants in the learning process. I structure my material to make concepts and ideas come to life by having my students work toward discovering them in real time. Because they uncover these ideas themselves, through various questions and activities, it helps them feel a sense of ownership over the material and thus remember and internalize it. I'm also a big proponent of growth mindset as well as using curiosity to work through roadblocks. In fact, I believe that curiosity is humanity's secret superpower. When harnessed correctly, curiosity can move mountains. Or at the very least, produce stellar grades and college applications!"

Interesting Fact:
Alina speaks five languages. She has also spent a lot of time studying abroad. She spent a semester in Berlin, Germany, studying German language and culture as well as philosophy and bioethics. In Budapest, Hungary, Alina investigated central European theater and film. She then dove even deeper, studying classical theater in London and Oxford, UK.

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