MEET THE TEAM

Mary Ellen Simoni
Director/Founder

Before founding Ivy Options, Mary Ellen Simoni worked in leadership roles at top-ranked universities in the United States and Europe. She directed Stanford University’s operations which included admissions recruitment in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for more than eight years. During this time, she interacted directly with other leaders of many of the top universities in North America and Europe, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, MIT, Oxford, and Cambridge.

 

‚ÄčInternationally, she has also worked closely with other U.K. universities; a number of Canadian universities, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Frasier University, and HEC Montréal; and for a consortium of eight top French business schools. Clients throughout the Middle East, Europe, and North America seek Ms. Simoni’s expert advice based on her reputation for successful bespoke counseling services. Originally from California, she lived in France for thirteen years before moving to Dubai in 2010. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

Katrina Lilly
Office Manager
Laura Waft
Admissions Advisor

Katrina oversees Ivy Options’ administrative and accounting functions as well as assisting with communications and essay editing. Prior to joining Ivy Options, Katrina managed the H.R. departments of several mid-sized companies. Most recently, she worked as an independent benefits consultant for an international textile firm. Katrina is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Psychology. 

With an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BBA from the University of Michigan, Laura has over twelve years’ experience in international banking. Following her banking career, she focused her efforts in the volunteer sector, where she was a popular storyteller in north London schools on behalf of a local charity. Laura, an American, brings her passion for reading and storytelling to Ivy Options as an essay specialist. 

Em Howle
Admissions Advisor
Ammarah Soofi
SAT/ACT Instructor

A former journalist in the U.S. and internationally, Em manages Ivy Options’ communications as well as editing college application essays. She has lived in Dubai for nine years after stints in Houston, Singapore and Hong Kong. Prior to joining Ivy Options, she was VP of Communications for the American School of Dubai’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association. Em is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington.

An educator for eight years in Canada, the US, China, and the UAE, Ammarah has taught AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and Calculus AB, as well as serving as the head of the science departments at several international schools. A Canadian, Ammarah has a BSE in Chemistry and Biology from Brock University and an MS in Neurochemistry from McMaster University. 

Ghada Wilson
Admissions Advisor

An educator for over 15 years in the U.S. and at American international schools in the Middle East, Ghada is passionate about education and the life-long pursuit of learning. She works with Ivy Options youngest students on their college application journey. She has a BA and MA in Education from Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and is fluent in English and Arabic.

Kevin O'Driscoll
SAT/ACT Instructor

An educator for seven years in the U.S. and UAE, Kevin's specialties are AP Calculus and AP Statistics. In addition to teaching, he has successfully created curriculum and assessments for students preparing for university-level mathematics with a focus on embedding AP and SAT problem solving skills. An American, Kevin has a B.S. in Mathematics from Fairfiled University and an M.A. in Education from Saint Peter's University (New Jersey).

 
We are here to help you succeed. Contact us by phone or email to set up a consultation.

© 2019 by Ivy Options

'Youth are not vessels to be filled but fires to be lit.' – Plutarch