Our Featured Writers and Contributors


Featured Writer and Contributor Index

Jo Calhoun
Priscilla Childress
Lucy Ewing
Susan Jones
Judy McNary
Evanne Montoya
Vicki Nelson
Robin Noble
Wendy Worrall Redal
Scott Sager
Marjorie Savage
Dr. Victor Schwartz
Diane Schwemm
Suzanne Shaffer
Amanda Taylor
Christine VanDeVelde


Writer and Contributor Profiles

Jo Calhoun Jo Calhoun has worked in Student Affairs for over 30 years, most recently as Associate Provost at the University of Denver. Prior to that, she held administrative positions at Grinnell College in Iowa and the State University of New York at Binghamton. Her specializations include first year programs, academic advising, career services, and parent relations. Currently, Jo serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.
Priscilla Childress Priscilla Childress has worked with college Parent and Family Programs for the past six years and is a longtime UniversityParent eNews contributor. She is the mother of Lane, a graduate student, and Ruth Ann, a college senior. Priscilla volunteers with the Kappa Delta National Leadership Team, St. Jude, and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Her hobbies include writing, traveling, and hiking.
Lucy Ewing Lucy Ewing is in her 17th year as a national board certified teacher with the Boulder Valley School District and has been recognized by the Impact on Education Foundation and Jared Polis Foundation. Writing is a passion for Lucy. In addition to her articles for UniversityParent, she is a Denver Post “Colorado Voices” columnist and a college essay tutor. Lucy is parent to two recent college graduates, and she and her husband love nothing more than visiting them on both coasts.
Susan Jones Susan Jones is CEO of Quad2Quad, the award-winning mobile app for college visits. For more than three decades, she was a psychotherapist in Washington D.C. specializing in substance abuse, and she spent ten years with Dunbar Educational Consultants counseling students and families on the college admission process. Most importantly, Susan is the mother of two grown sons who successfully navigated the college alcohol culture and had enjoyable and productive experiences, emerging as solid citizens with no regrets.
Judy McNary Judy McNary, CFP® is a partner at Confluence Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory and investment management firm in Boulder, Colorado. She regularly contributes personal finance articles to publications including The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, and Investment News and was featured as a finance coach on “The Invested Life,” a web-based reality series produced by MSN Money. A parent of three children in their twenties, Judy frequently counsels millennials on money matters. She recently published Coin: The Irreverent Yet Practical Guide to Money Management for Recent College Graduates (visit coininthebank.com). When not at work, Judy spends her time skiing, hiking, traveling, and scuba diving.
Evanne Montoya Evanne Montoya graduated from Whitworth University in 2013 with a double major in Journalism and Spanish and minors in visual communication and dance. At Whitworth, she was a reporter and editor for the student newspaper. The college experience and the impact her own parents had on her success are still fresh in Evanne’s mind, and she brings that valuable perspective to her writing for UniversityParent.
Vicki Nelson Vicki Nelson has more than thirty years experience in higher education as a college teacher, academic advisor, and administrator. She also has weathered the college parenting experience successfully with three daughters. She began her website, College Parent Central, six years ago to help college parents navigate the delicate balance of support, guidance, appropriate involvement, and knowing when to get out of the way. Her experiences as both the parent of college students and as a professional in higher education provide Vicki with a special perspective on college parenting.
Robin Noble Robin Noble is a freelance journalist who writes human interest stories that seek to uncover fresh angles on life, love and relationships. As a parent to two teenagers, she lives on the verge of both calamity and triumph, and enjoys sharing the tumult with UniversityParent readers. Additionally, Robin helps families and individuals chronicle their personal history by publishing family genealogy, stories and photographs in hand-bound books through her company Narrative Arts.
Wendy Redal Wendy Worrall Redal is a writer, editor and marketing communications specialist based in Boulder, Colorado. She previously taught journalism and mass communication for 20 years at the University of Colorado Boulder where she received her PhD in media studies and worked as a research associate with the Center for Environmental Journalism. She also coaches students on college admissions essays and provides editing services for graduate theses. Wendy and her husband have a son in college and a daughter in high school.
up-author-scott-sager2 Scott Sager is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York. The father of two daughters — one in college, the other in high school — with past lives as a social worker, preschool teacher and at-home dad, he brings a broad perspective to varied topics touching on family life. As a long-time columnist reflecting on his experiences as a parent, he gets how wide and diverse the adventure of raising children can be and how every bit of information can help parents along the way.  Time with the family Beagle provides some balance to the demands of fatherhood.
Marjorie Savage Marjorie Savage is the author of the bestselling You’re on Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years. The book grew out of 20 years working with college parents. Marjorie is a frequent speaker and consultant on the topic of family-college relations and is currently doing research and outreach on college parenting in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Victor Schwartz Dr. Victor Schwartz is the Medical Director of The Jed Foundation, the nation’s leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among America’s college students. Having previously served the student populations of Yeshiva University and New York University for more than two decades, he is nationally recognized as a college mental health leader. He co-authored Mental Health Care in the College Community, and writes about college students and emotional health for The Huffington Post.
Diane Schwemm Diane Schwemm is a freelance writer and Senior Editor at UniversityParent. She and her husband have three sons in high school and college. She has a master’s in English from the University of Chicago and for many years wrote young adult series fiction (any Sweet Valley High fans out there?). In her quiet hours, she loves to read, hike, cook and garden and, thanks to the influence of her sons, appreciates ballet and the NBA equally.
Suzanne Shaffer Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admission process and the importance of early college preparation. Her blog, Parenting for College, offers timely tips for parents and students, and provides parents with resources to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze. Suzanne is a regular contributor as a college prep expert and parent advocate to TeenLife Online Magazine, College Focus, Noodle Education, and University Parent. She is also the Parent Coach for Smart College Visit.
Amanda Taylor Amanda Taylor is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boulder, Colorado where she has a private practice. She has worked with a variety of populations including high school and college students. Amanda has two kids and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.  
Christine VanDeVelde Christine VanDeVelde is a writer, journalist, and author whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Parenting, and Self. She is the coauthor, with Robin Mamlet, former dean of admission at Stanford University, of the best-selling book College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step, published by Random House. Christine also edits the associated website, www.collegeadmissionbook.com. A frequent speaker on the subjects of education and parenting, Christine appears regularly on television and radio. She lives in Chicago with her husband. Her daughter is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and working at her first job in New York. More of Christine’s work can be seen on her personal website, christinevandevelde.com.


Leave a Reply