EXCELLENCE IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELING SERVING MONMOUTH & OCEAN COUNTIES

Inspire Communication: Meet Our Advisors

Lisa Russo

transitioned from a ten year career in corporate communication to fulfill her lifelong goal to be a college professor. She earned a Master’s Degree in Corporate & Public Communication from Monmouth University in 2000, winning the award in her major for Academic Excellence. Upon graduation, the university hired her as an adjunct communication professor. She expanded her teaching experience by accepting positions with three other New Jersey colleges before teaching exclusively at Monmouth University.

A passionate believer in experiential education, Lisa’s unique curriculum has transported more than 2,000 students beyond text book theory by bringing a Nobel Prize nominee, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and nationally renowned television journalists to her classroom so students have been able to witness, first hand, the power and prestige of successful communicators. Post-graduate students seeking her professional coaching and mentoring have acquired careers and internships in high-profile organizations.

As an enthusiastic educator and college advisor, Lisa has helped countless students gain acceptance to their dream colleges. She is an expert at developing a plan with her high school students to navigate the application process with clarity and ease so they may discover the path to a rewarding future.


Tim Dowd

has devoted his professional life to improving students’ comprehension, communication, and analytical skills. After taking graduate courses at Erasmus University in The Netherlands, he earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching from The College of New Jersey in 2007 and has been involved in English education ever since. By 2012, he earned an additional Master’s Degree in Education and holds a certificate as an Educational Specialist.

Under his direction as an English instructor, his students not only receive a working knowledge of mechanics and style of writing, but also an expertise in comprehension and critical analysis. Moreover, as a high school administrator, Tim collaborates with guidance teams, writes curriculum with content-specific supervisors, and works with students to create an inclusive school climate and culture, making him fully aware of how colleges view the well-rounded and dynamic student.

Since the college application process is such a marvelous transition in a student’s life, Tim embraces this natural momentum urging his students to confidently embrace their dreams and aspirations. Through this perspective, he seeks to motivate his students to earn admission to one of their top college choices by helping them navigate their applications, and by finding true expression their essays.


Lauren Payne

is a magazine writer and editor, published in numerous national titles. She holds a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, which prepared her to embark on a successful career as an editor with virtually every major publishing house in New York City, including Meredith, Hachette-Filipacchi and Hearst. She has held senior editor positions at Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day and House Beautiful; her writing regularly appears in Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, New Jersey Monthly and several other publications.

Additionally, Lauren spent nearly 20 years as an adjunct journalism professor at Monmouth University where she taught Intro to Journalism and News Editing, while working closely with hundreds of students to help them develop excellent writing skills. She created a popular Magazine Journalism course in which, throughout the course of the semester, students developed and crafted a 68-page magazine. She successfully placed many top students in internships, including several at New York City publishing houses. Lauren made the decision to work full-time as a college advisor while maintaining her career as a magazine writer and editor at New Jersey Monthly.

Lauren is passionate about sharing her expertise with others. As a devoted wordsmith, she will enthusiastically help guide your student to write a college application essay that leads to acceptance. She looks forward to working one-on-one with your student.

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