Don’t worry. We’ve got this.​

The team from College Calm has been reducing family stress while helping students find the right school since 2009.

Our Philosophy

At College Calm, we love getting to know our students, listening to their stories, learning what motivates them, and helping them find their voice. We consider it our job to reduce the stress and confusion students and families feel during the college application process. Our personalized approach creates a comfortable environment where we focus on student’s strengths, validate their experiences and build their capacity to calmly and effectively complete their college applications.

We do not view high school and the college process as a means to an end, but rather a time when students can learn about their academic assets and personal interests. We challenge students to think about what they can learn about life through the college process, and encourage them to dream about their futures. We believe students need to start the process early enough to give themselves the time to be (or learn to be) pro-active, organized, and thoughtful. By the end of the process, we want our students to find a college where they will thrive, not just attend.

Meet our Counselors

Roxana Dommer

Roxana Dommer

Founder and College Counselor

I founded College Calm in 2009 because I believe that the college process can be an empowering experience for high school students. My background in education and admissions provides me with the unique combination of knowledge and tools to help students complete the college application process. As an application reader in the Stanford University admissions office and an admissions counselor at Santa Clara University, I read and evaluated hundreds of undergraduate applications and have first-hand experience in recognizing what makes the best applications rise to the top. Throughout my 20+ years in education, I have tutored students in reading, writing, math, and executive functioning skills.

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I have a BA from Georgetown University and an MA in Education from Stanford University. As a native of the Bay Area, I attended several local schools, including Nueva, Castilleja, and Menlo School. I currently live in San Carlos with my husband, two children, and our two rambunctious bulldogs.

Tammy Friedman

Senior College Counselor

I am a UC Davis Summa Cum Laude graduate with two BA degrees in Psychology and Spanish. I also have an MS in Marriage Family Therapy, as well as a Pupil Personnel Services credential. I have worked as a high school counselor for over 20 years. 

I have a deep passion for counseling students and helping them on their personal journey. My unique position allows me to understand the relationship and coordination needed with respect to independent counseling and the high school experience. My therapeutic background helps to provide a safe outlet … 

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for students and families during the highs and lows of the college process.  I have expertise in the UC and CSU application process and have participated in five education abroad language immersion programs. I am fluent in Spanish.

I am a Bay Area native and San Mateo High School graduate.  I love traveling, singing, hiking, and anything related to musicals! I currently live in Rocklin with my husband, two daughters, and our rescue dog Mocha.



Diana Wuerthner

College Counselor

I am a passionate cheerleader for my students, skilled at recognizing their specific strengths and needs and connecting them with the guidance and resources necessary to make informed choices about their future. Over the past decade, I have worked in public and private education with students of all ages, from kindergarten through graduate school. For the past four years, I have worked as a college counselor at a small private school and a college prep public charter school, where I built the counseling programs from the ground up. I believe that there is a “good fit” college for all students and I excel at matching their unique strengths and interests with schools where they will succeed….

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The process of applying to and choosing a college can create tremendous stress for students and families. I use an organized approach that keeps them on track and in front of the process so they do not become overwhelmed and actually enjoy the journey.

My undergraduate background is in US History, and I have Master’s Degrees in US History and in Library Science, but my true professional calling is helping students navigate the college research and application process. I love using my abilities as a researcher and teacher to curate and present information to students in a clear and coherent way. I am a Bay Area native, and I currently live in the North Bay with my partner, our two kids, six chickens, and one-year-old Golden Retriever, Maude.


Kathleen Noland

College Counselor

My journey toward educational consulting was anything but conventional. After a long stint in advertising, and an even longer stint in parenthood, I realized that my true passion lay in helping high schoolers unlock their full potential. Armed with a degree in Psychology and a College Counseling Credential from UCLA, an internship at a local high school, and project management skills that are on point, I set out to make my mark on the post-secondary education world. Now, I help students navigate the overwhelming college application process. From building targeted college lists, to creating academic profiles with integrity, to concepting essays that are fire, I’m always looking for ways to engage and inspire my…

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clients. In addition to my degrees and credentials, I am a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and have been trained as a certified athletic recruiting advisor. I have worked as an editor at Harper SF and UCLA, and have volunteered at my kids’ schools for over 10 years. When I’m not working with clients, I enjoy exploring colleges, hiking, and spectating at track meets and baseball games. I live in Marin County with my husband and two teen sons.


Cat Caddell

College Counselor

I love working with teens and young adults as they explore the next phase of their lives. I believe it is an honor and privilege to work with youth as they imagine and plan their future selves through the college admission process. I have supported a wide range of students through this transformative experience, and I have a depth of knowledge in working with student athletes, STEM majors, students with learning differences, and unconventional learners…

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I am a California and Sonoma county native. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara for my undergraduate studies, and I hold a certificate in College and Career Counseling from UC Berkeley. My career experience as a mediator and coach informs how I help families navigate the college search and application labyrinth. I have a background as a high school college and guidance counselor. I value clear communication and a step by step approach that helps keep anxiety low and the entire process more joyful.

When I am not working with my students, I enjoy participating in and coaching flatwater kayaking. I am also an avid cyclist and love taking my gravel bike out in the dirt. I live in Sonoma county with my family, therapy dog named Peeka-Boo, and many chickens.


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Jenny Dumas

College Counselor

I have dedicated my career to supporting students through academic transitions. I was a high school counselor for ten years, most recently at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA. I worked with diverse groups of students which helped me understand how competitive and stressful the college process can be for all students. From creating a college list to writing college essays, I enjoy helping students find their own path and identify their authentic self. I pride myself on being able to help students recognize their strengths, set realistic college goals and make an organized plan to complete each step of the college research and application process without stress.

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My undergraduate degree is in Social Work and I completed my Masters in School Counseling in 2007, while coaching field hockey at the collegiate level. My experiences as a two-sport athlete, college coach, and counselor have allowed me to explore a large number of colleges all over the United States. I am an east coast native and I love all things active: yoga, hiking, and sports. I currently live in Santa Clara with my partner and our twins. 

Alison Matthews

Assistant Counselor

I am thrilled to be embarking on a second career in college advising. Working with students to streamline the application process and opening doors to their self-discovery drew me to this profession. I look forward to making the college admissions journey more fun and less stressful for everyone.

I am privileged to work alongside an amazing group of professionals at CollegeCalm while earning my College Counseling Certificate from UC San Diego. I have worked for over ten years in marketing 

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for companies such as Microsoft and Netflix. Through these companies, I learned how to leverage data analytics to make the best-performing decisions, and these skills translate well in helping students use available information to find schools and build an effective and well-balanced college list. My project management skills will give students insight into how to make a seemingly complex process streamlined and completely achievable.

I grew up in the Los Angeles area (go Lakers) and graduated from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. I live in Menlo Park with my husband and son. I recently went through, and survived, the athletic recruiting process with my daughter who is now playing D1 soccer. When not studying, parenting, or working with students, I enjoy playing tennis and pickle, running, riding my Peloton, and cooking. 

Rebecca Thompson

Assistant Counselor

I enjoy working with students as they embark on this exciting chapter in their lives. Whether they are interested in engineering, the liberal arts, or are unsure, I work to make the process feel more illuminating and exciting rather than daunting. I’ve visited colleges and universities all over the US, which helps me guide students in how to size up a school’s vibe and envision whether they are a good fit.

My professional experience includes a global career in marketing, public relations and product management for Microsoft as well as nonprofit volunteering, and co-running a successful school board campaign. In my 20s and 30s, I worked or studied in seven states (both coasts, plus Indiana and Texas)

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and three countries and traveled to even more so I’m a huge fan of discovering new places and going outside your comfort zone. My BA is from the University of Oregon, MBA from the University of Washington and I am currently pursuing a certificate in college consulting from UCLA. 

I’m a Pacific Northwest girl at heart, but consider the Bay Area my second favorite after enjoying 15 years of its awesome weather. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, skiing, kayaking, reading, and hanging with friends by the fire pit. With both kids in college, my husband and I are currently living in Seattle with our chocolate Labradoodle, Theo.

Meet our Partners

Leigh Hornik

College to Career Specialist

Leigh Hornik started 5th Quarter Coaching because she saw that a gap existed in supporting young adults during the time between college and career. Now, she coaches young talent and helps them to not only break into the corporate world but thrive in it.

Leigh’s corporate background spans Big Tech to Financial Services. While working for Meta, Lending Club, Spencer Stuart and BlackRock, Leigh has overseen recruitment for C-level executives, managed recruitment strategies to deliver at scale for complex global organizations, and built high-performing recruiting teams for technical and business roles. She is currently the Head of Talent for a software company in Silicon Valley and the Founder of 5th Quarter Coaching. 

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At 5th Quarter Coaching, we meet you where you are as you navigate the transition after you graduate college and before you launch your career. We provide you with a framework, resources, and tools to support you with your job search as you enter the job market. Please visit our website at to learn more.

Linda Parker Hamilton

Essay Specialist

Linda Parker Hamilton is an award-wining author, specializing in personal essay and memoir writing. She loves working with young adults to help them share the best of themselves in their writing, both with College Calm and independently as the College Essay Guru. The students she coaches learn to tell their stories with depth and meaning, authentic voice, and captivating narrative technique.

For her independent publishing house, Stories to Last, founded in 2006, she has edited and published more than 55 memoirs, biographies and histories. Her outdoor adventure books (Falcon Guides) are available in bookstores. In addition, Linda has published both nonfiction and fiction in …

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magazines, newspapers and online. She teaches workshops and speaks professionally about memoir writing, hiking, and interesting moments and people in history. Prior to her 23 years as a professional writer, Linda was a high school teacher, college composition instructor, and private tutor.

Linda has a master’s in creative writing and literature, a bachelor’s degree in English/Drama from UC Davis and the University of London, and a secondary teaching certification from Sacramento State. She and her husband have a son at home in Oakland and another attending UC Santa Barbara. When not writing or coaching, Linda can be found singing in two cover bands, planning the next adventure, engrossed in some sort of research, or playing with her soccer-playing corgi-terrier, Donut. 

Learn more with a free 20-minute consultation.