Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Johnny Duda, Ed.D. (Harvard and UCLA)
Founder, Partner, Director of Academic Programs

Dr. Duda graduated from Harvard University in 1999, and received his doctorate in Education from UCLA in 2011. Johnny has over a decade of experience as a teacher and mentor to middle school, high school and college students. In addition to developing original programs for Vault Prep, Johnny advises select U.S. and international students on their college applications and essays and specializes in working with students with special learning needs.

Danielle Kirschbaum, M.A. (GWU and LMU)
Partner, Director of College Admissions and Client Services

Danielle received her B.A. from The George Washington University in Business Administration, and an M.A. in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. In developing Vault Prep’s proprietary curriculum to college admissions counseling, Danielle has pulled from her knowledge in marketing, childhood development (academic, personal, socio-emotional), and the college admissions landscape.

She is an expert at connecting with youth, helping them develop and define their goals, and mapping out a clear path to achieve said goals.  As a result, her unique and individualized program has helped countless students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools including Harvard, Brown, Tufts, Vanderbilt, Barnard, USC, U Chicago, Colorado College, Boston College, and Georgetown.



Kelly Siegel (Smith)
College Counselor

Kelly Siegel graduated Smith College with a BA in History where she became an All-American Volleyball Player and Academic All-American.  She was a highly recruited volleyball player, earning a full athletic scholarship to Cal Berkeley, and was inducted into the Smith College Hall of Fame.  Kelly received a certificate in college counseling with distinction from UCLA and ran the College Bound Program for the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica. Kelly provides focused attention and intelligent strategy for students who consistently meet success gaining admission to top universities including Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Yale, Wellesley, USC, MIT, Northwestern and the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt.

Libby U. (Berkeley)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Libby is a native Texan and graduate of UC Berkeley, where she received a B.A. in Development Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Economics & Policy. She has extensive experience working with a diverse range of learners, and has a particular facility with demystifying standardized tests, helping her students learn complex concepts in bite-size pieces. Before she came to Vault, Libby spent 7+ years working on youth leadership development in and out of various countries in Latin America, where she developed a passion for helping high-schoolers build confidence and inspiring them to take on unusual challenges. When not tutoring, Libby often finds herself reading sociology books, traveling the world, and chasing the sun.

Mariel C (Princeton)
Essay Specialist and Content Tutor

Mariel received a B.A. in English Literature from Princeton University and has worked for several years as a creative writing consultant, personal tutor, and freelance photographer. As a photojournalist, Mariel’s work has been published internationally in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, Mother Jones, and USA Triathlon Magazine. Mariel sees connections that others overlook, helping students to discover inner truths within themselves and their perceptions of the world that they may not have found otherwise. She excels at connecting with people of all ages on personal and intellectual levels and using those connections to discover deeper revelations about students. She enjoys helping others to become better writers and thinkers and has assisted previous students with acceptances to Vanderbilt and Duke University

Abby L. (UCLA)
Director of Social Benefit Programs, Test Prep and Content Specialist

Abby graduated from UCLA with a B.Sc. in Psychobiology.  After many years of volunteering with youth mentorship programs throughout Los Angeles, Abby has developed a passion for helping students identify their goals and developing a plan of action to achieve them.  This experience coupled with her educational background has made Abby an expert at helping students with varied learning preferences, strengths, and differences hone their critical thinking skills.  Her highly individualized approach boosts confidence and helps students excel on standardized tests and core content.  In her spare time, Abby loves to travel, make music, and participate in competitive powerlifting.

Heather L (UCLA)
Case Manager, Test Prep and Content Specialist

Heather studied Political Science with an emphasis on American Government at UCLA.  At age 16, she started a free tutoring program and has been passionate about teaching ever since.  Prior to joining Vault Prep, Heather taught at a school for students with learning differences and mood disorders.  Her strength in finding and perfecting effective curriculum based on individual interests and intuitive reasoning is what drew her to Vault Prep.  When Heather is not at Vault, she plays the trombone, volunteers at the LA LGBT Youth Center, and enjoys playing with her dogs at the beach.

Tiffany L. (USC)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Tiffany graduated from USC with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Business Law, and has tutored students of varying levels in a multitude of subjects. Tiffany has a passion for helping her students build healthy studying habits while simultaneously developing their critical thinking skills to solve problems logically. Her specialty lies in highlighting her student’s strengths and capitalizing on them by tailoring her approach to each individual student’s learning style. While at USC, Tiffany was the Director of USC’s Emergency Medical Services, a Senator in the Undergraduate Student Government, and was named a USC Frontline Scholar for conducting groundbreaking research. Tiffany ultimately strives to foster an intellectual curiosity in each of her students and to help them become intrinsically motivated so that they will develop into life-long learners that are equipped with the tools necessary to pursue the goals they have in life.

Javier C (UCLA)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Javier graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and a minor in film. At the age of twelve, Javier began volunteering at his local library as a tutor. Since then, his passion for working with children and youth has grown exponentially. Javier has worked with children and youth as a fishing guide, summer camp counselor, mentor, baseball coach, and after-school teacher. Having grown up in an urban low-income area drew Javier towards Vault Prep and the social benefit aspect that the company practices to help out L.A. communities. With Vault, Javier looks forward to empowering youth through knowledge and giving them the tools necessary, not only for standardized tests but for college and beyond. In his spare time, Javier enjoys going to Angels Baseball games, playing competitive Quidditch, watching movies, and going on roadtrips.

Tyler T, M.A. (U Oregon and Chapman)
Test Prep and Content Specialist
Tyler graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A in both Journalism and Sociology. Upon his return to California, he completed his Masters At Teaching at Chapman University with a specialization in literacy. As a former educator before coming to Vault, he understands the ways in which Critical thinking and literacy play an enormous role in future success, and values each student's individual learning process. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, weightlifting, playing sports and video games. 
Sarah C. (Notre Dame)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Sarah earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, where she developed a passion for tutoring and mentoring youth in the surrounding community. After graduating, Sarah worked as the Director of Graduate Support at a tuition-free school for low-income youth in New Haven, Connecticut. She specialized in standardized test preparation, high school placement, college counseling, and mathematics instruction. Over four years in New Haven, Sarah worked to expand program services and improve college preparedness and access for all students. Sarah now enjoys empowering Vault students to reach their full potential through individualized college readiness instruction. When she isn't at Vault, Sarah enjoys travel, yoga, dance, and time with her family. 

Juan L. (UCLA)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Juan graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Economics. He has tutored students ever since he was in High School where he also worked with Estrellas Colgate in Mexico City to promote youth sports participation. Prior to joining Vault Prep, Juan worked at the Mexican Consulate General in Sacramento, helping promote community college fairs, and working with the immigrant community. Juan believes that given the right fundamentals any student can thrive, and that most struggles in school can be overcome by small adjustments to the way we learn. In his spare time Juan enjoys playing piano and soccer.

Julia H (UCLA)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Julia graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Biology. While at UCLA, Julia was the Co-Head Coordinator of the UCLA Stroke Force Program, a CPR/ First Aid Instructor, and a recipient of the American Heart Association Undergraduate Student Research Award for her research on Alzheimer’s disease and strokes. Much like how she approaches her own learning, Julia strives to create intellectually stimulating environments for her students. She is an innovative thinker and enjoys creating individualized lesson plans to help each student become confident in core literacies. When she isn’t teaching, Julia loves to travel and has been to over 20 countries where she has learned about different cultures, languages, religions, and ways of life.