Meet the Team

Take a free practice test

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 school.  Danielle believes that all students can gain access to the college of their dreams when they receive the support they need to realize their potential.

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’s expertise in athletic recruiting is enriched by her personal background, enthusiasm for college sports, and extensive network. Kelly received a certificate in college counseling with distinction from UCLA. She ran the College Bound Program for the Boys and Girls club of Santa Monica, and has helped students gain admission to many top universities including Stanford, Columbia, Wellesley, USC and University of Pennsylvania. 

Libby U. (Berkeley)
Office Director, Senior Tutor

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.

Shuo Z. (MIT)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Shuo graduated from MIT with both a Bachelor's in Biology and Master's in Toxicology in just four years, and has over 15 years of tutoring experience in math, science, test prep, and writing. She has thus helped hundreds of students not only reach but exceed their academic goals. Shuo is deeply fascinated by how her students process information and the different ways people learn. From her studies of human behavior, she has learned to tailor her methods to what best suits each student's learning modality. Throughout her vast experience, Shuo has developed many techniques that help students overcome their own fears and anxieties over test-taking, helping them achieve higher scores than they thought possible. Shuo has guided many students to conquer their academic struggles so they can fall in love with learning and become fearless in the exploration of the world around them.

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

Anthony W. (USC)
Test Prep and Content Specialist

Anthony graduated from USC with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and a B.A. in Biological Sciences. He also received his M.S. in Global Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at USC with an emphasis on Business Management from the Marshall School of Business. Anthony specializes in improving test-taking confidence by teaching students how to think critically. He excels at conveying complex concepts in Math and Science and has helped students drastically improve reading accuracy and speed. Anthony previously taught a health curriculum with Peer Health Exchange, educating high school students from a variety of backgrounds.  Anthony likes to spend his time reading, volunteering, exercising, and cooking. He loves connecting with students and serving as a mentor to help them achieve their academic and personal goals.