Adreon Patterson

Adreon Patterson is a storyteller and animator. He earned a bachelor's degree in animation and a master's degree in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Since graduating from SCAD, Adreon has worked as a contributor for several digital publications and brands such as Paste Magazine and PRESI USA. He maintains his own freelance business providing design and writing services for a growing client base.

Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon is a senior writer with BestColleges, covering higher education trends, policy, and student issues. She has an MA in English literature and a background in research strategy and service journalism.

Ava Manning

Ava is a student currently pursuing her bachelor's in English and literature at the University of Idaho. She is a journalist and photographer at The Argonaut, U of I's campus newspaper, and a contributor to BestColleges' Student Voices series.

Ciera Graham, Ph.D.

Ciera Graham holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Cincinnati and an M.Ed. in counseling and BA in sociology from Washington State University. She has 11 years of experience in student affairs and has supported students in the areas of college planning, career development, financial aid, and mental health. Ciera is also a freelance writer and covers topics related to career development, diversity and inclusion, and leadership. She has written for Career Contessa, The Everett Herald, and The Seattle Times.

Cobretti D. Williams, Ph.D.

Cobretti D. Williams, Ph.D., is the senior editor for diversity, equity, and inclusion at BestColleges. He is a scholar, writer, and editor working at the intersection of education, culture, and politics. Cobretti's research focuses on the experiences of minoritized student and faculty populations in higher education. His work has been published in the Journal of Negro Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Black Youth Project, and the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs. Cobretti received his Ph.D. in higher education from Loyola University Chicago.

Colin Weickmann

As a content manager for BestColleges, Colin Weickmann combines his passion for technology, writing, and higher education by developing content to help students succeed in their education and career goals. He graduated from Washington State University with a BA in digital technology and culture.

Dana Sitar

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) has been writing and editing since 2011, covering personal finance, careers, and digital media. She's a copywriter and content marketer specializing in fintech and financial services.

Dean Golembeski

Dean Golembeski is a communicator and writer. Before he managed the communication departments at public and private colleges, he was a journalist for many years, including 10 years with the Associated Press. As a freelance writer, Dean has had stories published in newspapers, magazines, and books, as well as online. He has written about politics, crime, sports, higher education, and much more.

Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

Hannah Muniz

Hannah Muniz is a senior editor with BestColleges and a former freelance education writer. She is passionate about college accessibility and helping students succeed. Hannah holds a BA from the University of Southern California and an MA in Japanese studies from the University of Michigan.

Jessica Bryant

Jessica Bryant is a data reporter for BestColleges covering higher education trends. She has a BA in journalism and previously worked with the South Florida Business Journal as a reporter and researcher.

Jessica A. Gold, M.D., M.S.

Jessica A. Gold, M.D., M.S., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis and a staff psychiatrist at Habif Health and Wellness Center. She writes about student wellness and mental health for BestColleges.

Jessica Walrack

Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer whose work has been featured on,, The Simple Dollar,, and more. She specializes in writing about personal finance topics related to loans, credit cards, banking, and budgeting.

John Boitnott

John Boitnott is a longtime journalist and content marketing consultant who writes for multiple financial publications. He has written for Inc., Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, NBC, USAToday, Venturebeat, and other media outlets.

Jonathan Wlodarski

Jonathan Wlodarski is pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has taught composition and creative writing courses at the college level for four years. Jonathan writes about how to strengthen writing skills and how to succeed in English courses, among other topics.

Jordan Stewart-Rozema, Ph.D.

Jordan Stewart-Rozema is an editor for BestColleges, where she writes and edits content about coding bootcamps, higher education, and student finances. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Emory University.

Julia K. Porter, Ph.D.

Julia K. Porter, Ph.D., is an educator, consultant, and a writer. She began her career as a high school English teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and has taught college courses since 2008 in writing, literature, humanities, and ethics. She holds a Ph.D. in global leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English education from Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis.

Kasia Kovacs

Kasia Kovacs is a freelance writer for BestColleges, covering various topics in higher education. She has an MA in journalism and a newspaper background. She now freelances as a reporter and a copywriter.

Kim-Ling Sun

Kim-Ling Sun holds an MA in English from the University of Houston. She has 12 years of experience as a professor teaching at high schools and local community colleges. Kim-Ling is also a published poet, a community activist, and a freelance writer covering topics related to the Asian American community and education.

Laila Abdalla, Ph.D.

Laila Abdalla obtained her Ph.D. in English from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her teaching and publishing expertise lies in British medieval and early modern literature, with a primary focus in Shakespeare's drama. For over 21 years at Central Washington University, Laila taught undergraduate and graduate courses in her subjects, along with classes on successful writing, analysis, and argumentation.

Laine Plummer

Laine is vice president of content and creative at BestColleges. As someone who has reinvented her career several times, from direct marketing to digital, she supports BestColleges in its mission to help adult learners and career changers find the right program to reach their goals. She holds a BS in integrated marketing communication from Winthrop University.

Lindsay VanSomeren

Lindsay VanSomeren graduated with a BS and MS degree in wildlife biology and conservation from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has spent time capturing, raising, and training wild caribou; doing surveys for rare migratory birds; and assessing forage quality for herbivores in northern Alaska and rural Wyoming. She currently lives in Kirkland, Washington, and works as a freelance writer.

Mark J. Drozdowski, Ed.D.

Mark J. Drozdowski is a senior writer with BestColleges. He has 30 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member and university administrator. A former columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, Mark has written articles, essays and op-eds for dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree and doctorate in higher education from Harvard University.

Melissa Venable, Ph.D.

Melissa A. Venable, Ph.D., is an online education advisor for BestColleges. In this role, she leads and writes the annual Online Education Trends Report. Melissa is an adjunct faculty member and course designer at Saint Leo University and the University of South Florida; she is also a certified career coach with a background in career development services. Melissa earned her doctorate in instructional technology at the University of South Florida with research interests in distance education and support services for online students.

Mikael Mulugeta

Mikael Mulugeta is an associate editor with BestColleges and writes about preparing for college life, internships, and student debt. He holds a BA in English and an MA in strategic communication from the University of Iowa.

Reece Johnson

Reece Johnson is a senior editor in charge of the BestColleges blog. He writes about the future of work and higher education, student political activism, and expanding educational opportunities. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Sarah Sherren

Sarah Sherren is a student at Brigham Young University studying public relations and French. She writes for the blog's Student Voices series about the challenges of college life during a pandemic. In her spare time, she enjoys graphic design, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Staff Writers

The staff writers for BestColleges collaborate to deliver unique, student-driven content on topics such as career development, college life, and college planning.

Stephen Gaffney

Stephen is a marketing consultant with more than 25 years' experience working with global brands in a variety of industries. He specializes in behavioral marketing, content strategy and development, loyalty marketing, and search marketing. In addition to covering career and business topics for BestColleges, Stephen writes about being a college parent. He holds a BA in journalism from the University of Montana.

T.J. Jourian, Ph.D.

T.J. Jourian is an independent scholar, consultant, and trainer with Trans*Formational Change. His professional experiences span LGBTQ+ life, residential life, women's center work, and multicultural affairs, and he has also served as faculty at four institutions in their higher education and student affairs programs. T.J. co-founded Trans*Forming Higher Education (T.H.E.) Collaborative and the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs. His research and advocacy interests center on queer and trans people of color, with particular attention to masculinity, transness, and racialization; campus gender and sexuality centers and practitioners; and trans*ing constructs and methodologies.

Tyler Epps

Tyler Epps is a staff writer with BestColleges, covering online programs, college specializations, and higher education trends. He has a BSBA in management from Appalachian State University and a background in online research and writing.

Veronica Freeman

Veronica Freeman is a content manager for BestColleges. She earned an MA in English from the University of Hawai’i and enjoyed her time teaching, mentoring, and tutoring both high school and college students. She is interested in student wellness and mental health, as well as exploring the ways colleges and students can help the environment.