Catherine Marrs, CEP    

Founder, Principal, and Certified Admissions Advisor

Catherine Marrs

Recognized as one of the leading independent admissions counselors in the North Texas region, Catherine Marrs founded Marrs College Admission Advisors in 2004. Throughout her career, she has helped place hundreds of students in colleges and universities.

A member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, the Higher Educational Consultants Association, the National Association of College Admission Counselors and the Texas Association of Admission Counselors, Catherine is one of a handful of distinguished Dallas-area college admissions advisors who is credentialed by the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (CEP). As a requirement of this rigorous certification process, Catherine personally visits at least 15 – 20 campuses annually to assure her ability to identify the very best “fit” for her students and families.

Catherine successfully coaches a wide range of students—from National Merit semifinalists to those who struggle through their regular classes. She understands the unique needs of families along the full spectrum of financial circumstances and requirements. Her proven, innovative strategies and techniques empower students to shine―with confidence, good humor, efficiency, and effectiveness―through each step of the college admissions journey. Her ability to help position her students to receive the maximum merit aid available is impressive. As a seasoned speaker, Catherine has also written extensively on subjects related to the college planning and transition process.

Prior to becoming a certified college counselor, Catherine owned a regional casualty insurance medical cost-containment company―serving as CEO for 20 years. A member of Executive Women of Dallas and the Chief Executives Round Table of the Professional Development Institute at the University of North Texas, Catherine holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. She earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University and a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She also completed the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions and the IECA Principles and Practice Training―receiving her Certificate in Educational Planning in 2007.

Catherine served a six-year term as a trustee of the St. Alcuin Montessori School. She is a member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, as well as the Wednesday Women’s Bible Study Group at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Her daughter graduated from The Greenhill School and Cum Laude from Southwestern University.

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María Elena Gutiérrez Doskey, M.A., M.A.T.    

College Admissions Advisor

María worked with adolescents for many years as a foreign language teacher. To her many students, she was also a life counselor, college counselor, and so much more. She counseled countless students in their college decision-making process as their teacher and journeyed through the college admission process (and has been a spectator during the graduate school admission process) four times over with her children. After 19 years, away from her beloved adolescents, she is thrilled to be back working with them and with Marrs College Admission Advisors.

María Doskey was born in Cuba and came to the United States as a second grader. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in Dallas, received a B.A. in French and Spanish from Tulane University, and received a double Master’s in Spanish and Applied Linguistics from Tulane University. She has a “diplôme” from the Sorbonne, University of Paris.

She taught foreign languages at Sacred Heart Academy in New Orleans and for twenty years at Ursuline Academy in Dallas where she chaired the foreign language department for eight years. She moved on to become an interpreter and translator for the Department of Justice from where she retired after 19 years. She will receive her Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA in March 2017 and attended the IECA Summer Institute in 2016.

María served a six-year term as vice-president of the school board of the St. Monica School and was a member of the Academic Council at Ursuline Academy during her tenure there.

María is the mother of four grown children, three boys who graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas and a daughter who graduated from Ursuline Academy. Among them they have three BAs, three BSs, three MAs, one MS, one MBA, and two PhDs.

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Michael Lundie, M.A.    

Study Skills Coach

Michael has experience both as a researcher in the cognitive science of learning and reasoning and wide-ranging experience as an educator, spanning from elementary to college level students. His academic career started at Southern Methodist University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. While earning his degree, Michael explored avenues toward a career in education. He began by assisting undergraduates with liberal arts subjects in the campus tutoring center. He was eventually selected to work with student-athletes on developing study skills, along with methods for balancing a demanding extracurricular workload with academic commitments. This foray into the education field instilled in Michael an enduring passion for teaching and academic coaching.

Shortly after graduation, Michael joined Teach For America, a highly selective organization that prepares educators for teaching at-risk students in low socio-economic status school districts. During his two-year tenure with the organization, Michael taught in an Oak Cliff-based charter school located in south Dallas. He observed that subject-based knowledge was only one component in overall academic achievement. Drawing on the study-skills coaching experience he gathered at SMU, Michael taught his elementary and middle school students about goal prioritization, along with the essentials of effective writing and public speaking, and reliable principles of college readiness.

To supplement his first-hand experience with rigorous research efforts, Michael set out to learn more about the latest in evidence-based approaches to academic success. This long-term goal started with earning a Master’s in Neurophilosophy at Georgia State University, where he engaged in interdisciplinary work on the structure of human learning, memory, attention, and reasoning faculties. His thesis explored the evolutionary origins of the human capacity for abstract thought, the very capacity that, for example, undergirds mathematical reasoning. Concurrently, he taught intro-level courses in Critical Thinking to undergraduates, where he could continue advising students about the essentials of college and professional success. After completing his degree, Michael accepted admission to the Cognition and Neuroscience PhD program at University of Texas at Dallas, where he intends on beginning research into the latest brain-imaging approaches to studying human learning and memory.

Not long before enrolling at UT Dallas, Michael joined the team at Marrs College Admission Advisors as a study skills coach. Michael brings to bear a host of hands-on experience assisting students with various learning styles and motivational levels, along with techniques for identifying skillsets individually tailored to students’ needs and abilities. In partnership with the highly qualified team of experts at Marrs College Admission Advisors, he is dedicated to coaching students toward academic and professional achievement.

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