Skip to main content

Meet an Admissions Counselor: Serena Frisina

expert collage with school names
Serena Frisina College Coach

Written by Serena Frisinaon May 24th, 2022

I worked as an admissions counselor at Lewis & Clark College, my alma mater, for many years before joining College Coach. While at Lewis & Clark, I read applications, interviewed prospective students, made admit decisions, and presented on topics focused on the application process and financial aid. In addition, I planned admitted student days, managed the visit program and supervised the student ambassador team. I also served as an athletic liaison to the football team and supported coaches and student-athletes through the application and financial aid process. I have worked with many community-based organizations to support first generation and underrepresented students through the college search and application process. I have also supported college counselors in creating college search and application curriculum for their schools.
Learn More About Serena
We’re bringing back our popular series, Meet an Admissions Counselor, where we introduce students and families to a different member of the College Coach admissions team. Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for beginning the college essay. As you work with us to find a college admissions consultant who best fits your needs or the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working styles that will bring out the best in you or your student. Today we introduce Serena Frisina. Where are you from, where have you lived, and where do you live now? I grew up in Idyllwild, California, (a tiny, rural town in the mountains above Palm Springs). I moved to Portland, Oregon for college and have lived there for the last 14 years. In college, I spent a semester abroad in Santiago, Dominican Republic. What are you reading, watching, and/or listening to lately? I am a sucker for trashy novels (my current favorite is a series of novels about a female bounty hunter) and crime podcasts (Serial, Crime Junkie, etc.). What do you do for fun or to relax? Besides trashy novels and crime podcasts, you can find me outdoors, snowboarding, boating, and walking my dog. What are some of your interests—things that fascinate you or send you down internet rabbit holes, or things you love to learn more about? People fascinate me: I love to people watch and understand how people tick, why they make the decisions they make, and how they understand the world. I think this is what makes college counseling so interesting to me—understanding how students approach the college search process and, in the end, what makes them choose a school is just fascinating to me. Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what, and are there certain causes that are close to your heart? I have served as a community mentor for international students at Lewis & Clark. I love welcoming all students to L&C but particularly the students who are not only new to the college but new to the U.S. My family has enjoyed sharing traditions, customs, and experiences with our students. I am also passionate about the environment and regularly participate in trail cleanup and maintenance. I am currently working with a friend to support the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine and to support Ukrainian refugees. -- Where did you go to college and what did you study? I went to Lewis & Clark College and studied International Affairs and Political Science. What was your favorite thing about college? Was anything very different from what you expected? I loved being surrounded by such passionate people. My professors and peers were so interested in the subjects they taught or studied. In high school, I saw school and homework as a chore, but in college I realized how fun learning could be. What would you say to your high school self if you could coach them through the research and application process? What would you have done differently? I would tell my high school self to focus more on being in the moment. Participate in activities that bring joy as opposed to being involved for the sake of college applications. Don’t stress so much about choosing a major but, in turn, find a school that is a good fit overall. -- Where did you work in admissions and/or counseling? I worked as an admissions counselor at Lewis & Clark College. What aspect of the college admissions and/or counseling process do you most enjoy working on? Learning about what a school has to offer and how it meets a student’s needs and interests is my favorite part; I love helping students find “fit.” What in your mind makes a good college essay? A good college essay reinforces but does not repeat the other application materials. From the college essay, I should get to know who you are on a deeper level than your activities list and transcript. A good college essay will help me remember you in a pool of hundreds (maybe thousands) of other applicants. How do you guide and nurture students through the college list process, from initial research to narrowing the final list? I guide students through the college search process with humor and efficiency. I want to help my students feel confident that they have all of the information necessary to make a well-informed choice. How would you describe your counseling style? I would describe my counseling style as student directed and team oriented. I want you to drive the car but know that I, your parents, your teachers, and your school counselor are all here to support you through the process. To learn more about Serena, visit her bio.


Interested in learning more about how our college admissions counseling services can help your student succeed?

Call 877-402-6224 or complete the form for information on getting your student started with one of our experts.

Inclusion Matters Here Pride Flag