Who We Are

Michelle J. Cassel, B.A., J.D., M.L.S.

Michelle earned her B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Marymount University and her law degree at the City University of New York Law School. Michelle also studied Comparative Law and European Union Law in Madrid through the Marshall Wythe School of Law of The College of William and Mary. A litigator for over ten years practicing public interest law, Michelle received the 2004 Attorney of the Year Award from Legal Services of New Jersey. She also taught her practice area to the legal profession. Michelle decided to further her education while still practicing law, and earned her Masters in Library Science and Information Technology from Rutgers. Michelle is a certified Professional Librarian and has experience working as a reference librarian. In 2006, after having guided several families and their children through the college search and application process, Michelle founded College Search Navigators, based on her assessment of the growing need to help high school students and their families by providing professional college placement advice and assistance. Michelle is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and has attended the IECA Summer Training Institute. Michelle is also a Member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), as well as the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and subscribes to HECA standards of good practice. Michelle attends national and state association conferences, and regularly participates in regional college counselor campus tours.

Diane C. Gallo, B.A., J.D.

Diane earned her B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Georgetown University and her law degree from The University of Virginia School of Law. During her junior year of college, Diane also participated in the Comparative Government Studies Program at the University of Essex in Colchester, England and served as an intern for a ranking member of the British Parliament. Her experience with the college admissions process started as early as her own college career, during which time she worked extensively with both the Georgetown University Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Georgetown Admissions Ambassadors Program. After law school, Diane was a successful transactional lawyer in private practice, and eventually left law to raise her family. During this time, she spent twelve years as a Senior Officer of the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution, one of the oldest and most prestigious civic organizations for children in the nation. Not only did she lead her local society to attain distinction as the Most Outstanding Society in the Nation and in the State of New Jersey, but her tenure provided numerous opportunities to counsel society members regarding the college admissions process. Diane has served as both a UVa and Georgetown Alumni Association Representative, through which she has assisted many students in the application and recommendation process at these schools. As a natural outgrowth of both her experience and recognition of the growing need of high school students and their families for a professional level of assistance in the college search and application process, Diane was pleased to join College Search Navigators in 2008. She is a Professional Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and attended the IECA Summer Training Institute. Diane is also a Member of the New Jersey Association of College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), as well as the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and subscribes to HECA standards of good practice. Diane attends the IECA, HECA and NJACAC annual conferences.

Don’t Let Summer Pass You By!

While many think of the summer as a time to relax, hit the beach and do anything but something academic, summer is the best time to explore potential academic majors and careers. You can learn more about this at your local library. Take advantage of the down time to up your game. You will be glad you did.


Did You Know?

With the number of applicants now using the Common App and the ease of submitting an online application (in the 2010-11 cycle, 1.8 million applications were submitted as of January 1, 2011), admissions officers are looking for more than just an application to make admissions decisions - you need to demonstrate a genuine interest in the school.  The best ways to do this include visiting the campus, having a campus interview if offered, attending college fairs and completing the intake form for schools you are really interested in, attending any local events in your area sponsored by the college, and emailing the admissions counselors with specific questions about programs that interest you.  These steps can help to differentiate you from the herd of "stealth applicants" who use the Common App as their sole contact with the school.



Way Back When College Was a Buyer’s Market

March 31, 2011

Oh to be interested in attending Harvard University in the late 1860s. Harvard and other schools like Vassar and Columbia actually advertised for students in newspapers, and any required frehman entrance exams could be taken on the weekend prior to the start of classes. How… Read More>>

Ni Hao! – NYU to open Shanghai campus

March 27, 2011

New York University announced plans to establish a degree-granting campus in Shanghai. NYU's president was expected to sign an agreement on March 28 with Chinese officials to seal the deal. This move signals a continuing trend for American universities. NYU already has a degree-granting campus… Read More>>



"College Search Navigators did a wonderful job assisting both my daughters with the college admissions process.  They really absorbed who my girls were as unique individuals and helped them in articulating this to their target colleges.  Both of my daughters have had marvelous experiences at schools that are perfect for them. "

Frances O., mother of Beth Anne and Claire, Class of 2008, 
Georgetown University; Class of 2011, Boston College