The staff of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation are all professionals who have worked in colleges and high schools supporting students in pursuing their post-secondary and career goals. We have extensive experience in college counseling, admissions, and career services offices at highly selective colleges and universities and at independent high schools, and we are active in the college admissions and community-based organizations communities. We are committed to using the skills and insight we have gleaned in those roles to support our Scholars in pursuing and achieving their dreams of attending outstanding colleges and universities and earning fulfilling jobs.
Suzi grew up in northern New Jersey, attending public schools there before attending the County College of Morris earning an AA, and finished her undergraduate education at The College of New Jersey, earning a BA in history. She then went onto earn a master’s degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago.
Possessing varied professional experiences -including alumni affairs, development, academic advising, orientation programming, teaching and admission - Suzi has spent the majority of her career in higher education at both state and private institutions. For 13 years, Suzi worked at Swarthmore College, the last eight of which she served as Director of Admissions. Most recently, she was the Director of College Counseling at Germantown Friends School.
While at Swarthmore College, Suzi served on the interview committee for the Lenfest Scholars Program from 2008-2014. She was immediately impressed with and felt a connection to the program as Suzi faced similar challenges around educational access with her own background as a first-generation student with limited means. Suzi is absolutely delighted to now be serving as Executive Director of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation
Growing up, Rachel moved around extensively, but no matter where she lived, family and education were always held as key valued principles. However, she knew one thing to be true: she would never be an educator herself, despite her family history of teachers and professors.
After earning a degree in English literature at the University of Chicago, though, the inevitable happened: thoughts of teaching crept into her mind. Once she was chosen for the Mississippi Teacher Corps, a program that recruits college graduates to teach in areas of critical need in the Mississippi Delta, she was hooked. After earning a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Mississippi, she moved up to Pennsylvania to teach at George School, a Quaker boarding high school in Bucks County. There she taught English and math, ran the International Student Program and the ESL department, and oversaw a dorm, among other undertakings, for sixteen years, taking a break for three years to live in New York City and earn an MFA in creative writing from the New School for Social Research (while also teaching a business English class to non-native English learners in the corporate world). She spent eight years as a college counselor, at George School and then at Germantown Friends School, before she moved on to the Lenfest Scholars Foundation as Associate Director.
She is delighted to be working with the Scholars because she has found each one that she met holds educational opportunities in the same high esteem that is ingrained in her.
Susannah Choitz, or Susie as she prefers to be called, started her years as a student in the Philadelphia School District. Creative at heart and engaged in technology throughout high school, she pursued these passions by earning an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design. After a few years of working in the graphic design field as a 'starving artist' and with a growing family, she found herself looking into the administrative professions. She worked in this profession for 17 years where she mastered the art of multitasking and fine-tuned her method of productivity.
For 10 of those years, Susie worked in GFS's college counseling office. GFS is an elite independent K-12 school where college is the topic of conversation starting well before high school. She noticed how very different the experience was from when she attended high school. Not only did she not have a full-time guidance counselor, but her peers did not talk about college. This motivated Susie to go back to school part-time for her bachelor’s degree, which she is currently pursuing at Penn State.
Susie is excited to be a part of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation as Executive Assistant; she knows firsthand how a program like the one the LSF administers is needed in many public schools and is proud to have a part in making a difference for deserving scholars.
Eileen attended her first Lenfest Community Weekend in 2010 and has been advising scholars and scholar alumni on job search and career issues ever since.
At the time of that first gathering, Eileen was Senior Associate Dean in Student Affairs and Executive Director of the Career Planning and Placement Center at the University of Southern California. After 11 years in that position, she was appointed Associate Provost and Executive Director of Continuing Education and Summer Programs. Throughout her career at USC, Eileen was a lecturer in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Prior to the move to Los Angeles, Eileen was the Executive Director of the Career Center at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Her career in academia began immediately after receiving her B.A., working as an admissions counselor in a community college in New Jersey. Within three years she had gained a graduate degree and experience as a career counselor. What followed was a successful corporate career at AT&T and Verizon in strategic planning, marketing, sales and operations. After one too many corporate downsizing experiences, Eileen returned to academia and her true ‘career fit’ – working with students and alumni.
Eileen is a New Jersey native and holds degrees from the College of Mt. St. Vincent and Seton Hall University.
Ben Lieber majored in English at Columbia College, where he was an editor of the daily student newspaper, and earned graduate degrees in English literature at Columbia as well.
After several years as assistant and then associate dean of students at Columbia, he became the dean of students at Amherst College, and served in that capacity for 25 years. He is now a senior lecturer at Amherst, teaching writing courses full-time in the English Department.
He became a member of the Lenfest Scholarship interview committee the year after the scholarship program began. Since 2009, when the program doubled in size, he has served as a consultant to it, providing advice and support to roughly half of the Lenfest Scholars every year.