About our College Consultants

Joan Brinkman

Joan Brinkman is a graduate of Hamline University with a BA in American Studies and elementary education. She also holds a MA in Gifted Education from St. Thomas. Her professional experience includes teaching 34 years in Glenwood, Prior Lake, and St. Louis Park, MN. The last 10 years of Joan’s career she worked as an advisor for International Baccalaureate and 7-12 Gifted students. She assisted hundreds of students through every step of their college process. Co-authoring the book What’s On Your Mind, allowed her to reach students around the country identify and develop their strengths, learn problem solving strategies, and fine tune their decision-making skills. Presently, Joan is on the board of the St. Louis Park Public Schools Foundation, and speaks on affective strategies for adolescents.

Janice Feinberg

Janice Feinberg has 12 years experience as a Marriage and Family Counselor (M.S.W., Masters Degree in Social Work, University of MN) and 15 + years of experience in Sales and Marketing (M.B.A., Masters of Business Administration, St. Thomas University) – a perfect combination as she helps families choose the right school and program for their student and helps the student “represent themselves” in the best possible way as they navigate the application process.

Her expertise is in helping the student sort through the many college options, plan and prepare for visits, prepare resumes and gather material to enhance the student’s opportunity to stand out as a unique and talented applicant. She also has expertise in helping the "Arts" student evaluate College, University or Conservatory Programs.

Irit Vinitsky

Irit attended the University of MN and worked for 15 years as a Special Events, volunteer and program coordinator for non-profit organizations in the twin cities.She gained experience filling out college applications while successfully assisting her sons with this process.



As parents going through our first college entrance process, our experience with Janice and Stepping Stones was 100% positive! Janice took the time to clearly explain every step in the process, tailored her services to our student’s unique needs, and referred us to helpful resources whenever we needed them. We highly recommend Stepping Stones!
-David and Randi Fogel, 2016