Amy Goldin is the founder of COPA, Inc.: College Options in the Performing Arts, a consulting service that offers cutting edge information, resources and guidance throughout the college search and application processes.

Amy has several decades of experience working with students who have interests in studies and careers that range across academic pursuits, including STEM studies, Humanities majors, and a host of pre-professional areas of study. For more than twenty years, Amy developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in integrating the arts in early childhood and special education classes at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Calling on her own experiences as a New York State certified music educator and vocal adjudicator, as well as her life experiences as a performer, stage director, singer/songwriter, author, and parent of professional performers in music and musical theater, Amy specializes in working with students who are exploring performing arts studies and careers.

Amy is globally known as a subject matter expert in the field of college admission consulting. She works with students in the US and around the world, guiding them to explore college and university programs in the US and abroad. Amy presents webinars, workshops, and lectures for education professionals as well as for students and parents.
She was instrumental in creating the Performing Arts Special Interest Group (SIG) for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and regularly hosts NACAC workshops in Careers and the Arts.

In addition to degrees in Music from NYU and Queens College/CUNY, Amy holds the Certificate in College Admission Counseling from UCLA. She is an active member of these highly regarded music education and college advisory professional organizations: National Association for Music Education (NAfME), New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), Nassau Music Educators Association (NMEA), Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC), Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Barrie Raffel, (, a native of Southern California, moved to New York City where she earned a B.F.A. in dance from The Juilliard School and began an expansive, fulfilling career as a modern/contemporary dancer and choreographer. A devoted and expert yoga practitioner, Barrie is also one of New York City’s premier yoga instructors.

Using her experience as both a performer and teacher of movement in many forms, Barrie works specifically with dancers of all styles and with all career and study aspirations, who are looking to continue their dance experiences and education, in some capacity, during the college years. She guides students to explore the unique qualities of each college dance and academic program, to determine which ones best connect with each student’s own distinctive aspirations

In 2019, Barrie was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Martha Hill Dance Fund, created to preserve and perpetuate Ms. Hill's legacy as a dance educator, mentor, and performer. Barrie holds the UCLA Certificate in College Admissions Counseling and is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC). COPA, Inc. is thrilled to have her on our college counseling team!

Jenni Sarikas began her college career as a music education major at the University of Tampa but felt the pull of songwriting and music business. After she found William Paterson University of New Jersey’s program in Popular Music Studies she successfully transferred and completed her Bachelor of Arts there. She spent some time working in the world of music publishing as an intern and later as an employee, then decided it was time to take a risk and follow her true passion of songwriting. This led her to the UK, where she earned her Master’s degree in Songwriting at Bath Spa University in Bath, England.

Jenni began playing the violin at age 8, singing at age 10, and playing the piano at age 15. She wrote and recorded her first song at ages 13 and 14 respectively. Registered with BMI, Jenni has since continued writing songs both for herself and others, released a full-length album of original songs, and periodically releases original work. Jenni is also passionate about fitness, particularly running, and continues to work on strength and endurance (as important for performers as for athletes). 

Along with music, Jenni has always enjoyed doing research. She often found herself looking into degree programs at different universities just for fun! As an Associate Consultant in COPA, Inc. Jenni enjoys learning about the inner workings of the world of college counseling and admissions. In her meetings with students, Jenni works on school, curriculum, and program research, as well as essay, audition, and portfolio preparations. Jenni is a member of NYSACAC (the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling). You can find Jenni’s music here:

Susan Shields has been on the Faculty of George Mason University for 26 years and served as the Director of the School of Dance for seven years. During her tenure as Director, she traveled extensively throughout the country to recruit for the program and has a strong sense of the dance talent pool throughout the United States. Recipient of the 2006 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, Susan has created dances for professional companies and universities throughout the world. Her work appears in the repertoires of Ballet West, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Nashville Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, The Juilliard Ensemble, Boston Ballet II, and City Dance Ensemble.

Susan received her training with the Washington Ballet. Nationally and internationally, she has performed with numerous prestigious and innovative companies, including Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, performing a substantial part of his repertory for eight years, the Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut, Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, and the Eliot Feld Ballet New York. Additionally, Susan has served as a trustee on the board of Dance USA.

Susan holds a BA in Philosophy from SUNY Empire State, and an MFA in Dance from George Mason University and is currently pursuing her Independent Educational Consulting certification at UC Irvine.