Woman stands in front of Stanford campus.

Michelle Strausman

Job Title
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Stanford University
University of California–Berkeley
University of Pennsylvania
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 
Greater Philadelphia
Alumni Region: 
Bay Area

Michelle Strausman is currently the assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Stanford University. Her career in education began with Teach For America as a 2011 corps member in the Greater Philadelphia region, where she taught social studies classes, namely civics and AP U.S. History at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School.

Following her time in the corps, she served as an academic mentor for UCLA's athletic department before joining the admissions team at Stanford, where she has ascended to her current position. Her duties down on The Farm include reading, evaluating, and making first-level recommendations on undergraduate applications from New York, South Korea, India, Singapore, and Japan.

A native of Northridge, California, Michelle earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds master's degrees in education from both the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA.


Career Path

University of California, Berkeley
As an undergraduate student at Cal, Michelle served as an alumni ambassador where she represented the university at college fairs and answered questions about admissions.
Teach For America: Greater Philadelphia Corps
Michelle taught social studies classes, namely civics and AP U.S. History, at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School.
UCLA Athletics
At UCLA, she was responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of individualized academic support programs for student-athletes on the Bruins’ men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Stanford University, Undergraduate Admissions
Today, Michelle evaluates undergraduate applications from New York, South Korea, India, Singapore, and Japan and makes first-level recommendations regarding admissions.

Q & A

Why did you join Teach For America?

Usually, if you’re interested in working in college administration, you go through the department of student affairs at a university first. But I also wanted to get a firsthand perspective of the obstacles student might face just to get to college. TFA allowed me to do that and make an impact on their road to get there.

What skills from your time in the corps are applicable to your current work with Stanford admissions?

One thing I really appreciate from my classroom experience teaching history was sharing stories and framing conversations as understanding perspectives. You’re building empathy for other people’s experiences. ... With applications, you’re reading people’s stories time and again. What is their story and how does that fit into a campus community?

What advice would you give to someone contemplating joining TFA?

I would tell anyone applying that serving children is both an honor and privilege. It is incredibly important work for the country. If your heart is in the right place and truly believe teaching is serving children, you should do it. It is an experience I’ll always treasure.

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