We understand how, where and why students lose track.

Please contact us for more information.

Through a curriculum-based program that focuses on cognitive, expressive, and physical agility, we get students back into a more forward position, one in which they are better able to tolerate risk, can welcome change, and are focused on growth-oriented decision-making.


Ascent Decisions is an intensive enrichment experience for college students who have chosen to temporarily pause their studies.

Using an educational model combined with group coaching, Ascent’s evidenced-based programming helps students gain the confidence necessary to feel in control of their future and make growth-oriented decisions. Ascent Decisions provides life coaching, education, and consulting through a multidisciplinary approach. The goal of these efforts is to address and facilitate cognitive, physical, and expressive agility. We define agility as the ability to rapidly comprehend and swiftly respond physically, cognitively, and emotionally to unpredictable environments or anticipate unplanned conditions towards more positive outcomes. Our methods promote a greater sense of balance, control, and ultimately agency.

Ascent Team

Michael Silverman, MS, Ph.D.

Michael Silverman is a licensed psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry. He is a trained rehabilitation specialist, cognitive neuroscientist, and mental health clinician. Dr. Silverman is regarded as a worldwide leader in mental health illness and epidemiology whose work is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Swedish National Government, private industry, and nonprofit foundations.

His work has resulted in numerous peer reviewed publications, book chapters and public policy positions. His passion for addressing the needs of students taking a leave from their college studies has led to his leadership involvement on independent schools and college boards. His clinical expertise, knowledge of brain-based behavior, and numerous collaborations with academic institutions assure his approach is informed, efficacious, and unapparelled. His first hardcover book “Unleash Your Dreams” based on his clinical work was published by John Wiley and Sons focused on the behavioral differences between fears of failure, mediocrity, and success.



Silverman ME, Nag S, Kalishman A, Cox PH, Mitroff SR. Increases in symptoms associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Am Coll Health. 2022;1-7. doi:10.1080/07448481.2022.2080507


Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07448481.2022.2080507?journalCode=vach20

Zohn Rosen Ph.D.

Zohn Rosen holds a doctorate degree in Psychology and is a faculty member at Columbia University’s school of Public Health. Dr. Rosen has served as an Investigator on over $50 Million in funded research focused on psychology, health behaviors, epidemiology, suicide and social policies designed to improve public health and outcomes. Zohn also works in the private sector both as an entrepreneur and consultant on global health issues.

Zohn Rosen Ph.D.

Leslie Condon M.Ed.

Leslie comes to Ascent Decisions with a lifelong passion for education having earned her Master of Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School. Later working as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at an academically rigorous independent school in New York City, Leslie has unparalleled experience working with families helping them find appropriate educational opportunities. Prior to her career in education, Leslie worked as an associate at a top tier NYC Hedge fund that partnered with charter schools. Leslie is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Fordham University (anticipated 2022).

Dan Perlman LCSW, MBA

Dan Perlman is a skilled clinician and educator committed to helping others by forming a strong alliance based on professionalism, integrity, honesty, empathy, and positivity. Dan completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Boston University, his Master of Social Work degree at Fordham University, and his Master of Business Administration degree at Columbia University. In his private practice Dan works with New York area college students and young professionals managing anxiety, depression and a myriad of issues common during periods of transition in young adulthood.

Dan Perlman LCSW, MBA

Pasquale Manocchia

Pasquale (Pat) Manocchia is a globally recognized leader in the field of health and fitness. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed exercise science journal articles and is a New York Times Best-Selling Author (“Anatomy of Exercise” and “Anatomy of Strength Training”). As a retired professional athlete, Pat has designed and implemented integrative programming for recreational and professional athletes in every major sport. He is the founder and C.E.O. of LA PALESTRA Center for Preventive Medicine Inc. and has appeared on numerous television outlets as a physical fitness expert, including Fox News, CBS, CNN, The Food Network, and ABC as Good Morning America’s Fitness Expert.

Jen Jurek

Jen Jurek is a professional director, player and teacher of theater and improv. She is the founder of Hallet’s Cove Theater ® as well as Astoria Women’s Improv, reaching its 6th year of operation. Both programs are rooted in the games and works of Improv Originator -Viola Spolin. Through a non-authoritarian style of side-coaching, specially selected games are used to “activate the intuitive.” Playing together creates a sense of belonging with, and responsibility towards, one’s fellow players. Improvisation is a physical and rhythmic experience that transcends the concept of “yes….and” and moves us into the actual moment!

Jen has spent the last 21 years playing with and coaching creative individuals to take ‘imagination’ risks; from new stage directors to children’s book authors, from young kids to business professionals, even therapists, everyone’s invited. Jen has presented at NYC’s Expressive Arts Therapy Conference. The ultimate goal is to be together, in the present where we can discover “Movement, interaction and transformation.”- Viola Spolin

Jen Jurek


Bailey is a 4 ½ year old Bernese Mountain Dog and a certified Pet Partners© therapy animal. Bailey’s natural calm and her attention seeking manner bring immediate comfort to those who need to take a pause from whatever they are doing.

We help college students make changes to lead a more productive, healthier, and successful and scholastic experience.


Ascent Curriculum

Ascent Program