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Meet the Office

Friends' Central juniors and seniors are alphabetically assigned to one of the college counselors. The counselors meet regularly as a group to discuss all members of the junior and senior classes. Students are welcome to seek out any member of the College Counseling team anytime with questions or concerns in person or at collegecounseling@friendscentral.org.Grant Calder office phone number: 610-645-5100
Andrea Pien office phone number: 610-645-4483
Sonja Bhan office phone number: 610-645-5133

Grant Calder

Grant CalderDirector of College Counseling & Upper School History Teacher

University of Pennsylvania - BA
University of Pennsylvania - MA
American Institute of Certified Educational Planners - Certified Educational Planner

Grant began his college counseling career supporting primarily first-generation college applicants under the aegis of the Ellis Trust. He has also worked for many years with Bennett International Education Consultancy. Grant taught history at Choate Rosemary Hall and German at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued to teach both subjects in the Upper School at Friends' Central. A Quaker school product himself and parent of two Friends' Central alumni, Grant feels strongly that Friends values undergird some of the best educational institutions in the country and that many of the colleges and universities to which Friends' Central students regularly apply recognize the value of our rich intellectual and spiritual legacy.

Andrea Pien

Ryan Coffey Keaton

Associate Director of College Counseling

Swarthmore College - BA
Stanford University - MA

Andrea believes that the anxiety around applying to college is in part rooted in our lack of a social safety net under late-stage capitalism. She believes that researching and applying to college can be a joyful and affirming experience, and she enjoys working with students and families throughout the process. Prior to working at Friends' Central, she worked as a college counselor in San Francisco and in China. She has also worked in the Swarthmore College admissions office and read applications for Stanford University, Wesleyan University, and the QuestBridge scholarship program. She loves trying new food in college towns. Outside of college counseling, Andrea is the Asian Students Association advisor at FCS. She is also on the Board of Directors at the Bread and Roses Community Fund, the leading funder of racial, social, and economic justice in the Philadelphia region.

Sonja Bhan

Associate Director of College Counseling

Barnard College - BA
University of Pennsylvania - MS

  • Sonja earned her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College – Columbia University in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures and a master’s degree in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania. She began her career in international education at a New York City NGO that facilitated admission for international applicants to universities in the U.S. and Canada. She eventually returned to her alma mater as an international recruiter and then broadened her work in admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, where she oversaw admission to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and professional master's degree programs. In her role as Director of International Programs at Penn's Graduate School of Education, Sonja developed academic enrichment curricula for international scholars ranging from high school students to financial sector executives. She has been a college counselor at high schools in China, Jordan, and Singapore, and she is excited for the opportunity to work with families at Friends' Central School. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, indoor cycling, traveling, and working towards certification with the Gemological Institute of America.

Calder's Corner

The following articles by FCS College Counselor Grant Calder been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Independent School Magazine, The Huffington Post, on Grant's blog, and on FCS Features.