Our Coaches

Our coaches have PhDs; are seasoned academic writing instructors; have published extensively; and understand the contemporary dissertation, academic article, and book genres. We can coach you in developing, designing, researching writing, editing, and formatting all chapters of your dissertation or book.

Schedule an Appointment Today


Executive Coaches

Christine Tulley, President

My favorite part of coaching is helping academic writers with the organization of writing pieces, integrating source material effectively, tweaking paragraphs for coherence, and overall writing project management. Though I can coach academic writers in a number of areas, many writers struggle with organizing dissertation chapters as individual chapters yet part of a cohesive project and struggle with how to develop academic paragraphs that make sense while incorporating source material effectively. In addition, many academic writers need help with managing the various parts of a single large writing project like a dissertation or multiple writing projects that need to be worked at the same time. Finally, I’ve been on several search committees for new faculty members and offer coaching for this process, including Zoom interview preparation. If you need help in any of these areas, please request me when you contact Defend & Publish.

ABOUT: Christine Tulley is the owner and president of Defend and Publish and a Senior Executive Coach. She has a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing from Bowling Green State University and graduate certifications in Women’s Studies (Bowling Green State University) and Screen Arts and Cultures (University ofMichigan). She is the founder and director of the MA in Rhetoric and Writing at The University of Findlay and currently directs all faculty writing support, including development of tenure and promotion support materials, faculty writing groups, and individual writing schedules for those who struggle with time management or writer’s block. Her current research focuses on scholarly writing habits of writing studies faculty, academic time management, and faculty writing support showcased in How Writing Faculty Write: Strategies for Process, Product, and Productivity(2018) and the forthcoming Rhet Comp Moms: What 100 Time Use Diaries Can Teach Us about Parenting, Productivity, and Professionalism (Utah State University Press, 2020). As a frequentcontributor to Inside Higher Education, her advice columns focus on academic productivity strategies, including how to juggle multiple writing projects and craft cohesive tenure and promotion applications. She previously served as a member of the Conference for College Composition and Communication’s (CCCC) Executive Board and co-directs the CCCC’s “Think Tank” for new scholars developing conference proposals. Language: English; French reading

Languages: English; French reading

For more information about Christine, click here

Ron Tulley, Vice-President

I enjoy helping academic writers discover and develop their ideas from general notions to that aha! moment when they realize they have stumbled upon a research gap. Once that moment happens, I am as excited as my students to coach them as they synthesize their ideas with primary/secondary sources and organize around an argument that holds up under the rigors of the peer-reviewed process. Having a background in business (MBA, consulting) and science and medical writing (technical and scientific communication and health informatics), I also enjoy working with writers in areas outside the humanities. As a current dean, former chair and director, and past member of a tenure and promotion committee, I also offer coaching in areas such as interview preparation and dossier preparation. If you need help in any of these areas, please request me when you contact Defend & Publish.

ABOUT: ABOUT: Ron Tulley is Vice-President of Defend & Publish and senior writing coach. He earned a PhD in Writing History and Theory from Case Western Reserve University. He holds four masters’ degrees in English (Technical and Scientific Communication), Business Administration (Organizational Leadership), Health Informatics, and Education (Curriculum and Instruction). In addition to his expertise in various areas of writing, information design, informatics, and business, Ron served on a tenure and promotion granting committee for four years evaluating dozens of faculty dossiers. He has 15 years’ experience in academic leadership in positions as varied as College Dean, Department Chair, and Program Director. In these positions, he has continually reviewed faculty writing. He directed the Writing Center at the University of Findlay for five years serving a diverse population of international and domestic students through all modalities (online and face-to-face). Ron currently serves as Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Professor of English at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, USA. As Professor of English, he teaches in the MA in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Findlay and has directed and/or advised hundreds of student theses. His research focuses on the intersectionality of writing and technology as showcased in peer-reviewed article such as “Is There Techne in My Logos? On the Origins and Evolution of the Ideographic Term Technology” and “Is That an Autobiography? Channeling Wittgenstein’s Family Resemblances in Self-Life Writing.” Ron also serves as Vice President of the International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (Division IV) and is a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, he is Quality Matters (QM) program, master, peer, and K-12 certified.

Languages: English; German reading; basic Japanese and French

Beth Hewett, Founder and Past President

I love to coach adult academic writers because they’re just so darn smart! Regardless of their experience in academe, they have so much to offer–particularly in terms of perspective about the world and how their work can influence the problems they’ve chosen to study. My clients have taught me so much about many fascinating subjects, and they’ve pushed me to think more deeply about important concepts. My most valuable coaching skills include the ability to see the big picture of what’s going on in my clients’ writing, how that plays out in their affect and writing strategies, and how that bigger picture can be handled in small, doable tasks that get the job done. Let’s work together! 

ABOUT: Beth L. Hewett is the founding owner and past president of Defend and Publish. She trains the coaching team and is an Executive Coach. Beth holds a PhD from The Catholic University of America and an MA from Kansas State University. A postsecondary educator since 1980, she has taught basic to advanced writers, including multilingual and learning-disabled writers. Beth’s research interests are in online literacy instruction in digital settings, nineteenth-century American rhetoric, and grief education. She is the author, co-author, or editor of 13 books and the author or co-author of more than 40 articles/book chapters. As an educational consultant, Beth has trained post-secondary educators from a variety of disciplines about conducting writing conferences online and she has developed the structure for multiple Online Writing Labs (including TutorVista and Smarthinking). An expert on educational digital instructional/learning

Languages: English; minor proficiency in Spanish and German

For more information about Beth, click here

Senior Coaches

Barbara D’Angelo

I love working with writers to successfully maneuver the maze of a writing project. As a writing coach, I especially enjoy helping writers develop their ideas into a cohesive and focused topic. Given my background as both a librarian and writing instructor, I find that writers often need help with literature reviews, so I teach them how to develop a conversation in which their research and writing fit. Their work will have impact if they can see how it continues the scholarly work others have done! Literature reviews are often one of the most challenging parts of a writing project, but it is much like a puzzle in which, in the end, all the various pieces fit into a cohesive whole. I also appreciate the chance to assist writers with brainstorming, articulating their research methods, integrating research results with existing knowledge by synthesizing it with the literature, and with juggling the sometimes-vexing nature of coordinating and completing a writing project.

ABOUT: Barbara D’Angelo holds a PhD in Technical Communication & Rhetoric from Texas Tech University, an MS in Library & Information Science from the University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA in Spanish from Emmanuel College. Her interest in the intersections between information literacy and writing evolved into teaching writing full-time in technical and professional writing. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on campus, as well as in hybrid and online settings for over 20 years. Barbara has served as Director of Curriculum and Assessment for a technical and professional communication program, has led the development and coordination of multi-section courses in both business and medical/health communication, and is the graduate advisor for students in a master’s degree in technical communication. Barbara is the co-editor of Information Literacy: Research and Collaboration Across Disciplines. She is also the author of several book chapters and articles and has presented on information literacy and writing, assessment, e-portfolios, and business and medical/health communication. In addition, she was the co-PI on a grant to use writing analytics to investigate the potential relationship between threshold concepts and student writing. Barbara enjoys hiking, traveling, the beauty of the desert southwest, and baking.

Languages: English; Spanish reading

For more information about Barbara, click here

Risa Gorelick

My favorite part of coaching is working with writers to bring the promise of their ideas into reality. In almost three decades of working with writers, I help them see their project through new eyes at whatever their stage is and guide them towards their goal of completing their project through organizing, clarifying, and revising as they integrate sources. I love it when writers reach that “ah ha!” moment where they see it start to come together and work to make sure their message is more than just clear to readers but that the prose sings from the screen or page to its intended audience and turns into a “ta da!” experience. Through coaching writers from any point in their writing process, I have had great success turning people who did not initially see themselves as competent writers into writers who complete award winning dissertations and become published authors.

ABOUT: Risa Gorelick earned her PhD in English/Rhetoric from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, her MA in English Composition/Rhetoric from Miami University of Ohio, and her BA with Honors in English from Goucher College. She has over 25 years of experience as a college-level writing instructor and writing program/writing center administrator, as well as mentoring graduate students and junior faculty with their research projects. Her background as an educator can be characterized as a combination of collaborative-based and community-based work. She has published 15+ articles/chapters in scholarly journals and given 90+ conference presentations/workshops. Her specialties include first-year writing, honors, basic writing, and advanced exposition courses, tutor training, English Education, and creative nonfiction. In her administrative work, Risa provides innovative leadership and management of academic programs to foster a strong commitment to student learning outcomes and academic excellence; she is currently an University Lecturer and the former Associate Coordinator of First-Year Writing at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Additionally, for 25 years, Risa has served as the Chair/Co-Chair of the annual Research Network Forum (RNF) of the Conference of College Composition and Communication (CCCC) where she has assisted hundreds of graduate students at various stages of their dissertations and theses as well as faculty with turning their works-in-progress into published works.

Languages: English

For more information about Risa, click here

Lilian Mina

Lilian Mina has a Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MA in TESOL from the American University in Cairo, and a Certificate in Teaching Business Writing from University of South Carolina. She researches digital writing, especially multimodal composing and using social media in the writing classroom, and multilingual student writers. She has experience with qualitative, mixed-method, and digital research methods. She has extensive experience teaching graduate and undergraduate students, working with multilingual students, and supervising graduate theses and portfolios.  Lilian enjoys mentoring junior scholars by helping them a) understand and be comfortable with their writing style, b) deconstruct their writing situation, including purpose, audience, and genre, c) set writing goals that fit their style and the current writing situation, and d) create a feasible plan to achieve those goals successfully.  Lilian has won awards in teaching, research, and professional development from Indiana University in Pennsylvania. Her work appears in edited collections from Computers and Composition Digital Press, the WAC Clearinghouse, and Utah State University Press, and in journals, such as Computers and Composition and Composition Forum. She reviews submission to a number of academic journals and national conferences.

Languages: Arabic and English

For more information about Lilian, click here

Jim Purdy

My favorite part about coaching is helping writers bring order to the messiness of their writing, particularly organizing body paragraphs, transitioning between ideas, integrating and analyzing source material, constructing cohesive and persuasive arguments, and meeting expectations for genre features. I like assisting writers with the nitty gritty of citation and formatting and have experience with multiple styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago. I learn so much from the writers I work with and enjoy coaching them in finishing and publishing their scholarly work. I have also directed and served on multiple academic position search committees—and successfully navigated the job market myself multiple times—so can work with writers on crafting application materials and preparing for interviews. If you would like support in any of these areas, please request me when you contact Defend & Publish.

ABOUT: Jim Purdy earned his PhD in English with a specialization in writing studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an award-winning teacher-scholar with a demonstrated history of excellence in higher education. As a writing center director, he brings experience working with graduate students completing theses and dissertations across disciplines, and as a faculty member he has had the privilege of serving on dissertation committees, including directing a dissertation for which the writer received a national award and published a chapter in a peer-reviewed journal. Jim’s books include The Effects of Intellectual Property Law in Writing Studies: Ethics, Sponsors, and Academic Knowledge-Making (Routledge, 2020), co-authored with Karen J. Lunsford, and Are We There Yet? Computers and the Teaching of Writing in American Higher Education: 20 Years Later (Utah State University Press, forthcoming), co-authored with Jennifer Marlow. He has co-edited four volumes, including Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies (University of Michigan Press, 2017) with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, and his scholarship has been published in the peer-reviewed journals College Composition and Communication, Computers and Composition, First Monday, Kairos, Pedagogy, and Profession. He is currently working on projects that investigate the roles of expertise in writing as well as the writing practices in Wikipedia articles.

Languages: English; Spanish reading

For more information about Jim, click here

Lynn Reid

I most enjoy working with academic writers to develop clear textual cues to guide their readers through a piece of writing, clearly linking scholarly research with a project’s goals, and planning all the phases of a writing project. I am available to coach any stage of a project, but I particularly enjoy helping a writer step into their readers’ shoes and clearly communicate the purpose of particular sections of a text. Another aspect of coaching writing that I see as my specialty is helping a writer determine the research that best suits the needs of a particular project. If you are looking for support in any of these areas, please request me when you contact Defend & Publish.

ABOUT: Lynn Reid holds a PhD in English Composition and Applied Linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in TESOL from Rutgers University. Lynn’s dissertation work and related publications focus on graduate education and methods for disciplinary reading in graduate study. She has been teaching college-level writing since 2007 and has worked extensively with graduate students as both an instructor and a writing tutor. Lynn has extensive experience working with multilingual writers, including the coordination of a weekly writing workshop for doctoral-level anthropology students at Rutgers in 2012. She also regularly serves as a mentor to graduate students at the Computers and Writing and CCCC Conferences. Lynn has won awards for teaching (from City College of New York), research and scholarship (from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy), and service (from Kairos), and she has served as the co-chair of the Council on Basic Writing, a national CCCC standing group. Her work has appeared in collections from Computers and Composition Digital Press, Kairos, Journal of Basic Writing, and WPA Journal and she regularly reviews for disciplinary conferences and journals. Lynn has expertise in qualitative research methods and she enjoys working with writers at all stages, from designing a study to final copy edits.

Languages: English; Spanish (conversational, reading, and writing)

For more information about Lynn, click here

Robbin Warner

Robbin Zeff Warner holds a PhD in Folklore and American Studies from Indiana University and a BA in Anthropology from Berkeley. Her background in folklore has taught her that the basis of good writing in any field is story. Her interest in the teaching of writing started through her involvement with the National Writing Project in 1993. Over the past 30 years she has taught writing at universities on two continents, participated in summer writing workshops for youth and adult writing, and led training academies. She has led writing seminars and developed online writing courses and resources for universities, business, and government agencies. Her interest in online technology was launched when she wrote the landmark book The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet in 1996 when the number of nonprofits online was only in the double digits. She then wrote the first book on online advertising in 1997, Advertising on the Internet, which was translated into 6 languages. Robbin is the author of 6 books and dozens of book chapters and articles. She has also published restaurant and chocolate shop reviews, written speeches and presentations for government officials and business executives, and developed research reports for businesses, agencies, and think tanks. Robbin enjoys writing fiction and is a trained chocolatier.

Languages: English; French reading

For more information about Robbin, click here


Cheryl Ball

Dr. Cheryl E. Ball has two decades of experience helping faculty, staff, and students complete their writing projects across a range of disciplines, languages, and media. She consults on article- and book-length publishing, digital humanities projects, open educational resources, open-access author rights, digital preservation, multimodal pedagogy, publishing pedagogy, grant writing, and tenure/promotion portfolios. She particularly enjoys working with authors and editors whose publications require scholarly multimedia and other non-traditional academic content, such as digital dissertations and digital research projects. Her peer-reviewed research on these and related topics is available for free on her personal repository,

From 2004–2017, Ball taught digital rhetoric and publishing at several research universities in the U.S. and served as a Fulbright Scholar at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 2013–14, where she taught a dissertation writing course for PhD students for several years. Since 2001, she has had the honor of editing Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy—the premier digital journal in writing studies. Her coaching goals are to help authors value their ideas and well-being, work with their embodied words in respectful ways, and ensure their research is accessible and preservable for future readers.

Languages: English

For more information about Cheryl, click here

Katie Bryant

For the past 15 years, I have worked as a research writing coach. This work is most rewarding when I can help new scholars determine how their own research fits into their disciplinary conversations. I also love helping frustrated writers develop the confidence and perseverance they need to complete difficult writing tasks. I have supported multilingual writers and researchers from various disciplines – chemistry to religion and anything in between – doing qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research. I believe that regardless of discipline or methodological approach, a coach can help writers move a complex writing project forward by listening deeply and asking effective question.

ABOUT: Katie Bryant holds a PhD in Education from McGill University. Her research interrogates the rhetorical reasons for African researchers’ limited visibility in international research circles. She works with NGOs, funding agencies, and African universities to build writing support programs to address these issues of low visibility. She is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University and a visiting scholar at Mangosuthu University of Technology, located in uMlazi, South Africa. In this role, she has helped the institution open a writing centre and is currently working with the research directorate to build a writing support programme for emerging scholars.

Languages: English

For more information about Katie, click here

Janice Cools

“One person can make a difference” is my approach to coaching. Through my coaching, I hope to provide compassionate feedback, and to contribute to a revisioning of writing.

ABOUT: Janice Cools has over 20 years of experience teaching writing and communication to undergraduate and graduate students, both nationally (South Florida, New Mexico, and Missouri) and internationally (Jamaica and Puerto Rico). Her PhD is in English from the University of the West Indies, and her MA is from New Mexico State in Rhetoric and Professional Communication. She has undertaken additional training in Proofreading and Editing. Over the years she has worked as a Writing Program Administrator and in online and face-to-face Writing Centers. Currently, Janice works part-time in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, where she is a member of the Writing and Communication committee. She is also a proofreader in the Academic Success Center at Northcentral University. Her scholarly interests are Technical Communication, especially editing, Writing Studies, and gender studies, with a focus on masculinities. She looks forward to helping clients, especially scholars with an international background.

Languages: English, French Creole, Basic Spanish

For more information about Janice, click here

Brandy Dieterle

I love coaching because of the close collaboration that is involved when coaching writers as I support them throughout their journey. Providing support for writers brings me personal and professional fulfillment and joy. While I enjoy many parts of the writing process, I particularly enjoy the brainstorming and final editing and formatting of the writing process. Brainstorming is such a generative and high excitement activity for me personally, and I love to bring that excitement to others. The close attention to detail required in the editing process is a nice, solitary end to a long project.

ABOUT: Brandy Dieterle has a Ph.D. in Texts & Technology from the University of Central Florida, which is an interdisciplinary degree. Her research and teaching crosses the intersections of rhetoric, composition, and technical and professional communication through her focus on digital and multimodal rhetorics and pedagogies and gender and identity studies. She teaches a range of writing courses, which includes first-year writing to graduate level editing courses. Additionally, she serves as the Interviews Co-Editor for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Languages: English

For more information about Brandy, click here

Shirley E. Faulkner-Springfield

Once upon a time, a first-year writer named Cassandra looked at me in bewilderment and voiced: “Wow, Mrs. Faulkner-Springfield. You want me to go that deep. That’s deep.” Later in my coaching career after I had earned a PhD in Writing Studies, a pre-medical student affirmed: “Before the first workshop, you told the class to research our dream school’s mission statement to guide our writing. Thank you for believing in us and driving us to be better writers. Wherever I go, I hope the mentors are as great as you.” In a similar manner, a psychologist wrote of my coaching skills: “This is Excellent!!!! Many thanks for your wonderful editing skills.” 

Why do I coach? Whether I coach undergraduate, graduate, or professional writers, I invite them to “go that deep, so I can take the plunge with them and emerge with persuasive reader-based prose. I find pleasure in discussing all aspects of writing—organization, development, audience, thesis, syntax, and punctuation—with all writers at any stage of their writing processes. If you would like to work with a writing coach who is not afraid to walk to the edge and jump, allow me to help you attain your writing goals.

ABOUT: Shirley Faulkner-Springfield holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from Bowling Green State University and a MA and a BA in English from North Carolina Central University. Shirley has 16 years of experience as a college-level writing instructor and fourteen years of experience as a writing program coordinator. She has facilitated writing workshops for graduate and undergraduate pre-medical students since 2007 and for law students since 2017. She has won teaching awards from North Carolina Central University. Her work appears in in the edited collection Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research and in journals such as Computers and Composition Online; Reflections: Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy; and Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. She edited a twenty-chapter edited collection title Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinicians Guide and is currently editing two chapters of an edited collection on antiblackness and authentic allyship. Shirley has experience with qualitative and mixed-methods research.

Languages: English

For more information about Shirley, click here

Cate Grundleger

Hi! I’m Cate, and I love language, especially writing. I’ve studied German, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. I also enjoy traveling and living overseas. I’ve taught English in China, Korea, and Germany. I’ve also traveled to and presented my research in several other countries, including Thailand, Greece, Britain, Costa Rica, and Iraq.  I’ve worked with multilingual writers for thirty years, both overseas and in the States, at different colleges and universities (e.g., Ohio State, Columbia Teachers College, and Baruch College). I love teaching and learning about writing, which is why I like being a writing coach. It’s an opportunity to share with writers the lessons I have learned about writing and being a writer.

ABOUT: Cate Crosby Grundleger received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Second and Foreign Language Education. She is currently teaching First Year Writing to English Language Learners at Baruch College (NYC).  Herresearch focuses on preparing teachers to work with English Language Learners (ELLs) and their writing, multilingual writers and second language writing, technology, and mixed methods research. Dr. Crosby Grundleger’s work has been published in Essential Teacher, Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, International Journal of Innovationin English Language Teaching and Research, the PACTE Journal, and The Reading Matrix. Her most recent co-edited book (with Lubie Grujicic-Alatriste) is Second Language Writing in Transitional Spaces: Teaching and Learning across Educational Contexts (University of Michigan Press, 2020).  

Languages:  German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and English

For more information about Cate, click here

Anna Knutson

Hi! My name is Anna. Since I recently finished my PhD, I am particularly passionate about supporting writers as they navigate the unique (and complex!) writing challenges presented by graduate school. As a researcher, I am captivated by methods; I’m trained as a qualitative researcher, and I am always eager to learn about new methods. Given my interdisciplinary training in English, Education, and Gender Studies, I love to coach writers from all disciplines and language backgrounds.

About: Anna Knutson holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from the University of Michigan, and she has twelve years of experience supporting writers at the graduate and undergraduate levels. For the past three years she has served as an English professor and a writing program administrator at Duquesne University and East Tennessee State University. Before that, Anna researched and taught writing as a graduate student at the University of Michigan and the University of New Mexico, and she coached writers from all disciplines as an undergraduate writing consultant at the University of Washington. Anna first entered higher education because she cares deeply about supporting writers from all walks of life as they encounter new writing challenges in their academic and professional careers. Anna is from Seattle, WA, and when she is not thinking about writing and learning, she is spending time with her chihuahua mix, Biscuit.

Languages:  English

For more information about Anna, click here

Craig A. Meyer

I enjoy being a coach for several reasons. Most notably I like to learn! Working with scholars on various projects keeps me in step with new ways of thinking and different perspectives. Coaching keeps me grounded and engaged. And it’s fun! Watching a piece come together and being part of the process is very rewarding for me. I know what it’s like to face the challenges, internal and external, to completing a degree, an article, or even a book. 

ABOUT: Craig A. Meyer earned his PhD from Ohio University with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition. He earned two master’s degrees from Missouri State University: Composition and Rhetoric and Creative Nonfiction. His research is diverse and covers many areas such as ethos, histories of rhetoric, dysfluency studies, creative writing, political discourse, and corruption in higher education. He’s published numerous articles and book chapters in various disciplines, but he’s drawn to popular culture projects that expand on our understanding of the Star Trek universe. He’s also a teacher/scholar with many presentations and workshops. Part of his skillset focuses on the pragmatics of writing and comprehension as well as the mental and emotional toll of scholarly work. He’s also edited and indexed several books, been a peer reviewer for national journals, and a tutor in writing centers.

Languages: English

For more information about Craig, click here

Kim Fahle Peck

As a coach, I can work with writers at any stage or any part of the writing process, but my favorite things to work on with writers are organization and structure. I love helping writers think about all the pieces of their project and how they can fit together and be presented in a clear and logical way, especially for larger projects where these big picture considerations can be hard to grapple with. I also love working with writers on developing effective writing strategies and habits that fit into the context of their real lives instead of an imagined ideal academic life.

ABOUT: Kim Fahle Peck has a Ph.D in English from Old Dominion University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware. She is a Writing Center Director, and her research focuses on writing center pedagogy and practice as well as online writing instruction and tutoring. She has experience with qualitative, linguistic, and digital research methods. As a co-editor for the journal Young Scholars in Writing, she mentors and supports undergraduate researchers in writing studies. At her institution, Kim helps lead several writing groups for students, staff, and faculty focused on both creative and academic writing.

Languages: English

For more information about Kim, click here

Mallory Pladus

As a writer myself, I take comfort in Thomas Mann’s point that “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” In my work as a writing coach, I try to help writers embrace the difficulty of academic discourse, while encouraging them to find pleasure in it too. In tactical terms, I like working with writers on fine-tuning their terminology, identifying the stakes of an argument, meeting the generic expectations of a dissertation chapter or journal article, and integrating voices from secondary sources without subordinating their own. I enjoy coaching for too many reasons to list! For one, it allows me to draw on my love of narrative to help writers tell the stories underlying their research.

ABOUT: Mallory Pladus earned her PhD in English, along with a Certificate in Teaching and Learning, from Rice University in 2021. She holds two MA degrees in English as well, from Rice (2018) and from Wake Forest University (2013). Mallory specializes in literature published in the U.S. after 1945 and has taught a variety of English and writing courses, ranging from an American literature survey to a writing-intensive seminar about highly shoplifted books. As a writing teacher, coach, and consultant, she has worked closely with multilingual writers, across Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM disciplines, and with writers of all experience levels, including tenured faculty, advanced PhD candidates, and first-year undergraduates.

Languages: English

For more information about Mallory, click here

Melissa Quackenbush

I enjoy coaching others because I have received the gift of support from incredible coaches and teachers along my journey. We are all life-long learners, and being a coach provides the opportunity to grow alongside others who are engaged in the learning process. It’s a joy. 


ABOUT: Melissa Quackenbush, Ph.D. is a graduate of the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program at Old Dominion University. Prior to completing her dissertation, Dr. Quackenbush earned an Educational Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University. She also holds a Master of Science in Reading Education from the University of South Florida. While continuing her education, Dr. Quackenbush has served in the public-school systems in Central Florida and Northern New Jersey. She has experience as a secondary English teacher, Reading Specialist, Instructional Technology Coach, Supervisor of Instruction, and Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Technology. With approximately 20 years in the field of education, Dr. Quackenbush provides educational consulting services to public and private schools in various areas of instructional design, professional development, and school administration through her business Engage Momentum. Her research interests include teacher training, self-regulated learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning environments.

Languages: English

Proficiencies: Mixed methods research, Nvivo, SPSS

For more information about Melissa, click here

Michael Rifenburg

What do I find so rad about coaching? The opportunity to focus in on specific challenges that writers are currently facing and the opportunity to overcome these challenges together. Coaching is real-time, in-the-moment work between me and a writer. We come together in this moment to work through a challenge and we leave our time together once we overcome the challenge.  If you are puzzling through methods, methodologies, or literature reviews specifically, I would enjoy working as your coach!

ABOUT: Michael has a PhD in Composition/Rhetoric/Literacy from the University of Oklahoma and an MA in Composition in Rhetoric from Auburn University. At both Auburn and Oklahoma, he worked closely with the athletics department and student-athletes and wrote about his experiences in his book The Embodied Playbook: Writing Practices of Student-Athletes (Utah State University Press, 2018). He currently studies U.S. Army writing instruction, specifically with ROTC curriculum, and has traveled to military colleges within the U.S. and in Poland to lead workshops on Army writing. He enjoys thinking through qualitative and mixed methods research projects, digging into choices of method and methodology, designing effective literature reviews, and building guiding research questions based on research design and literature review. He loves talking about writing and helping writers think through the various rhetorical decisions they make as they write.

Languages: English

For more information about Michael, click here

Heather Witcher

My interests in collaboration, digital humanities, and creative processes have made clear to me that writing is not meant to be an isolated activity. Writing is a social process! We all have lives and routines; I want to help you see that your lived experience can be part of your writing process. As a coach, I’m here to help you better understand your own writing process, tackle the challenges of writing, and create realistic plans so that you complete your project successfully.

ABOUT: Heather Witcher is an Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy Department at Auburn University at Montgomery. She received her MA and Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. Her research interests include British Nineteenth Century Poetics and Culture; Digital Humanities; Theories of Collaboration and Sympathy; Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Pre-Raphaelite Literature and Art. Her book, Collaborative Writing in the Long Nineteenth Century: Sympathetic Partnerships and Artistic Creation(Cambridge UP, 2022), turns to rhetorical theories of collaborative writing to retrieve marginal and divergent voices that have been silenced by the prevailing model of solitary authorship. Her most recent research project turns to literary Pre-Raphaelitism, exploring the creative processes and geographical influences of both canonical and non-canonical Pre-Raphaelite poets.

Languages: English

For more information about Heather, click here

Schedule an Appointment Today


About Us

A boutique consulting firm with seasoned academic writing professionals who can help you with all aspects of writing and researching your dissertation.

Our Services

  • Developing and researching your project
  • Drafting and writing the academic project
  • Breaking through writer’s block
  • Editing and formatting the document
  • Managing the process
  • Working with a dissertation committee
  • Turning dissertations into articles and books
  • Getting published



Privacy Policy