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Academic Voices

aims to build the ACW community by sharing the experiences of academic writers.

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Academic Voices
Academic Coaching & Writing
 

The ACW Coaches

 

 

Sally Jensen

Sally Jensen
ACW Principal and Founder
Dissertation Doctor® Principal and Founder

Dr. Sally launched dissertationdoctor.com in 1997 to help doctoral students achieve their goals. Since then she has coached over 200 dissertation writers to complete their degrees and advance their careers. In 2009, she founded ACW to support graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, and administrators to advance their academic dreams; to create a community to help these academics overcome isolation; and to empower them with the tools they need to succeed. Dr. Sally listens to academics to co-create with them a vision of their academic dream. Then she assists them determine the steps needed to successfully reach their goals, and supports them on the lonely academic journey. Dr. Sally is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) and encourages ACW writing and research consultants to combine their consulting expertise with a coaching approach to working with academic writers. Dr. Sally’s graduate training is in educational psychology with specializations in research design, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology. She is experienced in the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Dr. Sally’s dissertation research was interdisciplinary, drawing on research in education, psychology, anthropology, computer science, and geography. Before launching her academic coaching enterprises, Dr. Sally held research appointments at the Salk Institute and at the University of California-Santa Barbara. She also worked as an Associate Professor in a graduate program in Education at Alliant International University San Diego. Dr. Sally received her BA from Middlebury College and both her MA and PhD from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

 

Caroline L. Eisner

Caroline L. Eisner
ACW Executive Director
Academic Writing Coach and Developmental Editor

Caroline is a certified professional co-active coach with extensive experience working with faculty, administrators, graduate students, and undergraduates to discuss and deliver composition pedagogy theory and practice and to teach critical reading and writing seminars. Her previous experience includes positions as the Associate Director of the Sweetland Writing Center at the University of Michigan and as the Director of the Writing Center at Georgetown University. Caroline co-edited a collection of essays, Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age (UM Press 2008) and authored a recent article on plagiarism entitled, “Plagiarism: A Crime, Misstep, or Neither? Depends Who You Ask, and Is It Getting Worse?” Caroline also works on developing pedagogy for the successful integration of technology into academic courses. She worked on the Visible Knowledge Project at Georgetown, a five-year, four-million dollar project aimed at improving the quality of university teaching by focusing on both student learning and faculty development in technology-enhanced, intensive writing, learning environments. At Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, Caroline is the Director of BreadNet, a telecommunications network that connects students, teachers, and faculty year round. As the director, she facilitates and maintains electronic, humanities-based projects among teachers in rural communities and urban centers across the country. Caroline received a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in English from Middlebury College, and a PhD in British Literature from George Washington University.

 

Moira Killoran

Moira Killoran
ACW Director of Coaching
Academic Coach and Consultant

Moira is a certified professional co-active coach with experience in leadership, academic career and dissertation coaching, as well as in qualitative research consulting. As a consultant, she has worked extensively with faculty members, university administrators, and graduate students, assisting them to complete manuscripts, dissertations, and grant proposals. She also has worked with academics to transition out of academia and into new industries. Moira leverages her certification as a leadership coach and her training as a cultural anthropologist, highly attuned to the nuances of impression management in organizations to assist academics to see past the unspoken rules, and to courageously engage in exceptional performance and leadership. As a qualitative methodological consultant, Moira assists clients to understand the intrinsic nature of doing qualitative research and helps them with key components of the work, such as deciding upon a qualitative data management and analysis software program or system, thematic analysis, and the write-up of findings. She has been principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for a variety of studies, and has been funded by the NIH, DOD, and SSRC. Moira’s publications focus on gender and identity construction, organizational culture, substance use, and doctor-patient communication. Her faculty appointments have included positions at George Washington University and Whittier College. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin, and has post-doctoral training from the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-San Francisco in medical anthropology.

 

Amy Benson Brown

Amy Benson Brown
ACW Director of Academic Writing
Academic Writing Coach and Developmental Editor

Amy is a writer and developmental editor, with over a decade of experience working with academic authors to help them develop book and article manuscripts for publication. As Director of the Author Development Program at Emory University from 2002—2012, she worked with faculty in disciplines that range from Political Science to History, Medicine, Sociology, Theology, Public Health, Nursing, Music, and Law. As a contract writer and editor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has worked with scientists investigating asthma prevention, pedestrian safety, and systematic reviews of research on skin cancer, cardiovascular disease and other public health topics. She brings to ACW particular experience in book proposal development and enjoys working both with first-time authors and senior scholars who seek to reach broader or “cross-over” audiences. Her essays about the challenges of academic writing have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Journal of Scholarly Publishing. Her approach to developmental editing is informed by both her own background as a teacher of writing and her own continuing practice as a writer. Her publications include a book of literary criticism that grew out of her dissertation, two edited collections, academic articles, science journalism, and, most recently, a book of poetry. She received her BA at the University of South Carolina, an MA in English Literature from Rutgers University, and a PhD in English Literature from Emory University.

 

Chris Deason

Chris Deason
ACW Director of Instructional Development
Dissertation Coach and Consultant

As a dissertation coach, Chris is passionate about helping writers complete their dissertations. Since 2010 Chris has guided dissertation writers with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs. For the past 7 years, Chris has been a faculty member (Course Director) at Full Sail University in their online Instructional Design and Technology Master of Science program where he has taught various courses including Educational Design and Evaluation, Digital Media and Learning Applications, and Music and Audio for Instructional Design. Chris is a member of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education and sits on the advisory board for the online Global Education Conference (GEC) organized by Steve Hargadon and Lucy Grey. Chris peer referees for the following journals: Education Technology Research and Development (ETR&D), Journal of Educational Psychology, and the Journal of Information Technology and Application in Education (JITAE). Chris’ research interests include culturally relevant pedagogy in the digital age, and applications of digital tools for teaching. Chris’ most recent research and publications efforts have focused on culturally relevant (i.e., hip-hop pedagogy) applications of digital audio workstations in K-12 classroom environments. His recent conference presentations address leveraging Skype to promote world peace, applications of Gestalt design principles to guide curriculum development, and historical role-play for high school history teachers in Second Life. Early in his career, Chris spent 11 years as a high school Algebra and History teacher. During that time he completed an MEd and an EdD in Educational Instructional Technology at Texas Tech University. 

 

Claire Renaud
Academic Writing Consultant and Faculty Development Coach

As an Academic Writing Consultant and Faculty Development Coach, Claire strives to help her clients reach their writing goals and their full potential as scholars. Claire worked as the Assistant to the Editor for the journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition for three years. Prior to coming to ACW, Claire was an Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Arizona State University for seven years. During that time, she also served as the Director of the Master’s degree in TESOL for a year and a half. Claire is an active scholar in the field of second language acquisition and has published in various venues including Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism and Second Language Research. Her research focuses on lexical representations in second language grammars. In order to document learners’ treatment and analysis of morphological forms in grammatical development, she relies on psycholinguistic research methods, such as reading-time measures. Claire also has an interest in pedagogy and recently completed training focused on the delivery of quality online teaching. She received an MA in Applied foreign languages from the Université de Caen, France. From the University of Delaware, she received an MA in Foreign Languages and Pedagogy (French) and an MA in Foreign Languages (German). She subsequently received a PhD in French Linguistics from Indiana University Bloomington.

 

Debbie Smith
Dissertation Coach and Consultant

For over ten years, as an adjunct faculty member and dissertation coach, Debbie has worked with doctoral students to strengthen their skills in doctoral processes including comprehensive examination preparation, the iterative process of dissertation writing, and the oral defense. Her dissertation coaching approach assists students in sorting out the technical processes of researching, writing, and developing their dissertation while balancing life and time commitments to meet their deadlines and goals. Debbie’s graduate training is in evaluation and assessment with a focus on accreditation and compliance. She pursues research interests in faculty development, particularly online learning and academic preparedness. Debbie has 30 years of experience teaching in higher education, and is known nationally for her work in higher education assessment. As a Chief Academic Officer, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Campus Director, she has over 15 years of experience helping multi-campus institutions strengthen their accreditation, assessment strategic planning, and governance practices. Debbie has her MS in Business Education with a focus on training and development from Emporia State University and her EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy with a major in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas.

 

Paula Thompson

Paula Thompson
Academic Coach

As a professional coach and adjunct faculty member, Paula works collaboratively with faculty and graduate students to help them develop the skills they need to achieve their academic goals. Her areas of expertise include pre-tenure career management, mid-career navigation, leadership development, mentoring, job searching, academic branding, and non-tenure track careers. She has supported faculty development and career success as an Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Southern California and the Program Director for Faculty Development at the Duke University School of Medicine. She specializes in coaching high-performing individuals as they strive toward achieving their next level of personal and professional success. She takes a strength-based approach to coaching, emphasizing what naturally works best for individuals and helping them align their career path with their core values. Paula’s graduate training is in organizational change with a focus on internal cognitive, communicative, and neurobiological processes as a contributing factor in organizational relationship management and job performance. Her research explores the phenomenon of mentally imagining oneself in conversation with real-life coworkers. She also studies the application of positive psychology and prospective psychology to self-leadership. Paula has her BA in biology from Washington University in St. Louis, MPH from UCLA, and EdD in Organizational Change from Pepperdine University.

 

Cliff Butler

Cliff Butler
Dissertation Coach and Consultant

Cliff is a certified professional co-active coach with 20 years of experience in both higher education and industry. Cliff has worked with Capella University since 2000. As a member of the Research Methods faculty, he has worked extensively as a coach at dissertation residencies, chaired over 60 dissertation committees, and served as both a scientific merit reviewer and IRB reviewer. In 2013, he was honored at Capella with the Harold Abel Distinguished Faculty Award. Cliff also teaches research methods courses at Keiser University covering qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for the College of Extended Learning at Central Michigan University, teaching in the Midwest division since 1995. Previously, he taught over 300 MBA courses for City University in Bellevue, WA in the Seattle area, Europe, and China and authored the university’s first marketing curriculum. Cliff’s industry experience has included experience as Learning and Development Manager at Microsoft and Atlas, Director of Courseware and Market Development at Proquest, and Director of Online Programs and Technology as well as Marketing Manager at International Thompson Publishing.  His academic credentials include a BS in Communication Arts from Cal Poly State University, Pomona; an MBA from Golden Gate University; a DBA from Nova Southeastern University (Marketing); and over 57 PhD credits from Northcentral University in Methods and Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

 

Robin Throne
Academic Writing Coach

Robin is an educational methodologist whose research has focused on heuristic inquiry of marginal voices, critical pedagogy, arts-based research, and doctoral education. She has taught academic writing for more than two decades. Over the past decade, she has also advised doctoral dissertation research studies across disciplines including education, business and information technology, behavioral and social sciences, and health sciences. She continues to publish and present nationally on a dissertation advising framework she developed with her colleagues at Northcentral University that is founded on Lave and Wenger’s situated learning theory. She has been a visiting researcher in special collections archives at the University of Connecticut, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Robin is the author of Practitioner Research in Doctoral Education (Kendall Hunt) and serves on the editorial review board for the International Journal of Doctoral Studies. She holds an MA in English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a PhD in educational research from Union Institute & University.

 

Peter Coogan

Peter Coogan
Dissertation Copyeditor and APA Editor

Peter has read approximately 10,000 pieces of student writing as a college teacher, writing center coach, and writing consultant, and he has worked for Academic Coaching and Writing as an editor since 2008. He specializes in helping students enter and succeed in the academic discourse community and has a particular expertise in the American Psychological Association’s formatting and referencing style. He served as a member of the APA’s electronic references advisory committee and provided feedback on the 2008 revision of the APA electronic references style guide. He specializes in working with faculty and students on assignment literacy—writing, reading, and understanding assignments and the assignment process—and has given talks and conducted workshops on assignment literacy at colleges in the Midwest. Peter originated two pedagogical techniques that have markedly improved student performance when applied—assignment templating and color-coded commenting. In addition to working with ACW clients, Peter is the Communication Lab Coordinator for the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his MA in popular culture at Bowling Green State University and his PhD in American Studies at Michigan State University. He is a nationally known expert on comics and superheroes.

 

Jeff Hume-Pratuch
APA Copyeditor

Jeff Hume-Pratuch is a professional editor with extensive experience in scholarly publishing, technical editing, and association communications. The common thread running through her work has been a desire to help writers communicate their ideas to readers in the best possible way. For the past 8 years she supervised the copyeditors for the flagship research journals of the American Psychological Association. She also managed the APA Style Expert service, which answers questions from authors, students, and instructors about APA Style. Daily immersion in the APA Publication Manual and the real-life problems experienced by its end-users impelled her to develop creative ways of explaining complex issues and to propose new ways of addressing challenges not covered by the manual. As part of APA’s outreach mission, she wrote for the APA Style Blog, helped launch APA Style’s social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, and presented workshops on getting published and using APA Style. Prior to her time at APA, Jeff was Director of Publications for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, where several of her publications won national recognition. She received a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD.

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