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Mandy Koolen, PhD

I have a Ph.D. and M.A. from McMaster University in English literature and a B.A. (Honours) from York University. I wrote my 234 page doctoral dissertation in under two years and I completed my Ph.D. in four years with no revisions required after my dissertation defense. I was a recipient of SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels which makes me well placed to provide feedback on funding proposals.


Since graduating from McMaster University, I have taught at four universities (Capilano University  in British Columbia, Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Laurentian University in Ontario, and Southampton Solent University in the UK). I have published three peer-reviewed journal articles, a peer-reviewed book chapter, and four encyclopedia articles. Moreover, I wrote a 674 page distance course for Laurentian University in just over a year while also teaching a full course load and thus I have a solid understanding of strategies for developing strong time management skills.


While I love teaching and researching, I also have many interests outside of academia, including photography, creative writing, pottery, camping, canoeing, and hiking. I have two poems published in Spirits in Stone: Northern Ontario Poetry Collection (Volume 18) and a short story published in the Church-Wellesley Review.



My Approach to Academic and Life Coaching:


I believe that academics should have a life beyond academia. Based on my personal experience and the experiences of the graduate students I work with, I believe that cultivating work-life balance while in graduate school can lead to greater productivity, not to mention a more fulfilling and happier life!  


Although my Ph.D. is in English literature, I have an interdisciplinary background and have taught courses in English, Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, and Religious Studies. While my primary expertise is in these areas, I offer my services to all academics regardless of their area of study because I recognize that we share certain experiences across disciplines. For instance, all graduate students need to find a topic that will interest them for the time that they are researching and writing, and need to come up with a realistic plan that has clear goals and targets to work toward. Also, many academics have times when they would benefit from receiving emotional support and guidance from someone who has firsthand experience of graduate school and working in academia.

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