Dr. Mandy Koolen’s Biography


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.


While attending McMaster University, I worked as a Teaching Assistant and since graduating, I have taught at two universities (Laurentian University in Sudbury, 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 the benefits of developing strong time management skills.


While I love teaching and researching, I also have many interests outside of academia, including 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; cultivating work-life balance while in graduate school paves the way for a happy and fulfilling career after graduation. I have taken courses in Indigenous Social Work and I am well versed in Buddhist psychology, and thus I can provide you with specific tools for staying grounded and mindful while faced with the stresses of academia.


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 research 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.