OUR TEAM

Our academic coaches and editors offer impeccable editing skills, a meticulous eye for detail, and a caring and supportive approach to their work with students, faculty, and academic and career professionals. Learn more about our team!


 

Alan Acosta, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Alan Acosta is a higher education professional with 14 years of experience as an associate dean of students, assistant director for residence life, and residence coordinator, all roles he held at Florida State University. While at Florida State, he earned his PhD in higher education administration part time while working full time. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and master’s degree in student personnel in higher education from the University of Florida.

Alan was a co-editor of the ACUHO-I and ASCA book focused on student conduct in the on-campus residential setting and has published articles in refereed and non-refereed journals on a variety of higher education topics. He has served as a reviewer for the Journal of College and Character and has an ongoing column in the NASPA Connexions Newsletter called “Fostering Moral Development,” which focuses on giving practical advice to higher education professionals about moral and ethical issues facing the field. Alan has also been an active member of ACPA – College Student Educators International and the Association for Student Conduct Administration, serving in various leadership roles and facilitating informative presentations with both organizations. During his personal time, Alan spends time with his partner Danielle, their cats, Ninja and Buster, and dog, Stella. He also enjoys reading, writing, traveling, watching sports, and watching pro wrestling.

 

Alexis Jones, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Alexis Jones is an assistant professor of teacher education at Eastern Illinois University. She is a former elementary teacher who strongly believes that humanity and relationships in classrooms are just as important as academic instruction. She earned all three of her degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is now teaching at Eastern Illinois University. She teaches a research methods course for graduate students, most of whom are actively teaching in K-12 classrooms. In this class, she gets to teach effective research methods, as well as academic writing and APA style.

Alexis has published in a number of journals, such as Teachers College Record, Issues in Teacher Education, and the Journal of Culture and Values in Education. She is also a collaborator on a book chapter in the recently released text, Preparing the Next Generation of Teacher Educators for Clinically Intensive Teacher Preparation. When not focused on teaching, learning, and publishing, Alexis enjoys running on the flat roads of central Illinois and listening to comedy radio.

 

Ally Hartzell, PhD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Dr. Ally Hartzell earned all of her degrees at The University of Texas at Austin. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human ecology, while also competing as a collegiate diver, graduating with honors, and receiving an award for having the highest cumulative GPA of any graduating student-athlete. After being recruited into her first graduate program because of her writing ability, she earned her master’s degree in human development and family sciences. During that time, her research focused on marital relationships, and she wrote her thesis on sexuality in relation to the emotional climate of marriage, using longitudinal data and quantitative methods. She eventually went back to school to pursue her interdisciplinary PhD in sport management, women’s and gender studies, and educational psychology/counseling, while working full time for the athletics department of her alma mater. For her dissertation research, she conducted a qualitative study examining women’s careers in intercollegiate athletics administration from the life course perspective. She has since published journal articles pertaining to women’s experiences and challenges participating and working in sport and has earned a credential as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). In addition, she serves as an invited reviewer for various journals in the sport management field and is an adjunct instructor, facilitating undergraduate internship and practicum courses in the Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport at New York University.

Ally spent the majority of her career (11.5 years) working with Longhorn student-athletes as an academic mentor, tutor, academic counselor, academic coordinator, and senior academic coordinator prior to joining Heartful Editor. She was also heavily involved with the Texas Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council, serving as co-chair of the Gender Equity Committee. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and she feels fulfilled when she is helping others grow, develop, and work toward their goals.

After living in Texas for her entire life until Summer 2020, Ally now resides in Colorado Springs with her professor husband, Tommy; daughter, Alyvia; and two dogs, Nellie and Luna.

 

Antonio Duran, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Antonio Duran (he/him/él) is an assistant professor in the higher and postsecondary education program at Arizona State University. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Antonio attended New York University (NYU) for his bachelor’s degree and was a part of a first-generation college student scholars’ program. After his time at NYU, he attended Miami University in Oxford, OH, for his master’s degree in student affairs in higher education. While at Miami University, he discovered his passion for engaging in research that would better the lives of minoritized individuals in postsecondary education. He pursued this goal by obtaining his PhD in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University. Now, his scholarship involves understanding how historical and contemporary legacies of oppression influence college student development, experiences, and success.

 

Ashley Staples, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Ashley Staples is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at Durham University in England with a concurrent visiting faculty post at The Ohio State University for the 2021-2022 academic year. She completed her doctorate in educational studies with a focus in higher education and student affairs at Ohio State and transitioned into a postdoctoral scholar position first with the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS) and then the Interfaith, Spiritual, Religious, and Secular Campus Climate Index (INSPIRES Index) project. Dr. Staples’s dissertation used critical sense making to examine how students at public universities processed their experiences with religious diversity on campus and personal encounters across belief systems, and her research interests center around organizational innovations of practice and policy to support college students, specifically those holding underrepresented social identities. Ashley received her master’s in higher education from North Carolina State University and earned bachelor’s degrees in logistics and international business from the University of Maryland – College Park.

 

Briseida Elenes, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Briseida I. Elenes completed her PhD in leadership studies with a concentration in higher education from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation explored how Latina community college administrators developed conocimiento leadership (situated critical consciousness) by drawing upon cultural and community knowledge along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The study found conocimiento in Latinas’ community college leadership served to advance educational equity by replacing deficit narratives in educational policies and practices with culturally relevant, asset-based perspectives. These findings provide exciting implications for equity-focused educational leadership approaches in a period of massive student demographic shifts.

Briseida completed her MEd in postsecondary administration and student affairs from the University of Southern California and her BS in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She has worked professionally in student affairs on equity-driven programs serving first-generation students and students of color, and has taught numerous courses at the undergraduate level. Her service work includes having served on NASPA’s Advisory Board and as a reviewer for the Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education. Her work is largely centered on holistic, experiential approaches to learning, personal development, and leadership. Briseida is a first-generation college student and is also the first (but not the last) in her family to obtain a doctorate degree. She applies her passions in student development, educational equity, and democratizing the knowledge production process by facilitating student’s acclimation to academia and academic writing.

Her hobbies include running, hiking, pretending to be an urban farmer, and spending quality time with friends and family, which includes two dogs, Parker and Flor.

 

Caleb Keith, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Caleb J. Keith (he/him/his) serves as director of institutional improvement at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He works in the Office of Planning and Institutional Improvement, directing the Program Review process, supporting IUPUI’s Program Review and Assessment Committee, providing internal consulting services to support change management processes, analyzing trends and producing periodic reports, collaborating with the Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and other campus leaders on strategic projects, representing the Office to various campus and external constituencies, and making intellectual contributions through professional venues. Prior to IUPUI, he served in positions at Millikin University, the Qatar Foundation/Hamad bin Khalifa University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), University of Georgia, and University of the Ozarks.

Caleb’s research and writing interests include faculty issues, student success initiatives, academic and student affairs partnerships, technology in higher education, assessment practice, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and learner-centered pedagogical practices. He earned a Bachelor of Music in commercial music and music business and a BA in communication from Millikin University. He received an MEd in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia and a PhD in higher education from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

 

David “Schmiddy” Schmid, EdD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. David Schmid, better known as Schmiddy to his colleagues and students, is an associate professor and program coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa in the postsecondary education: student affairs program. In this role, he teaches numerous classes in the masters and doctoral programs, in addition to serving as dissertation and thesis chair and committee member. Prior to his full-time faculty position, he worked for over 20 years in residence life and 10 years as an adjunct faculty member. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in human resources management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a Master of Arts degree in counseling and student personnel from Oklahoma State University, and a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership: postsecondary education from the University of Northern Iowa.

Schmiddy has focused his research on the practical skills that both student affairs professionals and faculty members use in their positions. He completed two self-studies to look at his own work and is working on a future study to examine the skills used by former practitioners in their faculty roles in student affairs. In his spare time, he appreciates time with friends, and an occasional gambling trip, with Las Vegas being his favorite destination.

 

DeAris Hoard, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. DeAris Vontae Hoard is a lecturer of criminal justice at Eastern New Mexico University, an adjunct in the public safety department at Franklin University, and a contributing faculty member at Walden University. He also serves as a police training officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department, and an affiliated research scientist with the Integrative Behavioral Health Research Institute. He earned his BS in criminal justice from the University of Louisville, his MS in criminal justice from Xavier University, and his PhD in criminal justice from Walden University. His dissertation focused on the impact of wearable video system implementation on the presence and experience of police misconduct in law enforcement.

Dr. Hoard’s research interests include race, class, and crime; criminal justice policy and administration; policing; and marginalized groups in the criminal justice system. He holds professional memberships in the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, the Southern Criminal Justice Association, the American Criminal Justice Association, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

DeAris is the first in his family to obtain any education beyond community college. He is dedicated to excellence in education, and takes great pride in helping other students make their academic goals become realities. When he is not working, DeAris enjoys hiking, hanging with friends, and escaping to the Caribbean to relax on the beaches.

 

Dennis Sheridan, EdD, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Dennis Sheridan is professor emeritus of higher education leadership at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in California where he taught for more than 25 years. His leadership roles at APU included program director of the MEd program in college counseling and student development and the EdD program in higher education leadership.  Dennis joined the faculty of APU after a 15-year career as a student affairs professional, first in the residential living program at Texas Christian University and then as vice president for student affairs at California Baptist University. His first career was as a high school teacher of English and social studies in his home state of Louisiana.

Dennis holds degrees from Louisiana Tech University (BA), Louisiana State University (MEd), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MRE and EdD), and the University of California, Los Angeles (PhD). He has also completed a certificate in Anglican Studies at the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (CA) and is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church.

His areas of expertise include college student development, leadership theory, theology and spirituality, survey research design, statistical analysis, and action research. His personal research in recent years has focused on the development of compassion in leaders who serve in higher education institutions. He has extensive experience in serving on and chairing dissertation committees.

Following retirement from his formal role in the academy, Dennis enjoys the important work of supporting graduate students as they complete their dissertations, theses, and culminating projects.

 

Elizabeth Currin, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Elizabeth Currin is a teacher educator at the University of South Carolina. A former high school English teacher, she holds a BA in English from Wake Forest University, an MA in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida. A lifelong learner and avid reader, Elizabeth credits her middle school English teacher for her keen appreciation for the logic of grammar.

Elizabeth’s dissertation employed oral history to explore the so-called inquiry stance of long-term teacher researchers, and she applies the insights she gleaned in her current work with EdD students in an online curriculum studies program. Her students write their dissertations about problems of practice they face as teachers, administrators, and other education stakeholders, and she enjoys helping them find and polish their academic voices. Compatibly, her scholarly interests encompass how teachers’ stories both intersect with and challenge historical and popular culture narratives about education.

Outside of teaching and research, Elizabeth enjoys baking, knitting, and book club, as well as serving in the League of Women Voters to support active and engaged citizenship.

 

Emily Guetzoian, EdD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Dr. Emily Guetzoian is a proud first-generation college graduate. She holds a BA in sociology and a BA in communication from California State University Channel Islands, an MS in counseling and guidance (college student personnel) from California Lutheran University, and an EdD in higher education leadership from Fresno State University. Her dissertation was a mixed-methods, multi-institutional study examining the academic success, feelings of belonging, and commitment to service of first-generation sorority members.

Emily has experience in a variety of higher education areas at public and private institutions, including housing and residential life, summer conferencing, academic advising, academic coaching, writing centers, tutoring services, student employment and development, capstone/field studies projects, clubs and organizations, and new student orientation. She enjoys staying actively involved in professional organizations, particularly in the learning center community, to continually discover new ideas and strategies to support students.

Outside of her professional life, Emily enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her two pitbulls, exercising and strength training, and playing the piano and violin.

 

Erika Pichardo, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Erika Pichardo works in higher education within student affairs. The college is located in New York and serves a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students. In her role, she focuses on prevention, education, and awareness on sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. She coordinates various workshops and events related to these topics while also training student leaders, faculty, and staff. Her goal is to improve the education and awareness around these issues to normalize the topics of consent and healthy relationships and to disrupt gender stereotypes. As such, she takes an informative but exciting approach when discussing these issues with her campus community and those around her. When she is not educating students on these topics, Erika is teaching undergraduates writing and research skills. As an adjunct instructor, Erika works with students on developing their writing skills and defining their research and data collection skills. Regardless of what role she is in, her focus is always on the student and ensuring they are paving their way to success.

Erika earned her BA in sociology and English from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, her MA in criminology and justice from St. John’s University, and her PhD in criminal justice with a specialization in law and public policy from Walden University. Her dissertation focused on understanding community members’ perceptions of opioid abuse treatment programs for women in Westchester County. Her research interests include criminal justice policy and administration, SDDVS policies and education, the intersection of gender and criminal justice, and drug abuse through a social labeling lens. Erika is a proud member of Alpha Phi Sigma Phi Nu and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is also a notary public in the state of New York.

In her free time, Erika enjoys reading psychological thrillers, dancing Zumba, and writing poems. She enjoys traveling, collecting coffee mugs from each place she visits, and traveling at least three times a year.

 

Gillian Foss, PhD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Dr. Gillian Foss is a recent graduate of the PhD program in educational leadership and research at Louisiana State University, where she specialized in higher education administration. Her major research interests include higher education law, finance, and policy, and her dissertation explored how those systems intersect and operationalize on a modern university campus. While at LSU, Gillian worked as the graduate assistant for assessment in Residential Life and as a graduate research assistant for the School of Education. In her spare time, Gillian also served as both a writing coach for the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition and an advocacy advisor for students at LSU who needed assistance navigating the campus disciplinary process.

Although her doctoral studies brought her to the Deep South—and, with it, an enduring love for Mardi Gras and crawfish—most of Gillian’s life was spent in a small town on the coast of Maine before moving to New York to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marist College. As an undergrad in Marist’s Honors Program, Gillian studied journalism and public relations while also competing as a collegiate rugby player and studying abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy. She later received her Master of Arts degree in public relations from Iona College, during which she held a transformative internship at The Fresh Air Fund that steered her irrevocably toward using empirical research and continued service to advocate for the betterment of our nation’s educational systems.

Gillian’s journey has now landed her in the beautiful state of Colorado, where she spends countless hours hiking with her partner, reading in the sun, and attempting to convert her baked goods recipes into ones suitable for high altitude.

 

Ginny Boss, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Ginny Boss is an assistant professor of college student affairs administration and leadership at the University of Georgia. She completed her graduate degrees in college student affairs (PhD) and mental health counseling (MA) as well as an undergraduate degree in communication studies (BA). She has been working professionally in higher education since 2007, and she has been a faculty member since 2014. She is currently teaching across two doctoral programs and a master’s program. Her research and practice are aimed at amplifying the ways scholars of color, particularly women and students, are interfacing with and transforming higher education through their active engagement on their campuses.

Ginny specializes in the areas of teaching and learning; theory-to-practice; and equity, diversity, and inclusion in student affairs and higher education. She has published in a number of journals, such as the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of the Professoriate, Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and Urban Review.

 

Jason Chan, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Jason Chan has been a scholar-practitioner in the field of higher education for over 15 years. He earned his BA in psychology and biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, his MEd in college student personnel from the University of Maryland-College Park, and his PhD in higher education and organizational change from UCLA.

Jason’s research interests center around the impact of geographic, environmental, and contextual influences on college students’ identity development. His dissertation, which won three Dissertation of the Year awards, explored how the distinct social, cultural, and political context of the U.S. Midwest region influence the ways in which Asian American college students make meaning of race and racial identity. Jason’s past work has been published in a number of academic journals and monographs, and he previously served as managing editor for the Journal of Higher Education.
Much of Jason’s professional background has been grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion work, specifically around efforts to promote the success of students of color, first-generation students, and low-income students. Currently, he is the Director of Fellowships & Associate Director for Assessment and Advising at Haverford College’s Center for Career and Professional Advising. When not working, Jason enjoys travel, photography, bouldering, playing pub trivia, and discovering new craft beers and breweries.

 

Jason Fitzer, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Jason Fitzer spent more than a decade as a student affairs educator focused on helping students become involved and engaged with their institution and college experience. Jason gained experience supporting student organizations, fraternities and sororities, student government, student conduct, new student orientation, and facilitating student leadership experiences.

Jason has also volunteered with various Greek-letter organizations, including Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Phi Gamma Delta. Additionally, Jason previously volunteered with NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), where he served in leadership roles with the Sustainability Knowledge Community, Gender and Sexuality (formerly GLBT) Knowledge Community, Region III Advisory Board, and the Undergraduate Student Conference Planning Committee.

Jason graduated with a BS in business administration from California State University, Chico, as well as an MEd in college student affairs and a PhD in counseling and student personnel services, both from the University of Georgia. In his qualitative dissertation, he used narrative inquiry to understand the experiences of student affairs professionals of color and how they navigated working with and supporting students of color.

 

Karina Viaud, EdD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Karina Viaud is the associate director for the Engaged Teaching Hub with Teaching + Learning Commons at the University of California, San Diego. In this role, she provides teaching development to faculty and graduate teaching students. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education, working at private and public campuses within student affairs, enrollment management, and university relations. In these roles, she has worked with diverse groups of students and their families. She has also served as an instructor for both undergraduate and graduate students. Karina is active with NASPA and supports graduate students in a variety of ways.

Karina’s dissertation involved the educational experiences of first-generation doctoral students of color. Demonstrated by the narrative approach in this study, she believes in the power of voices and stories that bring deep insight to the everyday lived experiences of marginalized and underrepresented persons in dominant cultures and systems. Karina also believes educators contribute to the shaping of students’ experiences through everyday behaviors. Because of her research on doctoral students, she has a deep understanding of the doctoral experience for women, working professionals, first-generation students, and other students pursuing terminal degrees. Karina advocates for the success of and communicates challenges experienced by doctoral students.

As an academic coach and editor, Karina’s goals are to support students, listen to and meet students’ goals, and create a space for students to grow and learn. Each student’s work represents their voice on a topic that is important to them and therefore is a part of Karina’s journey as a team member of Heartful Editor.

Outside of work, Karina enjoys finding a new place to eat and Yelping about it. She really enjoys coming home from work to decompress while listening to Bossa Nova music. She is also becoming a regular practitioner of meditation.

 

Katie Sorokas, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Katie Sorokas has spent her career empowering students and professionals to feel strong and resilient in their pursuits. Katie holds a BA in women’s studies and Master of Public Health degree from The Ohio State University. She earned her PhD in health education from Kent State University, where she researched the effects of sexual violence on the academic success of college women. Katie’s background in women’s healthcare, residence life, and research grounds her strength as a professional and a social justice educator and advocate. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Katie lives on her mini homestead in Ohio raising chickens, bees, and her two little boys. She is an active volunteer and activist in her community as well as a freelance writer.

 

Kim Burdett, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Burdett is an academic editor with over three decades of experience in higher education. Kim earned her bachelor’s degree in social ecology with an emphasis in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine; an MS in counseling with a specialization in student development in higher education from California State University, Long Beach; and a PhD in educational leadership in higher education from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She has held administrative positions at Chapman University and the University of California, Irvine in visitor services, student housing, academic integrity, and student conduct. Her dissertation focused on how students choose colleges.

Kim is an advocate for all students, with years of experience working with college students of all ages, graduate students, and high school students as they explore and apply to colleges. As an educator who has worked with all levels of students, students who are excelling, and students who encounter bumps along their educational path, she is committed to helping all students reach their potential.

Kim loves to travel, and particularly enjoys being somewhere in the mountains or on a boat in the ocean.

 

Laura Maldonado, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Laura Maldonado has been a scholar-practitioner for over 15 years. Her higher education experience includes work at research universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. She spent more than a decade working in career services reporting under student affairs, academic affairs, and advancement units. Laura earned a PhD in educational leadership, policy, and human development from North Carolina State University (NC State), an MEd in counselor education from Clemson University, and a BA in economics from Muhlenberg College. She is a national certified counselor committed to career development, postsecondary career and technical education, and community colleges.

Laura currently serves as a senior research associate at the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at NC State, where she provides writing and data coaching to doctoral students in the community college leadership program and manages research projects. She is passionate about supporting graduate students as they showcase their writing projects to multiple outlets. Outside of work, Laura can be found organizing closets, walking in her neighborhood, and practicing yoga. She resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and son.

 

Leah Tompkins, EdD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Leah Tompkins grew up in central Kansas and received her undergraduate degree in Health Promotion from Emporia State University. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Health Education from Texas A&M University and a Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from UNC-Greensboro. Leah completed her Doctorate of Education in Student Affairs Leadership at the University of Georgia in 2020. While pursuing her graduate education, Leah worked full-time as a student affairs administrator at UNC-Greensboro (2008-2014 & 2018-2021) and at Emory University (2015-2018). Leah accepted a new role at The University of Alabama in 2021 to join the Department of Health Science as an Assistant Professor to coordinate two master’s degree programs and to guide students through their culminating experience requirements as a faculty member. Leah is an avid traveler and loves going on road trips with her golden girl senior dog, Sadie Rose. Leah is planning to return to international travel in 2022 with plans to visit Greece and Portugal.

 

Leann Zink, MA
Project Coordinator

Leann Zink holds an MA in higher education with a student affairs concentration and a BA in human development and family science, both from Messiah College (now Messiah University). While completing her MA degree, she worked as a graduate assistant in the Career and Professional Development Center on campus where she coached over 200 undergraduate students on such topics as resume and cover letter writing, major and minor selection, interviewing and networking strategies, the internship and job search process, and professional development skills. Her work there also entailed facilitating career and professional development events such as a career and graduate school expo attended by 600 students and 140 employers, providing constructive mock interview feedback for students, and advising students enrolled in a full-semester, credit-bearing internship course.

When Leann was not working or studying, she served as an advisor for Messiah College’s student-led service trips, encouraging students as they grew in their leadership, self-understanding, sense of purpose, and relationships with others. Additionally, she provided support to international students at Gettysburg College, listening to their stories of challenge and success both one-on-one and through the creation of a focus group.

Now, as a member of the Heartful Editor team, Leann continues to walk alongside college students as they reach their personal, professional, and educational goals. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, learning new languages (currently, it is Hebrew), spending time in coffee shops, exploring new places and foods, and laughing with friends.

 

Lindsey Dippold, PhD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Prior to joining Heartful Editor full time as an academic coach and editor, Dr. Lindsey Katherine Dippold was a clinical assistant professor in higher and postsecondary education at Arizona State University. Dr. Dippold became passionate about student success in higher education while still an undergraduate student studying psychology at James Madison University. Her MS in counseling and college student development provided a solid framework for early positions in orientation and career services at University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She served as a career counselor and administrator as well as a career development course instructor for 7 years at Florida State University, where she also completed her PhD in higher education and leadership studies.

Lindsey has also served as an AmeriCorps college counselor, a dissertation chair for online students, a private academic editor, and an adjunct faculty member at her local community college, and she is dedicated to helping students attain their educational goals. Her research interests and work include topics related to generational differences, adjunct faculty concerns, community colleges, international higher education, and leadership theory.

When she’s not teaching or editing, Lindsey enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and running around the great outdoors.

 

Lindsey Williams, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Lindsey Williams has spent the last decade working in higher education, dedicating a majority of her time to supporting undergraduate students in the University of South Florida’s College of Education. She received her BS in journalism from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of South Florida. Throughout her time in the College of Education, she has worked as an academic advisor; a coordinator for the college’s living-learning community; instructor for first-year transition and leadership courses; and an assistant director for recruitment, retention, and engagement efforts. She also serves as a member of a faculty team supporting students and their success on educator certification exams. In this role, she provides instruction on syntax, grammar, and essay writing.

Lindsey has grown increasingly interested in exploring the variables that contribute to students’ academic and personal successes, specifically as they relate to noncognitive factors, such as grit, growth mindset, and resiliency. She is grateful each day for the opportunity to work with a cadre of aspiring educators who demonstrate empathy, courage, and tenacity.

Lindsey is based out of Tampa but is a native Ohioan who is proud of her Midwestern roots! Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading one of the books from the ever-growing stack on her nightstand, or taking a spin class!

 

Mary Smith, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Mary Smith is a higher education professional with over 15 years of experience in a variety of higher education areas including law admissions, multicultural affairs, college access, career services, fraternity and sorority life, and alumni affairs. She currently serves as associate director for employer programs and development at Old Dominion University.

Mary is a proud first-generation college graduate and holds a BA from Clemson University in mathematical sciences, a MS from Florida State University in higher education, and a PhD from North Carolina State University in educational research and policy analysis. For her dissertation research, she conducted a quantitative study examining the impact of a summer bridge program on the academic success of 1st-year college students. Mary has since published articles in the Journal of Latinos and Education and the Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.

Outside of her professional life, Mary enjoys spending time with her husband and 1-year-old daughter. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

 

Matthew Van Jura, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Matthew Van Jura is a two-time graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in political science and history and a PhD in educational studies. Dr. Van Jura earned an MEd from the University of Vermont in higher education and student affairs administration. He has over 12 years of professional experience in higher education and student affairs, including work in the college union, leadership and service programs, and student affairs assessment. Matt’s dissertation leveraged critical perspectives to describe how midlevel professionals navigate the personal, professional, educational, and political tensions associated with campus free speech events. His broader research interests include democratic engagement, leadership development, service learning, and student success. Matt’s work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and as policy briefs. Matt is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Office of Academic Enrichment at The Ohio State University.

Matt lives in North Carolina with his family, where he enjoys running, hiking, community organizing, and sampling local craft beers.

 

Megan Bell, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Megan has over 20 years of experience leading teams and change in higher education. Megan currently oversees assessment and evaluation for the Division of Student Affairs at Cal State Northridge. Prior to that role, she was a senior-level administrator in student affairs at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Throughout her career, Megan has facilitated learning for teams and organizations on the topics of social justice, leadership development, appreciative inquiry, assessment and evaluation, communication, and team engagement. She believes in the power of using individual and organizational strengths to build teams, identify opportunities for growth, and effect change. She has extensive experience with supervision, as well as overseeing financial and capital resources.

Megan earned a PhD in higher education leadership from Colorado State University. She also has served as an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has taught and developed in-person and virtual courses in organizational leadership, diversity and inclusiveness, higher education administration, assessment, and educational policy and governance. Using a critical intersectional lens, her research interests include college student development, identity, and mentoring. Her mixed methods dissertation focused on 1st-year college students who identify as multiracial and their preferences within a mentoring relationship.

Megan currently resides in Culver City, California with her daughter, husband, and two high-maintenance cats. She enjoys traveling, reading, and dancing, but, more than anything, loves conversation with interesting people while eating good food.

 

Megan Segoshi, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Megan Segoshi is the Manager of Faculty Diversity Initiatives at Boston University. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MSW from the University of Georgia, and a PhD in higher education from Loyola University Chicago. Megan’s research has focused on Asian American racial identity consciousness and engagement in racial justice work, as well as college access and affirmative action policy. Her research and professional journey are guided by her strong passion for social justice and racial equity. She continues to serve as a reviewer for several academic journals, and in the past has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs. Megan also has experience working as a student affairs administrator in multicultural affairs and in the education technology sector.

In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with friends and family, baking, and playing video games. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts, with her two cats, Nova and Fiona.

 

Mishelle Oaks, EdD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Mishelle Oaks has spent 24 years in higher education before pivoting to the healthcare industry, currently serving as an organizational development professional focusing on the growth and development of leaders and organizations. While earning her EdD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her dissertation focus was on mentoring professionals due to her passion for helping others succeed. Previous experience in higher education included areas of residence life, academic support services, teaching in graduate-level higher education programs, and advising. Dr. Oaks also has an independent business as a career coach, helping individuals learn about new career paths and supporting accountability in their job search. Mishelle grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and moved around the Midwest before settling on a farm in rural Illinois with her husband and son.

Mishelle has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western Illinois University and a Master of Science in Education degree in educational administration from Missouri State University. Mishelle enjoys traveling, watching baseball live (with a goal to travel to all major league baseball stadiums), reading, binge watching shows and movies, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Misti Jeffers, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Misti Jeffers is a postdoctoral research fellow in the PRiME Center at Saint Louis University, where her research broadly focuses on college access and success in Missouri. Misti is passionate about conducting applied research with the objective to identify policies and programs that increase equitable advancement along education and career pathways. Her dissertation, a case study of the McNair Program, explores the institutional factors at play in educational experiences of first-generation students at rural colleges.

Misti earned her PhD in social policy from Brandeis University, MA in child study and human development from Tufts University, and BS in psychology and human services from East Tennessee State University, where she was a McNair Scholar. Misti has presented at numerous national conferences on rural, first-generation college student experiences, career pathways research methodology, Appalachian identity, and equity in juvenile justice reform initiatives. Before her doctoral studies, she worked in program evaluation at Jumpstart for Young Children and in direct care at a trauma-based youth behavioral health facility. Outside of academia, Misti loves walking dogs and reading YA dystopian fiction.

 

Pamela Cohen, EdD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Pamela Cohen has more than two decades of experience in the field of career development and currently serves as the Associate Director of STEM Career Advising at Princeton University, guiding science and engineering students through the exploration of a broad range of professional and academic career paths. Throughout her career, she has focused on meeting the needs of specialized populations, including international students, nontraditional learners, and first-generation college students.

A humanities fan at heart, Pamela earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in counseling from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In 2018, she earned her doctorate in educational leadership at Rowan University where she completed her dissertation titled, What Career Development Practitioners Share With First-Generation College Students: A Grounded Theory Study of Self-Disclosure in Career Counseling.She has published her findings in the NACE Journaland has presented on the topic to several audiences.

When she manages to tear herself away from her trusted APA manual, this born-and-bred Jersey Girl can be found either “down the shore” or traveling the world with her husband.

 

Sabrena O’Keefe, PhD
Executive Director

Dr. Sabrena O’Keefe is driven by a passion to help students become the best version of themselves. After holding various administrative positions in student affairs, she transitioned to full time with Heartful Editor as Director of Academic Coaching and Editing in 2020, then Executive Director in 2021. Dr. O’Keefe was also formerly an adjunct instructor for the First-Year Experience course and an Exploring Leadership course for public administration. She earned an AAS in computer networking and a BS in human resource management from the Pennsylvania College of Technology, an MEd in student affairs and higher education from the University of South Carolina, a graduate certificate in conflict resolution and consensus building, and a PhD in higher education administration from Florida International University. Her dissertation was titled, The Development and Initial Validation of a Self-Assessment for Global Leadership Competencies. She is also a certified practitioner of the MBTI Step I & II instruments by the Center for Applications of Psychological Type and Strengths-Based Education by Gallup.

Sabrena’s research interests include leadership competencies, student learning outcomes, global leadership, quantitative survey development, and quantifying student learning in co-curricular involvement. She has a few publications and has presented nationally several times on these topics. Outside of work, Sabrena enjoys rollerblading, paddle boarding, country music, being on a pirate krewe, and spending time with her little sister from Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

 

Sam Winemiller, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Sam Winemiller is a scholar of sociocultural issues in sports and recreation. He earned his PhD in kinesiology and sport studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—a highly interdisciplinary program that included training in the fields of sociology, history, cultural studies, media studies, and communications. His research has focused on the ways that emerging sports reflect currently—circulating discourse about identity. In his dissertation, Sam explored representations of gender in the popular television series American Ninja Warrior using ethnographic content analysis methodology and a theoretical framework founded in feminist cultural studies. He is published in several notable sport-related academic journals such as Communication & SportSociology of Sport Journal and Sport in Society. Prior to his doctoral program, Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Central Florida, and earned his master’s degree in sport management from the University of Florida, where he also earned a graduate certification in online teaching and learning and interned at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.

Since graduating with his PhD, Sam has been in employed in a research capacity by the nonprofit organization Athlete Ally™, which advocates for the protection and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in sports. He currently manages communications and database composition related to several research projects, including the Athletic Equality Index—an assessment of NCAA D-I athletic departments’ policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Sam is also pursuing a master’s degree in library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is focusing on academic and research librarianship.

Sam currently resides in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, but was born and raised in Sarasota County, Florida, within a 10 minute drive of the beach. He lived in Asheville, North Carolina for several years, working in a various capacities for a summer camp and conference center, where he developed his understanding of recreation as a human right relating to quality of life. Sam enjoys a diverse set of hobbies that fluctuate with the seasons. Pastimes recently holding his attention include snowboarding, pyrography, thrifting, and Dungeons & Dragons.

 

Sara Hinkle, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Sara Hinkle has over 20 years of progressively responsible experience in student affairs and higher education, including work as an administrator, instructor, and researcher. A true student affairs generalist, she has directed or supervised almost every functional area within the student affairs field. Since 2013, she has served as Assistant Vice President within the Division of Student Affairs at West Chester University (WCU). Her current portfolio includes overseeing communications and marketing, fundraising/development, staff development, family engagement, and spirit and traditions, in addition to liaising with WCU’s higher education policy and student affairs program.

Sara earned a BA in psychology from Gettysburg College, an MS in counseling from Georgia State University, and a PhD in higher education from Indiana University Bloomington. She has been an active leader in the higher education/student affairs field-at-large, having served and held several leadership roles within ACPA (College Student Educators International) and the Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Additionally, she has contributed over 50 national presentations and publications to the higher education knowledge base on such topics as student transitions, student success/engagement, leadership, and feminist issues. Most notably, she has served as a research associate on Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, Whitt, & Associates, 2005, 2010).

Sara has lived in many different regions of the country, but currently calls West Chester, PA home. She enjoys being a mom to her son and an aunt to her awesome niece and nephew.

 

Shelley Price-Williams, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Shelley Price-Williams is assistant professor of postsecondary education at the University of Northern Iowa. She holds 2 decades of experience in student and academic affairs spanning program development and management as well as academic advising, career counseling, and assessment. Dr. Price-Williams serves on several editorial boards to include the NACADA Journal and the Journal for Student Affairs Research and Practice. She also serves as senior co-editor for the text series Identity & Practice in Higher Education-Student Affairs by Information Age Publishing. Dr. Price-Williams’s research interests center on noncognitive factors of college student development and persistence, inclusion of nondominant groups in the college environment, and multicultural organizational development. She teaches courses on leading and advising, the American community college, legal aspects of administration, administration and finance, research design, and assessment.

 

Staci Weber, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Staci Weber completed her doctorate in postsecondary education administration at Syracuse University in New York, where her dissertation focused on first-generation college students who used college access and support programs throughout their college-going journey. Dr. Weber’s dissertation received accolades from NASPA and Syracuse University. She received her MEd in student affairs practice in higher education from the University of Delaware and her BA in psychology from Franklin & Marshall College. Weber has worked as the special assistant to the president and dean of student affairs at Pine Manor College. Before that, she worked in student activities, academic services, and enrollment management. Staci is passionate about strategic planning, college access, and retention with a focus on first-generation, low-income college students. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her partner and foster dog.

 

Susan Lantz, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Susan Lantz is a faculty member in Penn State University’s graduate program in higher education and student affairs. In addition to her teaching role, Susan is a student affairs professional with 30 years of administrative experience. Most recently, Susan served as vice president of student life at Susquehanna University, a small private liberal arts institution in central Pennsylvania.  Her earlier administrative experience includes 4 years as Bucknell University’s dean of students and 15 years as associate dean of students at Lehigh University. She has a strong interest in student retention and persistence. She also served as a sexual assault advocate for 20 years and earned three awards from student groups for her work supporting underrepresented students on campus.

Susan received her bachelor’s degree in English from Dickinson College, her master’s in higher education and student affairs from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation studied strategies to create parent interactions on college campuses that assist with the development of resilience and independent problem solving in undergraduate students.

Susan is a proud mother of two adult sons. She and her luthier husband are renovating an 1885 farmhouse in Lewisburg, PA.

 

Suzanne Baker, EdD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Dr. Suzanne Baker has worked in higher education administration and student affairs since 2008 in a variety of functional areas, including residence life, international education, study abroad, admissions, academic advising, university conduct, and leadership development.

Suzanne studied at California State University, Chico, where she earned a BA in human geography and a BA in German. She continued on to complete her MA in postsecondary educational leadership with an emphasis in student affairs from San Diego State University. In 2019, she completed her EdD in educational leadership from Northeastern University, with a focus on higher education administration and leadership development. Her dissertation focused on understanding how undergraduate students returning from study abroad make meaning of their experiences to facilitate transformative learning experiences. In addition to her research interests in international education and adult learning, she also enjoys exploring leadership development theory in an effort to create social change within our communities, both locally and abroad.

Suzanne also enjoys getting outdoors to explore all the world has to offer (hiking trails, skiing mountains, and photographing sunsets), as well as adding to the never-ending pile of books on her bookshelf with the hope of reading them all someday!

 

Tiffany Steele, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Tiffany Steele is an assistant professor in the department of educational leadership at the University of Rochester. Her research interest broadly focuses on access and retention of minoritized students and staff members at predominantly White institutions. Specifically, Dr. Steele analyzes the lived experiences of both Black girls and women during their educational journeys to draw connections between inequitable factors that influence their daily living and educational trajectories. Her work has been published in journals such as College Student Affairs Journal and AERA Open. She also served as an associate editor for the second edition of the book, Intersectionality and Higher Education.

Tiffany’s dissertation research, Disciplinary Disruption: Exploring the Connection between High School Sanctioning and Black Collegiate Women’s Experiences, focused on understanding how Black women’s experiences with disciplinary action during their K-12 educational experiences influenced their collegiate journeys. Dr. Steele’s research will continue to focus on the experiences of Black girls and women in education and the methodological approaches that authentically honor their stories.

 

Tina Rajmaira, EdD
Director of Academic Writing Coaching and Editing

Dr. Christina (Tina) Rajmaira is a seasoned higher education senior executive with a broad record of accomplished leadership over 25 years in higher education institutions of various sizes across the U.S. and Canada. Most recently, Dr. Rajmaira was responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining institution-wide strategic initiatives at Marymount University while also assisting senior leaders in cultivating and developing ideas for new innovative ventures. Prior to her work at Marymount, Dr. Rajmaira served as vice president and dean of student life at Westminster College and Associate Dean of Students at the University of California, Berkeley. Throughout her career, Dr. Rajmaira has worked in a variety of roles in student affairs, including leadership development, program planning, and assessment in addition to advising hundreds of student organizations and fraternity/sorority chapters. She is deeply committed to the intentional and holistic of development of students and demonstrated this passion throughout her career through the creation of diverse learning environments where all can thrive.

Dr. Rajmaira holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Education from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor of Science in pre-medicine from the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband Neal, her son Hanson, and two Giant Schnauzers, Fritz and Ava.

 

Vivienne Felix, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Vivienne Felix is a higher education administrator with experience in high school-to-college transitions, strategic planning, and experiential education. Additionally, she has taught English to speakers of other languages in both nonprofit and academic settings. Passionate about empowering students to define their own vision for success and set goals accordingly, her research interests include policies and practices related to postsecondary access and completion, diversity, and inclusion, with special attention applied to the experiences of immigrant, undocumented immigrant, refugee, and Indigenous students.

Vivienne holds a BA in international affairs from Lafayette College and an MA in education from the University of Connecticut. She earned her PhD in higher education administration with a specialization in comparative and international education from Bowling Green State University. Vivienne is an active member of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). In her free time, Vivienne enjoys crochet, amateur photography, and gardening.

 

Zach Hooten, PhD
Academic Writing Coach and Editor

Dr. Zach Hooten is a graduate of the PhD program in higher education and student affairs at Ohio State University. During his time at Ohio State, Zach worked as the codirector of research for the Assessment of Collegiate Residential Environments and Outcomes (ACREO) and a research associate for the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS). Zach currently works for the Office of Academic Enrichment at Ohio State, supporting the Office of Service Learning and the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry.

Dr. Hooten’s true passions are learning design, teaching, and student support. He has taught courses related to college environments, core issues in higher education, organizational leadership, and service learning and social justice.

Outside of work, Zach enjoys sports, officiating college football, running, traveling, and watching the West Wing for the (approximately) 50th time.

 

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