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 Coach and Editor

Alan Acosta (he/him/his) 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
Dissertation 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 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 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.

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, Ally recently relocated to Colorado Springs, where she resides with her professor husband, Tommy, and two dogs, Nellie and Luna. She is still getting used to the colder weather.


Annabelle Estera, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Annabelle Estera completed her PhD in higher, adult, and lifelong education from Michigan State University, where her dissertation explored how Filipinx higher education staff have made meaning of decolonization in their personal and professional lives. She completed her MA in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University, and her BA in interdisciplinary studies (music in contemporary American society) from the University of Rochester. She has also worked professionally in multicultural student affairs. Her scholarly and professional journeys have been centered in her commitment to social justice. Annabelle recently moved to the Boston area with her husband and two toddlers, where she enjoys playing piano, watching arts performances, and spending time with her family.

As an academic coach and editor, Annabelle draws upon her experiences as a teacher and administrator to support students in reaching their goals and developing their written voice.


Caleb Keith, PhD
Academic Coach and Editor

Dr. Caleb J. Keith serves as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Survey Research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In this role, he leads and manages the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Survey Research within the Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) unit to meet the informational needs of both internal and external constituencies. Caleb works closely with institutional leadership responsible for diversity, equity, and inclusion; faculty diversity and inclusion; academic affairs; and planning and institutional improvement. Prior to joining IRDS at 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 is a member of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, and has been accepted as a member of the Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Corps. Caleb 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.

For fun, Caleb enjoys running, reading, listening to podcasts and music, and spending time with family and friends. He also writes songs for and plays in several bands.


DeAris Hoard, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. DeAris Vontae Hoard is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Eastern New Mexico University. He also serves as an affiliated research scientist with the Integrative Behavioral Health Research Institute. DeAris 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.

DeAris’ 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
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Dennis Sheridan is a professor of higher education leadership at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in California. He currently is the Program Director for the EdD program in higher education leadership and was previously the Program Director for the master’s degree program in college counseling and student development. He joined the faculty of APU 25 years ago 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.

As Dennis begins a transition into retirement from his formal role in the academy, he is eager to continue the important work of supporting graduate students as they complete their dissertations, theses, and culminating projects.


Dora Elías McAllister, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Dora Elías McAllister has primarily been doing higher education consulting work for the past 6 years, specializing in leading, managing, and supporting qualitative and quantitative research, assessment, and evaluation projects. She uses her personal background as a first-generation, low-income college student with immigrant parents, her work experience, and her education to contribute to projects that advance educational equity for all students. She began her career in student affairs and has held administrative positions in higher education institutions and nonprofits.

Dora is the author, coauthor, or editor of several qualitative and mixed-methods manuscripts, publications, and presentations on a variety of topics related to higher education. She received her PhD in higher education policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. For her dissertation, she used a qualitative case study methodology to describe and analyze the process through which a group of Mexican American first-generation college students made decisions about whether and where to go to college.

Shortly after defending her own dissertation, Dora began working with doctoral students who were completing their dissertations because she wanted to make the process faster and easier than it was for her. She has been an academic coach and editor with Heartful Editor since March 2019. Based in Chicago, when she is not working through her to-do list, she can be found (re)learning to play the acoustic guitar, practicing yoga, meditating, or listening to podcasts or nonfiction books.


Elizabeth Currin, PhD
Academic 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
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Emily Guetzoian is the assistant director of student success at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in Malibu, California. Her role is to support student academic, writing, and communication success. She enjoys working with students during their academic journey and providing individualized strategies to support each unique learner. 

Emily 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, writing centers, tutoring services, student employment and development, 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, exercising and strength training, and playing the piano and violin.


Erika Pichardo, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Erika Pichardo (she/hers/her) 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
Dissertation Coach and Editor

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
Dissertation 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 Coach and Editor

Dr. Jason Chan has been a scholar-practitioner in the field of higher education for nearly 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 also serves as managing editor for the Journal of Higher Education.

Jason is currently the Fellowship and Career Advisor and Assistant Director of the Center for Career and Professional Advising at Haverford College. Much of his 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. Prior to entering the higher education field, Jason worked at City Year, a national community service organization affiliated with AmeriCorps. When not working, Jason enjoys travel, photography, bouldering, playing pub trivia, and discovering new craft beers and breweries.


Jason Fitzer, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Jason Fitzer has spent the last decade as a student affairs educator focused on helping students become involved and engaged with their institution and college experience. A California native, Jason currently serves as the associate director for the Center for Student Involvement at Santa Clara University.

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 navigate working with and supporting students of color.

Jason is currently also a member of Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity. He has volunteered with chapter advisory boards and currently serves as a faculty for the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute. Jason has also served as a volunteer for other fraternities and sororities, including Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Phi Gamma Delta. Professionally, Jason is an active member of NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), where he has served in leadership roles with the Sustainability Knowledge Community, Gender and Sexuality (formerly GLBT) Knowledge Community, and Region III Advisory Board. He is currently serving as a member of the Undergraduate Student Conference Planning Committee.


Karina Viaud, EdD
Academic 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 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.


Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek, PhD
Academic Coach and Editor

Dr. Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Texas State University, where she has taught since 2007. She received her BA in psychology from Claremont McKenna College and her MA and PhD in psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, including Health Psychology, Research Seminar, Teaching of Psychology, and Health Issues in Diverse Populations.

Kelly has been the MA in Psychological Research program director for the Department of Psychology since June 2017; her favorite part of this role has been advising and mentoring graduate students. Kelly has been a thesis supervisor for nine completed master’s theses and a committee member for an additional 19 thesis students. She has always loved editing and is committed to supporting students in their educational endeavors. She has multiple coauthored publications and conference presentations with both undergraduate and graduate students. In her research, she applies social psychological principles to the understanding of interpersonal factors in health and the process of medical care. She has coauthored a book, 22 journal articles, and 16 chapters in edited books on the topics of patient adherence and provider-patient communication.

When not working, Kelly can be found spending time with her husband and three children, playing with her two dogs, running/walking, traveling, baking, and enjoying the outdoors.


Kim Burdett, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Burdett is an academic editor with almost 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 the University of California, Irvine and Chapman University. Her dissertation focused on how students choose colleges. Her research, still downloaded at a significant rate per month, suggests that although how a student chooses a college is a complicated process, an active and multifaceted Internet presence is a significant way a college or university attracts students.

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. Kim’s passion is for working with students in the college application process, and she ensures that students write and present their essay and application in the best way possible, enhancing the likelihood of admission to the college or university of their choice.

Kim edits papers, theses, dissertations, and other written material. She is committed to helping all students reach their potential.


Kristen Tarantino, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Kristen Tarantino is an academic editor with over a decade of experience in higher education. A native of Virginia, Kristen earned her BA in religious studies and psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, her MEd in higher education administration from the College of William & Mary, and her PhD in educational policy, planning, and leadership with an emphasis in higher education and a cognate in college teaching from the College of William & Mary. Her dissertation explored how trauma impacts the graduate student experience and proposed a process through which students can work toward personal growth in the aftermath of trauma.

Kristen’s academic writing and research centers on college student learning within a variety of contexts. She has conducted and published research on how students make meaning from their college experiences, such as participation in institutionally supported programming and how students integrate their learning across contexts. As a parent of a child with special needs, Kristen has a special interest in educational research that includes vulnerable populations and is always looking to provide the best ethical guidance to her students in matters of controversial research topics or methods.

Passionate about supporting student development across the lifespan, Kristen has taught and worked with students from kindergarten through graduate school. She has taught at the College of William & Mary and Old Dominion University, specializing in designing learning environments and assessment for college student learning, as well as for Newport News Public Schools. Her belief that learning extends beyond the classroom pushes her to volunteer her time by mentoring and facilitating leadership development workshops for college student leaders.

Outside of her professional life, Kristen enjoys cooking, reading a good book while her basset hound snores on her lap, and spending time with her husband and three boys.


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. 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 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
Dissertation 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!


Matt Cardin, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Matt Cardin is an author and editor living in North Central Arkansas. He has 20 years of experience helping students (from high school to graduate school), colleagues, and clients to edit and shape their writing into the best possible expression of their ideas. He worked full time in higher education from 2008 to 2020, most recently as the vice president of accreditation and institutional effectiveness at Ranger College in Texas. Before that, he was an assistant professor of English and religion, an academic advisor, and a senior instructor in a college writing center. He also taught high school English for 6 years. Presently, he is a doctoral cohort coordinator for the Community College Leadership Program at Kansas State University and a tutor for the online writing center at Abilene Christian University.

His writing and research have focused on the intersection of religion and spirituality with creativity, the gothic, the supernatural, and the paranormal. He is the author of three collections of supernatural horror fiction and the editor of three academic encyclopedias, including Horror Literature Through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears (ABC-CLIO, 2017). In 2015, he was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for editing Born to Fear: Interviews With Thomas Ligotti. He has appeared as a panelist and reader at the World Fantasy Convention, the World Horror Convention, and more. In 2014, he was an invited panelist at Baylor University’s Faith and Film symposium.

He holds a PhD in leadership from the University of the Cumberlands, an MA in religious studies from Missouri State University, and a BA in communication with a minor in philosophy from the University of Missouri-Columbia. For his doctorate, he wrote a qualitative dissertation on leadership principles in the life and thoughts of Oswald Chambers.


Megan Segoshi, PhD
Academic Coach and Editor

Dr. Megan Segoshi is the Scholar and Community Engagement Program Lead at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. 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 the 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 Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her two cats, Nova and Fiona.


Misti Jeffers, PhD
Academic Coach and Editor

Misti Jeffers is a completing her PhD in social policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. 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 BS in psychology and human services from East Tennessee State University, where she was a McNair Scholar, her MA in child study and human development from Tufts University, and her MA in social policy from Brandeis University. 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 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 of Academic Coaching and Editing

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. 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, and spending time outdoors in the sunshine.


Sara Kathleen Henry, PhD
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Henry is the founder of Heartful Editor and serves as the Editor-in-Chief. She is an expert in the style guidelines outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Edition). Sara has held administrative positions at the University of California, San Diego, California State University (Humboldt and Sacramento), City College of San Francisco, and Portland State University. She holds a BA in communication from Arizona State University, an MA in postsecondary educational leadership and student affairs from San Diego State University, and a PhD in leadership studies and higher education administration from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between students’ use of technology and social media and their psychosocial well-being and sense of community on campus. She has a strong academic background in student development and leadership theory and stays actively involved in professional associations to further her own learning on current trends and issues affecting student success and well-being.

Sara and her husband, Dennis, live in San Diego with their Havanese rescue dog, Cuba. When not living her dream supporting Heartful Editor’s students and team members, she spends time with friends, works out with her personal trainer or takes barre classes, listens to a wide range of music genres, reads the classics, or completes New York Times crossword puzzles.


Sara Hinkle, PhD
Academic 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 Coach and Editor

Shelley Price-Williams, PhD has two decades of experience in student and academic affairs. Her experience spans program development and management as well as academic advising, career counseling, and assessment in both 2- and 4-year environments across public and private sectors of higher education. Shelley received her PhD in higher education administration from Saint Louis University and completed an MS in counseling/student personnel services and a BA in sociology from the University of Memphis. She teaches graduate courses specific to legal aspects of higher education administration, college student learning and development, the U.S. college student, and the American community college, as well as research, assessment, and evaluation of higher education. Shelley is experienced in the use of mixed methods with a proclivity for qualitative research.

Shelley’s research interests originate from the social sciences and center on human development and advancement within the college environment. She approaches research through a psychosocial lens, observing not only the individual or a group of individuals, but also the impact of the social environment on the individual or group. More specifically, Shelley’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. Her dissertation focused on the self-efficacy, a noncognitive construct, of college sophomore students and their intent to persist in higher education. In mentoring other scholars, Shelley believes cultivating one’s voice through scholarship is paramount.

Shelley is a scholar-practitioner with a sound commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. Outside of her love for teaching, writing, and editing, Shelley loves traveling to new places to learn about diverse higher education structures as well as expansive cultures and food in our global community. This, of course, is not when she is with her family and friends or attending St. Louis Cardinals baseball games.


Staci Weber, PhD
Academic 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.


Stacy Heldman-Holguin, EdD
Director of Academic Coaching and Editing

Dr. Stacy Holguin is an advocate for educational access and student success, devoting her education, volunteer time, and career to furthering the educational opportunities and success of youth and young adults. In addition to her 30-year career as a student affairs administrator at UC Berkeley and Sonoma State University, Dr. Holguin has also served as an adjunct professor at both the University of the Pacific School of Education and UC Berkeley Extension where she was part of the inaugural faculty for the Student Affairs Certificate program. She believes strongly in community service and has served on many industry and association boards as well as the PTA, the education foundation, and as an elected trustee for a school district.

Dr. Holguin was raised in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in political science. As a first-generation college student, this was a great achievement. She relocated permanently to Northern California and started her career in student affairs shortly after graduation. Dr. Holguin earned her MS in counseling with an emphasis in higher education at California State University, East Bay. She jokes that she took night classes and had 40 hours a week of lab to test out her learning. Dr. Holguin pursued her dream and earned an EdD in educational administration and leadership and began her teaching career at the University of the Pacific. She found a passion for coaching students through their thesis or dissertation process and continues to support colleagues and friends as they pursue terminal degrees.

When not working or volunteering, Dr. Holguin enjoys time with her family and friends, traveling, swimming, playing with her dog, and scrapbooking all the photos she took while enjoying life.


Susan Marine, PhD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

Dr. Susan Marine (she/her) is associate professor and chair of the higher education department in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College. Susan holds master’s and PhD in higher education and worked in higher education student affairs for 17 years prior to becoming a faculty member. Susan is passionate about supporting students in building strong writing skills and, most importantly, a sense of agency and voice in the writing process. She is a Midwestern transplant to New England, which means she is both an avid truth teller and compassionate hand holder in all endeavors that spark vulnerability, including writing. Daily communing with local hiking trails provides sustained joy; involvement in activist movements for gender equity and a violence-free world helps build her heart muscle.

Susan’s life work has been dedicated to gender equity, sexual violence prevention, and advancing liberatory education. Her research examines the intersection of queer and feminist transformational praxis in academia, which she calls changework. She served as a violence prevention advocate and educator for many years and was the founding director of both the Harvard University Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and the Harvard College Women’s Center. She is the author of Stonewall’s Legacy: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Students in Higher Education and Collaborating for Change: Transforming Cultures to End Gender-Based Violence in Higher Education.


Suzanne Baker, EdD
Dissertation Coach and Editor

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. She currently serves as the curriculum and records manager at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University, where she works closely with both students and faculty to provide academic advising and curriculum planning.

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 Davis, PhD
Academic Coach and Editor

Dr. Tiffany Davis is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Houston, where she also serves as Program Director of the Higher Education Master’s Program. She has taught courses related to administration and finance of student affairs; assessment, evaluation, and research methods; current issues in higher education; postsecondary access and success; and internship experiences in educational leadership. She earned her PhD in college student affairs administration at the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Davis is a higher education scholar whose classroom teaching, scholarly work, and professional service broadly focus on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion within postsecondary contexts. She has a specific focus on issues that influence college student learning, development, and success that stems from her administrative background across various functional areas in college student affairs: residence life, multicultural affairs, fraternity and sorority life, first-year programs, undergraduate research, TRiO Programs, service learning, and leadership development.

Throughout her career, Dr. Davis has remained active in professional associations, namely NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, ACPA – College Student Educators International, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). Most recently, Dr. Davis received the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from the University of Houston’s Women and Gender Resource Center, recognizing her as a dedicated teacher, coach, and mentor committed to supporting and fostering the success of women and Women of Color.

In her spare time, Dr. Davis enjoys reading young adult fiction, watching Marvel and DC Comics TV/movies, exploring Houston, and taking a restorative nap!


Tina Rajmaira, EdD
Director of Academic 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 premedicine from the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband Neal, her son Hanson, and two Giant Schnauzers, Fritz and Ava.


Vivienne Felix, PhD
Academic 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 several professional associations including NASPA, ACPA, NSEE, and CIES. Outside of work, Vivienne can be found working on a number of crochet, knitting, and photography projects.


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