Educator, Author & Life Coach
How did I become interested in life coaching?
Over the past couple of decades, I have had the fortune of applying my interests, skills, and education in various contexts, including working with non-profit organizations, higher education, and government organizations.
As an undergraduate I originally majored in Art, working in museum education, public relations, in addition to developing and implementing outreach programs. I also worked with DHS, leading art therapy programs for abused and "at risk" children and teens. Working with "at risk" teens really struck a chord with me because in many ways I could relate with them. It was absolutely heart breaking to see how generations could be so negatively impacted by patterns of trauma, abuse, or neglect, but at the same time exhilarating to see others triumph in spite of their challenges. It left me wondering what enabled some people to overcome very difficult circumstances going on to live very productive and satisfying lives, while others were not.
It was at this point that I changed my major to Psychology. I continued to maintain an active interest in the arts, because I knew from both experience and observation that the arts can serve as a powerful tool, crossing language, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries. I later went on to develop outreach and partnership programs with museums and public school systems, targeting "at risk" middle school students. The objectives of these programs were building self-efficacy, self-esteem, and psychological well being through art and art therapy activities.
I continued with my education, earning my M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology focusing on motivation, culture, and learning, continuing on my quest for discovering ways for helping people flourish. My doctoral research involved working closely with Native American and Alaska Native students in southeast Alaska, focusing on factors contributing to academic success, motivation, and psychological well being. Working with Native populations was an extremely rewarding experience, and it inspired me to return to school and earn a second Master's degree focusing on multicultural counseling and art therapy.
For almost twenty years, I have been teaching others strategies for motivating, leading, and promoting psychological well being. I have done this by drawing from evidence based research in motivation and positive psychology, as well as an understanding of the role that culture plays on the values, beliefs, and motivation of individuals. The latter is something that many workplaces and educational institutions seem to overlook, but is much needed in order to understand how to promote success and well being. There is no "one size fits all" approach to motivating others, as both individual and cultural differences influence values, behaviors, and definitions of success. In a global economy, where workplaces are increasingly diverse, it is imperative that leaders recognize individual and group differences in communicating, learning, motivating, and leading others. Otherwise it can have a devastating impact on morale, motivation, performance, attrition, and retention.
Individual and group differences impact the beliefs, attitudes, values, and goals of people. Even children raised in the same family will have very different abilities, experiences, and perceptions of self which all influence behaviors and aspirations.
Over the past two decades, I have been helping people achieve their goals through mentoring, teaching, and encouraging successful goal creation...teaching strategies for success in academic, personal, and business contexts, and providing tools and guidance for going through career and life transitions.
It is my sincere desire to be able to help people flourish and become the best and happiest version of themselves! We all experience challenges and transitions throughout our lifetimes. Some of these are predictable, others are not. All change is uncomfortable, but armed with the right tools, you can sail through these transitions smoothly and avoid getting blown off course!