Corinne Nicolas, PhD, ACC

As a certified coach, I have the privilege to work with women in academia to help them get what they want, in ways that align with how they move through the world and in their careers.

Before becoming a coach, I was in academia for over 20 years, as a writing professor for most of that time, and more recently as a faculty development consultant. During my years as an academic, mentoring colleagues and also experiencing motherhood in academia myself, I came to realize that women go through many transitions as they build academic careers. And the support they get during these transitions is often inadequate, and, at times, counterproductive.

The eye-opening moment for me came through a well-meaning male supervisor, who advised I never mention my child as a reason for a meeting cancellation, less I jeopardize my potential for promotion, a point he backed by citing older, well-respected female colleagues of his and their dislike and disapproval of younger women bringing up their child as reasons for missing meetings. Never mind that I was over 40 (hardly one of the young faculty), and 20 years into my career already. Or that our summer programs were scheduled around the week-long visit of his grand-kids.

My moment of awakening to the realities of the frictions related to being a woman in academia happened to be around motherhood. But I’ve worked with many women in academia and have heard many similar stories related to caring for an aging parent, feeling coaxed into service tasks that do not serve them, dealing with sexism in their units, or bias in comments from reviewers…

That moment for me crystallized my desire to become a certified coach partnering with women in higher education to provide the unconditional support and guidance that will help them build successful careers.

I am credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation. I also hold a PhD in Composition and Rhetoric from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s Degree in Education from Tusculum University, and a Master’s in English from the Universite de Haute Bretagne, in France, where I completed my undergraduate work.

I was born and raised in beautiful Brittany, France, and discovered and fell in love with the United States during a summer exchange program when I was 17. Ten years later, I landed again on U.S. soil with one suitcase, a few hundred dollars, a one-year university lectureship in Kansas and one chance at my big American dream. I never looked back! I live in Knoxville, TN with my spouse, our daughter, a dog and a cat.

Picture of Corinne Nicolas