So you’ve jumped on this runaway train called the academic life.
You are pulled in a thousand directions at once. You need to write. You need to publish. You need to focus. But you also need to be YOU.
My name is Cathy Mazak.
I’m not just another writing coach. I am a tenured, full professor, and a transformation coach who approaches your academic career holistically. Over the last five years, I have worked with brilliant PhDs, tenure-track wonder womxn (yes, I’m talking to YOU!), and warriors on the road to full professorship to help you write and publish more.
Work-life balance? Forget about it. Time to write? Maybe one day. Impact? Does helping students check out projectors count?…
I was pulled in ten directions at once. I needed to write. I needed to publish. I needed to focus. But I also needed to be myself. (What happened to being a full human, anyway?)
I felt like I was squeezing myself into a racist, patriarchal system that was never designed for me. And when the kiddos came along… it became near impossible to get to that dream of mine: an impactful, prolific, balanced academic career.
I knew this life wasn’t for me. There had to be a way to achieve the academic career dreams I imagined for myself AND ALSO enjoy life with my family.
So I paved a new path. I went from being a stressed-out academic mom with chronic fatigue and barely any writing under my belt to a tenured and full professor with publications I’m proud of and time to invest in family, relationships, and life outside academia (yes, that exists!).
My motto: you are not alone.
Most academics feel that if they could just get their publishing under control, they could finally come up for air. After all, if you could get those couple of articles written off your dissertation, or finish that book finally, you would have the confidence to face the job market. Tenure review. Going for full. That blinking cursor.
Everyone in academia has felt this way (even if they’d never admit it). Let me assure you: There is a way to do academia that doesn’t buy into the glorification of overwork and still gets you a flowing publication pipeline.
is to help academic womxn and non-men change the culture of academia from the inside out, one published and tenured professor at a time. Because when more womxn and non-binary folx, especially folx of color, are included in the conversation and actually sit at the table in those rooms where decisions happen, only then we can start bringing down the racist patriarchy that keeps trying to shut us out of academia.
I don’t believe that academia should be soul-sucking. I don’t want you to publish more just to publish more. I want you to publish more because your unique, once-ever-on-earth perspective on your field must be heard.
I want to show you a way to do this without sacrificing everything that makes you YOU. Without working until you collapse. Without being crippled by guilt about all the writing you think you should be doing.
If I can show you how to write more while cultivating–dare I say it?–joy in your work, and passion for your field, and the excitement created by all the neurons firing over why you got into this crazy gig anyway, then we can change academia into a better place for everybody to thrive.
Womxn in academia are told to hold on…
to stick to what they know… to do extra work for no extra pay… to know their place in the institution.
My dream for you
is that you bring your whole brilliant self to your academic career. That you find and use your voice to make changes we sorely need in society. That you publish the vital work that only YOU can deliver to impact your field. Not busting your ass off. Or neglecting your kids. Not by magically creating more time in the day or forgetting about some parts of your life. Just by harnessing the knowledge that already exists on managing those ten gazillion things you face with focus and determination, building a writing and publishing system that works for you, and designing a career path for yourself that you, only you control.
AND IN MY DREAM, WE DISRUPT THE SYSTEM OF ACADEMIA FROM THE BOTTOM UP, MAKE SPACES FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE LONG BEEN SILENCED, CELEBRATE THE DIVERSE CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE-MAKING BY WOMXN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR, AND FINALLY SAY: I LOVE MY LIFE AND CAREER IN ACADEMIA.
It takes a village…
This career transformation and writing coaching business is a team effort. Our team is built on brilliant womxn with diverse backgrounds and knowledge who are working daily to help you have the career (and life) you want.
We’re tackling all that stuff they never taught you in grad school. All the things I learned baptism-by-fire style in over 15 years in academia: I’m breaking them down for you, step-by-step (don’t tell Reviewer #2!). How to write for publication? How to take control of your career by centering your writing, while still enjoying your real actual life? How to manage the ten gazillion things on your to-do list with drive and determination? Yep. That’s what we’re teaching here.
Take a deep breath. We got you.
Founder and Writing Coach
As a full professor and mom of three, Cathy got the idea for a writing coaching business from her colleagues who wondered how she was publishing so much with a 4/4 load.
With a Ph.D. from Michigan State University (where she worked under Dr. Geneva Smitherman), Cathy landed her dream job at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and promptly got pregnant. That forced her to figure out how to fit all her academic work into daycare hours, and when she did, she brought in over half a million dollars in external funding, founded a research center, published lots of articles and two edited volumes, and developed graduate courses in bilingualism and raciolinguistics.
Today, Cathy creates writing-centered holistic professional development programs for academics along with her amazing team.
Thea comes to coaching from an eclectic background that includes a career as religious professional, consultant, educator, and writer. She is a trauma-informed practitioner with experience supporting people in a variety of settings: from the hospital to the bars and the courthouse to the classroom.
Her most recent academic adventure was as a writing instructor in dual enrollment programs with community college outreach to students in inner city schools. She loves teaching writing as it relates to social justice and asking the important questions: how do voices from the margins find the time and resources to be heard, and how does public discourse shape perception and policy.
Thea believes in thinking outside the box and dreaming big. She loves to encourage others to follow their inner wisdom and to reject limits that are imposed by systems of patriarchy and white supremacy. She loves being a coach and considers it a privilege to work with clients from diverse fields, backgrounds, and lived experiences.
“Your voice, your wisdom, and your expertise matter! If you are looking for a coaching team that will help you dig deep, and help you find the support, solidarity, and community to you define your own success and find joy in your work, you’ve come to the right place! Bring your full self: welcome!”
Rocío is a Peruvian Geoscientist specialized in Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography, a writing coach, mentor, international leader, and activist. With a Ph.D. from Brown University (where she worked closely with Drs. T. Herbert, S. Clemens, and W. Prell), Rocío forged her own path in academia as a researcher, mostly remotely and sometimes to accommodate her chronic disorder needs.
Figuring out how to be a mom and a scientist with an invisible chronic illness at once, Rocío helped secure over half a million dollars in external and internal funding, published several articles (peer-reviewed and others) and one edited volume, and co-founded an international organization for Latinas in Earth and Planetary Sciences (GeoLatinas) where she’s served as the Executive Director since late 2018.
Over the years (and at times painfully), Rocío has developed, implemented and refined systems and structures that have helped her sustain her work in all the spheres she is deeply passionate about.
“As a coach, I am here to help you thrive in any of YOUR spheres, sharing what I know, offering perspective, and cheering you along your way to success as YOU define it.”
Gina worked as a Spanish professor for seven years before getting tenure and wondering, “Is this all there is to it?”
After years of filling up buckets labeled Teaching, Research, and Service, Gina had no means left to fill her own cup and was feeling unmotivated and burned out. As a single mom and woman of color, she felt misunderstood and undervalued. Without a community of like-minded academics behind her, she had few resources to combat those feelings or make meaningful change. Leaving academia gave her a chance to spread her wings—first as a freelance writer and then working in public humanities—and develop a sense of confidence and pride in her writing.
Today, Gina’s coaching work is deeply rooted in her mission to turn her experience into powerful lessons that motivate clients to grab the brass ring of tenure and keep going.
“If you’re looking to own your academic career, to build a community that supports you rather than tears you down, and to become a change agent as well as a prolific scholar, you are in the right place!”
Paulette Almodóvar Arroyo
Paulette has always been passionate about being the change one desires to see in the world—and in every space that she interacts with. She believes that customized, personal service is one of the key attributes of organizational success and she strives to deliver that service every day. As a Latina, Paulette loves working with such a diverse team and community, helping so many womxn in academia transform their writing and publishing practices, a needed and welcomed change.
“Being of help is one of the greatest feelings and I love all the backstage work. Looking forward to being a great resource to our community and to you!”
Yulia is a passionate storyteller and a published travel photographer and writer with work in National Geographic, BBC Travel, and more. Yulia believes in the power of incredible mentors and a strong community to transform careers and lives.
Before joining Cathy’s team, Yulia has spent nearly a decade working for the US Navy and various global conglomerates. She was one of the “lucky ones” who got to earn an MBA and go through the full brunt of the corporate grinder. She heartily wishes that experience for no one.
Post-burn-out, Yulia left the corporate world for good and dedicated her work to causes and organizations she is passionate about. She is thrilled to be on the incredible team that is helping numerous academic womxn to step into their best selves and transform their current reality into careers and lives that they have dreamed about and imagined for themselves.
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