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Currently enrolled students have access to a slate of certified life coaches free of charge. Life coaches are a type of wellness professional who helps individuals make progress in their lives through strategies such as goal setting, accountability, and confronting cognitive distortions.

The coaching model is not specifically designed for individuals that need mental health counseling; students continue to have access to licensed counselors through ʰФ’s Counseling Center.

What to expect

Students can request a life coach by completing the form below or by stopping by Albrecht 115. Appointments are recommended, but not required. A life coach will then reach out to set up an initial meeting with the student to discuss his or her emotional, intellectual, or vocational training goals.

The coach and the student together will determine the frequency of their meetings but, in general, students could expect to check in about once every other week with a coach.

There is no obligation to meet long-term with a life coach. Some students could benefit from a one-time connect.

Request an appointment 

Meet Concordia’s life coaches

Staff and faculty have received life coaching certification through Tracy Tuffey, MSW, LCSW, a certified Life Coach and trainer who founded the Life Coaching program at ʰФ. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Psychology with over 20 years of experience teaching undergraduate, graduate, and adult education. She has held several leadership positions and owns her own private practice. Over the past 25 years as a private psychotherapist and clinical consultant, Tracy’s expertise ranges from grief counseling, stress and anxiety management, Christian and spiritual counseling, marriage and family counseling, mediation, and much more.

Supplemental training is provided by Positivity, an app-based therapy, support, and coaching service that was founded by Dr. Daniel Upchurch, a professor and psychologist with more than 15 years of experience working in mental health.

Tracy Tuffey

Tracy Tuffey, LPC

Tracy Tuffey, MSW, LCSW is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Psychology with over 20 years of experience teaching undergraduate, graduate, and adult education.  She has held several leadership positions and owns her own private practice. Over the past 25 years as a private psychotherapist and clinical consultant, Tracy’s expertise ranges from grief counseling, stress and anxiety management, Christian and spiritual counseling, marriage and family counseling, mediation, and much more. 

Tracy is a certified Life Coach and trainer who founded the Life Coaching program at ʰФ. She provides consultation to other Life Coaches and Counselors. She enjoys working with adult clients in executive coaching, career coaching, professional development, and solution-focused therapy. She also has a proven track record of mentoring a diverse range of clients and helping them achieve personal goals.

Kari Metts

Kari Metts, MSEd

I’m Kari Metts and I’ve been a Life Coach since the beginning of the program and I LOVE it!

My main focus as a Life Coach is to listen; encourage; support and talk about anything (school; life) that you may need to voice out loud and/or pointers to reach a goal. I’ve been around for a while and I’ve gained some experience. Here is my list:

  • Retired Army Veteran
  • Single mom of cognitive/disabled young adult daughter
  • 1ST Generation
  • Graduate Student

I anticipate our connection and collaboration!

Areas of coaching expertise:

  • Military
  • 1st Gen Students

Holly Griskell

Holly Griskell, Ph.D.

Everyone is fighting their own personal battles. During my emerging adulthood years, I battled shyness, anxiety, and perfectionism. Over time, I have learned strategies to thrive despite my personal challenges, and I want the same for you-- whatever your own personal challenges are.

My background in developmental psychology gives me an intricate understanding of the human mind and behavior. I utilize this knowledge as a Life Coach to help you better understand yourself and others. As a first-generation college student and former graduate school warrior, I am also experienced in helping students navigate the academic, social, and emotional complexities of undergraduate programs as well as graduate school. In addition, I am certified in social connection and relationship-building techniques through Inspiring Comfort and ProjectConnect.

As my client, you can expect to gain the support and tools you need to meet your goals, while also feeling fully heard, seen, and understood. We will work together to make steady progress toward the lasting changes that you want to see in your life.

Areas of coaching expertise:

  • Academic success
  • Confidence building
  • First-generation students
  • Mindfulness
  • Graduate school
  • Relationships
  • Stress Management
  • Work-life balance

Let’s chat so I can support you in becoming the best version of yourself!

Marnie Lawler McDonough

Marnie Lawler McDonough

Dr. Marnie Lawler McDonough is an Assistant Professor of Communication. She currently teaches courses in Interpersonal Communication, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Critical Thinking, and her research is focused on organizational and rhetorical leadership. Professionally, she has worked in various communication roles including leadership and executive consulting and training. Building on that experience, Dr. McDonough’s coaching focus extends to career and resume building, essential communication skills like public speaking and persuasive writing, personal and professional relational issues, and academic success at any student level. Coaching sessions will be tailored to ensure attainable goals are set and regularly assessed to meet the needs of each client.

Areas of coaching expertise:

  • Leadership
  • Career-guidance / resume-building
  • Communication (public speaking, persuasive writing, critical thinking)
  • Interpersonal relationships (in the workplace)
  • Academic success (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral)

Vittoria Sipone

Vittoria Sipone, PhD

I am passionate about nurturing potential and fostering personal development, to help you reach your goals and make long-term changes.

As a former international graduate student and an immigrant, I embraced the excitement of studying and living abroad, but I also struggled with its challenges - from anxiety, to cultural shock, to learning to “fit in” and make new friends. I also have extensive experience in working with students who are new to college, and I love helping folks understand its “unwritten rules”!

I have learned strategies to overcome my own challenges with anxiety, cultural differences, and work-life balance, and I am looking forward to helping you find what works for you. Together, we will chart a roadmap that can ease your anxiety, propel you academically, and enrich your personal growth.

How can I help you be the best you that you can be?

Areas of coaching expertise:

  • International students
  • Graduate students
  • Work-life balance
  • Communication skills
  • Academic success

Aimee Wiley

Aimee Wiley

Aimee Wiley is a personal development life coach, focusing on relationships, time management, goal setting, career exploration, holistic health (mind/body/spirit), and self-concept. She brings a counseling perspective to her coaching, as a graduate student in the Professional Counseling program at ʰФ. A mother to five kids, ages 12-20, Aimee has experience in life stage development and family dynamics, and she can help address mental health issues that commonly impact life and relationships.

As a client, you will embark on a journey of self-discovery to find meaning and purpose for your life, while acquiring useful tools to enhance your personal and professional relationships and help you achieve your goals.

To set up a life-coaching appointment with Aimee, please contact Student Wellness at studentwellness@cuw.edu or 262-243-2244. Sessions are 45-60 minutes, scheduled weekly or as needed.

Jess Valdes

Jess Valdes

Jess is a life coach through Concordia University. Her holistic approach brings clarity, direction, and positive support to her clients. Jess helps clients live their best life, by filling the gap between where they are now, and where they want to be. By identifying where growth is desired, setting goals, and holding accountability, clients will reach their highest goals and dreams.

We all have a light within us. You are already born with the qualities you will need to get what you want out of life. I will work with you one-on-one to help you take action in your relationships, school, and health to create the life you want to be living.

Areas of coaching expertise:

  • Mindfulness
  • Relationships
  • Time management 
  • Graduate school
  • Academic success

Jess Valdes

Mikaely Schmitz

Mikaely Schmitz is a life coach committed to guiding and supporting others through their personal and professional journeys. With over 20 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist, educator, communication specialist, and training in developmental psychology and behavior, Mikaely has an understanding of human behavior as well as effective planning and communication.

My coaching practice is enriched by my life roles as an educator, former college and graduate student, parent, partner, and friend. These roles ground my approach in real-world, relatable experiences. As a certified life coach, SLP, Project Connect Facilitator, and QPR Gatekeeper Instructor, I offer a comprehensive toolkit and holistic approach to supporting my clients. Regardless of your goals and challenges, I will work with you to provide the guidance, support, and accountability you need to achieve sustained success. Together we will build a partnership that values empathy and understanding, making sure you are heard while we work together to provide accountability, strategies, and encouragement to make meaningful strides towards your goals.

Mikaely’s training and practice encompass a broad range of support, including:

  • Time and Task Management
  • Student and Academic Success, including Graduate School application and success
  • Resume Writing and Editing
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Relationships
  • Personal Development
  • Career Development
  • Finances
  • ADHD, and broader Executive Functioning Related Strategies

Request an appointment

Need help finding School/Life/Work balance, setting goals, or developing social or professional skills? Set up an appointment with Student Wellness today!