Let’s talk

Is your inner dialogue a continuous stream of self-doubt and self-criticism?

I’ll teach you how to release fearful and negative thinking and make decisions from a place of clarity and confidence.

You want to succeed in your career, be fully present to your family, and stay aware and engaged with your community and the larger world. You’re running as fast as you can and yet there’s a voice in your head telling you it’s not enough, you must do better. Despite it’s relentless negativity you might actually believe that without that nagging, doubting, judging voice you’d be a failure.

You’re wrong about that. The truth is your spirit will eventually be crushed by that voice. Criticizing you is its sole purpose and no amount of success will ever satisfy it.

Using an inquiry process, I ask questions that help you identify the beliefs that create barriers, I challenge you to let go of those beliefs, and support you through that process. I provide one-on-one coaching where I listen deeply, offer clear feedback, and provide new perspectives.

Working with me you will

1. Identify the key beliefs that block your progress to a rewarding life.
2. Develop practices that increase calmness, clarity, and self-acceptance.
3. Maintain a level of self-awareness that allows you to accept change and make decisions, from a place of confidence and not fear.

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About me

I truly believe you can alter the way you see your life and the way you live your everyday life. By examining and changing the way you talk to yourself about yourself and about others you can transform your life. I believe this in my bones and I’ve seen countless people succeed.

I earned a Ph.D. in communication studies and I taught courses in interpersonal communication for over 20 years. I was 18 when I found a home in communication studies. The courses I took gave me a vocabulary for making sense of my feelings and experiences. With words and concepts to help me understand the world around me, I felt less alone. Studying communication changed how I saw my life and gave me tools to help others. Recently, I became a Martha Beck certified life coach in order to more fully meet my clients’ needs.

Communication Coach, Teacher, & Facilitator  1994-present

Martha Beck Certified Life Coach  2017-present

Director, Gerald & Carol Vovis Center for Research & Advanced Study, Knox College    2013-2017

Associate Director, Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement, Butler University  2009-2013

Academic Dean, Gustavus Adolphus College  2005-2009

Faculty member in Communication Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College 1994-2009

Ph.D. in Philosophy of Communication, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
M.A. in Communication Theory, California State University, Chico
B.A. in Speech Communication, San Francisco State University
General Education, Santa Rosa Junior College


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Contact me

Please fill out this form so we can schedule a complimentary consultation.

Panel 3

What my clients say


I met Mariangela my senior year of college where she guided me through a successful Fulbright application process.  During that time, I was going through many changes in my life, and she was able to help give me perspective by helping me listen to my own inner voice. After my year in Malaysia with Fulbright, I found myself again in another life transition period as I tried to make sense of all these new experiences. Most of my family and close friends couldn’t understand what I was saying. I didn’t know who else to turn to but Mariangela. She’s helped find and listen to the voice within, helped elevate me to place of feeling grounded and figure out I where I want to go next and the things I want to achieve. Cortney, 24, Videographer, Chicago


Mariangela taught me how to have compassion for myself and how to communicate with once unreachable parts of myself. I would often enter our sessions with my mind swirling with a hurricane of thoughts and emotions, but inevitably I would leave with an inner peace I didn’t think was possible. Through our work together, I learned how to go through this process on my own and find calm in accepting myself, and those around me. I am forever grateful to Mariangela’s guidance and patience. Samantha, 32, attorney, Detroit

It has been such a pleasure gaining guidance from Mariangela.  Over the past year, our conversations have generated insight, balance, and are a centering force in my life.  Her unique ability to empathize and articulate through story, example and communication strategies solutions has been life adjusting.  But the best part: she doesn’t give the answer, rather guides me to the answers already inside me; The journey is mine, but we’re on a walk together and that is the kindest of gesture of her coaching. Ryan, 38, Entrepreneur, Minneapolis


Mariangela is an excellent listener, but not simply to affirm my perspectives, but to challenge me in my thinking and doing. Her careful questioning and comments helped me to move through whatever issue I was working on in a way that was both affirming and challenging. Cindy, 50, higher education leader, Indianapolis


I was lost in my thoughts and emotions about my issue and I couldn’t find any clarity. I needed to find someone trustworthy who could help me sort through what was going on. Working with a coach felt like a commitment to my well being within a focused time period. Mariangela has an amazing capacity to listen deeply to what I’m saying and ask great questions that provide that moment of new awareness or new perspective. She helped me see my issue in a different way and got me out of the squirrel cage of my mind. Linda, 60 international education leader, Minneapolis


Having someone to listen and normalize experiences and feelings a little bit for/with me was really helpful when I was feeling very uncertain about finding a new job and tending to catastrophize outcomes in my mind, which was sending me into panic mode. Mariangela helped me gain some perspective about myself and my personality and abilities – how I tend to see myself/judge myself more harshly than most people probably do – that others, at least sometimes, probably see me as fairly competent, valuable, even calm and friendly. Vanessa, 34 legal assistant, San Diego


I love working with Mariangela. I feel a level of comfort with her that I don’t feel with many people. Great energy. I love the breathing exercise that begins each session. It really connects me to my body. It has a calming effect. I like the focus on the present and the future. It creates a space for me to focus on what’s happening now and how I am operating in the world while at the same time I looking towards where I want to be. I am more aware of the fact that I have a choice to make about how I’m going to go about doing something. I find myself giving myself permission to do something…or do nothing. I’m just calmer and I’m really taking some time to slow down and think about things. Working with Mariangela I am not simply ‘unloading’ to a person who maintains a specific distance, rather we share the space and occasionally she will reveal her own experience. This reminds me that while she is the coach and I am the client, she is also involved in her own ‘practice’ and this makes me feel we meet each other on common ground. Susan, 50, artist/teacher, Chicago