Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching allows you to work one-on-one with staff to reflect on your experiences and create plans for change. You are unique! Your Academic Coach will get to know you - your strengths, your goals, and what motivates you. In a reflective process, your Coach will help you define your goals and then find and implement the tools and strategies that work best for YOU. The keys to a productive Coaching experience are regular, open, and honest communication. We ask that students applying for this program meet for an initial 1 hour appointment, then for 30 minutes every other week throughout the semester. When completing the application, you will have the opportunity to rank the coaches you are interested in working with. If you have any questions or concerns, please email or call 651-962-6300.

Joanie Kyllo:

I have been an Academic Counselor at St. Thomas since 2006.  For the first 10 years, in the College of Business and, since then, in Academic Counseling where I also work with students on Academic Probation.  Prior to that I was a Career Counselor for about eight years specializing in helping people with major/career exploration and confirmation. 

 As someone who myself wasn’t a “natural” in school, I love working with students helping them toward achieving their academic and career goals while also focusing on school/life balance.  As your coach, I strive to provide an open and trusting environment for the student to make self-discoveries, set priorities and refine their time management skills, assist in creating personalized action plans according to each student’s goals, apply strategies for studying effectively, and identify campus resources designed to promote student learning and development. 

 In my free time I love to relax watching movies, play board and/or card games, and just spend time with family or friends.  I look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

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Kelly Petersen:

I have been working with students on Academic Probation at St. Thomas since 2005, and it’s my favorite part of my job. I enjoy the process of helping students reflect on their strengths and struggles and then working together to find tools and strategies to achieve success. I’m also a self-professed time management nerd and I like helping people figure out different ways to organize and think about their time. In my free time I love to read, knit, and hang out at that Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). My life motto is, ‘I am still learning’ and I’m excited to work with students who are open to trying new things.


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Brian Matthews:

I am passionate about higher education because I love having the opportunity to support students along their academic journey. I enjoy getting to know and understand what motivates students, while also helping them navigate through obstacles along their path. As a coach, I am eager to help identify strengths and challenges to better be able to implement positive change. 

I am a goal-orientated person, both in my professional and work life, and am eager to help students reach their own goals. In my free time I can be found training for my next marathon, refereeing adult hockey, or spending time with my wife and daughter. I am always up for a new challenge.