Full Recommendations and Testimonies

Dissertation Coaching with the Soon-To-Be Dr. Walker-Roberts

Life Changing Experience

Working with Dr. Smolka as my dissertation coach has been life changing. Her expertise in the dissertation process coupled with her ability to inspire makes her the perfect coach. Dr. Smolka is skilled in listening to ideas and a master at helping bring those ideas, sometimes crazy and unorganized, to reality. I have to admit, I would not have been able to complete this process without her by my side the entire way. 

Dr. Smolka is extremely encouraging and never made me  feel "less than" even when I felt like I wasn't grasping a concept or stuck in the process. She always knows the right thing to say to spark motivational feelings! She has this amazing ability to recognize when I was stuck or frustrated with the process and, at the perfect moment, could evoke motivation by remind me of the bigger picture of why I was on the PhD journey. She was able to evoke motivation because she got to know me beyond being her student. 

Dr. Smolka is so personable and a joy to work with. At times I forgot she was my coach and regarded her as a family friend. She would "check in" on me time-to-time just to say hello and see how I was doing. Dr. Smolka is a professional through and through. She was super organized and always provided feedback in a timely manner. She is dedicated and serious: she delivering on every commitment she made to me. Dr. Smolka is a clear and concise communicator through all digital channels, and her digital skills are beyond perfect. Zooming with Dr. Smolka was the best. 

I love that Dr. Smolka was able to make me laugh with her sense of humor during our Zoom sessions. We were getting the work done, but we were having fun while doing so. Working with Dr. Smolka was the best. She knows how to get the job done in a fun and exciting way. I felt Dr. Smolka was invested in my success just as much as I was. Dr. Smolka ensured I never felt alone-- She always made sure I knew she was always a text or phone call away! She made me feel like I was her only student! I could not have achieved my goal without Dr. Smolka by my side every step of the way. She was there for me from the conception of my idea for my dissertation to publication. She had a unbelievable ability to make me dig deeper, research harder, and ensure I did not settle for mediocracy.  Not only do I consider Dr. Smolka as a dynamic dissertation coach, I now consider her a life long friend, and a respected colleague I feel privileged to partner with in our respected field. 

Dr. Smolka is well worth the amount I paid for our coaching sessions. The benefits I received during our coaching sessions definitely outweighed the financial and time cost I invested during the coaching process. The price was so well worth it. I am so happy I decided to make this investment because I know I would not have completed my dissertation with out her. 

She was truly are the best ever. There was nothing better than seeing her smiling face pop up on my computer in Zoom when I was frustrated and stuck. When I saw her on my screen an instant calm came over me-- and the moment I saw  her smile and sparkling eyes, all my insecurities melted away and I knew everything was going to be okay! 

THANK YOU SO MUCH. Even though we are not quite done yet.... Almost... 


~ Gary Walker-Roberts, ABD

(Soon to be Dr. Walker-Roberts on April 24, 2020)


Positive and Influential in Academic Career ~ Dr. Matt Seluk

Compassion & Caring


Dr. Smolka served as my professor for several courses in my doctoral program and continues to be somebody I keep in touch with. I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying under her in my doctoral program. She has been one of the most positive and influential persons in my academic career. What sets Dr. Smolka apart from my experience is her positivity, knowledge, and genuine compassion and caring for her students. 

When I first started working with Dr. Smolka, I was impressed with her passion and engagement she wanted to have with me as a student. She immediately wanted to set up weekly meetings with me to go over the previous week’s coursework into a help answer any questions I may have. She has the incredible ability to provide constructive feedback in a way that is so positive that each conversation I left stronger and more confident than before. Upon looking back, I am so impressed with her refined communication and leadership skillset and has been something I have strived to do in the courses I teach. 

I’ve also had the pleasure of sitting in several of Dr. Smolka’s academic seminars and was impressed with her engagement with the audience while keeping interest level high amongst all participants. She has demonstrated mastery in both face-to-face and online formats. As a former student and current college professor, it is my pleasure to recommend Dr. Smolka without hesitation. 


Matthew Seluk, Ph.D.