Who is Dr. Katy Peplin?


A coach.

I am a coach who specializes in working with graduate students. I run an individual coaching business, and also works as an editor. Thrive PhD is my flagship service.


BA, Screen Arts and Cultures & French, University of Michigan

MA, Cinema and Media Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

PhD, Screen Arts and Cultures, University of Michigan


Holistic Coaching

Effective Uses of the Internet

Group Coaching

Academic Bureaucracy

Lots and lots of media!

Group and Individual Coaching

Teaching - Mentorship, Facilitation, Consultation

Developmental Editing

Online Community Building



An advocate.

Here are some of the reasons that I do what I do, and just a few of the ways I’m qualified to do this work.


I finished on time.

I finished my dissertation (including coursework, exams and revisions) in five years, teaching 70% of the time, and working a second job. I learned as I went how to balance my time and make progress on multiple fronts. Not all of us are lucky to write our dissertations or work on our course work full time - but if you are, that brings with it its own set of challenges. When you have a full life, and are working towards multiple goals at the same time, it can be hard to balance the competing priorities and make each interested party feel that they are important and valued (even when they are not at the top of the list.) I can give you tools to make it easier. 

I did it on my own terms.

Not only did I finish, I did it without sacrificing the things that were important to me. I slept and ate regularly, I went to yoga regularly, I took some nights and a lot of weekends off. I worked on projects that were outside of my dissertation because I knew they would prepare me for the diverse job search I would do when I finished. I spent time on my teaching (and won awards doing it) because it was important to me, and still got to my own work. Your department might not understand how important your [insert real life concern, activity or value] is, but I do and I can help you build it in.

I get it.

I won't make you read my free e-book. I won't quote A Purpose Driven Life or send you inspirational messages as pump-up emails. That's what Pinterest is for. What I will do is work to make sure that our time together serves who you are, and what you want, rather than slot you in to a "one size fits all" general coaching system. I was a graduate student, but now I'm a professional coach. You can get parts of this advice from fellow classmates, your department, or the internet, but from me, it will be without strings attached - my only goal is to help you get what you want. And if coaching doesn't fit in the budget - and let's face it, the budgets are always tight - I work hard to provide quality content on the blog so that you can still have access to the tools I use. Grad school is hard enough. I'm here to help.


A human.

Here are some of the things I’m into as a human being. I think having hobbies and interests is one of the great secrets to a life well lived.





Planet Earth

Graphic Design


Crime Novels

The Marvel Cinematic Universe


Paint by Numbers

Brush Lettering


Watershed Conservation

Rescue Cats (I have 4)

Pilot G-Tec Pens

La Croix

Harry Potter (I’m a Hufflepuff)