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Hello (soon-to-be) Doc,

I'm Dr. Ensign and I'm happy you're here.

First of all, congratulations on your doctoral journey so far!

I draw on 14 years of university teaching experience and 20 years of executive coaching experience to guide doctoral students to finish their dissertation research so they can graduate.

I specialize in working with organizational leaders and international students who have returned to school for advanced degrees. I've assisted students from Columbia University, Pepperdine University, Fielding University, Arizona State University, Indiana Institute of Technology and other schools.

If you are an organizational leader, I understand the demands of your job because I have worked with thousands of leaders, globally, as an executive coach. I also serve as Chair and Committee Member for doctoral students so I understand the dissertation process. I bring a unique skill set to our relationship because I understand both your professional and research interests.

If you are an international student, I understand how difficult it can be to navigate language and cultural norms. I was an ESL teacher and currently teach an Individual Study Abroad course in a PhD program. I also have two adopted adult children who earned college degrees as non-native English speakers.

Whether you are in coursework now, have completed coursework, or are a bit derailed and ABD ("all but dissertation") executive coaching combined with just-in-time research tools and guidance can help you optimize your doctoral journey or get back on track to finish your degree.

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If you are a doctoral student who returned to school for an advanced degree, you are likely juggling a leadership role at work, plus family responsibilities, and your academic studies. I get it.

  • Your dissertation research is important and exciting - it may be one of your greatest accomplishments!

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  • You don't have time or money to waste, and yet, the dissertation process can feel unclear, elusive, and downright frustrating. Not to mention, at times it is a lonely and isolating process.

  • You want your degree to be a stepping stone in your career, but you're not sure if or how your research topic will help you get promoted, jump career tracks, or start a new business.

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  • You want access to research, writing, and editing resources, just in time, as you need them.

  • You want someone who understands what you're going through, to talk through your ideas with, and get guidance from, but you don't have enough time with your Chair and Committee.

  • You need someone who understands the research process. You may have taken research courses months or years ago, so you want someone who can teach you (or remind you) what you need to know now and how it applies to your unique situation.

  • You sometimes wonder if it is all worth it, if you'll ever finish.

Some days feel like this...


You can do this.

I teach in a PhD program, chair dissertations and serve on committees, and serve as an external reviewer and subject matter expert. As an industry executive with operational and entrepreneurial experience, I understand your professional pain points. My aim is to be your collaborative thought partner and executive coach as together we explore how your research will impact your career and the world. I completed my doctorate while working full time and you can too.

During the dissertation phase, you are carrying an increased emotional load.
Your dissertation research project has measurable "weight."
It's time to finish your research, graduate, and get your life back.

Stop feeling isolated with a "trial and error" process and instead get guided, more efficient assistance. 

Will you earn your degree one day
or will you make today day one of your path to graduation?

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Hear from doctoral students who worked with
Dr. Ensign to design and complete their
dissertation research and graduate.

Dr. Elnaz Taherizadeh Marvast
Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership
Pepperdine University

Dissertation Title:
The Use of Social Media as a Collaborative Learning Tool:
The Experience of Adult Learners

Dr. T.D. Robinson
Ph.D. in Global leadership
Indiana Institute of  Technology

Dissertation Title:
The Leadership Experiences of Black Pastors in the
United States and Jamaica: A Descriptive Case Study

Dr. Natalie Dais Murray
Ph.D. in Human Development
Fielding Graduate University

Dissertation Title:
Employee Experiences of Role Disruption due to Digital Transformation

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Choose the Best Type of Support for YOU

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The most efficient way to move forward. Create a semester long strategy to optimize your time and effort, understand and remove obstacles, and meet your research goals.

Meet with Dr. Ensign regularly and consistently for just-in-time, customized research resources and personalized executive coaching support. Stay accountable with email, phone, and text support between meetings. This is not a self-study program | $4000 per semester

Customized 1:1 Dissertation Support will not only save you extra semesters of tuition but also help you stay on track to graduate so you can advance your career and get your life back.


Book a session with Dr. Ensign whenever you need one

Gain clarity in this customized 1:1 session focused on your doctoral journey, research and/or career path; propel your research forward. 75 minute meeting via Zoom | $300

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Small group coaching that provides a community of practice, just-in-time resources, feedback, and accountability. In labs, you actively work on your research. They are a place to get stuff done!

Want to nail down your research topic or write your QP or Proposal?
Are you overwhelmed with your literature review?
Perhaps you are struggling to get started, make progress or finish?
If so, this hands-on, community of practice will give you traction

  • Not a self-study program, but instead live, synchronous sessions with Dr. Ensign for 4 - 6 weeks

  • Small cohorts of ~6 students that evolve into lasting communities of practice

  • Not a canned program - instead, personalized disscussions and hands-on activities for your research

  • Accountability buddies

  • Bite-size, digestible, just-in-time resources to help you move forward

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More kind words from one of Dr. Ensign's Clients...

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Dr. Helen Krug von Nidda

Ed.D. Adult Learning and Leadership

Columbia University

As a Doctoral Candidate [soon to be Doctor of Education ;)] and Certified Professional Coach, I had the incredible fortune of getting to know of Dr. Ensign's work when she presented at Harvard's Institute of Coaching, then had the immense pleasure of partaking in her follow up group coaching program, and I am now working with her individually.  


Dr. Ensign has both guided me in my dissertation research and also in using my research to grow my professional coaching practice. Her assistance has been extraordinarily impactful. She cares deeply about students' success and this is evident in her approach as an advisor, career coach, and entrepreneurial consultant.


One aspect of our work together that has been extremely impactful has been Dr. Ensign's guidance in applying my doctoral research and her unique approach in blending my passion for my work with evidence based research and tools. This has transformed how I view the work I do and the ways in which I engage with my coaching clients.


Another aspect of our work together is that Dr. Ensign has been instrumental in helping me gain clarity, focus and strategies around the building blocks of my coaching business. She is extremely generous and thoughtful in guiding and exploring my work and her scientific approach has literally transformed my business approach. Her ability to distill theory into practice makes working with Dr. Ensign sheer joy. 


Dr. Ensign brings and shares with abundance, not only her wealth of knowledge but also her experience as a PhD Professor and her business expertise, a combination which is rare. Her approach makes it a most unique and truly eye opening journey.  


I simply could not recommend Dr. Ensign more highly, working with her is one of the best investments I have made.

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Sample of Studies Supervised by Dr. Ensign

A Phenomenological Study Exploring U.S. College Students' Study Abroad Experiences: Understanding Self-Leadership Through Initiators and Outcomes of Transformative Learning  by Dr. Keith Wallace

Moving Towards a Grounded Theory Study Exploring Leadership Styles of Latina Small Business Owners in the United States by Dr. Cynthia Sims-Robinson


Perceived Sensemaking and Communication Effectiveness in Complex Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Environments: A Quantitative Study on Software Engineers in Multinational Companies by Dr. Amanda Holst

Employee Experiences of Role Disruption Due to Digital Transformation by Dr. Natalie Dais Murray

The Leadership Experiences of Black Pastors in the United States and Jamaica: A Descriptive Case Study by Reverend Dr. T.D Robinson


Immigration as an Antecedent for Changes in Leadership Behavior: A Study of How Buddhist Leaders' Immigration From Myanmar to Indiana Affected Their Self-Reported Leadership Behaviors  by Dr. Kimberly Lehman


The Use of Social Media as Collaborative Learning Tools: The Experience of Adult Learners by Dr. Elnaz Taherizadeh

Preparing Students for a Global World: Developing Global Skills in a Virtual Community of Practice via an International Peer-to-Peer Program by Dr. Tonya Ensign and Rachel Ensign

The Making of a Ph.D.: A Case Study at Pepperdine University by Dr. Tonya Ensign and Dr. June Schmieder-Ramirez


A Qualitative Descriptive Study of Small-Scale Farms and Lead Farmers' Perspectives on Organic Farming in LaPlata and Montezuma Counties by Lukman Lukman

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in Generation Z's Habits of Watching Streaming Platforms: A Study of Students at Saint Enoch in Bogor, Indonesia by Suciani Suciani

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 From Dr. Ensign's coursework students...

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Dr. Ensign was hands down the best professor I have encountered through all of my studies (Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. programs). Her willingness to establish 1-1s with students to help them gain traction on their focused work is unparalleled. I would take another course of hers in a heartbeat.

- Global Leadership Doctoral Student

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Great instructor with real life experience...extremely valuable.

- Business Student

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Ensign is a wonderful teacher.

- Business Student

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Extremely valuable and I thoroughly enjoyed the class. Thank you!

- Business Student

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Thank you [Dr. Ensign] for giving me tools that make me a better person.

- Business Student

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Dr. Ensign's course is the most beneficial course in all of college

for the post college world.

- Business Student

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This course has been the best experience of my academic career.

- Global Leadership Doctoral Student

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Great teacher, tons of real world knowledge that is very applicable in all aspects of life.

- Business Student

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Professor Ensign was one of the best professors I have had, she knows a lot and really makes the class enjoyable!

- Business Student

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After coming back from a regional meeting [for work], I realized that everything Dr. Ensign was teaching us was extremely relevant.

- Business Student

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Professor Ensign was great about providing feedback and it helped me grow as a person.

- Business Student

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It is not the sessions but the leader of the session that makes this impactful. [Dr. Ensign's] were great.

- Global Leadership Doctoral Student

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I wish every professor I've ever had class with cared as much as Dr. Ensign!

- Business Student

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Great professor with real world experience!

- Business Student

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One of the best teachers I've ever had.

- Business Student

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Thank you for everything you taught me. I still have your handouts from the course, the lessons on learning who I am and how to work with others have proved invaluable. Thank you again.

- Business Student

You are not here by accident.

Now is the time.

Invest in yourself today.

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