Coach Your Potential

potential (n): a quality, an ability, or a path that has not yet been fully developed or realized.  

Denise Kozikowski, PhD


 In Person ~  By Phone ~  Zoom/Online

My goal is to help you to discover your potential and to live it fully. 

 I look forward to working with you!

My Journey

Welcome!  I'm so glad that you're here! 

Growing up, I had an undiagnosed learning difference and I was the first woman in my family to graduate from college.   I was motivated, but lacked direction. School was very challenging for me.    I said "yes" to the first job offer as I prepared to graduate from college and gave little thought to my own satisfaction and fulfillment.  I found myself working in a biochemistry lab doing technician work for two years.  Not only was I miserable, but I was unable to get a letter of recommendation when the grant ended.  It was devastating and I felt very lost and stuck.  

To begin my own journey, I sought out mentors and took anthropology classes at PENN.  I  traveled to India and explored the Tibetan community living in exile and learned about traditional healing and Buddhism.  When I returned to the US, I continued to pursue these interests and lived on the Navajo Reservation to study the traditional Navajo birth.  All of these experiences helped me to see a path emerging out of the darkness.  None of this was easy -- it took persistence, determination, a few risks, and I had to learn to ask for help.    It wasn't until graduate school that I discovered that I loved learning and started to see my own potential.  

It's tempting to think that there is a one-size-fits-all solution, but there isn't.  If you are living authentically from your purpose, stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a few risks, your journey will look very different and will be unique to you!

Journey Highlights

  • While studying the Traditional Navajo Birth on the Navajo Reservation, I worked with students at Navajo Community College helping them prepare to transition to a 4-year college
  • Received funding through Fulbright-Hays to study women with breast cancer after Communism in the Czech Republic
  • Received my Ph.D from  UCLA 
  • Taught undergraduate courses in Liberal Arts at UCLA and Johns Hopkins/Peabody
  • Began Academic Advising at University of Michigan
  • Co-led a study abroad to the Amazon Rainforest for University of Michigan. 
  • Founded and grew Mindfulness@Umich
  • Trained for coaching through CTI, currently pursuing advanced certification and have experience leading Designing Your Life Workshops

Our Work Together

I define potential as a quality or ability within you that hasn’t yet been fully developed or realized.  

Why work with me as your Coach?  We are often unable to see our own potential.  Lots of well-intentioned people may be there to give you advice, but this is very different from coaching.  Advice often sounds great, but it lacks the essential piece that helps you feel motivated and empowered. A highly trained coach helps you to tap into what wakes YOU up and recognize YOUR potential.  Living into your full potential brings you closer to a life of meaning and fulfillment.  As your coach, I am there to help you clarify  your goals, define your purpose, and your "why."  Together, we'll explore and design the best next steps to take.  

I also get what it's like to feel stuck, lost, and have your confidence shaken.  When I coach you, I coach from a place of knowing that you already have everything that you need to make changes, clarify your goals, and take the next step.  The answers are already there, within you.  They often just need the right person to help you see it.  

What  to  expect  if  we work together: I have  a   gentle  and  supportive  style, and I adapt my expertise and skill to meet your specific needs.  I balance deep listening and support with just the right amount of pushing to help you feel empowered to take that next step.  We'll explore big questions like:  what makes life worth living, when do you feel fulfilled and engaged, and what do you most care about.  I believe that resilience is something that you develop through being tested and reflection.  We'll pay attention to how you respond to missteps, obstacles, and failure and practice re-framing habits and mindsets that aren't serving you.     My work draws from psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience research.  I follow the work of cutting edge thinkers like Adam Grant, Simon Sinek, Susan Cain, to name a few.    We'll bring all of this together to design a plan that helps you reach your full potential and I'll be by your side  every step of the way.

Why work with young adults, young professionals, and millenials? My own journey has inspired me to work tirelessly to help young adults succeed in life.  Each of my challenges and accomplishments have taught me a valuable lesson.   

My biggest reason, however, is that you are our future! I am deeply humbled and privileged to help you realize your full potential and live a life that leads to  meaning and fulfillment. 


Coaching Consultation

I offer a complimentary one-hour discovery session to discuss your needs and to see if we are a good fit. After this initial consultation, we create a plan that will support you on your journey to excellence, meaning, and fulfillment

Hourly Coaching

I am available on an hourly basis to coach you on your journey.  I am committed to being inclusive and strive to make this available to all young adults who would benefit from this service.  I offer a sliding scale.  Please inquire.  

My Services

I offer a complete service that includes evaluating  your academic record, establishing your goals, coaching you to develop habits and behaviors that set you up for success, as well as gently holding you accountable to achieve your goals.


"Denise has had the largest influence on me over any staff member at the University.

 I've known her for almost 4 years now, and she has been a bundle of joy and support every single time I've seen her. She urged me to take it easy when I needed to take it easy, and pushed me when I needed to be pushed. Denise has never made me uncomfortable, and has been there for me. She gave me a variety of recommendations that I've followed to this day, and helped me greatly with both academic and personal problems."  

~Former Student

"I have known Denise for about two years.

 I reached out after attending a mindfulness session. Not only did Denise help me think through some tough decisions about my academic career, but she helped me to reduce my anxiety and find more joy and peace in my everyday life. I still email her with questions from time to time and just last semester she helped me figure out how to fulfill an outstanding requirement so that I will graduate on time. Denise helped me to become more patient and accepting of myself, and her support has been a gift these past 2 years."

~Former Student

"Denise has been my advisor since Freshmen year, and she has been a crucial part of my experience.

From the start at orientation, I knew I had an ally in her and someone who understood me when I felt alienated from my peers. She encouraged me to pursue opportunities that I would never have otherwise, ones that have shaped my entire experience here and helped me become a better thinker and learner. Her meditation sessions have saved me and countless others from weeks of stress and anxiety. Denise is one of the most empathetic, passionate, selfless people I've met."

~Former Student

"I am a non-traditional transfer student with two kids commuting weekly to finish my degree.

I'm in the car 16 hours a week, mom on the weekend, and just trying to keep my head above water during the week. The last year and a half I have doubted myself countless times and have even contemplated giving up. Meeting Denise had an immediate calming effect. There are some people in this world that possess such an openness that you are able to see the light of kindness inside. Denise is one such person. She listened to me and I felt like a person instead of a student number. She has gone beyond my expectations and searched for solutions that have improved my experience. When she believes in you, you have no choice but to believe in yourself."

~Former Student

"Denise has always given me great advice for academic success.

 Whenever I have spoken to her, I have felt important and I can tell she cares for all of her students. This is what sets her apart from the others. This semester, I had a personal issue that could have really dragged me down, but I thought to reach out to Denise and she helped me by speaking with me and helping connect me to resources that could help me through the issue. I am grateful for the help I have always received and it has helped me improve as a student and as a person."

~Former Student

"Denise has helped me for the past two years.

The first time I met her,, I broke down crying to her about how lost I've been feeling in regards to my academic passions. But she quickly inspired me to keep pushing forward, reminding me that I have what it takes to pursue whatever it is I want set my mind to, and encouraged me to explore options I had never truly considered. I genuinely feel that she fostered in me a passion and bravery to help me pursue my goal."

~Former Student

Contact Me


Denise Kozikowski, PhD

Coach Your Potential