Kimberly (Swisher) Zilmer


Kimberly (Swisher) Zilmer

Life Design Coach  

314 McLeod Hall

Life Design teaches us how to create and live a life beyond our wildest dreams.  I encourage you to be curious, be courageous, be open to new things, ask questions, and take an active role in designing your life.  I'm excited to get to know you and design with you!  -  Kimberly

Kim approaches Life Design from an international perspective that encompasses a wide array of worldviews. Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and studied abroad in Germany. She also completed a Master’s degree in Peace and Development Work in Sweden before returning to her native Ohio and earning a second Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from BGSU. Before becoming a Life Design Coach, Kim worked as a Career Counselor and Advising Specialist here at BGSU and has also worked in business and as an adjunct faculty of political science. Kim understands what it’s like to balance multiple passions and a love for travel, while still prioritizing her relationships with family and friends.

Kim’s favorite Life Design tool to use with students is the Energy Engagement Map, which helps students to take stock of their energy drains and improve their sense of energy flow. She encourages students to approach Life Design conversations with a positive growth mindset, helping them to recognize what they’ve learned from past experiences and how that can help shape their goals moving forward. When teaching BGSU 1910, the Life Design course, Kim helps students to analyze any societal structures that may no longer serve them and, instead, design a life around what they find personally fulfilling. She also encourages students to recognize dualistic thinking and realize that there are multiple ways of living and being—all of which are valid and important. 

Kim values getting to know students as individuals and approaches coaching from a compassionate, open-minded lens. As a young woman working her way through school, she often struggled to stay in the present moment while working toward her next achievement. As a result, Kim’s advice for students would be to slow down, enjoy the journey, and realize that happiness does not only exist in the future. The core of Kim’s mission as a Life Design Coach is to make a difference in students’ lives. Along the way, she will help them to see and celebrate all the beautiful differences in the lives around them.


  • Perrysburg, OH

Majors / Degrees:

  • Otterbein University = Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
  • Linneuniversitetet (Linnaeus University) = Master of Science in Peace and Development Work 
  • Bowling Green State University = Master of Arts in College Student Personnel 

Professional Experiences / Certification:

  • Business 
  • Adjunct Faculty: Political Science 
  • Bowling Green State University = Career Counselor 
  • Bowling Green State University = Advising Specialist 

Interests Outside of Work:

  • Learning, Baking, Nature, Hiking, Dogs, and Travelling

Words to Live By: 

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step" -MLK Jr.

Updated: 08/10/2023 02:30PM