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Leveraging collaboration to unlock potential and drive impact.

about Deb Mashek

Dr. Deb Mashek, PhD is an experienced business advisor, professor, higher education administrator, and national nonprofit executive. She is the author of the book Collabor(h)ate: How to build incredible collaborative relationships at work (even if you’d rather work alone).


Named one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education,

she has been featured in media outlets including
MIT Sloan Management Review, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Inc., Forbes, Fortune, The Hechinger Report, Inside Higher Ed, Reason, Business Week, University Business Insider, and The Hill. She writes regularly for Reworked and Psychology Today.

Previously Full Professor of Social Psychology at Harvey Mudd College, Deb served as the college’s Associate Dean for Faculty Development and as the founding Director of the Claremont College’s Office of Consortial Academic Collaboration. She served as the inaugural Executive Director of Heterodox Academy, a national nonprofit advancing viewpoint diversity on college campuses.


Deb is the founder of Myco Consulting LLC, where she helps networked organizations (e.g., consortia, collaboratives, associations, federations, etc.) avoid the predictable pitfalls of complex, multi-stakeholder initiatives so that they can drive impact and achieve big visions. A member of the Association for Collaborative Leadership, Deb has been an invited speaker on collaboration and viewpoint diversity at leading organizations including the United Nations, Siemens, and the American Psychological Association.

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Originally from North Platte, NE, Deb lives in Staten Island, NY with her son.

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what does myco mean?  


from mýkēs, the Greek word for mushroom

Mushrooms are the fruit of an intricately interconnected, sophisticated, and resilient organism. While mushrooms are the part of the fungus we see, the bulk of the organism--the mycelium-- lies below ground. Unseen. Complex. Essential. The mycelium develops in nutrient-rich substrates. Then, when the conditions are right, mushrooms emerge.  Spores propagate.  


Infinitely beautiful and diverse, forming symbiotic relationships with other living things, mushrooms offer an exquisite metaphor for how to collaborate well: nurture foundations, spread ideas, form connections, share resources, reap rewards.

(Curious about myco's logo? The O is a spore print, a beautiful pattern made by the billions of spores that drop from the gills of a single mushroom.  Visit the North American Mycological Association to learn how to make spore prints at home.)

Featured Resources

The point of collaboration is not to join forces because it feels good or because it is easy; the point of collaboration is to join forces because the anticipated end result clearly relates to the shared purpose and goals of the participants.

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