Before coming to the STEM Research Center, Kelly served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for a STEM education consulting firm where she oversaw the full range of evaluation projects and ongoing research studies. Prior to this position, Kelly was an assistant professor of science education in the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
While Kelly was completing her Ph.D., she served as a graduate research assistant and then research associate on the NSF-funded Project Nexus initiative. Kelly has also taught middle and high school oceanography, physical science, and Earth science and worked as an educator at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. She has been active in a number of professional organizations including the Science Learning in Informal Contexts Strand of NARST, the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), and the NSTA. She currently serves on the Evaluation and Measurement Task Force of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE).
Kelly’s research interests include investigating youths’ identities as learners of science, connecting formal and informal science education, supporting girls in STEM learning, and promoting access and inclusion in informal science education settings for learners with special needs.
Kelly has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on science education from the University of Maryland, College Park; a M.S. degree in Oceanography from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; and a B.A. degree in Biology from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.