MST Times

Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Newsletter

MST Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Angela Kelly, Ph.D., Science Education, 2006

By • Jan 6th, 2015 • Category: Science Education, Uncategorized
Photo Credit: Dr. Angela Kelly, Associate Director of Science Education at Stony Brook University

Photo Credit: Dr. Angela Kelly, Associate Director of Science Education at Stony Brook University

Dr. Angela Kelly is Associate Professor of Physics and Associate Director of Science Education at Stony Brook University in New York. Her joint roles include teaching and advising students in the Ph.D. Program in Science Education and teaching undergraduate physics to life science and engineering majors. She teaches at both the Main and Manhattan Campuses.

Dr. Kelly grew up in Philadelphia, where she attended La Salle University and earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry. She attended TC and completed the Ph.D. in Science Education (2006), the Ed.M. in Curriculum & Teaching (2007), and the M.A. in Science Education (2000) at TC.

She began her science teaching career in two NJ school districts – Summit and Springfield – where she taught all levels of physics and chemistry for seven years. Keith Sheppard, former TC faculty and her dissertation advisor, inspired her to make physics accessible and understandable through constructivist teaching methods and educational technology. While teaching high school, she became intrigued about the availability of high quality physics instruction in suburban schools and how this compared to physics opportunities in urban districts. Her doctoral dissertation, Newton in the Big Apple: Issues of Equity in Physics Access and Enrollment in New York City Public High Schools, resulted in several peer reviewed publications and invited talks at national conferences and Capitol Hill.

She served as an adjunct instructor at TC for six years, teaching methods courses in physical science and physics. She was awarded TC’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2006. This experience was instrumental in her transition to higher education. She accepted a position at Lehman College, City University of New York, as Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle & High School Education in 2007. She taught masters-level science education courses and undergraduate and graduate physics courses. She remained at Lehman for four years, during which time she was awarded the Provost’s Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in Scholarship & Research in 2010, and secured over $4M in grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the New York State Mathematics/Science Partnership Program.

Dr. Kelly joined the faculty at Stony Brook in 2011, where she works in the Center for Science & Mathematics Education with fellow TC alumni Dr. Keith Sheppard and Dr. Ross Nehm. Her recent research involves her continuing work with the Bronx Institute, where she has taught physics and chemistry to urban high school students for the past six years. She also recently received grant funding to redesign an undergraduate physics classroom in the Studio Physics model, where students work collaboratively and attend lecture, laboratory, and recitation in the same setting. When visiting the new classroom this past September, Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley, Jr., M.D., stated,

“The energy and excitement about learning were palpable when I entered this classroom. This is the kind of approach we need to be implementing and evaluating as we work to improve our teaching at Stony Brook University.”

Dr. Kelly credits her formative experiences in science teaching and learning to TC as the source of this vision.

Dr. Kelly’s research has been rooted in a commitment to equity in pre-college science, which was foundational in her coursework at TC. Other current projects at Stony Brook include an afterschool STEM Mentoring Initiative in Central Islip, NY, improving engineering education in pre-college settings, and working with an Americorps Volunteer to develop bridge programs in the physical sciences. She is a PI or co-PI on $2M of grant funding at the university. She currently advises nine doctoral students in the Ph.D. Program in Science Education. She is a member of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, the Physics Teacher Education Coalition, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. She has served on several advisory boards at the New York Botanical Garden and the American Museum of Natural History.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Kelly is the mother of two daughters and three sons. She resides in South Orange, NJ, with her husband, Brendan Kelly.

To see a listing of Dr. Kelly’s publications, visit her website:


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