JTHS Alumni Spotlight Advocating Diversity in Education: Featuring Dr. Kristi Kelly Joliet West High School Class of 1995
November 22, 2016 09:14 AM
Career & Education At-a-Glance
- Johnson C. Smith University - Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
- Lewis University - Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
- Lewis University - Doctorate in Educational Leadership
A proud Joliet West graduate, Class of 1995, Dr. Kelly has excelled in education and is now committed to helping the next generation of scholars achieve greatness.
During her time at Joliet West, Dr. Kelly developed her remarkable leadership abilities and work ethic by being involved in the Business Professionals of America (BPA), Choir, Gospel Choir, Ethnic Teens in Action (ETIA), National Honors Society (NHS) and Powder Puff.
While in high school, her teachers recognized her incredible potential. Dr. Kelly says, “Mrs. Flora Betts was my Co-op teacher and she pushed me to make decisions about my post high school success.” With her teacher’s support, Dr. Kelly began her important journey in higher education.
After graduating high school, Dr. Kelly attended Johnson C. Smith University, a private historically black four-year research university in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She then went on to attend Lewis University in Romeoville to earn her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
She now works in higher education as the Director of Multicultural Student Services at Lewis University. In this role, Dr. Kelly utilizes her expert knowledge and bond with the community. Her job responsibilities include:
- Creating an inclusive environment for all students
- Serving as an advisor to historically underrepresented minority students including the Black Student Association (BSA); Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and the University's Gospel Choir
- Providing guidance to faculty and staff on their interactions with diverse student populations as needed in hopes of being a culturally sensitive community
- Facilitating, coordinating, and hosting diversity forums for the campus community (and/or the external community)
When asked what advice she would like to share with current high school students, Dr. Kelly said, “Set goals and always have a back-up plan. Follow your dreams and surround yourself with people who will uplift you.”