Professor Kelly was raised in Blacksburg, Virginia. She received her BA from Virginia Tech majoring in English with minors in Theater Arts and Secondary Education. She received her MS from Virginia Tech (1988) and PhD from Florida State University (1997), specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, English Education. Her dissertation concentrated on the development of the National English language arts Content Area Standards. She taught English at Shawsville Middle and High School from 1974 to 1994. From 1997-2000, she was Assistant Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University where she taught graduate and undergraduate English Education courses as well as freshman and sophomore English classes. She also coordinated the English Education Program at Central. At Radford University she teaches courses on both the undergraduate and graduate levels that focus on Young Adult Literature and Teaching English in the High School. She is a regular presenter at local, state, national and International professional conferences and conventions. She has held offices in several of the organizations including Presidencies of District M Association of Teachers of English (1989-90), Virginia Association of Teachers of English (1993), ALAN (Assembly for the Literature of Adolescents of NCTE) 2006-2007. Her publications include articles in English Journal, Signal, Virginia English Bulletin, and the lead chapter, "Society's 'At Risk" Teenagers: What it means," in Using Literature to Help Troubled Teens Cope with Societal Issues, edited by Pamela Sissi Carroll. Professor Kelly firmly believes that Young Adult Literature is the key to literacy and to rekindling a love of reading for students on all levels.