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Get to Know the Faculty: Dr. Ryan R. Kelly


The next faculty profile is Dr. Ryan R. Kelly, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education. Find out why Ryan chose A-State and what he believes has the power to transform our world. Let's get to know him.

Dr. Ryan R. Kelly

Dr. Ryan R. Kelly

Place of birth?
Ames, Iowa
Why did you choose A-State?
With a one week old baby boy and a dissertation still to defend, I traveled to Jonesboro in response to an invitation to a campus interview. What I discovered was a faculty team dedicated to the preparation of quality teachers for Northeast Arkansas and beyond, in a student-focused campus with a newly minted Red Wolf culture. I was also attracted to a growing Graduate Reading program that promised opportunities to teach graduate courses and participate in program growth. For the past five years my job has continued to be what was promised in the interview.
My favorite motion picture is...
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
The television series I must TiVo...
Currently, the DVR is set for Arrow and The Flash.
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
One of my high school English teachers—who had a major impact on my desire to pursue the major in college—challenged us to open our minds to deep themes in literature and synthesize dynamic thinking in response to the literature, what he called “golden ideas” which often decorated the walls of his classroom. He went the extra mile to support my writing prior to college, more so than any high school teacher should be expected to. It is entirely possible I would have gone down a completely different academic route if not for his influence.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Learning and literacy can transform our world.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
While English and Literature was a major part of my undergraduate and graduate education, if given the chance I would likely stray to something much more dynamic: the history of human spaceflight and space exploration. This may be perhaps the highest professional position for an "armchair astronaut" like myself!
The last book I read for fun was...
Astronaut Story Musgrave’s biography: The Way of Water.
What are you working on right now?
Case study research on multiple Literacy Coaches in Northeast Arkansas, looking specifically at the various roles and duties they must perform within their district, how this compares to their preparation for the role and the theoretical background guiding Literacy Coaching as a practice, and the impact of their work on their district.
Before you retire I want to...
Professionally, continue to advance my department and the Graduate Reading programs, as well as my academic career. Personally, I want to see my children all graduate from college, if not graduate school. Even more personally, I want to see the Iowa Hawkeyes play an away game at each of the current and former Big 10 stadiums. I also wouldn’t mind a suborbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Thoreau, Hemmingway, and Astronauts Gus Grissom and Pete Conrad.
My pro sports team is...
Chicago Cubs.
My pet peeve is...
When people don’t use their turn signals while driving.
Cats or dogs?
Neither. We have four backyard chickens. Cats and dogs do not lay delicious fresh eggs.
Beach or mountains?
An Iowa boy like me is not accustomed to mountains. But salt water is just as strange. This is very difficult to choose.
Dinner or supper?
Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, or Supper—all will do.