Karen Kelly, Ed.D.

Associate Professor & Academic Advisor

Throughout my teaching career, I have had the opportunity to teach English in rural China, special education on Hawai’i Island, and middle school Social Studies in Washington, D.C. I began my career as an art educator in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, and continued teaching elementary visual arts at a public school in downtown Washington, D.C.

I am proud to say that I am an AOEU alum! During my time in the program, we were at the height of the pandemic and I was teaching art online, but AOEU classes reignited my passion for teaching at a time when the morale of my students and I was so low. AOEU was on the cutting edge of providing rigorous and engaging lessons to young artists amidst the lockdown, and I loved bringing what I had learned in my courses to my students. I am thrilled to continue my journey with the AOEU community as an advisor and associate professor!

As an artist, yogi, and lifelong educator, my teaching and research interests focus on mindfulness, art therapy, and culturally relevant art history. My art forms encompass watercolor, acrylic paint, and travel photography, with a particular emphasis on abstract landscapes and place-based photography. As a 2023 Fulbright recipient, I am currently studying non-Western art and exploring what art education looks like around the world.

Professional Accomplishments:


– Doctor of Education, Curriculum Studies, University of South Carolina

– Master of Arts, Art Education, The Art of Education University

– Master of Science, Educational Studies, Johns Hopkins University

– Master of Arts, International Economic Relations, American University

– Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, American University


– E-RYT 200, Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga Alliance, Yoga District

– Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor for Children and Teens, Little Flower Yoga


– Highly Effective Art Educator with DC Public Schools, SY 2021-2022

– Highly Effective Art Educator with DC Public Schools, SY 2022-2023