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First Lady Tressa Kelly, Ph.D.

Dr. Tressa Kelly is the University of South Carolina Upstate’s first lady.

Dr. Kelly earned a Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University. She earned a master’s degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in communication and theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University.

She was on the faculty at the University of West Florida where she served in the Department of Communication as a lecturer and basic course director from 2013 to 2017, director of speech and debate team and basic course director from 2010 to 2013, and adjunct assistant professor from 2004 to 2009. The University of West Florida presented Dr. Kelly with the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010 and 2017.
Prior to her time at the University of West Florida, Dr. Kelly served as a full-time lecturer in the Communication and Theatre Arts Department at Eastern Michigan University from 2003 to 2004. She was a visiting assistant professor in the Communication Department at University of Michigan-Flint from 2000 to 2003. Earlier in her career, Dr. Kelly served as an adjunct instructor at Wayne State University and Washtenaw Community College.
She is married to Dr. Brendan Kelly and they have three children: Bree, Liam and Kieran. 

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