Jandi Kelly


For the past fifteen years, Dr. Jandi Kelly has worked as a university researcher, instructor, consultant, and administrator at several of our nation’s leading universities. Dr. Kelly’s academic career began at the University of Chicago, where she served as Strategic Planning Coordinator and, eventually, Director of Career and Leadership Development. In both roles, Dr. Kelly took great pleasure in executing complex projects in collaboration with senior leadership, facilitating institutional partnerships, and implementing transparent systems and processes. Throughout this time, Dr. Kelly pursued her master’s in higher education and social policy at Northwestern University. At NU, she gained invaluable insight into institutional research and planning as a researcher for the Assistant Provost and Office of Change Management.

Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan, where she served as a researcher and consultant with the University’s Center for Positive Organizations, Career Center, and Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. While at UM, the Provost recruited Dr. Kelly as the sole graduate student to co-create and co-teach a benchmark course on the role of the research university in society as part of the University’s bi-centennial celebrations. Another highlight of Dr. Kelly’s doctoral journey was co-instructing a graduate seminar based on Stanford’s “Designing Your Life” course in collaboration with UM’s Director of Professional Development and Engagement.

Dr. Kelly’s academic scholarship focuses on the topics of teaching and learning, life purpose, and academic and student affairs. Her research has been featured in The Journal of Higher Education and other publications, as well as at national and international conferences including the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the American Educational Research Association, and the International Positive Psychology Association.

Prior to her tenure in academia, Dr. Kelly managed four national accounts for an international recruiting firm upon graduating with her B.S. from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. In 2023, Dr. Kelly founded A Talk to Remember, a boutique production company that helps families and educational institutions capture their legacies in documentary films and oral history projects. Today, she is honored to serve on the board of trustees for Cascades Academy, an independent K-12 experiential learning school in Central Oregon.