For more than three decades, Roberta Kelly, a clinical professor in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, has taught what she calls the A,B,Cs of writing—that it’s accurate, brief and clear.
It’s a skill set she stresses in Writing in Communication, a course she directs and has taught since 1985, when she joined the then department of communications. In the Murrow College, she has taught Reporting and teaches the Science Writing course. She also has taught a seminar, helping scientists to communicate their work to the lay public.
Many think the field of science and the field of communication are vastly different, she said, but each shares an absolute attention to detail.
Kelly, who worked about 15 years in various fields of science, said she also likes to pair these interests by participating in science and health grants with colleagues in the College and across campus. Such research helps feed her scientific curiosity, she said.
She enjoys judging the agricultural communication segment of the Washington state Future Farmers of America competition and advising agricultural communication students, as well.
Kelly serves of the Board of the Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators and was twice its president, and from 2007-12, she coordinated College assessment. She also served from 2006- 11 as assistant dean of undergraduate studies in the Murrow College. Since 1998, she has been the faculty adviser for the Washington State University chapter of The Association for Women in Communications, which has been nationally recognized 19 times.
Kelly also judges a variety of contests, including the Clarion Awards, an international media competition, and she has reviewed numerous news and media writing and science writing textbooks.
Her recognitions include induction into the President’s Teaching Academy, an Arete Award as Faculty Member of the Year in 2015, and several Outstanding Mentor awards.
At home, she enjoys cooking and caring for her horses, dogs and cats. She also enjoys antiquing, she said, because she likes finding things older than she is.
Bio authored by Preston Snyder, Class of 2017