Ronald R. Kelly - 1969 Honor Alum

Ronald R. Kelly - 1969 Honor AlumSocial Science (B.S.) Educational Administration (M.Ed.) Educational Psychology & Measurements (Ph.D.)

B.S. June 1967 M.Ed. January 1969 Phd. July 1976
Everything — the campus atmosphere, the professors, and of course, Cornhusker football. I lived two blocks from the UNL East Campus. My father had season football tickets from 1942-1976). Both my older brother and my twin brother are UNL graduates, as is a sister-in-law. Obviously, I am a CORNHUSKER deep into my soul.
University Professor. I was employed for 52 years in higher education at three different universities:
1) Fourteen years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 1967-1980 where I was involved in federally funded development & research grants and contracts pertinent to the design, development and evaluation of instructional media & materials for deaf students (under Professor Robert E. Stepp, Jr.). I served as Coordinator of Research & Special Projects, Barkley Memorial Center 1976-1980; and Head of Evaluation, Media Development Project for the Deaf, 1973-1976. I also earned courtesy rank in the Department of Educational Psychology & Measurements, Teachers College — Assistant Professor 1976-1979 and Associate Professor 1980. Graduate Faculty Fellow 1978-1980.

2) Three years at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington 1980-1983. Associate Professor, School of Education, Doctoral Studies in Education.

3) Thirty-five years at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York 1983-2018. Professor of research, National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of nine RIT colleges. Served as department chair twice (6 years), assistant dean of the college and director of the Division of Communication Programs (8 years); director of the NTID Research Center for Studies on Career Success (6 years). Principal Investigator on 5 research grants (3 NSF awards) and Co-PI on 3 research grants (1 NSF award) totaling $2 million in federally funded support (1991-2018). 
Retired Professor Emeritus, June 30, 2018
UNL had an amazing impact on my career from the time in my sophomore year (1964) when I took a work study job with Professor Robert E. Stepp Jr. who had a federally funded project to design instructional media for young deaf students, as well as a deaf son (who also attended NTID in the mid-1970s). This unplanned introduction to the world of deafness and related learning challenges changed my career direction to education rather than pursuing a law degree. The educational challenges confronting deaf students inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in educational psychology & measurements (1972-1976) where the faculty (Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, Ken Orton, Roger Bruning, and Roger Koehler, to name a few) inspired me to become a researcher. And I am especially appreciative of Robert E. Stepp, Jr. who also served on my doctoral committee and changed my life trajectory. And finally, a note of appreciation to a lifelong friend and graduate student colleague in Educational Psychology & Measurements, Martha A. (Gonter) Gaustad who I have continued to collaborate and publish research with over the years. 
My scholarly collaborative research has focused on deaf students’ mathematical problem solving, reading comprehension, knowledge of both universal and numerically quantified sentences, visual input enhancement to improve English grammatical knowledge, and morphological knowledge related to English comprehension and the solution of mathematical word problems, as well as, non-cognitive personal factors that influence deaf students’ persistence and success in college and careers. During the last five years of my career, I was PI and Co-PI on two major NSF grants to examine 1) the stereotype threat effects on deaf and hard-of-hearing college students' math performance and 2) verb knowledge of deaf and hard-of-hearing college students compared to 2nd language learners and hearing peers. (manuscripts are still in process — retirement does not mean the end of one's scholarly contributions)
Develop tenacity and passion for your work. Be open to opportunities that may not fit what you thought you were going to do.
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