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Kelly Ellenburg

Director, Office of Service-Learning | Smart Communities Initiative
Office of the Provost
1817 Melrose Avenue, Rm 205


Kelly Ellenburg serves as the Director of the Office of Service-Learning and the Smart Communities Initiative at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As the founder of the University’s first Office of Service-Learning, Kelly oversees a wide range of institutional efforts related to service-learning and serves as an entry point for community involvement in the same. Kelly also established and now directs UT’s Smart Communities Initiative (SCI), a large-scale interdisciplinary service-learning collaborative that partners with local government partners across the state to address a range of livability and resilience issues. The SCI is part of a growing network of Sustainable City Year Programs, the first of which was established at the University of Oregon. The program is designed to help communities advance long-term community development goals by leveraging university scholarship and community collaboration towards sustainable, equitable, research-based planning solutions. In 2014 UT adopted the SCI as the feature program for their new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Experience Learning. The Office of Service-Learning is now preparing for expansion as the QEP moves into implementation. Kelly is also the founder and chair of the University’s Service-Learning Steering Committee, a representative committee from each of UT’s eleven colleges that advises campus-level initiatives to support, track, and recognize best practices in service-learning. Prior to her current role, Kelly served as Coordinator to UT’s faculty development office, the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center (Tenn TLC). Her work at the Tenn TLC included founding their Student Forum on Learning, coordinating the UT Learning Consortium, and designing faculty development tools. Kelly’s work on campus-level initiatives has included service on the 2015 SACS Quality Enhancement Plan writing team, the 2014 Carnegie Community Engagement writing team, the 2010 UT Community Engagement Task Force writing team, and coordinating author for the 2010 whitepaper “Student Ownership, and the College Experience.” Last year she received the Chancellor’s Award for Environmental Leadership for her leadership of sustainability-focused service-learning and the SCI. Kelly serves on the Board of Directors for the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N), the Board of Advisors for East Tennessee Quality Growth, and as the University’s designee and ex-officio Commissioner to the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Service. Kelly holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and a Bachelors of Fine Arts, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a wife and mother of two girls, ages twelve and five.


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