Kelly Cross

Kelly J Cross

Assistant Professor She, her, hers
Education is not merely imparting of information.
Carter G. Woodson


Dr. Kelly J. Cross, assistant professor of chemical engineering at University of Nevada Reno, is a culturally responsive practitioner, researcher, and educational leader. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2007 and Master's of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

After completing the doctoral program in the Engineering Education Department at Virginia Tech in 2015, Dr. Cross worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Cross worked to redesign the curriculum through the NSF program Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) in the Department of Bioengineering at UIUC.

She is a member of the ASEE Leadership Virtual Community of Practice (LVCP) that organizes and facilitates Safe Zone Training workshops. Dr. Cross has conducted workshops on managing personal bias in STEM and promoting inclusion in higher education, online and in-person.

Her research interests include diversity and inclusion in STEM, identity construction, intersectionality, teamwork and communication skills, and educational assessment. Her teaching philosophy focuses on student centered approaches such as problem-based learning and culturally relevant pedagogy. Dr. Cross’ complimentary professional activities promote inclusive excellence through collaboration.


  • Ph.D., Engineering Education, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Univ. of Cincinnati, 2011
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Purdue, 2007

Professional memberships

  • American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Association of the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH)

Prospective graduate students

I am seeking passionate students interested in diversity in STEM research. With multiple funded research projects, a wide variety of research skills can contribute to current and future research within the Cross lab for Inclusive Excellence in Engineering (CIEE). Feel free to email me to learn more about the research opportunities.

Research interests

  • Engineering education
  • Diversity in STEM
  • Inclusive teaching practices
  • Identity
  • Teamwork
  • Assessment