Tag Archives: English professor

Get to Know Your Library Staff, Part III

Sandra Kelly, part-time in Reference

Sandra Brown Kelly, Reference

I always wanted to be an English teacher, but instead I got married, became a college dropout, and got sidetracked as a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 30 years. I never lost the lust for school, however. While still working at The Roanoke Times, I got an associate’s degree in Business Administration at Virginia Western. I followed that with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in liberal studies at Hollins University.

When I retired early from the newspaper in 1999, I began SBK, Inc., a writing and editing company. I do freelance writing for regional magazines, such as The Roanoker and Mountain Homes. I edit the Botetourt Living magazine for the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce and Alleghany Living for the Alleghany Highlands Chamber. I am the media relations staff for both the Mobius Awards for Advertising and the U.S. International Film & Video Festival, two media competitions in Los Angeles. That job got me a trip to the annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France.

I began teaching at Virginia Western as adjunct faculty 18 years ago and even taught the first online English class here. Most often now, I teach English 111, but my other courses have included English 112, Business Communications, and Technical Writing. I also serve (occasionally) as adjunct faculty in Journalism at Radford University and in Communications at Roanoke College.

Since early 2009, I have had the great opportunity to work two nights a week in the library helping students do research, which gives me insight into a variety of disciplines.

Other special experiences have included educational travel to El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala; participation in a GIS Fellowship at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, through the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and selection as one of 25 media specialists to analyze the implications of the Human Genome Project as part of The Virginia ELSI Project, “Preparing for the New Genetics: Education of Professionals,” at the Virginis Health Policy Center, University of Virginia.

My special interests are reading, travel, and photography, especially nature photography. My two children remember with fear and loathing spending half a day fighting mosquitoes in Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore, while I photographed dragon flies.