Kelly Olson-Stewart

Kelly Olson-Stewart, EdD



Dr. Kelly Stewart is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Ashford University and the Program Chair of the Master of Arts in Education. Kelly is also proud to be a member of the Faculty Support and Development Committee, focusing on mentoring associate faculty, as well as providing high quality feedback to instructors. She earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Innovation with a specialization in Curriculum and Policy from Arizona State University, a Master of Education with a specialization in Educational Technology from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an endorsement in K-12 Reading from Indiana University.

Dr. Stewart started her career in education as EL teacher and substitute in South Bend, Indiana. In a highly competitive educational culture, she was selected as a 6th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies/Science teacher at a school that was just being built. That middle school ended up developing into a National Blue Ribbon School. She also taught TV Studio and launched the schools’ drama program, along with coaching cheerleading. During this time, Dr. Stewart became engaged with brain research and its application to the classroom. She was asked to conduct professional development for teachers and was thrilled to find joy and purpose in working with teachers, as well as students. Kelly was well known in the area, having formerly starred as the local NBC Pet of the Week girl for the local Humane Society, and then developing a news segment called “Ask the Teacher” on the local CBS affiliate. Upon moving to Arizona, Kelly was hired as a Curriculum and Technology Specialist and worked for another ten years as a staff developer, coach, adjunct professor, and district administrator. 

Her passion and focus has been on working with beginning teachers, developing sustainable systems for support, and mentoring programs. Her area of research has been around recruitment and retention as teacher shortage concerns and retaining the best teachers for students continues to be a challenge around the country and even across the world, specifically in Britain and Australia. Her new research area of interest is online faculty retention and developing supportive communities to enhance their experience, providing resources and engagement.
Dr. Stewart enjoys her work at Ashford, which allows her to combine her love of teaching, working with teachers, as well as researching, presenting, and writing. “My favorite thing about Ashford is the perseverance and resiliency of the students. I love helping support students in their educational journey and engaging them in their quest to be the best teacher, parent, person that they can be.” 

Dr. Stewart currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona, with her husband, daughters and dogs. Teaching and the girls’ activities consume the majority of Dr. Stewart’s time, however she loves to travel to faraway lands, travel back to the midwest to visit friends and family, read, craft, and explore vintage markets. She is happiest with her family by her side and her toes in the sand.

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