Dr. Kelly Keena is director of communications and education at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and an expert at curriculum development and STEM education. She is highly skilled at using storytelling to translate technical science and ecology research for nontechnical general audiences. Keena has worked with hundreds of teachers in their classrooms and trained thousands of teachers around the world over the last 25 years.
An accomplished educator, Keena shares Underwriters Laboratories safety science findings and develops initiatives designed to increase diversity within STEM fields. She collaborated across the organization to develop UL Xplorlabs, a virtual classroom for secondary students and teachers investigating the science of safety that is used in schools throughout the U.S. and Europe. She also is leading the development of The Future of Safety Science pathways program, working to attract and retain underrepresented minorities in STEM fields by connecting young women and people of color to researchers and standards experts within Underwriters Laboratories.
Keena received her bachelor’s degree in international environmental geography from Metropolitan State University of Denver and earned her master’s degree in instruction and curriculum, a teaching license and her doctorate in educational leadership and innovation from the University of Colorado Denver. Furthering her expertise, Keena recently attained a storytelling certificate in media and medicine from Harvard Medical School.
She has presented her research and Underwriters Laboratories education programs for the World Health Organization, National Science Teachers Association, International Children’s Geography, Children and Nature Network and the North American Association for Environmental Education. Keena has served as the federal chairwoman of the Advisory Council for the Environmental Protection Agency and is the 2018 recipient of Colorado’s Enos A. Mills Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Education.