Quinnipiac University
Amber R. Kelly

Associate Professor of Social Work

Capstone Mentor

Welcomes Media Inquiries
Dr. Amber Kelly is an Associate Professor of Social Work within Quinnipiac University's School for Health Sciences. She currently teaches both generalist and specialized year students in the MSW program, with focuses in theory, pracice, and psychological trauma. Her scholarship focuses on using trauma-informed clinical work and contemplative practices with survivors of both interpersonal and systemic violence, with a specific focus on working with currently and formerly incarcerated people. She is also active in working for social justice and systems change within institutions.

Dr. Kelly is active in several roles including working with the Quinnipiac University Prison Project, teaching trauma-informed and mindfulness based classes within Connecticut prisons, acting as member of the New Haven Women's Resettlement Working Group, and is a board member of both the New Lifestyles Women Empowerment Community and Next Level Empwerment Program. She also continues to maintain a small private practice, working with survivors of violence.


Quinnipiac University College Corps

Academic Lead / Liaison

Hamden, CT

2021 - 2021

Selected Publications

Invited Speaker

Social Work and Policing: A Webinar Series

Kelly, A., McGraw, D., Richardson, J., Brown, R., Allen, E., Fair, B., & Cifuentes, A.

NASW Diversity Committee Workshop, New Haven, CT, The NASW/CT Diversity Committee & Quinnipiac University Department of Social Work (May 15, 2021)

Invited Speaker

Social Workers, Community Safety, and Police Accountability

Kelly, A.

NASW Diversity Committee Workshop, New Haven, CT, NASW/CT Diversity Committee and Quinnipiac University Department of Social Work (June 5, 2021)

Invited Speaker

Black Lives, In Mind: The Lived Experience of Mass Incarceration, Trauma, and Recovery

Kelly, A., McGraw, D., Willis, L, & Richardson, J

Black Lives in Mind Series; Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, New Haven, CT, Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychlogy (Februray 27, 2021)

Consciousness Raisings 101

Kelly, A.

Community Workshop New Haven, CT, Seeds and Sprouts, New Haven (April 19, 2021)

Peer Reviewed Journal

Trauma-informed care in the Emergency Department: Concepts and recommendations for integrating practices into emergency medicine

Greenwald, A., Thomas, L., & Kelly, A.

28 (1) Medical Educaiton Online (2023)

Peer Reviewed Journal

The dynamic duo: Use of standardized clients across the social work practice and field curricula

Jacobson, S., Kelly, A., McCave, E., & Mutrie, L.

Journal of Social Work Education Accepted February, in process (2023)

Forthcoming Peer Reviewed Journal

“People care and I’m not invisible”: A qualitative study of street-based sex worker experiences of harm reduction

Cammisa, A., Codianni, B., & Kelly, A.

Submitted to Critical Public Health (2023)

Invited Speaker

One state one film: A conversation on restorative justice.

Kelly, A. Winfield, G., Williams, T., & Dawidoff, N.

One State, One Film Series, Hartford, CT, The Connecticut Collaborative on Poverty, Criminal Justice, & Race (2023)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Online trauma-informed mindfulness based stress reduction program for formerly incarcerated and other women survivors of violence: Pandemic-era results from this virtual trauma-informed process

St. John, J., Kelly, A., Vrissis, E., & Sims, S

Society for Social Work & Research Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., Society for Social Work & Research (2022)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Trauma-informed restorative practices in prison (and in life): Praxis

Meikle, C., Boyd, R., & Kelly, A.

National Association of Community and Restorative Justice Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, NACRJ (2022)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

24 Hours: Explorations of everyday prison life

Smoyer, A., Elumn, J., Kelly, A., & Meek, R.

22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Malaga, Spain, European Society of Criminology (2022)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Phenomenological study of sex work and harm reduction: SWAN members share their experiences of the power of relationship, advocacy, and community building in one grassroots harm reduction organization supporting sex workers in New Haven, CT

Cammisa, A., Kelly, A., & Codianni, B.

13th National Harm Reduction Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, National Harm Reduction Coalition (2022)

Invited Speaker

Prison Project Roundtable

Kelly, A.

Quinnipiac University Center for Research and Scholarship Roundtable, North Haven, CT, Quinnipiac University Center for Research and Scholarship (2021)

Invited Speaker

Trauma-informed care for the medical professional: A relationally-based approach

Kelly, A.

Nursing student relationship exchange: Quinnipiac University and Barbados Community College, March 11, 2020, Bridgetown, Barbados, Barbados Community College - Nursing Program (2020)

Faculty Workshop

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Across the Curriculum: SHS Faculty Development Day January 14, 2020

Kelly, A. & Boucaud, D.

Faculty Development Day, North Haven, CT (2020)

Faculty Workshop

These challenging times: Managing change, using perseverance, & supporting students

Kelly, A., Bedard, L., & Miller, M.

School of Health Sciences Faculty Development Day Thursday May 14th 2020, North Haven, CT (2020)

Peer Reviewed Journal

UtilizingChange Leadership Within Social Work Education to Prioritize and Expand Interprofessional Education in a University Setting: A Case Study

McCave, E. L., Mutrie, L., Doyle, M. H., Jacobson, S., & Kelly, A.

20 (2) Advances in Social Work 497-514 Summer (2020)

Invited Speaker

Part Two: Trauma and Mass Incarceration

Kelly, A. & Codianni, B.

The Healthcare Worker's Argument for Prison Abolition, New Haven, CT (Zoom) (2020)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Trauma-informed mindfulness in the prison setting

Kelly, A.

Trauma and Recovery Conference , Hamden, CT, The Connecticut Women's Consortium (2020)

Book review

Review of Outlaw Women: Prison, Rural Violence, and Poverty in the American West. By Susan Dewey, Bonnie Zare, Catherine Connolly, Rhett Epler, and Rosemary Bratton

Kelly, A.

34(6) Gender & Society 1047-1049 December (2020)

Invited Speaker

Trauma-informed healthcare: A framework for understanding and treatment

Kelly, A. & Thomas, L.

Trauma-informed Healthcare Conference, Bridgetown, Barbados, University of West Indies (2019)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Sex Workers and Allies Network: A model of harm reduction for vulnerable women

Van Verdegham, B., Kelly, A., Codianni, B., & Graveline, S.

Association for Justice Involved Females and Organizations Conference, Atlanta, GA (2019)

Academic Awards, Fellowships and Grants

Community Foundation for a Greater New Haven Strategy Grant

Grant | 2018-2019

Funded: $5,736. Received funding from this agency for service work I do with the New Haven Women's Resettlement Working Group, a project I am a part of as a member of the QU Prison Project.

Professional Designation