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

Dr. Kelly currently works with the Quinnipiac University Prison Project, teaches two trauma-informed mindfulness based classes within Connecticut prisons, and is Co-Chair of the New Haven Women's Resettlement Working Group. She also continues to maintain a small private practice, working with survivors of violence.
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  • BS, University of Florida
  • MSW, Florida State University
  • PHD, Smith College

Areas of Expertise

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Child Welfare
  • Family Violence
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cultural Humility


  • Social Work

Office Location

  • Medicine, Nursing, Health Sci

Mail Drop

  • NH-HSC

Selected Publications

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)

Part Two: Trauma and Mass Incarceration

Kelly, A. & Codianni, B.

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

Trauma-informed mindfulness in the prison setting

Kelly, A.

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

Trauma-informed healthcare: A framework for understanding and treatment

Kelly, A. & Thomas, L.

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

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)

Mindfulness research in Social Work: Promise, pitfalls, and praxis

Kelly, A., Garland, E., & Russo, A.

Society for Social Work Research Annual Conference, Washington, DC, Society for Social Work Research (2018)

Real women of 'Orange is the New Black': A discussion on healthcare for women incarcerated in the United States

Kelly, A., Codianni, B., Soto, C., & Lucibello, J.

North Haven, CT, Quinnipiac University (2018)

Standardized clients in social work: The impact of anxiety on engagement.

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

Annual Preliminary Meeting, Orlando, FL, Council on Social Work Education (2018)

Integrating mindfulness-based practices in an interprofessional class on psychological trauma for helping professions

Kelly, A.

10th Annual Association for Mindfulness in Higher Education Conference: Imagining Humane Institutions: Connection, Social Action, and Scholarship Rooted in Contemplative Practices, Amherst, MA, Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (2018)

Accomplices in the academy in the age of Black Lives Matter

Powell, J., & Kelly, A.

6(2) Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis 3 (2017)

Effectiveness of Using Standardized Patients with MSW Students

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

Society for Social Work Research Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (2017)

A Mindful Dialogue on Mindfulness-based Practice

Chapell Deckert, J., Gilgun, J., Gockel, A., Kelly, A., Nealy, E., Kye Price, S., Sheehan, C., Staller, K., & Warren, S.

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (2017)

Challenging White Supremacy From Within

Frelund, J. & Kelly, A.

WesLead Annual Conference, Middetown, CT, Wesleyan University, CT (2017)

Working Within the Trauma Framework: What Makes a Trauma-informed School?

Kelly, A. & Hernandez, J.

Hamden, CT, Hamden Middle School (2017)

A Call to Action: Social Workers in the Movement for Anti-Racist Social Justice

Kelly, A. & Hammond, L.

CT State NASW Annual Conference, Cromwell, CT (2017)

Simulation in the MSW curricula: Praxis-informed development of this pedagogical tool

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

Council on Social Work Education Annual Preliminary Meeting, Council on Social Work Education (2017)

Using Standardized Patients With Students: Co-Creative and Praxis-Based Use of the OSCE

Jacobson, S., Kelly, A., Mutrie, L., & Dey, D.

Council on Social Work Education Annual Preliminary Meeting, Atlanta, GA (2016)

Using Standardized Patients With MSW Students: Measuring Impact on Practice Behaviors

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

Council on Social Work Education Annual Preliminary Meeting, Atlanta, GA (2016)

Using mindfulness based practices in the social work trauma-informed classroom: Pairing practices with learning outcomes

Kelly, A.

Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Annual Conference, Amherst, MA (2016)

Undoing racism for the Juvenile justice legal professional: Workshop for the Center for Children’s Advocacy

Hoffler, S. and Kelly, A.

Storrs, CT, University of Connecticut School of Law (2016)

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