Kelly McConnaughay

Kelly McConnaughay


    Olin Hall 110
    (309) 677-3018


Ph.D., Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
M.S., Plant Biology, University of Illinois
B.S., Biology, University of Illinois


Kelly McConnaughay has served as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2008. Dr. McConnaughay joined Bradley in 1992 as an assistant Professor of Biology. She has developed and taught courses in plant ecology, organismal biology, general biology, and science for educators. She became full professor in 2003, and in 2000 was awarded Bradley’s prestigious Rothberg Professional Excellence Award for achievement in research. Before being appointed to associate dean, she served six years as chair of the Department of Biology. She is also the founding co-director of Bradley University’s Center for STEM Education.


Dr. McConnaughay is an active advocate for research experiences for undergraduate students and for increasing the STEM literacy for learners of all ages and all disciplines. Her research laboratory investigates plant physiological, growth and biomass allocation responses to environmental stresses. Her research program is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and has included over 80 undergraduate students in her 25 years at Bradley. Her research with undergraduate students has resulted in publications or presentations with over 55 BU student co-authors. She co-developed an extramurally funded multi-institutional research training program that teams faculty and senior researchers, graduate, undergraduate, high school student and K-12 educators as research collaborators. She has served on numerous external reviews of college and university biology/environmental science departments or programs. She is a frequent grant reviewer and panelist for the National Science Foundation. A long-time member on the Council on Undergraduate Research, she has served as Chair of the Biology Division, Secretary, and Editor-in-Chief of the CUR Quarterly.