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Updated: Feb 27, 2022

"Dr. Kelley's life illuminated and rekindled the lives of many youths through the zeal and fortitude she used in developing, managing Timbuktu Academy and Honors College programs at Southern University."

A Timbuktu Parent

About Dr. Ella Lee Kelley

Dr. Ella Lee Kelley, a trailblazer in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education was a nationally recognized educator and advocate for STEM education and research. She was an administrator, mentor, motivator and director, with a passion and dedication for STEM and students pursuing STEM degrees. The many lives that have been touched by this incredible woman is a testament of her ability to connect with all STEM scholars including Ph.D. students, Ph.D. /M.D. students and B.S. degree students. Throughout her more than 30 years with the Timbuktu Academy, she demonstrated a strong passion for pre-college students through her work with the pre-college summer programs—Getting Smatter at the Timbuktu Academy (GeSTA), Summer Science Institute at the Timbuktu Academy for Middle School - SSI-M, Challenge 2000 and Summer Science Institute (SSI).

Dr. Kelley was born October 05, 1948 in Monroe, LA to Mary Magdalene Elmore Kelley of Calhoun, LA and William Cicero Kelley of West Monroe, LA. She began to thrive academically at an early age; her gifts were encouraged by family, teachers, and the church family of Trenton Baptist Church, West Monroe. As the valedictorian of the Richardson High School Class of 1966, Dr. Kelley left home at 17 to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Northeast Louisiana University. She later went on to earn a Master's degree in Chemistry, from Southern University and A&M College, and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biochemistry, from Louisiana State University, both in Baton Rouge, LA.