Meet UTSA Honors College Dean, Dr. Kelly

Danielle Throneberry

Photo courtesy of UTSA
Photo courtesy of UTSA

Since July 1, Dr. Sean Kelly has been UTSA’s Honors College Dean. Kelly is the former interim dean of undergraduate studies at Florida Gulf Coast University and a former assistant professor of Philosophy and English at West Texas A&M University. Kelly’s area of expertise includes, but is not limited to, managing university programs such as the Honors Program and the Athlete Learning Center, collaborating with fellow deans on developing various curriculums and assisting with a myriad of fundraising initiatives.

Kelly is also a father of two, including his rescue dog. He is native to Buffalo, New York and enjoys playing hockey in his free time. An animal lover and  environmentalist, Kelly is thrilled to be back in Texas after working at Florida Gulf Coast University. Kelly commended UTSA’s authentic relationship with the city:

“UTSA is a university that the community adopts and vice versa. UTSA truly serves San Antonio and is the city’s university.”

Kelly’s experience with institution-building and expansion made him eager to work with a university pursuing a tier-one goal.

Moreover,  Kelly believes that his approach to honors learning is a bit on the unconventional side. Focusing on development outside of the classroom through diverse experiences, he encapsulated his goals for UTSA honors students through the acronym S.P.I.C.E.S: Serving the community, Professional and vocational involvement, Intellectual achievement, Cultural sophistication, Engagement and Skills. He asserted that each of these elements truly encourages students to demonstrate everything they’ve learned and actually incorporate it into their daily lives.

Each of the components of S.P.I.C.E.S. plays a vital role in Kelly’s mission. Kelly indicated that service is about “becoming a leader through looking at the community and asking, ‘What can I do for others?”

He believes that service is transformative in that it helps mold you into who you want to be. Kelly also affirmed that service is the foundation for learning new skills, becoming more cultured, gaining new opportunities and making the country a better place for all.

  Not only does his definition rest on serving the community, but it extends to creating a more sustainable planet and serving all living things.

“Before you can give a voice to others, you must practice by giving a voice to animals and other living things,” Kelly said. His main focus at UTSA is to get students engaged intellectually inside and outside of the classroom. He hopes to be able to create the strongest academic environment for those students who desire to be lifelong leaders.