George Mason University
Forensic Scientist, Professor, PhD Researcher, STEMinist, STEM Program Director, Teaching Excellence Award Winner
Kelly Knight is an associate professor with the George Mason University Forensic Science Program and a STEM Accelerator. As a STEM Accelerator, she guides and mentors undergraduate students in the Forensic Science Program and coordinates K-12 STEM outreach. As part of her outreach efforts, she is the co-founder and director of the Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM summer programs for middle and high school girls. STEM outreach has always been a passion of Prof. Knight’s and she has planned and implemented hundreds of activities and events for the K-12 population since 2008.
She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry from The George Washington University in 2006 and her Master’s of Forensic Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008 with a concentration in forensic biology. In 2005, she began her career as a DNA technician for Bode Technology DNA laboratory. She then worked in the Dawson Cruz forensic biology research laboratory while completing her studies at VCU. After graduating from VCU, Professor Knight worked as a forensic DNA analyst with the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division.
Prof. Knight has qualified as an expert in both forensic serology and forensic DNA analysis and has testified in several circuit court trials. In addition to her experience with forensic casework, she has many years of experience in research which has included areas such as laser microdissection and low copy number (LCN) DNA methods. Prof. Knight enjoys staying involved in the forensic science community and has remained active in professional organizations since beginning her education in forensic science. She was recently promoted to the rank of Fellow within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and has served twice as the Biology Section Chair for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists.
Amongst her many achievements, she is most proud of being a recipient of the 2020 University Teaching Excellence Award. The university Teaching Excellence Awards are Mason’s highest recognition for faculty members who demonstrate exceptional skill in and commitment to their teaching and learning practices. It is acknowledgment of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring.
Prof. Knight is now studying to obtain her PhD in Science Education Research but in the spare time she does has, she enjoys a great meal with family, teaching & participating in dance fitness classes, reading, watching Christmas movies, and spending time with her husband and two boys.