Kelley Sullivan

Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
School: School of Humanities and Sciences
Phone: 607-274-7065
Office: 260 Center for Natural Sciences
Speciality: Fluorescence Microscopy And Physics Education


I enjoy teaching a variety of courses to both majors and non-majors. Of particular importance to me is cultivating an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment. I engage students using active-learning techniques that are proven to best support student learning, promote inclusion, and make physics fun!

I am on sabbatical for the 2021-2022 academic year, but look forward to returning to teach the following classes next year:

  • PHYS 121: Light and Relativity
    • This new first-semester course is an essential component of our complete re-design of the first two-years of the physics major. I am very excited to be designing this course, which will introduce students to the exciting topics of light (waves and optics) and special relativity. We will also spend time working on problem-solving techniques, teamwork, and building an inclusive community. Context-rich problem-solving and laboratories will be integrated into the course.
  • PHYS 217: Principles of Physics III - Waves, Optics, and Thermodynamics
    • Fall 2022 will be the last semester that Principles III will be offered as we transition to our newly re-designed curriculum. This sophomore-level course covers wave properties (including standing waves), ray and wave optics, and the laws of thermodynamics. Laboratories are integrated into the course.
  • PHYS 102: Introduction to Physics II
    • Physics II is the second semester of our algebra-based intro course for non-majors. This course covers a flurry of topics, including waves, optics, electricity, magnetism, and fluids. Laboratories exercises are integrated into the course.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

I am dedicated to improving the student experience and promoting an inclusive and welcoming department community through a focus on EDI work. Recent highlights of my EDI work include:

  • Local Organizing Committee Co-chair for January 2023 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (2022-2023)

    • The Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are a consortium of regional conferences held at select colleges across the country and are sponsored by the American Physical Society. CUWiPs are professional research conferences that also emphasize discussions of the experiences of women in physics and provide information about career and graduate school opportunities. Cornell and Ithaca College will co-host a CUWiP in January 2023 with events held on both campuses.

  • APS EDI Fellow (2022-2023)

    • As an APS EDI Fellow, I will be trained in facilitating EDI conversations in the classroom. I will also work with the other fellows, a curriculum development team, and critical conversation specialists to develop a workshop to train physics educators who are interested in building their confidence and capacity to engage in EDI work.

  • National Science Foundation S-STEM Award (2019-2024)

    • The S-STEM Scholars Program at Ithaca College provides scholarships and programming support to the success of high-achieving, low-income students majoring in physics, computer science, and mathematics. 

  • Chair of department Anti-racism and Inclusion Action Team (2020-present)

    • The Department of Physics Anti-racism and Inclusion Action Team was convened in fall 2020 as a diverse team of students and faculty. Our first charge was to develop an anti-racism and inclusion action plan, which includes a list of over 40 unique action items our department can take to become anti-racist and fully inclusive of all members. The action team continues to meet and informs the implementation of the action plan.


Mentoring students in the lab is a true delight. Students at any point in their physics journey are invited to work hands-on with me on projects in my specialties of fluorescence microscopy or physics curriculum and pedagogy. I also welcome student ideas for projects, especially related to new areas I am interested in -- computer automation and computational physics.

To learn more: Please visit my research page.

file-outline Kelley Sullivan CV - kdsullivan_cv.pdf (134.37 KB)