University of West Georgia
Tressa Kelly is the University of West Georgia’s first lady and a champion of finding one’s truth. She is a proponent of empowering students to find their passion—and themselves—during their university experience. As the daughter of two educators, she always felt comfortable in the classroom, earning a Ph.D. in communication with a focus on rhetorical studies from Wayne State University and receiving her master’s degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in communication and theatre arts from Eastern Michigan University. Kelly coached collegiate speech and debate for more than a decade, and at the University of West Florida, she served as the director of speech and debate and basic course director for the public speaking course. Having taught for 24 years at the collegiate level in an array of undergraduate and graduate courses, Kelly always felt like she belonged in higher education—what she calls the “gateway to success in society.” Being first lady aligns well with that passion, as she enjoys bridging the university and its students, faculty, staff, and alumni with the West Georgia community.