Professional Biography

Teresa J. Kennedy holds a joint appointment as Professor of International STEM and Bilingual/ELL Education in the College of Education and Psychology and in the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Tyler.  She was the founder and executive director of UT Tyler's Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) (July 2013 - December 2017).  In addition, she created and founded UT Tyler's Office of International Programs (OIP) and led all OIP operations from July 2013 - August 2017.  During that time, she served as the Assistant Vice President for International Programs and was responsible for creating and managing several cross-functional units including Study Abroad and Faculty-Led Travel Study Programs; International Student, Scholar and Faculty Services; International Research and Engagement; and directing the UT Tyler IELI. As the Senior International Officer for UT Tyler, she served as the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) for F Student Program activities (January 2014 - May 2017) and as the Responsible Officer (RO) for J Exchange Visitor Program activities (January 2014 - July 2017) working with the U.S. Department of State Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP). She also led and established UT Tyler's Passport Acceptance Facility working with the U.S. Department of State Passport Services and led activities to expand international collaborations with universities abroad, facilitating 17 new international agreements for UT Tyler and assisting with international recruitment and marketing.  After 5 years of managing international programming for the university, she returned to the classroom in late 2017 so that she could resume working directly with students and continue to move her international research agenda forward! 

She has a Ph.D. in Education, with a concentration on international / bilingual science education, content-based foreign language, ESL/ELL education, and also has a M.A. degree in the Spanish language.  Her K-12 teaching experience includes 8 years at the secondary level, 7 years at the elementary/middle school level, with over 15 years teaching in higher education.  During her teaching career, she has held  K-12 teaching certificates in the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, with secondary teaching certification in Science (Earth Science and Natural Science), Social Studies, Spanish, English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education, and is also certified to teach all subjects at the elementary level.  She has served as a content-based ESL instructor in Spain, and has taught English, science and social studies lessons in classrooms around the world. 
She has traveled to over 100 countries and visited 2 U.S. Territories (see list below) through her work and educational experiences, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador (1993), Argentina (2014-15) and was awarded participation in the Hungarian-American Fulbright Capacity Building Workshop in Budapest (2017).  She has presented at more than 400 events, authored/co-authored 1 book9 book chapters, over 40 journal articles and features, and over 50 proceedings and reports.  In addition, she was a writer/editor for 278 STAR stories published on the GLOBE Program website from 2003-2012 while she served as director of the International Division / deputy director for the program as well as authored over 30 program reports for NASA's GLOBE Program during that time.  She also served as the editor for seven issues of Learning Languages, the professional journal of the National Network for Early Language Learning from 2002-2005.
Teresa is the Immediate Past President of the International Council of Associations for Science Education (Presidential Term: 2014-2017), and also serves as the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL) Southwest Regional Representative (2015-2017) and on the Board of Tyler Sister Cities.  In addition, she continues to assist with international research activities led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) NGO Liaison Committee after serving on their board from 2016-2018.

Teresa is a PADI Dive Master (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and served on the NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Ocean for Life Program Steering Committee (2008-2016) and the SCUBAnauts International Board of Directors from 2007-2016. 
Teresa became involved with the GLOBE Program (sponsored by NASA and NSF, supported by NOAA and the U.S. Department of State, and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research-UCAR) in early 1996 while serving as the NASA Broker Facilitator for the State of Idaho and the director of the NASA Regional Educators Resource Center at the University of Idaho.  GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a world-wide hands-on, K-16 school-based science and education program.  From 1996-2002, she served as the Co-Director of the University of Idaho GLOBE Partnership and as a national and international Master Trainer for the GLOBE Program.  In addition, she served in several different capacities on the GLOBE Program Office (GPO) Management Team from October 2001-December 2012, including the following positions: Director of the GPO International Division and U.S. Country Coordinator (2009-2012 located on the University of Texas at Tyler campus); Deputy Director of GLOBE / Director of the International Division and U.S. Country Coordinator (2006-2009 located at UCAR in Boulder, Colorado); Director of International / U.S. Partnerships and Outreach for the GLOBE Program and U.S. Country Coordinator (2003-2006 at UCAR in Boulder, Colorado); and the Deputy Chief Educator and Assistant Director of U.S. Partnerships (2001-2003 at the former GLOBE headquarters office in Washington D.C.). From 2003-2012, Teresa also managed all activities related to the GLOBE Help Desk as well as Star historical summaries posted to the GLOBE website. Currently (from 2013-present), she continues serving as a Master Trainer for GLOBE, and also co-directs the University of Texas at Tyler GLOBE U.S. Partnership, responsible for recruiting, training and mentoring K-12 teachers and university pre-service education students to implement GLOBE activities with their students in East Texas. See her complete GLOBE bio.
While an Associate Professor at the University of Idaho (1996-2003), she created and led the bilingual/foreign language teacher education program in the College of Education and directed a content-based FLES Program focusing on Earth and space science, mathematics and social studies for the Moscow School District (Idaho) for 5 years during which time she founded and directed the Center for Evaluation, Research and Public Service (CERPS) for the dean's office in the College of Education.  While at the UI, she also worked for several NASA Education Programs for the College of Engineering from 1996-2003, serving as the NASA Broker Facilitator for the State of Idaho (2001-2003), as the Director of the NASA Idaho Regional Educator Resource Center (1997-2003), and as a member of the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium (1996-2003). 

Teresa received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from Phi Delta Kappa International in the District 1 Doctoral Dissertation Competition (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Saskatchewan, & Washington) in 1998 for her doctoral research entitled “FLES: The cognitive and attitudinal effects of content-related foreign language instruction" which documented a district-wide FLES program that incorporated GLOBE and other NASA science education materials into learning activities focusing on acquisition of Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish languages. 

In 2012, Teresa received the University of Texas at Tyler Researcher of the Year Award.  Prior to that, she was added to the Honor Roll of Inspirational Teachers at the University of Idaho in 2003, and received the Alumni Award for Excellence as an Influential Faculty Member at the University of Idaho in 1999.  She was the recipient of the 2002 ACTFL/FDP-Houghton Mifflin Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT (International Association for Language Learning Technology) at the University Level.  She was also the recipient of the 2002 Pacific Northwest Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year Award from the Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages (PNCFL) for implementation of content-based science programs for students learning through multiple languages.  Early in her teaching career, she received the Outstanding Middle School ESL-Bilingual/Foreign Language Teaching Award  (Beaverton School District, Oregon, 1988) for her work to promote achievement in science, mathematics and social studies through the study of languages.

Teresa's research interests include online teaching and learning; content-based second language teaching and learning focused on science, mathematics and social studies; brain research in relation to second language acquisition and bilingualism; and Earth science, space science and engineering education. She has published articles in journals such as The Astronomical Society of the Pacific; Children, Youth and the Environment; Teaching Children Mathematics; The Journal of Interactive Online Learning; NWATE Journal of Education Practices; Brain and Language; The International Reading Association; The Reading Teacher; Foreign Language Annals; The Language Educator; Learning Languages; TESOL; Hispania; TexELT: Texas English Language Teaching as well as articles for several NASA publications and different international organizations such as the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Information Age Publishing USA, and with Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
She is presently serving on the following International / National / State / University Committees and Assignments:
  • International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE), Immediate Past President, 2017-2020; ICASE Representative to UNESCO, 2010-present.  (President and Membership Chair, 2014-2017; President-Elect and Membership Chair, 2010-2014). ICASE was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1972 to extend and improve science education throughout the world. 

Past accomplishments include:

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Public Weather Services Expert Group on Education (2006-2007), producing the WMO publication Public Weather Services Strategy for Developing Public Education and Outreach (WMO/TD No. 1354).

  • Subcommittee on International Education and Foreign Language Studies, a subcommittee of the Research and Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development (CED) (2004-2006), producing the report Education for Global Leadership: The Importance of International Studies and Foreign Language Education for U.S. Economic and National Security.  Access the full report: CED report Education for Global Leadership.

  • Editor of Learning Languages, the professional journal of the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL), completed seven issues of the journal (2002-2005).  Also served as the NNELL Texas State Representative (2010-2015), on the National Advocacy and Political Action Committee (2001-2005) and as the Pacific Northwest NNELL Representative (2001-2004) and the NNELL Representative for the State of Idaho (1996-2003).

  • President, Pacific Northwest Council for Languages (PNCFL), 2003-2004.

  • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Service Learning Consultant Corps (AATSP), created  the first AATSP Service Learning Web site and served as Web master, 2002-2004.

  • NASA Office of Earth Sciences Award of Appreciation, 2003.

  • Conducted programmatic evaluations for the U.S. State Department of Education, the Idaho State Department of Education as well as the Idaho State Board of Education, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the University of Idaho College of Education, and NASA while serving as the Director for the Center for Evaluation, Research and Public Service (CERPS) in the College of Education at the University of Idaho, 1997-2003.

  • Board of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Language (NADSFL), created the first NADSFL Web site, serving as their Web master and Newsletter Editor, 2000-2003. 

  • Diversity and Human Rights Advisory Board, University of Idaho, 2001-2003.

  • NOAA Teacher at Sea Scholar on board the Ocean Seeker Ka'imimoana, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Conducted research on phytoplankton blooms along the California coast and the effectiveness of a new echosounder, recording digital tracking data of the ocean floor across the Pacific (from San Diego, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii) with scientists from NASA, NOAA and Knudsen Engineering (Canada), May 2001.

  • Highlighted Presentation: “Internet en las escuelas de Estados Unidos y una perspectiva del programa GLOBE.” Congreso de EducaRed Foro de la Escuela Virtual, Ministerio de la Educación, Madrid, España, 2001). 

  • International Student Association University Advisor, Association of Latin-Americans and Iberians (ALI), 2001-2003.

  • President, Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture (IATLC), 2000-2001.  Served on the Idaho Department of Education Committees creating the Idaho State Foreign Language Standards and the English as a New Language (ENL)/Bilingual Standards documents, 2000-2002.  Also created the first IATLC Web site and served as their Web master, 2000-2003.

  • Foreign Language Standards Review Committee, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), 2000.

  • Chair, Idaho's Most State Standards for English as a New Language (ENL) / Bilingual Education Standards and Committee Member for Idaho's Most State Foreign Language Standards, 2000.

  • NASA Space Grant Fellow, Idaho Space Grant Consortium, 1997-1998.

  • Project NOVA Scholarship Recipient (NASA's Opportunities for Visionary Academics), 1997-1998.

  • NASA Broker Facilitator for Idaho and the director of the NASA Regional Educators Resource Center at the University of Idaho (1996-2003).

  • National NOVA Fellow (NASA's Opportunities for Visionary Academics), 1996-1997. 

  • Fulbright-Hays Grant Scholarship Recipient, attended the Universidad Technológica Equinoccial, Quito, Ecuador, 1993.

  • Universidad de Valencia, Spain, 1982-1983.

Dr. Kennedy is a current member of the following educational organizations:
Science Education:  Council for Elementary Science International (CESI); National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); and the Texas STEM Center Coalition (T-STEM). Internationally, she is a member of the International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE); the Association of Science Education (ASE) in the United Kingdom, and the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA).

General Education (including Literacy and Language Learning):
  America Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP); the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL); Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education; National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL); Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK), and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

She has presented scholarly papers and/or attended/conducted educational workshops and meetings in locations around the world.  She has visited the following 103 countries:

Asia and the Pacific (20)
Australia; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei; China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kazakhstan; South Korea; Laos; Malaysia; Maldives; Myanmar; Nepal; New Zealand; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; and Thailand.

Africa (11):  
Burundi; Cameroon; Egypt; Ethiopia; Kenya; Madagascar; Morocco; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; and Tanzania.


Europe (38):

Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark: England; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Malta; Monaco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Russia; Scotland; Spain (plus Canary Islands and Mallorca); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine; Vatican City, and Wales.

Latin America and the Caribbean (23):

Argentina; Aruba; Bahamas; Bolivia; Brazil; British Virgin Islands; Chile; Colombia; Costa RicaCuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Cayman Islands; Haiti; Jamaica; México; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Perú; Trinidad and TobagoUruguay and Venezuela. 


Middle East (9):

Bahrain; Israel; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 


North America (2):

Canada and the United States.
Plus 2 U.S. Territories: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Contact Information

Teresa J. Kennedy, Ph.D. 
 Professor, Bilingual/ELL/STEM Education - College of Education and Psychology/College of Engineering
University of Texas at Tyler, USA

Last Updated: May 2019