Kelli Chromey, an assistant professor at South Dakota State University, has been named the Outstanding Young Speech Teacher by the Speech Communication Association of South Dakota.
“Kelli has quickly become one of the most influential teachers in the School of Communication and Journalism. We are thrilled to see her recognized for her incredible work with our students,” said Joshua Westwick, associate director of the School of Communication and Journalism.
Chromey works with a mix of students. She directs the Speech 101 classes as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate communications courses.
Chromey is originally from Shakopee, Minnesota, and holds a communications studies graduate of St. Catherine University, St. Paul. She came to SDSU in 2011 to earn a master’s degree in communication studies and worked as a graduate assistant. After earning her master’s degree in 2013, she went to North Dakota State University to pursue her doctorate in organizational studies (2017).
To be eligible for the young teacher award, nominees must be in their first seven years of teaching. The Speech Communication Association of South Dakota honors both secondary and post-secondary educators with the award.
According to those who nominated her, Chromey strives to connect with each of her students to ensure they are seen and acknowledged in the classroom. Chromey’s nominators commented on her humor and innovative assignments to engage students.
Chromey said, “I try to create a community in my classroom where students feel comfortable and welcome. I want students to recognize growth in their speaking abilities and see the importance that being a communicator can have on both their professional and personal lives.
“I am passionate about working with students and seeing them succeed. I am fueled by students’ success, from the smallest success to be able to go in front of the class to deliver a speech or a larger success of delivering the commencement address. I love making a difference in the classroom and ultimately the idea that I could be changing someone’s life drives me every day to be a better teacher than I was the day before.
Chromey was honored during an online conference of the Speech Communication Association of South Dakota Aug. 6.
Chromey is the fourth faculty member from the SDSU School of Communication and Journalism to earn this honor since 2013. Previous recipients were Jenn Anderson, Becky Kuehl and Andrea Carlile.