Kelly received a Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science under the direction of Dr. Philip Bradford and Dr. Jesse Jur. She was also a NSF GRF award recipient. Her main research areas included surface modification of CNTs and developing techniques to fabricate CNT–inorganic hybrids and composites for various applications in multifunctional structural materials and electronic devices. Kelly received a B.S. in 2010 and a M.S. in 2012, both in Textile Engineering at NC State University.