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Kelly E. Bohrer

Executive Director, The ETHOS Center and Director of Community Relations, School of Engineering


School of Engineering: Office of the Dean


Email: Kelly Bohrer
Phone: 937-229-3698
Kettering Labs Room 101
Website: Visit Site


Kelly supports the integration of community engaged learning and scholarship by faculty, staff and students with community partners.

She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Dayton (UD) in environmental biology, specializing in ecosystem analysis and wetland restoration. Before joining UD in 2001, her work included environmental education consulting, habitat mapping with GIS/ArcMap, sage grouse field research, prairie and wetland ecosystem restoration, and computer systems assessment planning. 

At UD she has served as Biology Lab Coordinator, Coordinator of Community Outreach in the Center for Social Concern, and Director of Community Engaged Learning and Scholarship in the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.  In these positions she directed high impact experiential learning and community engagement initiatives, including inquiry-based science labs and community-based internships, faculty development programs for high impact teaching and learning, transdisciplinary campus-community collaborations, and curricular models for various academic majors, minors and certificates.  

In her teaching roles, she taught capstone courses for environmental biology and co-teaches the capstone course for the sustainability program minor/major. She is a KEEN fellow and has integrated KEEN principles into her courses, which includes community engaged projects with local partners. She also assisted the University in receiving the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, developing the Hanley Sustainability Institute’s Lincoln Hill Garden Initiative and collaborating for eight grants (NSF, NIH, OCC, among others) for various centers and disciplines.

She has published in journals and conference proceedings and has presented nationally on collaborative strategies and community engagement initiatives in higher education, university-community partnerships, sustainability and social justice education, inquiry-based teaching, educating future professoriate and mission-informed practices in higher education. Kelly is actively involved on non-profit boards, committees for collective impact in the Dayton area and sustainability focused initiatives.

Peer Reviewed Journal Article

  • Bohrer, K. et al. (2004). Seasonal dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in differing wetland habitats. Mycorrhiza 14, 329-337.
  • Vasquez, E., Bohrer, K., Elsass, M., Noe-Hays, A., Davis, A., & DeWitt, M. (2021). Entrepreneurially minded learning in the Unit Operations Laboratory through community engagement in a blended teaching environment. Chem Eng Educ.
  • Sayre, M., Bohrer, K., & Sweet, C. (under review). Virtual and in-person community-engaged learning: Is student learning virtually the same? Jrnl Exp Educ.


  • Bohrer, K. et al. (2022). A transdisciplinary journey of vocational reflection through immersion programs. In K. Lovett, & S. Wilhoit (Eds.), Engaging with vocation on campus: Supporting students’ vocational discernment through curricular and co-curricular approaches. Oxfordshire, England: Routledge.
  • Bohrer, K. et al. (2020). Forming engineers for the common good. In K. Lovett (Ed.), Diverse pedagogical approaches to experiential learning: Multidisciplinary case studies, reflections, and strategies. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conference Proceedings

  • Global service learning conference. (2018). OSU Community Engagement Conference (2018). Association of Biology Laboratory Educators Conference (2003-2007).

White Papers

  • Educating for practical wisdom: An ideal and a journey. Prepared by Habits of Inquiry and Reflection Practical Wisdom Fellows (2016).
  • Civic engagement in the marianist tradition II. Prepared for the Association of Marianist Universities (2017).

Selected Work and Professional Activities

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Women of UD Honorees, 2021
  • NSF and NIH grant teams
  • Application Team for UD Carnegie Community Engagement Classification
  • Nominated for Montgomery County Food Champion Award
  • Marianist Educational Associate
  • Leadership UD

Courses Taught

  • EGR 331: Sociotechnical Engineering for the Common Good
  • EGR 330: Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology
  • SEE 402: Sustainability Research II (capstone, community-based), Sustainability Program
  • UDI 393: Community Service Internship, Fitz Center for Leadership in Community
  • UDI 324: Living Simply and Sustainably
  • UDI 380: Understanding, Respecting, and Connecting II:  Taking Action. Creating Inclusive Communities Initiative.         
  • BIO 479L: Environmental Instrumentation Lab
  • BIO 503: College Teaching Seminar
  • SCI 230: Organisms, Evolution, and the Environment
  • BIO 310L: Ecology Lab (upperclassmen, experiential learning)
  • Various intro biology labs (majors, non-majors, and pre-service teachers; inquiry-based learning)


  • M.S., Biology/Ecology, University of Dayton, 2001
  • B.S., Environmental Biology, University of Dayton, 1996

Licenses, Certifications and Credentials

  • Community Engagement Fundamentals, National Campus Compact MicroCredential
  • AFS Global Competence Certificate, AFS Intercultural Programs

Research Interests

  • Community-engaged engineering, engineering and human rights, community engaged learning and scholarship, high impact experiential learning for social change, just sustainability.