Teresa J. Kennedy, Ph.D.

Teresa J. Kennedy, Ph.D.

Title: Professor, International STEM and Bilingual/ELL Education
Department: Education
Building: BEP 229F
Phone: 903.566.7448


  • Ph.D. Education.  University of Idaho
    Major: Teacher Education/Curriculum and Instruction Concentration: International/Bilingual Science Education with STEM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), content-based foreign language, ESL/ELL Education.
    • Phi Delta Kappa International Outstanding Dissertation Award, 1998 (District 1 Competition: Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Saskatchewan, and Washington State).  Dissertation Title: "FLES:  The cognitive and attitudinal effects of content-related foreign language instruction in the elementary school."  Topic: Teaching and learning a second language through STEM disciplines. 
  • MA Spanish Language and Literature. University of Idaho
    • Cognate: Earth Science
  • BS Secondary Education. University of of Idaho
    • Focus: Content-based Bilingual, ESL and Spanish instruction with Earth Science, Natural Science and Social Studies emphasis.
  • BA Spanish. University of of Idaho
    • Cognates: Earth Science, French, International Studies, Social Studies.

  • International Studies: Universidad del País Vasco, San Sebastián, Spain (1999); Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, Quito, Ecuador (1993); and Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain (1982-83).

  • Fulbright Awards: Ecuador (1993); Argentina (2014-15); Hungary (2017).

  • NOAA Teacher at Sea Scholar: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (May 2001). On board the Ocean Seeker Ka'imimoana (R 333; 224 ft.) the only ship of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) dedicated solely to climate research, through its support of NOAA's Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean (TAO) Project.
    • Conducted research on phytoplankton blooms along the California coast, observed CTD deck operations, and assisted with testing the effectiveness of a new echo sounder, 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).


Dr. Kennedy joined The University of Texas at Tyler in 2009. She is a Professor of International STEM and Bilingual/ELL Education and holds a joint appointment in the College of Education and Psychology School of Education and in the College of Engineering. 

She has over 30 years of experience in higher education (since 1988) and her K-12 teaching experience includes 8 years at the secondary level and 7 years at the elementary/middle school level in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, with secondary teaching certifications in Science (Earth Science and Natural Science), Social Studies, Spanish, English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education, and elementary certification in all subject areas (since 1985). She has traveled to 105 countries through her work and educational experiences and has taught language, science and social studies lessons in classrooms around the world.

Current board positions with educational organizations include:

  • International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE) Executive Committee: 2010-present.
  • International Education and Resource Network (iEARN-USA) Advisory Council: 2021-2024.
  • National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) International Advisory Board: 2023-2026; 2020-2023; 2013-2016; 2006-2008; 2004-2006.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) NGO Liaison Committee: 2023-2024; 2022-2023; 2016-2018. 
    • Vice President, NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and Liaison to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). 

Courses Taught at UT Tyler:

Undergraduate courses

  • GEOL 3314 – Oceanography and Meteorology
  • ELED 4360/5300 – Teaching English Language Learners
  • EDUT 4170 – Apprentice Teaching Seminar
  • EDUC 4199 – Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) Internship
  • EDUC 4199 – Global Education
  • EDUC 4334 – Methods for Teaching Elementary English Language Learners
  • EDUC 4360 – ESL Methodology
  • EDUC 4378 – Methods for Teaching Secondary English Language Learners

Graduate courses

  • EDUC 5301 – Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
  • EDUC 5306 – Special Topics in Education: Methods for Teaching K-12 English Language Learners
  • EDUC 5306 – Special Topics in Education: Grad Teach Diversity & Special Populations
  • EDUC 5306 – Special Topics in Education: Current Innovations in Education
  • EDUC 5352 – Curriculum Foundations
  • EDUC 5356 – Diversity in Educational Settings
  • EDSI  6322 – Culturally Responsive Practices for School Improvement

Research and Professional Interests:

Dr. Kennedy’s research interests include biological and geological oceanography in relation to climate change; ocean literacy; international comparative education; gender and equity issues in STEM; the development of interest in STEM and 21st century skills; online teaching and learning; content-based second language teaching and learning focused on STEM disciplines; and brain research in relation to second language acquisition and bilingualism. She has won over $38 million in grants, contracts and development (over 5 million of which has occurred during her tenure at UT Tyler). 

She has presented at more than 400 events and co-edited three international science education books for Springer International (Switzerland): Science Education in Theory and Practice, consisting of 32 chapters (44 authors representing 14 countries);  Play and STEM Education in the Early Years: International Policies and Practicesconsisting of 22 chapters (47 authors from 16 countries); and Contemporary Issues in Science and Technology Education, consisting of 21 chapters (32 authors representing 11 countries). Additionally, she has authored/co-authored over 20 book chapters, over 50 journal articles and features, and over 50 proceedings and reports. She was as a writer as well as editor for more than 300 GLOBE STAR storiesand various reports and web pages published on NASA's GLOBE Program website from 2003-2012, and also co-narrated a NASA Connect Video (The A-Train Express Satellites) filmed in 2004 in Paris in collaboration with the French Space Agency (CNES), highlighting two of NASA's Earth science satellite missions (CALIPSO and CloudSat). In addition, she served as the editor for seven issues of Learning Languages, the professional journal of the National Network for Early Language Learning from 2002-2005. Her publications have been included in journals such as Springer Nature; Science Education International; the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning; Children, Youth and Environment; the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) Navigator; Teaching Children Mathematics; The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific; The Journal of Interactive Online Learning; NWATE Journal of Education Practices; Brain and Language; the International Reading Association; The Reading Teacher; ACTFL Foreign Language Annuals; The Language Educator; Learning Languages; TESOL; Hispania; Sino-US English Teaching; the TexELT Journal; and in several NASA publications and different international venues such as the Impreso en la República Argentina; la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú; Spain's Ministry of Education Magazine; the World Meteorological Organization Magazine (Switzerland); and Springer Nature (Switzerland).

Additional Positions held at UT Tyler

Dr. Kennedy established UT Tyler's Office of International Programs (OIP) in January 2013 and served as Assistant Vice President for International Programs and Senior International Officer for UT Tyler leading all OIP operations from July 2013-May 2017. During that time, her responsibilities included creating and managing several cross-functional OIP units (Study Abroad; International Services; and International Research and Engagement); serving as Principal Designated School Official for F Visa Student Program activities and Responsible Officer for the J Visa Exchange Visitor Program working with the U.S. Department of State Student Exchange and Visitor Program, and expanding international collaborations for UT Tyler by establishing 17 new international partnership agreements with universities abroad. In addition, Dr. Kennedy established and led UT Tyler's Passport Acceptance Facility working with the U.S. Department of State Passport Services (September 2015-October 2017) and also created and directed UT Tyler's Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) for the School of Education (January 2013-December 2017). Prior to founding the OIP, she was assigned to assist the Provost's Office with international recruitment and marketing (September 2010-July 2013). Dr. Kennedy spent the summer of 2017 transitioning out of the OIP in order to resume her teaching, research and service activities.

Past Positions

Past positions include serving in several different capacities for NASA's GLOBE Program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) from 2001-2012, responsible for facilitating activities in 112 GLOBE partner countries working with NASA's Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) and the U.S. Department of State. Positions included serving as Director of the GLOBE Program Office International Division and U.S. Country Coordinator (2009-2012 located on the University of Texas at Tyler campus); GLOBE Deputy Director / Director of the International Division and U.S. Country Coordinator (2006-2009 located at UCAR in Boulder, Colorado); and GLOBE Deputy Chief Educator and Assistant Director of U.S. Partnerships (2001-2003 at the former GLOBE headquarters office in Washington D.C.). She also managed all activities related to the GLOBE International Help Desk as well as Star historical summaries posted to the GLOBE website from 2003-2012. Dr. Kennedy continues to serve as a GLOBE Master Trainer (1996-present), and also co-directs The University of Texas at Tyler GLOBE U.S. Partnership (2009-present), 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.

Prior to her position at UCAR, she was an Associate Research Professor of Education at the University of Idaho where she founded a bilingual/foreign language education program, and also served as the NASA Broker Facilitator for the State of Idaho, the director of the NASA Regional Educator's Resource Center for the College of Engineering NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium, and led the Center for Evaluation, Research and Public Service for the College of Education facilitating faculty in identifying and developing potential grant and evaluation projects. In addition, she served as an adjunct professor for Washington State University, the University of Alabama, and Tillamook Bay Community College in Oregon.