Kellianne Richardson PhD

Co-Founder/Ex-Officio Board Liason

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Dr. Richardson is a scientist operating outside of academia who has a passion for enriching the pipeline of BIPOC (Black Indigenous, People of Color) students to see themselves as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professionals. The flagship Wayfinders Program and the organization Camp ELSO were both co-founded with the simple notion of offering a summer camp where all of the leaders look like the students. Having gone through the ranks of scientific education in formal classroom settings Dr. Richardson noticed there was a need for learners from non-dominant groups to receive information in an informal setting and prevent summer learning loss. Further, the scientific principles covered over the years were always presented with a colonized lens where there was a focus on categorization and definitions while the testable material was buried at the end of the lesson. Dr. Richardson, together with fellow Oberlin College Alumna Sprinavasa (Bell) Brown, noticed that the traditional pedagogical approach to science education fell short of reaching Kinesthetic and Interpersonal learners. By hosting BIPOC subject matter experts and creating a space for indigenous and non-traditional knowledge bearers to lead with the context rather than labels the students began to shine and they knew they had something special.

Dr. Richardson leverages her talents full-time as Lead Investigator at a multi-national Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Manufacturing Organization. This specific work entails creative problem solving, technical writing, data presentation and corrective and preventative action negotiations. Being an independent thinker and bold self-starter has allowed her to hold positions as an Intern at NIH Office of Technology Transfer as well as a Manager of Clinical and Market Intelligence at The Innovation Lab, LLC.

Dr. Richardson was a graduate researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Under the guidance of Dr. Keith Shelton, Dr. Richardson conducted research to characterize the discriminative stimulus effects of nitrous oxide in mice. This work allowed her to develop competencies as a Subject Matter Expert in Analgesics, Anesthetics, Drugs of Abuse, CNS Pharmacology, as well as Technology.

EDUCATION: BA in African American Studies with a Concentration in Education and a Chemistry minor from Oberlin College; Ph.D. in in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.