College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > School of Public Service > Faculty > Kelly Tzoumis

Kelly Tzoumis

Kelly Tzoumis earned her BS in Distributed Studies of Chemistry, Microbiology, and Zoology from Iowa State University in 1985. She completed her MPA from Iowa State University with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Regulation in 1987. In 1992, she finished her PhD from Texas A&M University in Political Science/Public Administration with a second major in American Government and a third major in Environmental Policy. She was a Congressional Fellow for the US Department of Energy to former Senator Paul Simon, where she worked on environmental and science policy on Capitol Hill. Professor Tzoumis was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Scholar recipient in Environmental Studies (2003) and taught Environmental Treaties and Governance at the Politecnico di Torino. Currently, she is working with 8 countries located across 4 continents in providing global learning experiences in her DePaul courses.  Often, her courses include multiple global partners in a single course allow students and enriched learning experience. She has been awarded the Thomas and Carole Dammrich Award for innovation teaching. Her courses have included virtual reality (3d/360) experiences, game simulations, production of case studies, and employ the use of a mixture of multimedia in order to reach all learners such as green screens, live streaming of interviews with experts, and meetings with students in small groups to engage globally. 

Before entering academe, she worked in the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory. She also worked in the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, DC. Her work focused on the remediation and cleanup of the legacy of the nuclear weapons and other toxic chemicals. She was a Superfund program manager, and external liaison for the US Department of Energy. She has taught at Elmhurst College, Roosevelt University, and Johns Hopkins University. She received Teacher of the Year award in 2002 for her outstanding teaching at Roosevelt University and Advisor of the Year for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul in 2015. She has also received a Blackboard Award for Best Online course and a Best Designed Online course award.

Her research interests include: environmental policy within the US as well as internationally; congressional and presidential framing of environmental issues; and specifically, topics such as environmental justice, wetlands, the Great Lakes, and wildlife policies, brownfield redevelopment, and implementation of environmental policies through executive orders, rule-makings, and environmental impact statements. She published a book in 2001 titled Environmental Policy Making in Congress from 1789-1999: Issue Definitions of Wetlands, the Great Lakes, and Wildlife Policies. She has also published 15 articles, a couple of book chapters, and many conference papers. She enjoys publishing with students and her colleagues, using longitudinal studies. Her most recent book is titled, Toxic Chemical in America: Controversies in Human and Environmental Health, (2021). This book is serving as an expert 2-volume edited set that integrates public policy and environmental science for the reader. 

She has been a peer reviewer for nine different presses, and has served as co-editor for the Environmental Practice Journal by Cambridge University Press from 2008 to 2013. She served as the Chairperson for the Department of Public Policy Studies from 2004 to 2013, and continues to serve on several of the student-focused committees.   She has also been a peer reviewer and team-lead for the accrediting body for this region, Higher Learning Commission, since 2003. She has also received several grants from both the federal government and private sector.  She has taken students on trips to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks, as well as has taught on research vessels on the Great Lakes.

Her most recent service contribution to DePaul is work on building a community for learners, faculty and staff with disabilities. This includes being a co-founder of the Faculty Learning Community for Teaching Learners with Disabilities (2020-2021), and the Employee Resources Group (2021) titled Ability Alliance with Allies and Advocates, known as A4@DePaul.  In addition, she is a co-lead on the Academic Growth and Innovation Fund Phases 1 and 2 (2020-2023) grants for DePaul to reach out to learners with disabilities for recruitment.