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

Kelly Tzoumis

Prof. 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 Public Policy/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 related to environmental sustainability 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 innovative 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. This work is being published in a co-edited book titled - Intercultural and Global Learning - Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by Springer Nature Press in 2024.

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 ongoing in the summer session at Johns Hopkins University in the Whitting School of Engineering. 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 on Environmental Decision-making and Ethics.

Her research interests include environmental policy and sustainability within the US as well as internationally. She focusses on a range of environmental policy issues such as environmental justice and energy justice, environmental sustainability, brownfield redevelopment, and implementation of environmental policies through executive orders, rule-makings, and environmental impact statements. She published her first book with Routledge Press 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 second 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. It combined her experience in the federal government as an environmental scientist with social sciences in public policy.

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 2012. 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 (HLC), since 2003. Currently, she serves on the HLC, NASPAA and AACU DEI committees promoting access for disabled faculty and students.  She has also received several grants from both the federal government and private sector.  With these grants, she has taken students on field 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 was 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.

Her current research work is focused on applying the tools of social network analysis, fuzzy cognitive mapping, and structural equation modeling.  Her skills in data science are being applied to complex policies interactions in renewable energies by mapping the system of actors, flow of information and misinformation within these policy domains.  She is also working on the causal modeling of renewable energy adoption and diffusion by indigenous and marginalized communities as compared to others.

Some of her research publications can be seen below (this is not a complete list):