Dr. Kelly Virginia Phelan's Bio

Dr. Kelly Virginia Phelan is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland in the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.  Previously, she served as a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Botswana during the 2013-2014 academic year.  She was also the Associate Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Hospitality and Retailing at Texas Tech University.

Her current research focuses primarily on tourism development in sub-Saharan Africa and approaches the topic from a multidisciplinary angle.  Some of her publications have examined volunteer tourism, conservation efforts, challenges associated with sustainability and ecotourism, and the host/guest interaction.  She has ongoing projects in Botswana, Namibia and Uganda and is currently working on a book about the growth of the tourism industry in Africa.

Dr. Phelan has taught undergraduate and graduate level classes in Marketing, Human Resources, Event Management, Tourism Development, Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Practices.  She has received numerous awards including the 2012 ICHRIE Johnson & Wales Best Case Study Award, and the 18th Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism Best Paper Award for Practical Implications. 

She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Purdue University, a Master of Science degree in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  Dr. Phelan’s prior industry experience includes working for the U.S. Lacrosse Foundation, the Walt Disney Corporation in Florida, Caesar’s Entertainment and Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas.