Academic Advising and Peer Advising

Academic Advising and Peer Advising

Associate Dean Kelly

Kelsie D. Kelly, PhD, MPH
Associate Dean and Assistant Professor
Office of African American Affairs
Director, Peer Advisor Program
Department of Public Health Sciences
School of Medicine

I am Associate Dean Kelsie D. Kelly, Director of the Peer Advisor Program and 1st year, transfer student and 2nd year dean in the Office of African American Affairs (OAAA). We look forward to you joining us full time come August. Whether we met during Days on the Lawn this Spring, you stopped by during summer orientation open house or you have seen the website, I am your DEAN!

As your first year Dean, I am here to ensure that as you first walk on these grounds you have a peer to support you, someone to listen to you and a safe space to navigate the rigors of the university atmosphere. You were chosen to grace these grounds amongst many that began as you will on August 23rd. Your commitment to yourself, begins now! Let your mind explore the infinite possibilities of creating the pathway that leads you to your passion and walking the lawn in May of 2026 with friends and family celebrating your achievements.

You are writing your own story!

As your first year Dean, I will assist you in making decisions around coursework, providing academic and tutoring resources, career advice and matching you with your personal UVA navigator, your Peer Advisor. Every 1st year and transfer student is assigned a Peer Advisor (PA) before arrival to the university. He or she is an advanced student that has learned the ropes of the university to help you make your new home away from home manageable. He or she reaches out to you prior to your arrival to let you know how s/he will “lend a hand, academically, socially, and psychologically”, our Peer Advisor slogan during your first year and personally welcomes you to the OAAA family.  If you have questions about student life, classes, dorm living, food and where to get your hair cut or nails done your PA will be your first asset to your UVA network and Charlottesville community. The PA program began in 1986, it has greatly benefitted our first-year and transfer students with your transition to the University life, supporting Black Students by “lending a helping hand, socially, academically, and psychologically through the Office of African American Affairs.

Additionally, I am the pre-health and pre-med Dean. As you consider your academic pathway, those of you who are interested in health-related pathways will work with me along with your association dean and career center to create your MEAL plan for the next 4 years. Once you meet with me, you will learn more about the meaning of MEAL and its importance to your long-term academic and personal goals. As an Assistant Professor of public health in the School of Medicine, I work with the Masters of Public Health program through teaching and research in health education and health disparities. UVA has provided me the opportunity to invest in you, the next generation of black excellence and I look forward to partnering with you upon your arrival.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you and your family to UVA but most importantly, the OAAA Family. We look forward to seeing you!


Welcome to the University of Virginia!


Kelsie D. Kelly