Director, Human Services & Social Justice, Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Affairs
Professor Kelso’s research focuses primarily on the fate of the Roma during the Holocaust in Romania. Social justice and the exploration of (in)equalities are the foundations of her research. She is particularly interested in the intersection of memory, marginalization and contemporary education policy. Recently, Dr. Kelso has also begun exploring gender in the workplace as well as EU migration. With a strong belief in public sociology, Dr. Kelso integrates her scholarship with public discussions and policy programming. In 2017, she began a research project focusing on memory and commemoration of the Holocaust in post-Soviet spaces with a concentration on Ukraine.
Dr. Kelso has extensive international experience both as a researcher and consultant. She consulted for the Council of Europe, USAID, non-profits, Holocaust compensation programs, as well as the Romanian government. She has been the recipient of several prestigious national awards, including a Fulbright Core Fellowship to Romania in 2016-17, and two prior Fulbrights in 2004 and 1994. Dr. Kelso was a Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009, where she researched the Romani experience in Romanian-run camps in occupied Soviet Union during WWII. She speaks Romanian and French, and has studied Romani, Spanish and is beginning Russian.
Prior to coming to GW, Dr. Kelso worked in civil society and media. From 2005-2010, she directed a Romanian non-profit that focused on tolerance and democracy building. In 2005, she made a documentary film: Hidden Sorrows: The Persecution of Romanian Gypsies During WWII that has screened in seven countries, numerous film festivals, and aired on three national television channels. Dr. Kelso has also been a freelance photographer for USA Today and the Associated Press, and is a contributor to the Huffington Post.