Kellie obtained a BA in Psychology and a BA in Sociology from the College of the Holy Cross. From there, she went on to earn an MS in Criminal Justice Studies as well as an MS and CAGS in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University. After graduating, she worked as a clinical therapist in the Greater Boston area, specializing in the LGBT community and forensically-involved clients. She began her doctoral studies at UMASS Lowell in the fall of 2014, integrating the two fields and specializes in the criminalization of mental illness and the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems. Additional research interests of hers include police crisis intervention training (CIT), substance use and addiction, and veterinary forensic science and animal cruelty.