Kelly Dalton

Kelly Dalton

Kelly Dalton

Assistant Professor

Community-engaged learning and transformative learning

Kelly Dalton is a Ph.D. Candidate in Education at George Mason University, specializing in international education. She joined the School of Integrative Studies as a volunteer for the Alternative Break (AB) program. While serving as a learning partner for the AB program, her travels to Guatemala, El Salvador, South Dakota and Israel solidified her passion and commitment to intercultural dialogue, transformative learning, and grassroots community action. In 2013, Kelly was hired as the Graduate Assistant for the Alternative Break program and for two years she coordinated a variety of student-led trips that focused on topics ranging from HIV/AIDS Stigma in Washington, DC to Environmental Sustainability in Stuart, Florida, to Educational Equity in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. She was then promoted to the Assistant Director for the Center of Social Action and Integrative Learning and Term Instructor of Nonprofit Studies and currently teaches courses on nonprofit management, leadership for social change, and integrative studies.

Kelly was a recipient of the Shinnyo-en Fellowship and in 2014/2017 was selected to be a delegate for the U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium, a program that utilizes international education as a tool for combatting dehumanization and providing alternatives to extremist narratives. Within the Washington, DC area, she works with local nonprofits that focus on refugee resettlement and reuniting families displaced from conflict.

Prior to starting the doctoral program, she was an Extension Specialist for the University of the District of Columbia. She developed and implemented nutrition curriculum for at-risk youth and early childhood classrooms. Kelly was also an adjunct professor in the Global and Community Health department at George Mason University and the Malek School for Health Professions at Marymount University.

Kelly is a registered dietitian who holds a B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and a M.S. in Nutrition Education and Behavior, both from Virginia Tech. She is the owner and CEO of Capital Wellness Solutions and in 2012, she was awarded the Virginia Dietetic Association-Young Dietitian of the Year award.



Current Research

Mother tongue education and language revitalization in rural Guatemala

Indigenous youth education

Teachers' perspectives of international immersion experiences

Community-engaged learning and transformative learning

Grants and Fellowships

Shinnyo Fellowship, 2015

Courses Taught

INTS 194: Alternative Break

INTS 294: Mason Service Corp

INTS 295: Leadership and Community Engagement LLC

INTS 331: The Nonprofit Sector

INTS 391: Intro to Integrative Studies

INTS 435: Leadership in a Changing Environment

NUTR 295: Nutrition for Health Professionals




Ph.D. Candidate in Education, George Mason University

M.S. in Nutrition Education & Behavior, Virginia Tech

B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise, Virginia Tech

Recent Presentations

International and National

Dalton, K. M. (2016, August). Teachers’ perspectives of international immersion experiences for intercultural professional learning: A case study. Paper presented at the European Educational Research Association: Leading Education - The distinct contributions of educational research and researchers. Dublin, Ireland.

Dalton, K. M. (2015, July). Cross-cultural perspectives of non-formal educational experiences for engaging indigenous youth. 12th University of Seville Conference on Applied Linguistics (ELIA): Issues in Intercultural Learning and Teaching across L2 Contexts and Situations. Seville, Spain.

Dalton, K. M., Knipe, J., & Hinshaw, S. (2015, June). Don’t let the horse in the school: Indigenous teachers’ perspectives of mother tongue literacies in rural Guatemala. 10th Annual International Association for the Improvement of Mother Tongue Education Conference. Odense, Denmark.

Dalton, K. M., Knipe, J., & Hinshaw, S. (2015, March). Translingual practice and literature in a Guatemalan Mayan context. 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society. Washington, DC.

Dalton, K. M., Knipe, J., & Hinshaw, S. (2015, February). The reality of schools as complex organisms: Lessons learned from a rural NGO-run school in Guatemala. Panel discussion presented at the 10th Annual Critical Questions in Education Conference, Academy for Educational Studies, San Diego, CA.

Dalton, K. M., Knipe, J., & Hinshaw, S. (2014, October). Teachers’ perceptions of mother tongue and bilingual education in a rural Guatemalan school. Paper presented at the Alliance for International Education Conference, Mumbai, India.

McGrath, K. (2014, March). The role of higher education in engaging youth in intercultural & interreligious dialogue.   Panel presentation for the 3rd annual U.S.-Pakistan Interreligious Consortium: Grassroots & Community Initiatives Towards Rebuilding U.S.- Pakistan Relationships; Islamabad, Pakistan.

Regional and Local

Dalton, K. & Hutnick, C. (2015, October). Critical reflexive experience: Guiding students as agents of change. Panel address at the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies conference; Andover, MA.

McGrath, K. (2014, January). Cross-cultural immersive learning and student exchange: The role of youth in American pluralism. Panel address at The Pakistan Winter Institute Conference, Georgetown University; Washington, DC.

McGrath, K. (2013, October). Inspiring change: Critical service and the leader in you. Breakout session presented at the Leadership Mason Conference. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

McGrath, K. (2013, October). The Power of Femininity: Empower women in the Mason community and redefine the roles of women in society. Panel address for the Peer Empowerment Program, University Life, George Mason University; Fairfax, VA.

McGrath, K., DeMulder, E. K., & Barnstead, B. (2013, April). Who am I? Understanding the role of teacher identity through critical reflection in working with diverse populations. Symposium presented at the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Maryland Chapter Annual Conference; Baltimore, MD.

In the Media

Check out the Center for Social Action & Integrative Learning blog: 

Intersections International blog posts by Kelly Dalton:

Uniting through Education and Exchange

The Power of a Single Story

Some May Call it Luck