Newell to lead conferencing unit

PULLMAN  – Longtime conference manager Kelly Newell has been named director of Professional Education at WSU.
Newell’s appointment to replace John Thielbahr, who recently retired, was approved by WSU President Elson S. Floyd on Jan. 15.
 “I feel very fortunate that we have someone of Kelly’s experience, talents, and work ethic to take over the director position,” said Muriel Oaks, dean of the Center for Distance and Professional Education.
Newell, 35, began working at the CDPE in 1998, and was previously assistant director of Professional Education.
“My goal is to focus on our core service business: Conference planning and conference support,” Newell said. While most of those conferences involve WSU faculty, Professional Education also works with state agencies and nonprofit groups.
“We charge for our services,” Newell said, “but in most cases we can show potential clients how we actually save them money by negotiating discounts with vendors, such as hotels, meeting sites and printing companies.” 
Newell also suggests that grant-writers consult with Professional Education. “Many grants require a dissemination plan,” she said. “Conferences and Webinars are great way to do that. Contact us ahead of time and we can give you a quote you can write into the grant.”
Newell is married to Scott Newell, who works for the WSU Foundation. They have 18-month-old twin boys, Reed and Taylor. In her spare time, she plays golf, racquetball, and competes in triathlons, including four Ironmans.
For information on conferencing services, go to or contact Kelly Newell at 335-4247 or

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