Our faculty and staff provide the expertise and care at the foundation of CarolinaLIFE.
Chelsea VanHorn Stinnett, Ph.D.
CarolinaLIFE Program Director
Chelsea VanHorn Stinnett is an assistant research professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the director of CarolinaLIFE. She attended the University of South Carolina to pursue her Ph.D. while working with CarolinaLIFE in various administrative roles. Chelsea began her career as a paraprofessional for students with multiple disabilities for two years while completing her graduate degree program. She was a classroom teacher for three years in both Ohio and South Carolina. Chelsea lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband Brook, son Tucker, and two dachshunds, Maddie and Abbie.
Patrick "Mike" Kelly, Ph.D.
CarolinaLIFE Assistant Director
Patrick Kelly teaches graduate and undergraduate students, primarily from the College of Education. His teaching load includes introductory courses in special education as well as specialized courses in learning disabilities. He served over 30 years in public education settings as a school psychologist and special education administrator. He also has specialized training and experience working with children who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, their families, and teachers.
Abigail received an M.A.T. in Special Education from the University of South Carolina College of Education. She was a Special Education teacher for students with intellectual disabilities at a middle school setting. Abigail is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. Special Education program at the University of South Carolina. As project coordinator for CarolinaLIFE, she provides support and training to staff- especially to academic coaches and CarolinaLIFE course instructors. She also serves as a liaison for students, parents, faculty and staff, and works alongside them to ensure the program continues to offer high-quality experiences to students.
Anthony Plotner, CRC, Ph.D.
CarolinaLIFE Program Consultant
Anthony Plotner's career of extensive research and publication has focused on the community inclusion of individuals with significant disabilities — specifically the transition to college, supported employment and the collaboration across systems to promote positive student outcomes.