A working mom of five, a certified law enforcement officer, and a Corporal inside the ranks of the University of Tennessee Police Department are a few ways of describing Kelley Kain. Another one of those can be a master’s degree recipient from UT, an achievement that Kain recently accomplished.
For two years, two nights a week, she shared her responsibilities of being a mom and full-time officer with earning her Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in adult learning.
With the universities Spring commencement just around the corner, she continues to set an example for fellow officers, and inspires them to further their education here at UT.
“This is something that I am so grateful for, had it not been for the opportunity that UT gives as a perk of working here, I don’t think I would have ever gone back and completed my master’s degree,” said Cpl. Kelley Kain. “Personally, it is one of my biggest achievements, there is no way I could have done any of it without the help and support of my family.”
Cpl. Kain also set out to prove to her daughters that you can be busy, have multiple things going on, and still have time for family while accomplishing your goals.
Achieving goals is nothing new for Cpl. Kain. When she graduated from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy, she won the James Kennedy Award, which is given to the top graduate of the program.
“When I graduated the academy, I automatically fell in love with the value of training in of our career,” said Cpl. Kain. “I care so much about the men and women who do this job, and we have to do it the absolute best that we can, and we can always continue to get better, and do it better.”
It was that love for training and helping mold and shape the future law enforcement officers of tomorrow that lead Cpl. Kain to her path in fulfilling her master’s degree.
“All of my research and papers during my studies were all geared towards law enforcement with professionalism and ethics,” said Cpl. Kain. “We always need to be continuing to learn and constantly getting better at how we do this job.”
She is currently assigned to the investigations division at UTPD and spends a large portion of her days working cyber-crimes, as well as pushing other officers to go after higher education experience and goals.
“Any time members of our department show an interest in continued education, and strive to advance their careers, we fully support them,” said UTPD Chief Troy Lane. “Cpl. Kain’s interest in training and helping advance the future of law enforcement is an excellent trait to possess and will only lead to bright things in her future.”
Cpl. Kain works closely with other officers in the department who are working towards degrees of their own.
“When I got my master’s degree back in December, I wore my UTPD uniform under my cap and gown, and I still show off photos to other officers to help serve as inspiration to them,” said Cpl. Kain. “No matter how busy, no matter how much you have going on, if you set your mind to it and are determined, you can accomplish it and I am here to keep pushing other officers to achieve those goals.”
She will be on hand at the next commencement ceremony, cheering on the next wave of graduates from the University of Tennessee.