About Me


kridelbaugh 2016 headshotDonna Kridelbaugh is a strategic communications consultant for leading research institutions and non-profit organizations, providing proposal development and technical communication services. She specializes in strategic communications to help organizations develop sustainable communications and funding strategies to meet long-term objectives. This work includes the development of internal and external communications plans, design of effective funding-research strategies and creation of strategic communication products that reflect an organization’s capacity (e.g., capability statements, research portfolios).

Recent proposal projects have included the writing, editing and review of both federal and foundation grants in the biological and environmental sciences, agricultural research and extension, STEM education and technology transfer areas. She also freelance writes magazine and newsletter articles for professional science publications, writing on research highlights, funding news and professional development topics.

Donna holds an advanced degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Technically trained in the chemical and biological sciences, she has a combined ten years of research, teaching and project management experience in academic and government research environments. This work comprises six years of post-graduate research experience in the field of environmental microbiology.

Donna has a successful track record in higher education, working with undergraduate students in teaching, research and advising roles. This record includes Excellent Teaching Assistant awards from the University of Illinois and numerous publications and presentations co-authored by student researchers in her role as a lab manager. Previously, she worked at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory for three years in research and operations support positions. This work included edits and review of technical documents and communications plans for a large bioenergy research center.

Overall, Donna is dedicated to providing educational and training opportunities for diverse groups in STEM and overcoming social inequities, with over 15 years of outreach work. Her service projects have included the design of hands-on activities for girls in STEM (e.g., Girl Scout Science Badge Day); fundraising for outreach initiatives (e.g., funds to purchase microscopes for American Indian boarding school); serving as a science judge (e.g., Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students); and currently serving as an advisor to a grade school on the effective design and evaluation of an innovative STEAM (STEM+art) program that fuses project- and service-based learning.

Donna also is passionate in promoting environmental stewardship and connecting people to nature through service work and citizen science. She regularly participates in natural area restoration projects and trail work, and she is a certified volunteer naturalist through the Tennessee Naturalist Program and a Leave No Trace trainer. Her professional activities include a past appointment on the Environmental Quality Advisory Board for the City of Oak Ridge, TN.