Crystal Rae Coel

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity


Crystal Rae Coel, Esq. is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity for the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She joined Louisville Law in May 2020 after 25 years at Murray State University, where she held a variety of leadership positions, including the Head of Elizabeth College and the Director of the multiple national award-winning Speech and Debate Union.

Dean Coel has a resume that speaks to a career of student-focused service. Before coming to Kentucky in 1995, she was an award-winning lecturer at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville where she taught Communication Law, Business Communication, Public Address and Broadcast Performance. She was the Executive Producer of student-produced cable television productions, the adviser of the Student Senate and the Assistant Director of Speech and Debate. She has also taught at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the Community College of Philadelphia. Her experience has given her the wisdom to understand that students not only thrive in an atmosphere that challenges them but one that also respects their opinions. She believes that disagreements don’t breed animosity. Contempt is born from a failure to listen.

Dean Coel was Governor-appointed and she served close to 10 years as a member of Kentucky’s Public Advocacy Commission. She has appeared in Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in Education. She has received numerous awards for teaching, public address, mediation and argumentation, including the 2019 Max Carman Teaching Excellence Award, 2019 Murray State University Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2017 Excellence in Leadership award from the National Society of Leadership and Success, and many others. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education. She has won the Southern States and Kentucky Forensics Association Coach of the Year Award several times, including the KFA award in February 2020.

Dean Coel has taught in London, England and Dublin, Ireland. She is the author of THE Presentation Guide Book: From the Classroom to the Boardroom (3rd ed.)and Speaking with Ease: Handy Tips and Highly Practical Examples for Public andEmployment-Related Presentations. She is the co-author for Workplace Bullying Policies, Higher Education, and the First Amendment: Building Bridges not Walls that received national press releases from Taylor and Francis and the National Communication Association. The article is in the June 2018 First Amendment Studies Journal. Her other peer-reviewed articles appear in the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships and the Kentucky Journal of Communication. 

This suburban Philadelphia native was a summer law clerk for the Honorable Louis G. Hill (deceased) of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. She's a Pennsylvania attorney. She served as Visiting Conflict Counsel for the Department of Public Advocacy in 2000-2001. She received certification in general and family mediation from the Mediation Center of Kentucky. She is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She has been a Kentucky representative for the American Bar Association's Mediation Committee and a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She is a member of Pi Kappa Delta and Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha National Honorary Speech and Debate Fraternities, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, and other Greek and philanthropic organizations. She is on the national Board and serves as the Director of Communications for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.

Dean Coel is a freelance corporate speech writer and communication consultant. Her clients have included but are not limited to the National Weather Service, The American Baptist Extension Corporation, Kroger Inc. subsidiaries and others. In 2012 she was hired to train senior administrators to be better leaders and business presenters for the National Taiwan University in Taipei. She has served as the keynote speaker for numerous organizations. She has written and presented papers on diversity, the imprisonment of free speech, campaign rhetoric, conflict resolution, etc. Although her professional responsibilities are exciting and challenging, her greatest reward is her Calling… to serve students with respect, competence, tenacity, compassion and a refusal to enable. Her leadership embodies: mediocrity is never an option.