We are empathy educators.

Team Abbey Research is three folks. The Good Doctors - Dr. Kristen Donnelly and Dr. Erin Hinson - and our techno-mage Eleanor Kelly.

The Good Doctors are both educators with social science PhDs. We have lived and studied around the United States and around the world, exposing us to a beautiful range of identities, experiences, and worldviews. Our work in multiple international conflict zones taught us that we can understand a person’s words and actions without supporting or endorsing them.

We have over 30 years experience working in the manufacturing, retail, social service, non profit, and education sectors. These diverse and challenging experiences have shaped our understanding and practice of empathy, while also motivating us to share these insights with you.

Even before the pandemic, we were working with hybrid teams and teaching virtually. With the addition of Eleanor, our ability to serve your team has skyrocketed. We love in-person learning, but we also love the flexibility and accessibility of online learning. 


how we started

Abbey Research was founded by Dr. Kristen Nielsen Donnelly in 2015. After finishing her PhD and immigrating back to the USA, Kristen knew she wanted to use her training as a researcher, social worker, and voraciously curious human to change the world. 

The Good Doctors met in 2011, when they were both studying at Queen’s University Belfast. Proving that Gryffindors and Ravenclaws make the best friends, the two quickly bonded over their shared love of books, musicals, travel, and family.

In 2017, Dr. Erin Hinson brought her considerable talents to the mission of educating and empowering inclusive communities. Through many fits and starts, they have found their calling as empathy educators, and now spend their days learning, teaching, traveling, and serving others. 

In 2020, Kristen and Erin were joined by Eleanor Kelly, proving that every good team also needs a Slytherin. She brings to the team a love of spreadsheets, a talent for video editing, a knowledge of tech that far surpasses the others, and many more adorable pets to the team menagerie. 

Abbey Research is a proud member of Abbey Companies, a family-owned network of businesses serving a variety of industries worldwide, whose mission is to "impact lives and generate holistic wealth."

Our 2022 Corporate Retreat included curling lessons from Eleanor.

meet our team

vice president

erin hinson

Erin Hinson (MA, PhD) is a researcher, educator, and tea enthusiast with over a decade of experience in cultivating curiosity in herself and others. Erin advocates for inclusion, equity, and understanding through conversation, connection, and empathy. She lives in Pittsburgh with her mother, cat, and international gin collection.

founder and president

kristen nielsen donnelly

Kristen Donnelly (MSW, M.Div, PhD) is an award winning, four time TEDx speaker, international empathy educator, and researcher with two decades of experience in helping people understand the beauty in difference, and the power in inclusivity. Kristen lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, where they are surrounded by piles of books and several video game consoles. 

tech support and jack-of-all-trades

eleanor kelly 

Eleanor Kelly is a general badass of a human who has an endless supply of talent and sarcasm. Kristen and Erin have no idea how they would survive without her. She lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with her husband Mike, their five precious fur babies, and a giant and lovingly tended back garden.

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