Dr. Sells completed her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Communications at Hope College, located in Holland, Michigan. She completed her Master of Social Work with a concentration in Interpersonal Practice and Clinical Casework at the University of Michigan in 1983. She completed her Doctorate of Education at Arizona State University in 1996 with a dissertation entitled "The Freshman Year Experience: A case study of a freshman living-learning center." Dr. Sells has served in the division of Student Affairs at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa; California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo; and at Arizona State University in Tempe. Dr. Sells joined the administration at Middle Tennessee State University in January of 1996.