The 2017-2019 Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice is led by Mimi Benjamin, Jody Jessup-Anger, Shannon Lundeen, and Cara McFadden.
Mimi Benjamin is Assistant Professor of Student Affairs in Higher Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include student co-curricular learning outcomes, learning communities, and faculty experiences. She is the editor of the 2015 New Directions for Student Services book Learning Communities from Start to Finish and served as a student affairs administrator for 19 years, during which time she worked extensively with residential programs and learning communities. She served as a Resource Faculty Member at the 2016 National Summer Institute on Learning Communities at The Washington Center at The Evergreen State College and has given professional presentations on learning community topics at the American College Personnel Association Convention, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Conference, the Learning Communities and Collaboration Conference, and the National Learning Communities Project Conference. In 2011, Mimi was a guest co-editor for a special issue focused on faculty involvement in residence halls for the Journal of College and University Student Housing. She also is the co-editor of the book Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies in Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals (2009). Mimi earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on Higher Education from Iowa State University, her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University, her M.A. in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and her B.S. in Secondary Education-English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Jody Jessup-Anger is Associate Professor of Educational and Policy Leadership at Marquette University. Her research explores how student and collegiate environment interaction facilitates or impedes student development and learning. Jody has written several research articles exploring the effectiveness of living-learning communities, authored a chapter about theoretical foundations of learning communities in the New Directions for Student Services monograph, and recently completed a study exploring the roles of living-learning communities in social justice and civic engagement. She has given papers and professional presentations on living-learning community environments at the American College Personnel Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators annual conferences. Jody serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice and on ACPA’s Commission for Professional Preparation in Student Affairs. Jody earned her Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University, her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University, and her B.A. in International Studies from American University.
Shannon B. Lundeen is Director of Academic Initiatives for the Residential Campus and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Elon University. At Elon, Shannon oversees the incorporation and development of academic programs and initiatives in Elon’s seven residential neighborhoods, working to advance the University’s goal of transforming the residential experience at Elon by integrating the residential, academic, and social aspects of campus life. Shannon works with multiple departments and leaders across the university in order to recruit faculty and staff to serve in the residential campus as teachers, scholars, and mentors in a range of roles from living-learning community advisor to neighborhood faculty director-in-residence. She has previously served as a faculty member living in residence and as a living learning community advisor at a prior institution. Recently, Shannon was elected Chair of the newly founded Residential College Society, which seeks to transform higher education by providing a learning network for faculty and student affairs educators to share knowledge, build community, and advance scholarship about the residential college experience. Shannon has published in feminist philosophy, bioethics, and gender and sexuality studies and has conducted trainings, led workshops, and given presentations on diversity, women’s leadership, and Title IX in higher education. Shannon earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies form Stony Brook University, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from Colgate University.
Cara McFadden is Assistant Professor of Sport and Event Management at Elon University. At Elon, Cara served two years as a faculty-in-residence as the Faculty Director for one of the seven residential neighborhoods. In the position she collaborated with the residence life Community Director to create academic and social experiences in the neighborhood. Cara has 15 combined years of experience in collegiate recreation and higher education. Her first full-time faculty position was for the Sport and Recreation Management program at James Madison University where she taught college student development theory for the campus recreation graduate program. Cara’s areas of interest include leadership, college student development, assessment, and student engagement. In 2013, she published an article entitled, “Development and Validation of the Sense of Competence Scale-Revised (SCS-R)” in the Journal of Applied Measurement. Recently, Cara published a co-edited issue of New Directions for Student Leadership entitled, “Student Leadership Development through Recreation and Athletics.” Cara received her B.S. in Sport Management from Elon University, an M.A. in Recreation Administration from Central Michigan University, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education from Virginia Tech.