Book cover for The Faculty Factor: Developing Faculty Engagement with Living Learning Communities
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ISBN: 9781642672534

January 2023

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Jennifer E. Eidum

Jennifer E. Eidum (PhD, University of Washington, Seattle) is Assistant Professor of English at Elon University in North Carolina. Her teaching focuses on academic writing, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), and sociolinguistics. She has published and presented research on facilitating metacognition in writing classrooms, integrative and experiential learning, and pedagogies supporting language diversity. Her current teaching and research projects focus on integrative reflection in experiential education and anti-racist pedagogy. Her work can be found in Composition Forum, Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric, NCTE, and the Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, as well as published book chapters. Until recently, Jennifer served as the Faculty Director of Global Neighborhood, living in a residence hall with her family on the Elon University campus. Dr. Eidum also coordinates the new undergraduate Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) minor and leads the Peace Corps Prep program at Elon University.

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Lara Lomicka

Lara Lomicka (PhD, Penn State) is Professor of French and Applied Linguistics in the Department and holds the Jessie Chapman Alcorn Memorial Professorship in her Department at the University of South Carolina. Lara recently served as Faculty Principal of Preston Residential College (2016-2022). In 2020, she was awarded the John N. Gardner Inspirational Faculty Award and in 2011 was honored by the French Government as a Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques. She is Past President of the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC), the Past President of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), and Past President of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (NFMLTA). Lara participated in a 3-year multi-institutional interdisciplinary cohort exploring residential learning communities as a high-impact practice at Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning and regularly conducts workshops, consults with programs, and gives talks throughout the United States and internationally.

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Timothy D. Baird

Dr. Baird studies the interactions between environmental conservation, economic development, and social change. His research in rural Africa has examined how vulnerable communities are adapting to protected areas, engaging a globalizing world, and embracing new technologies. He’s also interested in how social networks change, how engagement works, and how people respond to disruption. This work relates to scholarship in human-environment interactions, human ecology, resilience studies, and student-centered learning. Currently he serves as the inaugural Faculty Principal of the Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Community at Virginia Tech.

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Mimi Benjamin

Mimi Benjamin is professor of Student Affairs in Higher Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include student co-curricular learning outcomes, learning communities, faculty experiences, and teamwork. She is a co-author of Living-Learning Communities that Work: A Research-based Model for Design, Delivery, and Assessment (2018) and editor of the 2015 New Directions for Student Services book Learning Communities from Start to Finish. Mimi served as a student affairs administrator for 19 years, during which time she worked extensively with residential programs and learning communities. As a co-leader of the Elon University Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminar on Residential Learning Communities from 2017-2019, Mimi provided guidance for four multi-institutional research studies on residential learning communities. Mimi is a co-editor of the Learning Communities Research and Practice special issue on living-learning communities, published in 2020, and in 2011, she was a guest co-editor for a special issue of the Journal of College and University Student Housing, focused on faculty involvement in residence halls. She is the co-editor of Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies in Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals (2009), and the second edition published in 2020. She also serves as the co-editor of ACPA Books.

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C.L. Bohannon

C.L. Bohannon, PhD, ASLA, is an Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department and the Associate Dean of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (AD JEDI). Bohannon is a nationally recognized scholar and educator in the areas of community-engaged design and pedagogy, social and environmental justice, and African American landscapes, especially in the American South. Prior to joining UVA in 2022, Bohannon was an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Interim Director in the School of Architecture + Design, housed in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was also Director of the Community Engagement Lab and a faculty principal since 2018 at the Leadership and Social Change Residential College at Virginia Tech, living and working alongside students.

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Connie Book

For more than 20 years, Dr. Connie Ledoux Book has provided leadership for higher education institutions and programs with a deep commitment to student development and a strong belief in the transformative opportunities of higher education. Dr. Book became Elon’s ninth president in 2018 after serving for three years as provost and chief academic officer at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. She previously served at Elon for 16 years as a professor and senior leader, contributing to Elon’s rise to prominence as a national university. In collaboration with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of Elon, President Book has launched Boldly Elon: Our Strategic Plan for 2030. The ambitious goals within this new strategic plan are encapsulated within four major themes: Learn, Thrive, Connect, and Rise, and represent a bold commitment to student success. To support these initiatives, Dr. Book has launched the historic Elon LEADS comprehensive fundraising campaign, which has engaged more than 25,000 donors – alumni, parents, friends, corporate partners, and foundations – who believe and support Elon’s distinctive mission.
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Darleny Cepin Bailey

Darleny Cepin, Ed.D, is the Director of Student Life at Mathey College. In this capacity, she is the primary staff member within the residential college responsible for supporting and enhancing the undergraduate residential and extracurricular experience of students from all four years residing in or affiliated with that college. Darleny is passionate about motivating, inspiring, and supporting students and colleagues to achieve their academic and personal goals. A forward-thinking and creative educator, she has a holistic approach that is grounded in student learning and transformative leadership practice. In addition to pursuing her graduate studies, Darleny earned a certification in Emotional, Social and Cultural intelligence from Teachers College, incorporating into her practice advanced strategies in emotional intelligence, coaching across cultures, organizational acumen, and self-management. Her subject matter expertise is supported by a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.). She has been repeatedly recognized for her dedication to educational excellence, including inductions into the National Residence Hall Honorary Chapter at Columbia University and Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society. Additional interests and experience include coaching, leadership development, program development, supervision, diversity, and group dynamics. Bringing a positive outlook and flexibility to both her professional and personal spheres, Darleny also practices mindfulness and meditation.

Wendy F. Cohn

Wendy F. Cohn is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Laura S. Dahl

Laura Dahl, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Education at North Dakota State University and principal investigator for the Assessment of Collegiate Residential Environments and Outcomes (ACREO) project. Her research uses quantitative criticalism to examine how collegiate environments can influence outcomes such as sense of belonging, self-authored worldview commitment, career outcome expectations, appreciative attitudes toward diverse others, and integrative learning. From 2011-2015, she coordinated a living learning community for women in engineering at Rutgers University’s Douglass Residential College as Director of Research and Advising for Undergraduate Women in STEM. She earned her Ph.D. from the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University, M.Ed. in College Student Affairs Administration from The University of Georgia, and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Leia Duncan

Leia Duncan (MA, Lee University) has worked in education in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and the United States. She has spent the last ten years working with Living Learning Communities and Residential Colleges at Baylor University, where she is currently the Program Director of the Baylor & Beyond LLC, a global-themed community. She has conducted and presented research on faculty and student affairs partnerships, the benefits of residential colleges for autistic students, the positive and negative impact of overnight retreats on sense of belonging, academic initiatives and cultural engagement, increasing cultural curiosity through engaged learning trips, understanding implicit bias in the classroom, and navigating student leadership roles in a residential college. Leia also teaches a Freshman Academic Seminar in the department of Modern Languages & Cultures that is focused on exploring global citizenship.

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Ryan W. Erck

Ryan W. Erck, Ph.D., serves as the program director for the LEAD Living-Learning Community and is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. He researches college student interactions, student success, and the impact of environments on learning, and he teaches on topics such as the business and finance of higher education, budgeting and strategic planning, and leadership development. 

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Terri Garrett

Terri Garrett is the Associate Director for Academic Initiatives at Baylor University. She earned her B.S. from Oregon State University (Sociology), M.A. from Miami University (Student Personnel), and Ed.D. from Northeastern University (Higher Education Administration). For over 35 years, she has worked in student housing at a variety of universities, with the last 25 years working specifically with residential academic programs and partnerships. In her work at Baylor, she has overseen the development of Living-Learning Programs that comprise approximately 50 percent of on-campus housing and provides direction and oversight for the Faculty-in-Residence program that currently engages 15 faculty in residential communities across campus. Additionally, she directs residential assessment.

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Dustin K. Grabsch

Dustin Grabsch currently serves students as the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education & Academic Success at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, USA. He is a pracademic, collaborator, and researcher. Dustin is a proud first-generation college student and holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and a doctorate in leadership-related fields. Originally from Warren, Michigan, Dustin enjoys boating, hiking, DIY projects, and writing in his spare time.

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Ellen Gundlach

Ellen Gundlach, MS, MPH, PMP taught undergrad Statistics courses at Purdue University for 16 years before becoming the inaugural managing director of The Data Mine. She is co-author (with Mark Daniel Ward) of an introductory probability book, has served as associate editor for the Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education, and has worked in the community as a public health consultant. She is currently the senior managing director for Purdue Online in the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. She is excited to provide learning opportunities for students with a variety of interests and needs.

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Jody E. Jessup-Anger

Jody Jessup-Anger (Ph.D. Michigan State University) is professor of higher education, department chair of Educational Policy and Leadership, and program coordinator of the Student Affairs in Higher Education master’s program at Marquette University. Her research explores how the collegiate environment can facilitate or impede student learning and development. Dr. Jessup-Anger is co-author of Living-Learning Communities that Work: A Research-Based Model for Design, Delivery and Assessment, co-editor of the New Directions for Student Services volume: Addressing Sexual Violence in Student Affairs and Higher Education, and co-editor of the second edition of Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies in Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals. Dr. Jessup-Anger co-led the Elon University Center for Engaged Learning 2017-2019 Research Seminar on Residential Learning Communities, during which she provided guidance for four multi-institutional research teams exploring different dimensions of residential learning communities. She has also provided several keynote addresses and consultation to universities on developing and sustaining living-learning communities. In the Fall of 2017, she served as scholar-in-residence for Workshop Architects, a firm specializing in the design of campus spaces.

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Caleb J. Keith

Caleb J. Keith, Ph.D., is Director of Institutional Improvement at IUPUI. He works in the Office of Planning and Institutional Improvement, directing the Program Review process, supporting IUPUI’s Program Review and Assessment Committee, providing consulting services to support change management processes, and assisting campus leaders on strategic projects.
Caleb is associate editor of Assessment Update, an award-winning bimonthly publication with a national readership, and he serves as a producer of Leading Improvements in Higher Education, an award-winning podcast. Caleb also serves the higher education community as a reviewer for the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry and as a member of the Higher Learning Commission Peer Corps.
Caleb served in positions at Millikin University, the Qatar Foundation (now Hamad bin Khalifa University), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), the University of Georgia, and University of the Ozarks. He earned a Bachelor of Music in commercial music and music business and a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. He received a Master of Education in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia and his doctoral degree from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

Kirsten Kennedy

Kirsten Kennedy is the Associate Vice President of Student Housing and Sustainability at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

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Tim Knight

Tim Knight is the Director of the Environment, Technology, and Economy Program for College Park Scholars LLC at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. Tim came to work in living-learning communities from a background in natural and environmental science. He is interested in the use of experiential learning and ways to increase diversity and inclusion in sustainability.

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Carl Krieger

Dr. Carl Krieger has supported residential living and learning communities at Duke University, Virginia Tech and Purdue University. He is the co-founder of the Residential College Symposium and a foundational member of the Residential College Society. He has a passion for helping students connect with faculty member because he believes that those mentorship relationships are the most important to a student’s feeling of connection to their institution.

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Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas

Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas is a Professor in the Higher Education Program in the School of Education & Human Development and the sixth Principal of Hereford Residential College at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the impact of college on students and student outcomes associated with participation in living-learning communities. In addition to her faculty position, she is the Lead Research Director of UVA’s Crafting Success for Underrepresented Scientists and Engineers Project, and Research Director of Undergraduate Initiatives for the UVA Contemplative Sciences Center. Dr. Inkelas has been awarded research grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the World Bank. In 2021, she was recognized with the S. Earl Thompson Award, given by the Association of College & University Housing Officers International for her significant contributions to the campus housing field over the course of her career. Dr. Inkelas obtained her B.A. and M.S.Ed. from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Kevin M. Leander

Kevin M. Leander is a Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture in the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shannon B. Lundeen

Shannon B. Lundeen was the director of Academic-Residential Partnerships and an associate professor of philosophy at Elon University, Elon, North Carolina. She now works as Director of Programs at HERS (Higher Education Resource Services).

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Jonathan W. Manz

Dr. Jonathan Manz is a seasoned higher education administrator who holds degrees from Virginia Tech, Baylor University, and Mercer University. He has worked at a variety of institutions including both public and private in addition to large, small, and mid-sized colleges. Throughout his career he has focused on developing initiatives that contribute towards student success and graduation. He has led learning community programs at multiple institutions and has witnessed the benefits these programs provide by combining curricular and co-curricular learning. He currently serves as the Director of Student Success & Advising at Warner Pacific University, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Portland, OR.

Matthew J. Mayhew

Matthew J. Mayhew is the William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Higher Education at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

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James C. Penven

Dr. James Penven serves as the Director of Living-Learning Programs at Virginia Tech. In this role he provides leadership for living-learning programs and works collaboratively with faculty and staff to ensure all living-learning communities and Residential Colleges thrive and provide an environment that connects students in community and enhances student engagement and learning. Prior to this role Jamie served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention and earlier as the Director of Housing and Residential Life at Radford University. Before his service at Radford he served for 18 years in several roles at Virginia Tech in housing and residence life. He began his higher education career at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as a Residence Coordinator. Jamie earned a BA in Sociology at West Virginia Wesleyan College, a MA in Counselor Education/Student Affairs at Marshall University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Virginia Tech. His dissertation explored the costs and benefits of residential colleges as perceived by senior housing officers and live-in faculty principals.

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Jennifer B. Post

Jennifer Post has more than 25 years of experience working in residence life and housing. She helped plan and implement the SMU Residential Commons system, which transformed the SMU campus from a traditional model to a Residential Commons (College) model. In 2014, SMU implemented 11 new Residential Commons and a two-year live-on requirement, making the Residential Commons model the common experience for all students. Dr. Post also served as a founding member of the Residential College Society, serving on the board for six years and co-hosted the second Residential Commons Symposium.

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Nishanta Rajakaruna

Nishanta ‘Nishi’ Rajakaruna was born and raised in Sri Lanka. He fell in love with plants at a young age during a visit to Sri Lanka’s Sinharaja Rainforest. He left Sri Lanka in 1990, at the height of the country’s civil war, to pursue his dream to be a botanist. He received a BA in human ecology from College of the Atlantic, Maine (1994). Nishi’s research on the ecology of California native Lasthenia californica complex earned him a MS (1998) and a PhD (2002) in botany from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Nishi conducted post-doctoral research at Stanford University (2003-2004). Nishi’s research examines how plant diversity, ecology, and evolution are influenced by ‘extreme’ soils, including those with high heavy metals or low nutrients. He has taught at College of the Atlantic and San José State University for 12 years and spent a year as a US Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka. Currently, he is a professor in plant biology and the Faculty-in-Residence in the yakʔitʸutʸu residential community at California Polytechnic State University. He is often the first faculty member students and their families meet when they arrive on campus. Nishi was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for 2019-2020.

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Melissa M. Shew

Shew is coeditor of Philosophy for Girls: An Invitation to the Life of Thought (OUP 2020) and recently gave a TEDx talk called “Women and Intellectual Empowerment.” She is a visiting associate professor of philosophy and senior faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning at Marquette University.

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Frank Shushok, Jr.

As a scholar-practitioner, Frank Shushok is known for his profound commitment to student learning, his learning-centered leadership, his community-centered approach, his commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and his desire to help others reach their fullest potential. In addition to his role as Vice President for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech, Frank is an associate professor in the department of agricultural, leadership, and community education and an affiliated faculty member in the higher education graduate program. He is an American Council on Education Fellow and has also served as executive editor of About Campus, a national publication that promotes strengthening the student learning experience in higher education. As an educator, teacher, scholar, administrator, educational consultant, and researcher, Shushok is especially known for building effective, collaborative programs between student and academic affairs.

Lily Sriram

Lily Sriram is the Child-in-Residence of Brooks Residential College at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

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Rishi Sriram

Rishi Sriram is the Faculty Steward of Brooks Residential College and an Associate Professor of Higher Education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

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Jeffrey P. Stein

As Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships and Assistant Professor of English at Elon University, Jeff Stein has led the community-wide development of the Boldly Elon strategic plan and its implementation. Stein led Elon’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and works closely with Athletics and oversees Cultural & Special Programs, Professional and continuing Studies, Leadership & Professional Development, and Student Professional Development Center. From 2010-2018, he served as Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees for two Elon presidents. Before serving on the President’s cabinet, Stein served as Associate Dean of Students for Service-Learning, Multicultural Center, and Residence Life. In this role, he led the design and development of Elon’s nationally recognized residential campus initiative and thriving Jewish life program and oversaw the enhancement of the Living Learning Community, Academic-Service Learning, and diversity education programs. Stein earned a bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from Beloit College, a master’s degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Colorado State University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Georgia and has taught literature, creative writing, and strategic planning.

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Christopher J. Stipeck

Chris Stipeck is a Student Affairs professional with over 15 years of experience in Residence Life. He currently serves as the Director for Residential Staff and Programs at New York University (NYU). He has been instrumental in creating a system-wide Community Development Plan model, innovating residential curriculum practices to meet the needs of 22 diverse communities that serve approximately 11,000 residents. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. Chris is highly involved in our profession through publications and presentations at regional and national levels. He has presented at the National First-Year Experience Conference, ACPA, ACUHO-I and NASPA National Conventions on topics related to the residential experience, developing intentionally inclusive communities, living-learning programs, and student learning. In 2016, Chris was also a faculty member at the ACPA Residential Curriculum Institute. He co-authored a number of articles in publications such as the Journal for the First-Year Experience and Students and Transition and ACHUO-I’s Talking Stick. His contributions to our profession have been recognized at NYU through numerous department, division, and university-wide awards in addition to the Exceptional Mid-Level Professional Award from ACPA. Chris received his B.A. in History from Rutgers University – New Brunswick and his M.A. and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from NYU.

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Jill A. Stratton

Dr. Jill Stratton serves as the Assistant Provost for Residential Education and Associate Dean for Residential Colleges at Vanderbilt University. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, she has invested a great deal of time and energy in researching residential learning communities, career joy, strengths-based leadership, gratitude, and the concept of creative flow and has presented extensively at professional conferences, school districts, college campuses, non-profits, and community agencies. She has taught courses in psychology and leadership and is committed to creating communities where students, faculty, and staff thrive. Dr. Stratton participated in the Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning research seminar focused on residential learning communities. Through opportunities to connect personally and professionally with scholars, writers, teachers, and artists on these topics, she is firmly convinced that the more time spent exploring flow and career joy, the more effective people will be in their lives and future careers.

Mark Daniel Ward

Mark Daniel Ward coordinates experiential learning opportunities for students in data science, across many partnerships at Purdue University.

Ethan Youngerman

Ethan Youngerman is the Faculty Fellow in Residence in University Hall and a Senior Lecturer for the Expository Writing Program at New York University in New York, New York.