Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas

Karen earned a B.A. in International and Asian Studies, as well as an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Northwestern University, and her PhD from the Center for the Study of Higher & Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.

Karen has had a longstanding interest in studying how college environments affect undergraduate students. In particular, her scholarship focuses on the impact of college on undergraduate students, and she is best known for her research on living-learning communities. She is the founding Principal Investigator of the National Study of Living-Learning Programs, and lead author of the book, Living-Learning Programs that Work: A Research-Based Model for Design, Delivery, and Assessment. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, the International Baccalaureate Organization, and the Jefferson Trust. She has been invited to speak as part of a World Bank-funded workshop with Cambodian higher education, a proceeding with the Japanese Ministry of Education, and keynotes at international conferences at the National University of Singapore and Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.

Karen also consults with national architectural firms regarding building designs that facilitate living and learning, and she often speaks on best practices in living-learning communities and residential colleges. She recently keynoted the 2018 ACUHO-I Academic Initiatives Conference, and will open the Residential College Symposium in 2019.

Outside of work, Karen is proud of her Chicago hometown roots, especially her lifelong loyalty to her beloved Chicago Cubs. She also loves to travel, cook, and watch movies with her husband, Dan, their daughter, Sonya, and their dog, Hamachi, and three cats.