Karen Inkelas

Room: Vaughan House

The faculty principal is the head of a residential college. The Hereford principal lives with her family in Vaughan House, adjacent to the HRC houses Norris and Whyburn. The principal provides leadership and guidance in all aspects of Hereford life and acts as the administrative head of the college, serving as liaison to the University administrators. 


Karen Inkelas has had a longstanding interest in how college environments — curricular, co-curricular, interpersonal, and structural — affect students. She is currently the Research Director of the Crafting Success for Underrepresented Scientists and Engineers Project, which seeks to identify effective ways to close the achievement gap for underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at UVA. In addition, she holds an appointment in the UVA Contemplative Sciences Center as Research Director of Undergraduate Initiatives, where she is Co-Principal Investigator of the Student Flourishing Initiative, a collaborative project with Penn State and the University of Wisconsin focusing on creating an undergraduate curriculum on mindfulness and flourishing for first-year students.

Her prior research has focused on the impact of living-learning communities, or academic programs based in residence halls that strive to integrate students' academic and social spheres to optimize learning, on undergraduate student outcomes. She is the Principal Investigator for the National Study of Living-Learning Programs (NSLLP), which was awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation to study the role of living-learning programs in facilitating the success of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors.

Read her co-authored book: Living-Learning Communities that Work.