Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas

Associate Professor of Education


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2000
  • M.S.E., Northwestern University, 1994
  • B.A., Northwestern University, 1992

Karen Inkelas has had a longstanding interest in how college environments — curricular, co-curricular, interpersonal, and structural — affect students. Her prior research has focused on the impact of living-learning programs, 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.

Dr. Inkelas has also secured extramural funds from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the Association of College & University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). The 2007 NSLLP data collection included over 50 postsecondary institutions across the United States, and over 20,000 undergraduate respondents in over 600 living-learning programs. In addition to her work with living-learning programs, Dr. Inkelas has studied the Asian Pacific American college student experience, especially in terms of their attitudes toward racial/ethnic diversity.

Prior to her appointment at UVa, Dr. Inkelas was an Associate Professor in the College Student Personnel Program in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. She also served as Faculty Director of the Advocates for Children living-learning program within College Park Scholars. She also developed and directed the Housing Research Office for University Housing at the University of Michigan, and coordinated projects and events for the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University. Dr. Inkelas has been awarded the Research and Scholarship Award from ACUHO-I, the Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award from NASPA, and an Emerging Scholar designate by ACPA.