Credentials Display

Rishi Sriram, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor & Associate Chair for Higher Education at Baylor University

Cliff Haynes, Ph.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor & Graduate Coordinator at the University of Florida.

Susan D. Weintraub, Ed.D., is the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Residential Life at Saint Anselm College.

Joseph Cheatle, Ph.D., is Director of the Writing and Media Center at Iowa State University.

Christopher P. Marquart, Ed.D., is the Assistant Dean of Student Life & Director of Residence Life and Housing at St. Lawrence University.

Joseph L. Murray, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Education at Bucknell University.


Living learning communities, first-generation, students of color, peers, faculty, academic success


In this article, we discuss the influence of demographic characteristics upon students’ deeper life interactions with peers, faculty, and staff within the context of residential learning communities. When examining student demographic characteristics, we found that Students of Color and first-generation students have lower satisfaction with deeper life interactions with peers, but sophomores, juniors, or seniors had higher satisfaction with deeper life interactions with peers. Students did not differ on their deeper life interactions with faculty based on students’ demographic characteristics. We discuss further the implications of the findings for student engagement and academic success across diverse populations and offer recommendations for maximizing the positive impact of residential learning communities on efforts to promote inclusive excellence. The article concludes with a series of recommendations for current practice and future research focused specifically on how different types of student interactions with different groups influence student outcomes.