Plenary Speakers

Throughout our conference, we will have the opportunity to hear from distinguished speakers on topics related to student success and the role of residential colleges. You can find more information on our speaker below.


Brooke Barnett (PhD) is a Professor in the School of Communications and Associate Provost for Academic and Inclusive Excellence. She has served on the President’s senior staff at Elon since 2010. She is the author of a number of books and articles in her academic fields of communication and law and has published and presented widely about diversity and inclusion, most recently co-editing with Peter Felten Intersectionality in Action A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions. At Elon she provides administrative oversight of academic programs in the residential campus, inclusive community, civic engagement, scholars programs, national and international fellowships office, a life-long learning program for community members, cultural programs, and special events.



Dr. Rishi Sriram serves as Associate Professor of Higher Education & Student Affairs, Associate Chair for the Department of Educational Leadership, and Residential College Faculty Steward of Brooks Residential College–a living-learning community of approximately 400 students, at Baylor University. Dr. Sriram spent eight years as a higher education and student affairs administrator before beginning his current role as a faculty member. As Assistant Dean for Student Learning & Engagement, he played a primary role in the development of residential colleges and living-learning programs at Baylor, as well as the establishment of a faculty-in-residence program. His administrative work won him a NASPA Excellence Award (Gold Honoree) and a Promising Practices Award from the NASPA Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs Knowledge Community. At Baylor, he was selected to serve on the Provost’s Diversity Committee, the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, and as Chair of the Faculty-in-Residence Council. Nationally, he serves on the executive team of the Residential College Society. Dr. Sriram’s research interests include student affairs practice, collaboration between academic and student affairs, and college student retention, engagement, achievement, and learning. His work has been published in respected journals such as the Journal of College Student Development, the Review of Higher Education, the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, and the Journal of College Student Retention. He has served as a faculty-in-residence for the past five years.



Keith Gaddie is President’s Associates Presidential Professor and Executive Faculty Fellow of the University, and also Senior Fellow of Headington College.His current research focuses in three areas: the intersect of the built environment and democratic values; redistricting; and voting rights reform. His primary project, undertaken with Jocelyn Evans of the University of West Florida, examines the historic homes of the U.S. Supreme Court, exploring the evolution of the court’s built space, its institutional evolution, and its changing culture as a political and social organization. He and Evans are also working on a project to bridge the various methodologies used to examine the concept of ‘democracy’ in architecture and public spaces.

Keith has authored or coauthored 24 books or volumes, and is a two-time winner of the V. O. Key Jr. Award for the outstanding book on Southern Politics. Among his published works are the books Regulating Wetlands Protection (2000), Triumph of Voting Rights In the South (2009), Rise and Fall of the Voting Rights Act (2016), and The Three Governors Controversy: Skullduggery, Machinations, and the Decline of Georgia’s Progressive Politics (2015). His textbook with Thomas R. Dye, Politics in America, is entering its 12th edition.

Since joining the faculty at OU in 1996, Keith has been professor of political science (College of Arts & Sciences) and since 2017 also of journalism (Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication). He also serves as associate director of the OU Center for Intelligence and National Security, founded in 2014 under a grant from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Together with Dr. Kim Gaddie and Prof. Kirby Goidel of Texas A&M, Keith is coeditor of Social Science Quarterly, the world’s oldest, leading interdisciplinary social science journal. From 2014-2017 he served as chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma.