Dr. Rishi Sriram, associate professor in Baylor School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and director of the MSEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs, was selected as a Senior Scholar of ACPA (American College Personnel Association), a leading association in the field of higher education student affairs that advocates for the integration of research and scholarship in the practice of student affairs.
ACPA describes its Senior Scholars as “senior members of the profession who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to ACPA’s mission of transforming higher education by creating and sharing influential scholarship, shaping critically reflective practice, and advocating for equitable and inclusive learning environments.” A maximum of 12 scholars may hold the position.
Sriram said he is passionate about helping student affairs professionals integrate scholarship and evidence-based practices into their work with college students. This passion for bridging the gap between research and practice led to publication of Sriram’s book, Student Affairs by the Numbers: Quantitative Research and Statistics for Professionals.
“I wrote this book with the aim to help professionals understand and use quantitative research and statistics in their work,” he said.
Before becoming a faculty member at Baylor, Sriram served as a student affairs administrator for eight years at Baylor and played a key role in the development of Baylor’s living-learning programs.
As a graduate faculty member teaching and researching the profession, Sriram continues to serve as a practitioner. Since 2013, Sriram has been Faculty Steward in Baylor’s Brooks Residential College, where he and his family live in a faculty apartment. The role of Baylor’s faculty serving in residence includes fostering and shaping the social, cultural, educational, and spiritual life within the residential community. Sriram collaborates with residence hall staff and student leaders on programming, serves as a positive influence and role model, and encourages a climate of academic excellence and community engagement.
Sriram said he hopes the ACPA Senior Scholars program will enable him to increase his role helping professionals use research for the purpose of “improved practice.” He added, “I define ‘improved practice’ as changes in practices that lead to better student outcomes related to retention, engagement, achievement, belonging, development, and learning. Higher education leaders and scholars can no longer only discuss what is helpful or hurtful for ‘students.’ We must pay close attention to conditional effects — what policies, programs, and practices are helpful for which students. I desire for Senior Scholars to advocate and promote policies, programs, and practices that scholarship demonstrates are best for all college students.”
Sriram also currently serves as graduate program director in the Department of Educational Administration and has previously served as associate chair, program director of the PhD program in higher education, and director of Baylor’s undergraduate minor in leadership studies.
He is editor of the Journal of First Year Experience and Students in Transition, a refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions, housed at the University of South Carolina. In this editorial role, Sriram said, he seeks to publish the work of scholars that directly relates to improving the college student experience on campuses. He has also served on the editorial board of the Journal of College Student Development. His dedication to better bridge research and practice has also led him to conduct research on the ACPA/NASPA competencies for student affairs professionals.
He was named Baylor Centennial Professor at Baylor in 2018 and received the Contributions to the Field Award from Baylor Campus Living & Learning in 2019. He also received Baylor’s Faculty-in-Residence of the Year Award in 2014 and was Faculty Member of the Year for the Texas Association of College & University Student Personnel Administrators in 2013.
For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit www.baylor.edu/SOE to learn more.
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.