Faculty In Residence

Faculty-In-Residence (FIR) are faculty members who live in designated on-campus residential communities. Faculty-In-Residence work collaboratively with CL&L leadership and residence hall staff and student leaders to create diverse residential environments that support learning and faith development through the cultivation of relationally driven communities.


About Dr. Malavanti

Dr. Karenna Malavanti is a Senior Lecturer and the Neuroscience Advisor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She regularly teaches Introduction to Neuroscience, Psychological Science, and Cognition. Dr. Malavanti is a three-time Baylor alumna who received her B.S. in Neuroscience in 2010, M.A. in Psychology in 2012, and Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology in 2014. Dr. Malavanti’s primary research interest is in cognition and human memory, most recently in the cognitive basis of effective teaching and learning, which means she loves talking to students about their study habits and ways to maximize their potential.


Before joining Baylor faculty, Dr. Malavanti was an assistant professor of Psychology at Carson-Newman University. For her work with students, she was honored with the Excellence in Academic Advising award (2016), student government’s Staff Appreciation Award (2016), and Student Advocate of the Year award (2017).  Dr. Malavanti joined the Psychology & Neuroscience department at Baylor in 2017. In 2018, she traveled with Baylor students to Guatemala on a medical mission trip during spring break, which was a great introduction to living alongside Baylor students. Dr. Malavanti has been honored for excellence in teaching by the Office of the Provost and Academy for Teaching and Learning; she was recognized as a Baylor Teaching Fellow in 2018-2019 and Active Learning Fellow in spring of 2020. 


An active member of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2),Dr. Malavanti has served as co-chair for the Early Career Psychologists committee and is still serving as a member of the Membership Communication Committee. She regularly presents scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), innovative teaching practices, and professional development workshops at national teaching conferences in Psychology and in Neuroscience. Dr. Malavanti greatly enjoys learning alongside undergraduates through evidence-based teaching and student-centered course design in her classes, and hopes to instill a love of learning about the mind and the brain. She is excited and honored to serve as faculty-in-residence for Earle Hall and the Science & Health Living-Learning Center.


Dr. Malavanti is married to Matthew, and they have a daughter Mila (almost 2) and a Yorkshire terrier named Lila (9). They are active members of First Presbyterian Church in Waco, a wonderfully welcoming congregation. The Malavanti family is looking forward to joining the community at the Science & Health Living-Learning Center. Dr. Malavanti reflects on this experience: “Baylor changed my life. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t know what to expect from college. I quickly learned that Baylor faculty and staff truly cared about me and my future. I can’t wait to be part of campus life more intentionally by serving as faculty-in-residence at Earle Hall. The future is bright!”