Sharing Common Goals

The Office of Residence Life, in collaboration with a variety of academic and administrative departments, offers five living-learning communities (LLCs) for first-year students, and two LLCs for upperclassmen.

LLCs are intentional living arrangements in which residents share common goals, engage in a common academic program and participate in experiential learning. 

Austin Scholars

Austin Scholars celebrate Merrimack’s Augustinian roots by serving those in need in the surrounding communities of Lawrence and Lowell. Through service to others; study and learning; and living together in a community, Austin Scholars explore their own personal values and ideals that comprise their personal spirituality. Events throughout the year are designed to help with this process of deepening self-awareness and awareness of the purpose, meaning and value one’s life. Austin Scholars is available to all majors. The Austin Scholars living-learning community is open to first-year, sophomore and junior residential students.


Sr. Jeanne Gribaudo,
Director of Austin Scholars Program

Honors Program

The honors program offers two living-learning communities — one for first-year students and one for upperclassmen. These communities were established so that honors students can immediately become part of a community of learners and leaders. Inspired by St. Augustine, the honors program believes that students learn best in the company of friends and can become leaders while engaged in all of the social and co-curricular opportunities that arise while living together with a common purpose.


Ellen McWhorter,
Director of the Honors Program


The Innovation Through Engineering and Computing living-learning community is designed to help first-year students thrive in engineering and computer science majors. Students are part of an academically and socially supportive environment, living among peers who are engineering and computer science majors, have access to tutoring and review sessions, and participate in professional-development sessions and many engaging social activities. All first-year engineering and computer science students are included in iTEC unless they request otherwise.


Maureen Sakakeeny,
Director of Science & Engineering Programs


The Jumpstart LLC will connect students to a program that works with local schools and agencies to boost early literacy and school achievement. Jumpstart provides opportunities for students to get experience in the field, and through its training can help you improve your skills in fields such as elementary education, early childhood education, and human development/human services. For students who volunteer in the program for enough hours during the school year, an educational stipend may be available through the Jumpstart national program.

Russell Olwell,
Associate Dean of Education

W.I.L.L. House

The Wellness Integrated Living and Learning community approaches wellness from a holistic perspective. Students living in the W.I.L.L. House have similar interests in maintaining or starting a healthy lifestyle — physically, mentally and/or spiritually. The W.I.L.L. House community is open to sophomore, junior and senior residential students.

Erin Kaminski,
Wellness Educator

Women in Health Sciences

The new Women in Health Sciences living-learning community encourages first-year female students to connect and learn together throughout their first year studying the health sciences. Students will partake in a common First Year Experience Course on health literacy as part of this community. This LLC is open to women in all health science majors, including: exercise science, nutritional sciences, public health, rehabilitation sciences, undeclared health science, the 3+2 athletic training program, and nursing. More information coming soon!

Women in STEM

The Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) living-learning community is designed for first-year female students to connect, explore and share their interest and enthusiasm for science and technology. By building a community of peers, students support each other academically and socially. Open to women in all science, math and engineering majors, this LLC has a community-service component, career exploration and guest speakers from STEM fields.


Maureen Sakakeeny,
Director of Science & Engineering Programs

Visual and Performing Arts

The Visual and Performing Arts living-learning community is a new opportunity for those majoring in Art and Art History, Graphic Design or Theatre Arts. Students will live in community and will take a common course. More information coming soon!